Slated to close next week, Masi's Pizza in Carpentersville could be saved
Masi's Pizza and Catering is under contract for purchase by a potential new owner who hopes to keep the long-standing Dundee-area business alive, current operators said.
The Carpentersville pizzeria announced last week it would close June 27 amid the coronavirus pandemic, sparking an emotional response from devastated customers, co-owner Bret Mathis said. But a buyer has since stepped in to save the restaurant and catering company, which has been a staple of the community for decades.
"From the overwhelming support that we got from our customers, I'm glad it's not closing," said Mathis, who took over the business about 15 years ago. "There have been so many great stories that people have told us that are going to live on now."
Mathis and his business partner, Dana Cortese, intend to keep the doors open until the sale is final -- likely in mid-July -- and the new ownership takes the helm, he said.
The buyer did not want to be named yet, Mathis said, but released a statement saying he is "committed" to keeping the Masi's tradition going and will include all the original recipes.
Planned upgrades include a more modern point-of-sale system, an updated online ordering system, expanded hours of operation, pizza-by-the-slice options and more menu items.
In its first incarnation, the pizzeria was within a downtown West Dundee bowling alley owned by the Masi family. Current owners were initially told Masi's opened in 1953, but relatives of its founders say the business began operating several years earlier in 1946, as indicated by a 1956 newspaper clipping of its 10-year anniversary.
The eatery has changed hands a few times since the Masi family sold the business in the 1980s, Mathis said. Now within a Carpentersville strip mall at 222 N. Western Ave., the pizzeria offers carryout, delivery and catering services.
Amid life changes, Mathis and Cortese put the restaurant up for sale in February and planned to keep the doors open through the sale process. But catering operations stalled when the COVID-19 crisis hit, cutting off the restaurant's primary revenue source.
They decided to close, Mathis said, but remained hopeful they would find a last-minute buyer.
Customers new and old immediately reached out to share memories and offer their condolences, he said. Some even requested large orders of frozen pizzas to stash away for after Masi's was gone.
The new owner intends to publish updated menus and daily specials soon, Mathis said. Masi's is hiring part-time and full-time front desk, cook and delivery positions.