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Spiaggia was founded in 1984 by 12-time James Beard nominee Tony Mantuano and Levy Restaurants.

Michelin-Starred Concept Spiaggia Closes Permanently

The restaurant served Chicago for nearly 40 years. 

Spiaggia, a well-known independent Italian concept in Chicago, announced Friday that it has closed permanently.

The 37-year-old Michelin-starred restaurant said it was looking forward to welcoming back customers, but negotiations to renew a soon-to-be expired lease were unsuccessful, according to the website. Spiaggia’s sister restaurant Café Spiaggia closed, as well. Both locations had been temporarily shuttered since last year.

“It has been such an incredible journey for all of us, and we are beyond proud of, and grateful for, 37 remarkable years. From the moment we envisioned the restaurants, our passion has been to elevate fine dining Italian cuisine and wine for the City of Chicago, as well as guests from all around the world,” the restaurant posted to its website.

Spiaggia was founded in 1984 by 12-time James Beard nominee Tony Mantuano and Levy Restaurants. Mantuano left Spiaggia in 2019 and currently leads the culinary program at The Joseph, a Luxury Collection Hotel in Nashville. Spiaggia was known for cultivating culinary talent, such as Top Chef winner Joe Flamm, who left as executive chef in September 2019 to open Croatian-American restaurant Rose Mary, and Sarah Gruenberg, another former executive chef who was named Best Chef Great Lakes in 2017 by the James Beard Foundation. 

In an interview with Fooditor in 2019, Mantuano described Spiaggia as “one of those places that you go to if you want to learn to cook Italian, I guess, in this city. We’re going to teach you the right way. That’s what I’m hoping our legacy is.”

“The endless number of special occasions, the most passionate staff and the amazing talent who honed their skills in our kitchens and dining rooms throughout the years, and who are still delighting guests around the country, will remind us that Spiaggia and Café Spiaggia will live forever,” the restaurant said.

Spiaggia is yet another independent restaurant that has fallen victim to the COVID pandemic, particularly one with a landlord-based issue. At the end of 2020, the 157-year-old Cliff House in San Francisco shut down because of issues with its landlord, the National Park Service. The COVID pandemic had prevented the restaurant from operating in-person since March 17. The Cliff House attempted takeout in early June, but the losses became too great after 10 weeks.

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