Longtime Inman Park Italian restaurant Il Localino abruptly closed last Friday after more than 20 years on North Highland Avenue due to “extraordinary circumstances,” according to a post on social media. As of publication, a GoFundMe set up on behalf of the restaurant’s staff has raised over $12,000.
While no official explanation for the closure was given, the brevity of the initial social media post raised concerns among commenters over the health of owners Gale Parker and Professor Giovanni, including a reader who says they received an email last Wednesday canceling an April 30 reservation “due to a death in the extended Localino Family.”
A second social media statement was later released calling the closure “unavoidable” and clarifying that both owners are “healthy and well.” Parker confirmed the closure with Eater in an email saying only that “Il Localino is unexpectedly and sadly closed permanently.” She did not elaborate further on the reason for the sudden closure of the Atlanta restaurant, but hopes to “rebound” in the future.
“We aren’t sure what the future holds but we can promise you that we won’t be strangers,” the second social media statement reads. “Our passion for food, friends, and making memories will not disappear as we close the doors of Il Localino. Rather, they will manifest in new ways as we continue to do what we love.”
The family-owned and operated restaurant opened along North Highland Avenue in 2000 and was later joined by neighborhood bistro Wisteria, North Highland Pub, and brunch spot Folk Art. Beyond its menu of classic Italian dishes, Il Localino was also known for its lively atmosphere in the dining room which included paper lanterns hanging from the ceiling and a late-night disco ball with a playlist featuring everything from opera to disco.