Monday, July 28, 2008

An Ironic Fiasco

Il Fiasco is no more. The Italian restaurant closed for business yesterday, July 27th, after less than two years in existence. Within a month, the space will be transformed to Tapas Las Ramblas, a tapas restaurant.
The owners of Il Fiasco, one of the two Italian restaurants in the 5100 block of Clark Street, sent the following email to customers this weekend:

Dear Friends,
Beginning Sunday, July 27th, Il Fiasco is closed for renovations and will reopen as Tapas Las Ramblas within a month. We will keep you posted on our progress and with our official reopening date. Also, we want to inform you that all gift certificates from Il Fiasco will be honored at Tapas Las Ramblas. Thank you for your patronage and we look forward to seeing you soon!

All the best,
Michael and Natalie Moore (owners)
Nannette Patterson (manager)

Those of who you have been in the neighborhood for a while will know that Il Fiasco was previously Rioja, a Spanish tapas restaurant. With no less than four other Italian restaurant options within a mile of Il Fiasco, the change of cuisine will give Uptown and Andersonville residents a opportunity to enjoy sangria and tapas.


  1. well, when i ate there, the name said it truly was a "fiasco" - doesn't surprise me, but still a bummer that they had to close....

  2. Probably for the best with the number of Italian restaurants in the vacinity...and I'm always up for sangria! :)

  3. At the end of my block, let's hope that this is not becoming "Death Corner".

    Also, do we know who the new owners are? I loved Rioja when it was there but when it abruptly closed on January 1, 2007 (I had walked by a little after midnight on December 31 and it was papered over all of a sudden), there was a sign telling employees to stop by on January 5th to pick up their belonging and checks.

    That was the same owner as Jack's On Halsted (when Rioja was Atlantique) and I've heard that they don't always treat staff, especially undocumented workers, fairly.

  4. I also remember the space as Atlantique. Sadly it seems that spot has been the kiss of death for the half dozen restruants that have been there in as many years.

  5. Hey all! I'm the manager of Tapas Las Ramblas (formerly Il Fiasco). We are really excited about the change. We wanted to change up the restaurant and make it more lively and fun. Mike and Natalie (the same owners from Il Fiasco who are reconcepting the restaurant)are naming it Tapas Las Ramblas after the most popular street in Barcelona, which is bustling, full of life and energy. We are renovating madmen right now, hoping to open up soon. We are adding lots of vibrant colors, fabrics, and lighting. The menu will be traditionally Spanish inspired Tapas, but we are also looking to Globe trot a bit as well. Have no fear, our cocktail list will be expansive. We know that many guests enjoyed our Sangria, making it our #1 seller over the past two months. With that said, it seemed appropriate for a change to give the great people of this neighborhood something unique and different. As an Andersonville resident myself, I am very excited to be able to offer a new environment to the community and for both returning and new customers to enjoy our changes. I'll keep you all posted on the progress as we near our opening date. Thanks again! Nannette

  6. Thanks for the post, Nannette. I will be looking forward to the re-opening! I lived in Spain for three years, and love tapas. There are some decent places for Spanish tapas in the city, but there is definitely room for improvement. Good luck!

  7. living just a few blocks away, my husband and i will be sure to check this out.

    thanks for the heads-up, nannette. we enjoyed il fiasco, but, with the same staff, we are sure that it will be more of the same good food and service. best of luck to you!

  8. We went to Rioja and the service was terrible. Absolutely horrible. The food was overpriced and nasty. It didn't surprise me when they went out of business.

    I hope Tapas Las Ramblas doesn't make the same mistakes Rioja did.