Pasquale's in Royal Oak to close April 7 after 65 years
Next month, longstanding Italian family restaurant Pasquale’s will say goodbye to the customers they’ve gained during six decades. They’ll close after serving one last Sunday evening crowd on April 7.
Second-generation owner Michael Del Giudice says since announcing that they’ve decided to close and sell the Woodward Avenue property, customers have been flooding in for one last plate of baked spaghetti.
“I have a lot of loyal customers,” he said. When they ask why he’s closing the decades-old favorite he says, “It’s very simple. ... We’ve all been in this business since we were little kids and it’s just time to retire. That’s kinda what’s going on. Why not enjoy life?”
Del Guidice’s parents, Pasquale and Gina, opened Pasquale’s in 1954 across the street where the Red Coat Tavern now serves craft and import beers, their famous burgers and other upscale pub food.
In the early 1970s, when Michael was around 11 years old, his parents moved into the current location at 31555 Woodward north of 13 Mile, which not only has space for 275 inside the dining rooms and a 140-person banquet hall, but also has one of the biggest parking lots of all the businesses on this world-famous strip.
(In fact, a 1971 Detroit News article I found in the archives includes an article about Pasquale Del Guidice’s rift with the city over parking on Woodward, which led to him creating a Woodward Avenue business association.)
Michael — who has worked at Pasquale's with his brothers Joseph and Paul plus a host of other relatives, cousins and friends — is mum about who they sold the property to, but he says the thing he'll miss the most is socializing with customers and being part of the community.
"We announced months ago and I've had thousands of customers come up to me and tell me, 'Oh I remember we had a baptism here, I had my first birthday here' ... three generations of families have been coming here for good celebrations and for bad celebrations, we do a lot of memorial lunches.
"There's not a corner in this place that I can't turn around and have a memory and that's the same with a lot of my loyal customers," he said.
Fans of the classic Italian-American restaurant which specialized in pizza, pasta and classics like veal Parmigiana and chicken cacciatore, there's a few more weeks to sit down for dinner and raise a glass of Chianti (just $5.50) to this local favorite.
Through April 7, Pasquale's is open 4-9 p.m. Sun.-Wed. and 4-10 p.m. Fri.-Sat. Call (248) 549-4002.