Please see message from the owners below:
Naive and determined, we set out as a young couple in 2009 to open Dominic’s Santos Italian Restaurant and make a life-long dream a reality. No big money backer, or partners to split time or rely on…just two twenty-somethings trying to make it on their own, sharing a love of cooking. Now 14 years later, we have made good on the promise to each other and our children that we would see this decision through, succeeding in one of the hardest industries to survive in.
Times have changed greatly since we quietly unlocked and opened our doors on September 14, 2009. Back then economic times were quite difficult, but we fearlessly built our restaurant solidly around the recipes that were true to Dominic’s family while showcasing many of his own. We are proud to have operated as a lunch and dinner destination for many years, until 2020 when we navigated the pandemic and changed our business concept to become a more authentic version of what we wanted to be. While we knew the importance of keeping our restaurant filled six days a week, burn-out is real and it is something we had been dealing with for quite some time. Our restaurant became a fast moving machine that was impossible to slow down. For us, the pandemic forced our slow down, and taught us about what we were missing, some non-negotiables that we both needed. We both wanted to be more present, wanted to have evening dinners with our children, watch them be involved in their sports and activities, and be able to celebrate milestones with our families. For over a decade, we had not been able to live this way. Our new concept was developed to try and reignite the drive to keep this part of our lives going, while no longer allowing our children to have to sacrifice because of it. We are so proud of the changes that we have made over the last year, but after reflecting long and hard, we no longer have the drive to continue. After a total of 25 years in the restaurant industry, it is time for us to move on.
We are beyond grateful for the wonderful blessings that came from the creation of this business. The loyalty that our customer base has shown us has always meant the world, and it is what pushed us to continue to press on, even when there were many times that we did not want to. We feel honored and thankful that you entrusted your celebrations with us through good times and bad, were a wine dinner regular, stopped in on a Saturday night to chat about what was new, wanting an update on how our kids were doing, driving in from an hour away just because you needed a Pasta Dominic “fix”, or simply picking up a weeknight pizza…we could go on and on, so many friendly faces. In reflecting, those were the moments that made so much of this hard work worth it.
Thank you to our employees who have been some of the kindest, most helpful, and comical people we could ever have known, and many have become like family to us. We were glad to have been able to give so many young high schoolers their “first real job”. To the one that has been with us from the start, “Miss Cathy”, we are forever grateful to you.
As we find ourselves in new full-time careers, our wish is that you can understand the relief and peace this decision brings for our family. Thank you for the last 14 years, we hope that our “little” Italian restaurant was a place of enjoyment and will be remembered fondly.
With gratitude and love,
Dominic and Wendy
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21467 Lorain Road, Cleveland, OH 44126, US