What the heck?! That was my first thought when I saw the Facebook post, saying long-standing Lakewood Italian restaurant Angelo’s closed this weekend.
Just a week ago, I was sitting in Angelo’s talking with owner Bernadette Fisher about her plans for the winter menu. We chatted about the history of Angelo’s, gossiped about how other restaurants in the area seem to be doing, and speculated about the fate of the Balcony Club.
To say Angelo’s Italian Restaurant was a “Lakewood staple” or a “neighborhood institution” would be an understatement. Restaurants like Angelo’s and Cantina Laredo (which also is no more) make Lakewood what it is; they are Lakewood. But, as is painfully apparent everywhere we look, Lakewood as we know it is changing — rapidly.
Angelo’s has been at Gaston and La Vista for 21 years, and in that time Fisher has seen families grow old and their children grow up.
“Just the other day a family came in with their son. I remember when he was a fat little boy and now he’s a tall, handsome college student,” she said last Monday. “We have such good customers. Lakewood is just… I love it. You don’t even feel like your in Dallas coming here.
“But it’s changing,” she continued, “and I guess always going to be changing, but I hope it stays unique.”
Those words seem weirdly prophetic now, but other than that, there was no indication that the restaurant would be suddenly closing its doors.
According to the landlord Cathy Patterson with Greenway Investing Company, this shouldn’t come as a surprise to Fisher. Patterson says Fisher was locked out due to the “non-payment of rent” for several months.
“We knew. She’d had problems (paying rent) for a while,” Patterson said. “If you’re not paying your rent, chances are you’re not going to be there long.”
Patterson says Greenway plans to show the space as soon as possible. ”We’re going to show it to everybody who is a restaurant or bar user,” she says.
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