Rumors of the death of Pizza Palace, a long time tradition of Elmhurst College students, has been greatly exaggerated, according to the restaurant's owner, Ed Conway.
“We were supposed to be shut down a month ago, and where are we? Still going,” says Conway. “We’ll be here for the next five, ten years at least.”
According to an article in The Chicago Tribune, the city paid $2.25 million to redevelop and remodel the property at 117 N. Addison Ave. The Elmhurst city council announced in a press release that the purchase coincides with the Conway family’s decision to close shop. But Conway says the purchase did not include the restaurant, simply the building and denies the restaurant is closing.
“There are rumors on Facebook that my wife and I are divorced,” he says. “We have no idea about that. Don’t believe everything you read. It’s not true. Someone just says something, and it goes viral.”
Conway admits the restaurant will implement some changes, such as a slightly-upgraded menu.
“It’s going to change a little bit, but the pizza is going to stay the same,” he says. “So it’s going to be the same, but it’s not. Eighty percent will be the same and 20 percent won’t.”
The city’s purchase of the building and changes to the menu, Conway says, reflect a transformation now underway in Elmhurst.
“Five years ago, no one would have thought there would be three different sushi restaurants in downtown Elmhurst,” he points out. “The town is changing, and we got to change with it. That’s what’s happening.”
In the meantime, after 70 years in business, the owner of Pizza Palace reminds everyone that his family is still running the business.
“That’s part of the deal,” he says, “except now I’ll get a couple days off a week, maybe a vacation.”