In 1952 Gus and Ida Lazzerini open their doors for the first time. Their vision? To provide Northern Italian food to the printers and paper salesmen who work in Smokey Hollow, the warehouse district around Superior and Orleans. This is the time of Mayor Richard Daley the First and three martini lunches; Club Lago quickly finds its niche.
In 1980 son-in-law Francesco Nardini takes over. Photographers and art galleries turn the warehouses into lofts. They christen the area Su Hu, a Chicago version of SoHo. The name doesn't stick, but a new taste for Italian food does. Martinis all but disappear as people start drinking wine. Club Lago becomes a cornerstone of the neighborhood. And it continues to pack them in.
Enter the third generation, GianCarlo and Guido. It's the new millennium in an area now called River North. Condos sprout up everywhere. Warehouse lofts become living spaces. Street traffic-especially at night-triples.
The legendary Club Lago remains the same 50's joint devoted to simple food, good service, and the family legacy started more than half a century ago. Some call it "retro." We call it home.