Boloney's closing, new eatery moving in next to Barrington's Catlow Theater
Boloney's Sandwich Shop -- a beloved eatery next to downtown Barrington's Catlow Theater -- is ending a run that started in 1981.
Tim O'Connor, who owns the Catlow and Boloney's, announced Friday the sandwich shop's last day will be Sept. 30.
He and his late fiance, Roberta Rapata, started the restaurant.
O'Connor said his new place, Showtime Eatery, will replace Boloney's in the Main Street space next to the Catlow. Showtime is expected to open in early October.
Barrington Village President Karen Darch said Boloney's has been an institution in the town.
"Anything that Tim would do over there with Boloney's, we would welcome and be happy to have in the village," Darch said. "And I'm sure that the community would receive it with open arms and come to love it, just as we have Boloney's."
O'Connor said Boloney's hasn't made a profit since Rapata died at age 57 in 2016.
He said the employees tried to keep Boloney's running out of respect for Rapata, but increasing competition in Barrington and rising operational expenses made it too difficult to continue as a sandwich shop.
Rapata and O'Connor started Boloney's on Oct. 1, 1981, and bought the Catlow in 1988. He ran the Catlow and she operated Boloney's.
"What is really boils down to is that, without Roberta, there is no Boloney's," O'Connor said. "She was Boloney's."
He said he and his new wife, Laura, will have appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches, a few desserts and some best-selling holdovers from Boloney's menu at the contemporary Showtime Eatery.
Beer and wine will be served at Showtime.
Part of Boloney's charm has been allowing customers to bring sandwiches and drinks into the Catlow and enjoy them during a movie.
O'Connor said that tradition will continue with Showtime.
"We are also hoping to attract people looking for a place to stop and gather with family and friends," O'Connor said.
"You won't have to go to the movie to dine here."