LAKEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) – Countless nostalgic customers are filling up at a Lakewood Italian restaurant set to close its doors after 58 years. In fact, it’s been so busy, Dino’s Italian Food, changed its hours to keep up with the recent demand.
Owner, Judy Duren, said the restaurant has received so much business since the announcement that they’ve decided to shorten hours and close on Mondays to keep up with food prep.
Ex-employees have even volunteered to come in and pick up shifts, according to Duren.
“We open at 11 in the morning, and there will be 30 or 40 people waiting outside at 11,” Duren said.
Among the many loyal customers is Scott Gilbert. He’s had the pizza at Dino’s too many times to count, and Saturday may have been the last time.
“I just grew up here. My grandma worked in the kitchen, my aunt managed the place for over 20 years,” Gilbert said. “It’s just like home when you come to Dino’s.”
On Sept. 30, Dino’s will close its doors for good. The restaurant has been open since 1961.
“We’ve had some rainstorms and issues with the equipment, and it’s just time. I couldn’t wait any longer,” Duren said.
Ever since the announcement, it’s been nostalgia overload. Like for Bill Swan, who used to come eat at the restaurant in college.
“For me, it’s just I love the spaghetti,” said Swan. “I love the homemade noodles. You don’t get that everywhere else.”
Duren says she’s proud of what her father, Dino, built and family maintained.
“It’s the traditions, it’s the history. Little kids came at 2 (years old) and had every birthday here and now they’re 50,” Duren said.
Scott Gilbert is example number one. He plans to freeze some unbaked pizzas in case the family can’t come one more time.
“We’re trying to stretch it out as much as we can,” Gilbert said. “Hopefully we can make it again. If I don’t, it’s been a good run.”
Duren said she has no plans for the building yet, but is hopeful to find a buyer. In October she’ll auction off a number of things from inside the restaurant.