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Lambro's steakhouse to close its doors

Friday, February 5, 2010 - 2:26 pm

A longstanding restaurant on the south side will serve its last meals Saturday night.

Lambro's steakhouse, 303 E. Tillman Road, is closing after nearly 41 years in business.

Steve Eshcoff, who owns the business with his mother, Natka, blamed the current economic downturn for the decision to close.

“We were trying to stay open,” he said, adding it finally became “clear we couldn't wait out the recession.”

Business picked up around the holidays, but dropped off in January. The family would have had to put money into the business to keep it going, Eshcoff said, and it just didn't make sense.

Back when Southtown Mall was busy, business was better at Lambro's. News-Sentinel editorial writer Leo Morris wrote about Lambro's in an editorial in 2006: “I used to eat out more than I do today, and Lambro's was one of my regular stops. It's between my house and where Southtown Mall once was, so it was a convenient place to stop after shopping. … But mostly I remember the atmosphere. That line in the ‘Cheers' song captures one of the important things about a place where you become a regular — it's where ‘everybody knows your name.' But they know more. They know your food likes and dislikes. They know your moods — when you want to be talkative and when you want to be left alone. Sooner or later, they learn a lot about your life and you about theirs.”

Morris wrote about Lambro's at that time because Steve's father, Bobby Eshcoff, who ran the business with his son, had just died.

Steve Eshcoff said business picked up at Lambro's for a while after Southtown Mall was redeveloped into Southtown Centre, but eventually dropped off.

He said he feels sad about closing the business. Eshcoff expects a big crowd Saturday as people stop by for one last meal at Lambro's. “It's gonna be hard to get through the night,” he said.