MOUNT GREENWOOD — Joseph's Restaurant And Bar in Mount Greenwood will close Saturday.
The end of the sit-down restaurant at 3123 W. 111th St. follows the May 6 death of its owner, Joseph "Jay" Tarczon. Large crowds are expected in the final days of the establishment Tarczon opened in 2011.
His brother, Brad Tarczon of Oak Lawn, said there's been talk of new owners taking over the restaurant, but there have been no official offers as of yet.
Joseph's will be open from 3-10 p.m. Thursday and 3-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Reservations are booked, but walk-in customers are welcome, according to a hostess.
Jay Tarczon, 44, of Mount Greenwood was a chef at the restaurant, then known as Richie's, before buying and rebranding the business. His restaurant serves sandwiches, classic Italian dishes, steaks, chops and more.
Despite being a South Sider, Tarczon was a fan of the Chicago Cubs and had a neon "W" sign at the restaurant given to him by a customer. He feared jinxing the team last year and would often call in to be sure the sign was turned off if the Cubs lost, one longtime server said.
Kerry Lynch of Beverly said her family has been regulars at Joseph's since it opened — arriving at 5 p.m. every Tuesday and often on the weekends. In fact, it was Lynch's father, Bob Ryan, who bought the "W" light for Tarczon.
"Our family has known Jay for countless years. We were regulars when he was a chef at Richie's, and then were ecstatic when Jay decided to open Joseph's," Lynch said.
She added that both the food and service were consistently top notch. But it was the owner that made the experience special, often making goofy faces and sneaking maraschino cherries to her three daughters.
Tarzcon loved his family, friends, customers and "all things Cubs. He will be missed tremendously but never, ever forgotten," Lynch said.
Jay Tarzon is survived by his wife of 17 years, Janine, and their two children Brandon, 9, and Emma, 6. He is also mourned by his parents Joe and Kathy (Carroll) Tarczon and his siblings Kristen (Todd) Benjaminson, Michael (Rene) and Brad Tarczon.
"He was such a wonderful guy — always willing to help and participate in anything. He will be greatly missed," said Mary Gill, executive director of the Mount Greenwood Community And Business Association.