After more than 40 years in business, Casa Royale Banquets, 783 Lee St., will close its doors on Nov. 11. Pasquale Ergastolo, who owns the business with his wife, Julie Ergastolo, said they will miss having that presence in the Des Plaines community, but will continue working at their other restaurant, Club Casa Café, 353 N. River Road, at the Golf Center.
Ergastolo purchased the business, which first opened in 1971, in 1995. He said the economy had not been good for his business, which was known for its high-quality Italian-American cuisine. A large part of their business was wedding receptions, he said.
“That business has dropped tremendously over the years, and it just seems like it makes the most sense for us to walk away at this point,” Ergastolo said.
Various community events have been held at Casa Royale Banquets over the years, including some programs for the Des Plaines History Center. A presentation on the life of Robert Kennicott, a naturalist and explorer for the Smithsonian Institution, will take place on Oct. 4.
Shari Caine, executive director of the History Center, said the Kennicott presentation would be the last to be held at Casa Royale, and would also be one of the last opportunities for the public to experience the banquet hall, which is only open for private events.
“So this is kind of a sad goodbye to [Casa Royale Banquets] because we’ve worked with them on many occasions, and we want to honor them,” Caine said.
Before opening as a banquet hall in 1971, the northern part of the current building was a Kroger grocery store built in 1953, and became a Grocerland in 1960.
Ergastolo said they would miss the community, being in the downtown area and hosting the events.
“Obviously we can do smaller events at the Golf Center, but, all in all, we’re definitely going to miss being there,” Ergastolo said. “So we’ll still see a lot of the same faces over there. But yes, it’s pretty sad. Honestly, the local organizations and the city employees have been really good to us.”