Dave’s Italian Kitchen has been a sponsor of the 2nd act Players from even before we incorporated, from even before we had a name for our intrepid little band. So we were very sad to see that it had closed this week. We wish Dave and his wife nothing but the best in their future endeavors.
I went to owner Dave Glatt back in 2013 because Dave’s had been part of my life since 1976 when I first set foot in Evanston, Il., to continue my graduate education at Northwestern’s Medill school of journalism (the old name for it, I’m old, you know).
On my second or third night in Evanston, a friend I’d met working for Medill in Washington, D.C., in the fall of 1975 told me we had to go to Dave’s. My friend was from Queens and I was from Brooklyn, so naturally we bonded amidst all our fair-skinned, blond Midwestern classmates. And we were hungry for New York-style anything.
The legend at the time was that Dave was also from New York (I never found out if that was true) and his restaurant made great New York-style think crust pizza. Giggio’s, on the other end of downtown Evanston, was the place to go for a quick New York-style slice. But Dave’s was the place for a sit-down Italian meal, or a late night pizza just before closing time.
Friend Ken and I had many late-night pizzas at Dave’s that winter. I recall closing the place at 10 or so many, many nights. When my parents and two aunts came to my graduation that June, I took them to Dave’s and they loved it so much, they first had meals, and then ordered pizza for everyone!
After graduation, I moved away for a bit but came back to Evanston in 1980 to stay and was thrilled that Dave’s was still here. True, it moved around a bit too, having three different locations since 1976, but it remained an old-school, red-sauce Italian place that I loved, as would my children and my wife…and my mother again when she decided to move to Evanston from New York after 9/11.
So of course I went to Dave to sponsor us, I want to work with sponsors I’ve worked with and believe in…and that certainly was Dave’s. Seeing Dave’s Italian Kitchen close is like losing a wonderful old friend. We will miss it as a sponsor but more importantly we will miss it as our go-to Italian place, which is high praise indeed for a man who still makes his grandmother’s tomato sauce (we call it gravy) at home from scratch!