ROCKFORD — Baci’s Kitchen, a family owned restaurant that serves everything from calzones to healthy protein bowls, plans to close next month after five years in business.
Owner Nikko Castrogiovanni said he decided to close after being faced with rising food and labor costs and increasing rent, which exacerbated industrywide struggles amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“Then there’s all the non-food costs, like the gas, the electric. Even the fryer oil used to be $20 and it’s now $40,” Castrogiovanni said. “It’s just a mix of bad stuff.”
He plans to close the first week in February. He hopes that gives customers time to use gift cards and his roughly 15 employees an opportunity to look for new work.
“My employees and their families probably got me through this the last couple years, to be honest, where they brought their sisters, brothers, husbands, girlfriends or families came in to eat,” he said.
The business will be put up for sale, he said.
Baci’s, 2990 N. Perryville Road, serves fast and simple options from breakfast to dinner. Its staples are pizza, calzones, healthy protein bowls, paninis and wraps.
“I just want to say thank you for these five years,” Castrogiovanni said.