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Beloved UK Village Italian Restaurant Briciola's Absence Felt By Neighbors

By Alisa Hauser | May 5, 2017 10:30am
 Briciola appears to have closed.
Briciola appears to have closed.
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DNAinfo/Alisa Hauser

UKRAINIAN VILLAGE — Briciola, an Italian restaurant with a serene fenced-in patio that was a popular date spot along a stretch of Damen Avenue, has been closed for months — and neighbors are finally giving up hope that it will reopen. 

Owner and chef Mario Maggi, who was born in Florence and grew up in Milan, opened the BYOB trattoria in May 2012.    

In an episode of WTTW's "Check, Please!," diners raved about Maggi's dishes and praised the restaurant's "incredible patio."

Maggi could not be reached for comment. The phone to the restaurant, 937 N. Damen Ave. has been turned off and a note from Comcast on the door said a technician was unable to enter. Though no official announcement of the closure has been made, fans are losing hope. 

Craig Bender, a Ukrainian Village resident, said he noticed the Briciola was shuttered in January, but was under the impression that Maggi had temporarily closed and was intending to return in time for patio season.

"It's a shame for the neighborhood to lose one of the old school places. It had a nice vibe," Bender said, adding that his favorite meal at Briciola was gnocchi with pesto sauce and panna cotta for dessert.

Building owner and Briciola landlord Rogelio "Roy" Tijerina, who also owns an adjacent storefront to Briciola that was home to the also abruptly shuttered Cotton Duck art gallery and restaurant, did not return requests for comment.