Club Lago Restaurant - Chicago
Now run by Guido and GianCarlo Nardini, the grandsons of its founders, Club Lago has been a mainstay for Italian fare since 1952. The eggplant parmesan is a local favorite.
In 1952, Gus and Ida Lazzerini opened the doors of Club Lago for the first time. Their vision? To provide Northern Italian food to the printers and paper salesmen who worked in Smokey Hollow, the warehouse district around Superior and Orleans in Chicago. This is the time of Mayor Richard Daley the First and three-martini lunches; Club Lago quickly found its niche and developed a loyal following. In 1980, son-in-law Francesco Nardini took over. Photographers and art galleries turned the warehouses into lofts. They christened the area Su Hu, a Chicago version of SoHo. The name didn’t stick, but a new taste for Italian food certainly did. Martinis met new wine sophistication. Club Lago became a cornerstone of the neighborhood. And it continues to pack them in.
Enter the third generation, GianCarlo and Guido. It’s the new millennium in an area now called River North. Condos sprout up everywhere. Warehouse lofts become living spaces. Street traffic-especially at night-triples.
The legendary Club Lago remains the same 50’s joint devoted to