After 80 years of business, the popular Marco Polo Restaurant and Banquet Facility in East Hartford is closing its doors.
The restaurant posted a message on its Facebook page on Wednesday, saying the last day for business will be Sunday, Aug. 14.
“We would like to thank all of our friends and customers that we have had the privilege of serving. Thank You,” the post said.
"It just came together quickly, very very quickly, and it's very stressful," said Marco Polo Restaurant owner Chris Skabardonis.
He said they got an offer from an Indian restaurant chain, and sold.
"Eighty years is a long time, everyone gets complacent, we get complacent, the customers get complacent - the Marco is always there, it's always going to be there, and unfortunately you don't pay the bills with that," Skabardonis said.
As of Thursday morning, the post on Facebook had more than 500 "shares" and almost 200 comments. Many people were posting their memories at Marco Polo restaurant, like weddings, graduations, and other special events.
On Thursday, it was one last pizza run for Jackie Bishop.
"The food is probably the best pizza in town, and we're really going to miss it a lot," Bishop said.
The restaurant has also hosted numerous weddings, like the one Abby Bolduc had booked for Oct. 1.
She and her fiance are seven weeks away from the big day, and now they don't have a venue.
"We sent out the invitations, and we're getting the responses back," Bolduc said.
The owner said they relocated most of their scheduled events for their partner restaurant in East Windsor.
"We're working right now very diligently with the parties that are booked to rebook them or get them back their money," Skabardonis said.
Bolduc said she'll get her money back, but right now she doesn't have a reception location, and said she found out about that through a Facebook post.
"I wish that somebody would have notified us prior to me finding out on Facebook," Bolduc said.
The Marco Polo Restaurant has also been the location for Congressman John Larson’s watch parties on election night. He said in a statement today about the restaurant’s closure: "This is a big loss for East Hartford, and I am saddened to see this great institution close its doors."
We will have more on this story coming up on Eyewitness News starting at 5 p.m.
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