Joe Boston's, One Of Chicago's All-Time Great Italian Beef Joints, Is Closing
By Stephen Gossett in Food on May 11, 2017 9:50PM
Photo: Stephen Gossett
It's with heavy hearts and soggy hands that we relay the closing of one of Chicago's longest-running, all-time favorite Italian beef shops: Joe Boston's, in Humboldt Park.
As noted by Eater, which first reported the story, owners of the beloved restaurant announced the closing on Wednesday via Facebook after almost 70 years in operation. In the post, owner Spero Kutrubis—who took over after his father-in-law, the shop's namesake, died—notes that the last day of operation will be this Saturday—but he confirmed on Thursday with Chicagoist that he'll likely keep the shop open for a couple of weeks beyond that date, as the property's new owner juggles other commitments, according to Kutrubis.
Still, we recommend you get there ASAP, whether you're a lifelong devotee or a newcomer to Joe Boston's (2932 W. Chicago Ave.—you'll know it by the vivid green exterior, a relic from its previous life as a social club). The Italian beefs—with house-cooked meat and house-made giardiniera—rival any in the city. If you're hard up, the gravy bread works great in a pinch, too, especially with those peppers. The perfectly zero-frills interior of the place caps it off. (The White Sox fan in us loves the fact that they, a North Side spot, nonetheless sport a framed copy of the Tribune from when the South Siders won it all in 2005, too.)
According to Kutrubis—who listed the property for sale a couple of months back—the new owners "don’t want to continue the business, to my knowledge." The asking price was advertised at $579,000 via KW Commercial. The broker did not return Chicagoist's request for comment. "I asked his realtor if he needed me to leave any equipment, but he just wants it empty," Kutrubis said.
Kutrubis was feeling mixed emotions as patrons kept the place hopping on Thursday amid news of the imminent closing. "I'm just conflicted; it's bittersweet," he said. Even as Humboldt's gentrification creeps westward toward Joe Boston's Grand and Chicago corner, Kutrubis said the decision had nothing to do with changing neighborhood dynamics. "I just got to the age of retirement and have been here for 68 years. That s about it," he said.