Benvenuto’s Italian Grill, which opened across from Warner Park in early 2003, closed Thursday.
The restaurant is known for its meatballs and large portions.
“The lease for that location is up,” said owner Brian Dominick. “All of the other locations are owned or are on long-term leases and will continue to be ready to serve our guests as we have for over 25 years.”
Dominick said the closing was not COVID-19-related. He said some of Benvenuto’s six other locations have “flourished” during the pandemic with carryout and delivery business.
He said that after 18 years, the 7,600-square-foot location at 1849 Northport Drive needed remodeling, which didn’t make sense to do in a building he doesn’t own.
Benvenuto’s has two other Madison-area locations, in Middleton and Fitchburg.
The first Benvenuto’s opened in Beaver Dam, 40 miles northeast of Madison, in 1996. The North Side location was Dominick’s second.
Dominick, 53, said he’s looking to add other locations within the next two years, including in Sun Prairie. Dominick was 25 when he began planning the Beaver Dam restaurant. He opened it two years later.
He said he’s not involved in the day-to-day operations any more. Tonya Clark, who’s worked for him from the beginning, runs the restaurants with Chad Webster.
Employees from the North Side restaurant were given the option of moving to another of the other locations, Dominick said.
While each location has a slightly different look, all have the same menus featuring pastas, steaks, seafood, sandwiches, pizza and calzones.