Rillo’s Restaurant, a Carlisle mainstay for over a half-century, will be closing Sunday as it transitions to new ownership.
The restaurant, located at 60 Pine St. near the Carlisle Airport, was sold to a group of investors for an undisclosed sum, according to owner Jeff Goss. The property was last listed through NAI CIR at an asking price of $1.39 million.
“I don’t know who [the buyers] have, if they have a restaurant person they’re bringing in, but they went through with the acquisition pretty quick, so our last day will be Sunday and we’ll be turning it over to them next week,” Goss said.
The Italian eatery was founded by the Rillo family in the 1960s. Goss and his business partner, the late Mike Cassidy, bought the restaurant in 2007. Goss, who also owns the Market Cross Pub in Carlisle with his wife, decided to put the restaurant up for sale following Cassidy’s death in 2014.
“My partner had died, and my wife has been having some health issues herself,” Goss said. “With all this coming down, it was really a wake-up call that ‘hey Jeff, it’s time to get out.’”
Although it’s unconfirmed what the new ownership intends to do, Goss noted that the physical property of the restaurant was sold along with all the licensing rights – including the liquor license, which in Cumberland County can pull prices pushing a half-million dollars.
“They’re taking the whole enchilada, liquor license and everything,” Goss said. “We don’t know if they’re going to continue it as Rillo’s or not. You feel a little sad about it, but it’s time for someone younger with fresher legs to come in.”
The restaurant’s cash flow is still going strong right up until the end, Goss said.
“We still have good business, great customers – some people who were around with the Rillos in the 60s,” Goss said. “We hope it’s going to be a good thing for the restaurant, and it’s definitely going to be a good thing for me personally.”