BRIDGEPORT — One of the neighborhood’s beloved diners has abruptly closed, leaving little more than a note on the door thanking its longtime customers.
Stages, 657 W. 31st St., closed on Sunday, according to the handwritten note taped to the restaurant’s front door.
It reads: "Because so many of you are our regular customers, we would like to express our most sincere appreciation for your patronage of Stages for the last 27 years. Thank you for your support and for your friendship. It has been a pleasure to serve you."
Inside the restaurant, tucked between First Lutheran Church of the Trinity and a gas station convenience store, are signs of a quick closure: A vase full of flowers, a bowl of fruit and a fishbowl full of business cards remain perched atop a host stand.
According to Yelp, the restaurant enjoyed generally good reviews, with many patrons gushing over the diner’s pancakes and extensive menu, hailed by one reviewer as the “Godzilla of Greek diner menus.”
It's also been known as a favorite of Chicago cops, some from the nearby Deering District headquarters at 3120 S. Halsted St.
Ruth Mendoza, of Bridgeport, said she once asked a police officer to recommend the "best place for pancakes.
"He suggested Stages. And he was right," Mendoza said. "Stages was the only place I took all my out-of-town guests for breakfast. Many asked to go back whenever they were in town. I’m going to miss the staff as well. Always polite and funny."