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Pat's Pizza Closes After 31 Years

It's the end of an era as a Grayslake pizza joint closes down.

Pat's Pizza was a traditional spot to go in Grayslake, for families enjoying a night out, sports teams celebrating their season or couples on first dates. It is the end of an era as Pat's closed its doors this week.

"It was a fairly sudden decision," said owner Pat Harris. "We've been in business for 31 years. But now there is so much competition that the business just shrinks."

One thing Harris never added to the restaurant over the years was a bar. He feels that hurt his business.

"I couldn't compete without a bar, but I never wanted a bar," he said. "I wanted a family place."

And that's what Pat's Pizza was. Customers could eat peanuts and throw the shells on the floor, and look through the funny pictures from old Grayslake yearbooks on the tabletops and play classic video games in the game room.

"I love the people who worked for me and all my customers, those are what I will miss the most," Harris said.

He praised Karen Weinert who had worked with him for 21 years.

"She brought so much energy, passion and intelligence to our business, she was an absolute delight to work with," Harris said. 

He stressed that his employees had to be good with customers, or they didn't make it at Pat's.

"Customer service was number one with us," he said. "We tried to put out the best product with the best ingredients because I wanted the customer to have the best. if they wanted cheap, they could go somewhere else."

He said he was sad to let the business go.

"Throughout the 31 years, I gave it my best," said Harris, who lives in Salem, Wis. with his wife De Ann. 

Harris thanked his wife for her support with the business and also wanted to thank his customers.

"All of my customers have been absolutely wonderful," he said. "I have no regrets. Except for the idea that I didn't do what I needed to do to keep up with the times. I would like to thank all of our customers and the community for supporting us all of these years. It was never taken for granted."

What's next for Harris?

"I have to go find a job somewhere," he said.

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Share your own memories of Pat's in the comments or at Facebook.com/GrayslakePatch.

Krimbos February 03, 2012 at 05:42 PM
WOW. A true loss. They should donate the tables to the high school
Laura & Frank Variny February 03, 2012 at 09:26 PM
We will miss you it was a great place to go. I'm going to miss my weekly hot dog and the friendly waitresses. Wish you luck for the future what ever it will be. Thank you for being there for all those years. Laura & Frank
Feline Socialization @ Save-A-Pet February 03, 2012 at 11:17 PM
Feline Socialization group @ Save-A-Pet will miss our Monday night Pizza's and Britney Bread Buzz
Ravana February 04, 2012 at 02:46 AM
Wow! I only eat out when I have out of town guests, but Pat's was one of my regular places to take them because of all the town history on the walls and tables.
LMJ February 04, 2012 at 05:14 AM
I am truly sorry for all involved. I wish you the best for the future...
Brad Faxton February 04, 2012 at 12:17 PM
Very very sad to see the place go. On most Friday nights or the occasional Wednesday, they were our 'go to' pizza place. Quick phone call, chat with the super cheerful staff, pizza & wings show up at the front door in a heartbeat. Personally, I'm devastated that the wings will be gone. I have no idea how they create the marinade and sauce, but it was super good!
Tracy Ryan February 04, 2012 at 01:01 PM
Would they consider auctioning their tables?
Howard Biederer February 04, 2012 at 09:17 PM
I did electrical work for Pat the lying Harris 30 years ago and never got paid to the tune of $15,000.00 dollars. Pat and I were friends, we took golfing trips together golfed weekly and he even signed my hole in one card at Pine Meadows Golf Club. All I can say about lying Pat Harris is what goes around comes around and his word is worth nothing. Howard F Biederer BDR Electric Inc: now closed because of Him. Grayslake volunteer Fireman, Paramedic, Diver, and Engineer
Diane February 04, 2012 at 10:23 PM
Finally! When I lived in Grayslake, I tried their pizza more than just a few times. Most of the time it was half burned, without tomato sauce on part of it, without sausage on part of it or something else that was lousy. I couldn't figure out why people would be going there for such lousy pizza! Long before moving to RLB, I quit getting pizza there. I always figured that people went there because years ago, it was the only centrally located place that was easy to get to by a main road.. Over the years, whenever I'd see a Pat's delivery car, I would think "Yuk!". Olando's in RLB is the best and I've never been disappointed in anything from there in about 20 years.
Carol February 05, 2012 at 12:46 AM
Will miss Pat's pizza immensely - Great pizza & atmosphere was great - have been going there since it opened up- was quite shocked to hear it closed down - it will be sorely missed!!!!
Michelle Grimm February 05, 2012 at 02:13 AM
Our family is very sad to see Pat's closed. We have lived in the area for 10.5 years and have always loved that place. Great food and great atmosphere. Wonderful staff! Wonderful memories. We wish the best to Pat/family and all the friendly staff that made it so pleasant to always go there. Will definitely be missed!
Brad Faxton February 05, 2012 at 01:18 PM
You are saying that 30 years ago you didn't get paid for some electrical work and now are closed because of a single job didn't pan out? Something sounds very strange about your rant. I'm sure there was some bartering going on way back when and when you realized your perceived value for the trade wasn't there, you demanded money or more trade things. I was a looper 34 years ago and was stiffed one fine Saturday morning. That extra $10 I was going to invest purely in Microsoft (only that tip). Because I got stiffed, I didn't invest. My $10 would have been worth more than $719,000 and as a result of that day, I have a mortgage on my house, note on my car and work at Cinnabon.
Howard Biederer February 05, 2012 at 04:46 PM
Hi Brad I’m not ranting I’m just stating a fact, and I’m sorry it can across that way, my electrical business has been closed for a long time, it’s hard for any small business to survive a hit like that, and it even hurts worse when it’s from a friend. No bartering was going on there was a contract, a hand shake, a promise and even a small intervention between friends (our golf group). After said intervention, Pat at his home course Fox Lake 17th hole stated he was wrong. I should have taking him to court, but I didn’t; he said he owed me and I took him at his word. My fact is more about karma and how so called good people do bad things to others, hence “what goes around comes around”. Maybe this give hope to other people that believe in karma. I wish no ill will to any person, including Pat but I don’t respect any man that give his word and does not honor it. Are you a man Pat! Thanks Howard Biederer
Ronald Runkle February 06, 2012 at 03:42 PM
I have known Pat Harris for over 10 years. I firmly believe that he is an honest and good person, and that he ran his business with integrity and a strong desire to provide his customers with good food in a great place. I am glad to say that Pat Harris is a friend of mine.
Louie Pavelchik February 06, 2012 at 03:55 PM
I've know Pat for 29 years. He has always been an honest and caring person. I started to work for Pat when I was 15 and through the years he has become a great friend. When I was 19 and fell ill with Meningitis I could not not pay my deductible. Pat paid that deductible so I could get the medical care that I needed. He also made payemnts on my car till I was able to get back on my feet. In my younger years Pat and Deann invited me to stay with them when I was between places to live. These are the actions of a very caring individual, someone with a good heart and someone who will always be a great friend.
Brad Faxton February 06, 2012 at 05:09 PM
A bunch of us were chatting while watching "The Big Game" and one thing that struck us as odd is how quickly the place was shut down. One day they are open, the next, gone. I think what may have been better is an announcement of the closing date like "day after The Big Game" or something like that. I dunno. Still going to miss those wings.
Katie Thomsen February 07, 2012 at 04:03 AM
My 5 year old grandchild felt the loss when told we wouldn't be going to Pat's Pizza this past Friday. The next day when she saw cars in the parking lot, she said "there's cars at Pats Gramma",... "....that's because are cleaning up...." .....ya..... that's alot of peanuts to sweep ...". and I know why you had to do it suddenly.....no one would have let it go simply...we are all wishing we could have just had one more order. It would have been too much emotion for us all...gentlemen included. thanks Pat....(katies' mom)
JRoberts February 09, 2012 at 02:19 AM
It's disappointing to see a mean hearted - spirit comment on here. YOU should known then what it is like to lose a business or have to shut down. I personally loved Pat's Pizza, was every experience good?.. all but one... Did i go back?... Absolutely! I am sad to see you go, you will be missed! Pay no attention PAT HARRIS to mean spirited comments. Thank you for all your years! Sincerely, Avid Wednesday night all you can eat pizza and salad customer!
Stanley Asta February 09, 2012 at 09:41 PM
We went once when new in Grayslake. Never went back - long wait for terrible pizza. Sorry but you can't survive in business with a bad product.
john wolfe February 10, 2012 at 12:56 AM
JWolfe I only needed one reason to go to pats...He was a vet. He'll be missed!
Cathy Gizella February 10, 2012 at 08:46 PM
Loved Pat's we have been going there for 26 years he (they) will be missed.
Roger Farmer February 13, 2012 at 09:18 PM
There's generally two sides to every story! You say it was 30 years ago! Maybe an old grudge, regardless of who was right, should be left in the past. I don't know you personally Howard but I have known Pat Harris for about 8 years and he's nothing close to what you describe. Pat has been generous in supporting local charities and schools. I was out-of-work a few years ago and he offered me help and more importantly kind words of support. I am forever grateful of his kindness.
Local March 09, 2012 at 01:25 AM
He survived 31, product must not have been bad...maybe you're taste buds are screwed up after years of frozen za!
Local March 09, 2012 at 01:31 AM
Stan, Pats survived 31years, the product must not have been bad...maybe you're taste buds are screwed up after years of frozen za!

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