After 22 years at 636 North Saint Clair Street, Coco Pazzo Cafe is pulling up stakes: the Italian eatery will shutter November 30. In January, it will reopen at 212 East Ohio Street, consolidating with its sister trattoria Tre Soldi.
But don’t mistake this relocation for a circling of the Coco Pazzo wagons. Per owner Jack Weiss, the restaurants are doing well. Rather, the move stems from rising rent at Coco Pazzo Cafe’s old address. The landlord’s new price, according to Weiss, is beyond what CPC could pay and continue to operate successfully.
Instead, Weiss and co. will bid farewell to the beloved space. Tre Soldi will close for a few weeks of remodeling in the new year, to reopen as a brand new Coco Pazzo Cafe. The menu, culled from both restaurants, will feature Coco Pazzo Cafe signatures such as the seven vegetables salad, the Spaghetti A.O.P., and the rigatoni buttera. Some of the treasured décor will also make the switch: Weiss is hoping to move the Modigliani-inspired murals (painted by friend) to the new space.
But, says Weiss, this isn’t just a takeover of Tre Soldi. Several aspects of the trattoria/pizzeria will remain post-integration, including the house pizzas and chef Jose Ovalle. “He’s been with me since we opened Tre Soldi,” says Weiss. “He is creative and enthusiastic, and he takes such pride in what he does. I wish all people were like that.”
With Ovalle running the new combined kitchen, what’s the plan for Coco Pazzo Cafe’s current chef, David Jahnke? “David expressed that he was looking to make a change,” says Weiss. “Maybe take some time off. The timing just happened to work out.”