Braconi’s Pizzeria Could be Closing Next Month

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Family-owned business Braconi’s Pizzeria could be closing next month.

Labor Shortage at Braconi’s

Owners Bill and Vilma Paus shared the news on social media on Friday, citing challenges due to the pandemic and labor shortage.

“My customers are responding this weekend with ‘how can we help, what can we do?’ And I said I need employees,” said Bill. “I need a manager, I need staff, I need cooks, I need servers, busboys. The staff that I’ve got we’re doing the best with what we have and it’s a struggle.”

The Naperville establishment is a favorite for many, including one former Naperville resident who now lives in Arizona.

“This is my favorite pizza in all of Chicago. It’s my husband’s favorite pizza,” said Karla Sternberg. “Every time we come back in town this is one of our first stops and today it’s actually our first stop. We have yet to see our families.”

“Becoming too Much”

Paus said he hasn’t gotten any applicants, including on unemployment websites.

Today, they even had to stop taking phone orders since they couldn’t keep up. He and his wife, as well as the small staff they currently have, have been trying to manage, but “it’s becoming too much,” said Paus.

By the third week of August if things don’t turn around, that’s when they may have to close their doors.

“I have a full-time day job, I work for the county. I am comfortable with that and I can live on that no problem,” said Paus. “But we love this business and we’ve been here 21 [or] 22 years and it’s hard to walk away.”

Naperville News 17’s Aysha Ashley Househ reports.