UPTOWN — The Fontana Grill in Uptown will be closing its doors next week and moving to a new location in Andersonville.
The eatery, with its signature “Soup of the Day: Sangria” sign in the window, has been open for nearly five years and will shut down on Feb. 16, according to owner Nino Divanovic.
Upcoming renovations of the building that Fontana Grill currently rents, near the corner of West Wilson Avenue and North Beacon Street, are expected to take eight months, he said, and it is unclear if the family-owned restaurant could keep its clientele during the work.
“It would be an absurdly terrible nuisance to our business,” he said. “We cannot sustain our family without any business for an extended period of time.”
Divanovic said he is “99 percent” set on a new location in Andersonville, which will feature more space and updates to its menu of higher-end pizza, pasta and burgers.
The new location and reopening date will be posted on the restaurant’s Web site, he said.
Divanovic said he hopes to have the new location up and running in the next month or so, depending on how long it takes to secure the required licenses from the city.
The attempt to turn some FLATS buildings into hip destinations has stoked the ire of some locals, who worry that such facelifts will change the character of their neighborhoods.
FLATS representatives said they could not give an exact time on when the renovations of the West Wilson Avenue building would begin but that the new look will likely feature commercial space on the ground level and residential units above.
The Fontana Grill featured an outdoor beer garden, and Divanovic said business has suffered when there are shootings or other violence along Wilson.
“For us, we can’t wait for all of this,” he said of the renovations. “The decision for us was best that we go elsewhere.”