Northwestern Medicine

Popular Italian Bistro Expands Franchise to Northwestern Memorial Hospital

Northwestern Memorial Hospital January 18, 2018

Café L’Appetito opens fourth location in Streeterville, holding special meaning for owner

In a continued effort to enhance the variety of quality food choices for patients, employees and visitors, Northwestern Memorial Hospital proudly welcomes Chicago favorite, Café L’Appetito, to the second floor of Feinberg Pavilion. The Italian deli, which is now open, is one of many new restaurants to join Shop & Dine Northwestern’s growing portfolio in the last year.

Northwestern Memorial has been a familiar place for the Spatara family calling it a “home away from home” when Anthony Spatara, Sr., former owner and founder of Café L’Appetito, received treatment for stage IV lung cancer nine years ago at the hospital.

“My father really felt a deep connection with everyone here and all the care they provided for him,” said Spatara, Jr. “He would constantly bring trays of sandwiches or coffee from the deli for everyone in the oncology department to enjoy. That was the kind of guy he was.”

During his father’s treatment, Spatara, Jr. remembers his father leaning over to him and saying “when I beat this, I’m going to open a Café L’Appetito right here in the hospital.”

Spatara Sr. felt compelled to give back to the place that meant so much to him by providing good quality food to those who were dealing with so much when it came to his health.

Two years later at the age of 67, Spatara Sr. lost his battle to lung cancer when his cancer metastasized to his brain and liver.

After years of trying to pursue opportunities in the Shop & Dine Northwestern fully leased program, Spatara, Jr. received a call the retail space was expanding.

“Family and staff were thrilled when they found out we were moving to Streeterville,” said Spatara, Jr. “It really felt like a sign from my father after having to make the hard decision to close the John Hancock Building location.” 

The 1,000 square foot deli serves Lavazza coffee, breakfast sandwiches, Italian pastries, gourmet subs, salads, toasted Paninis and desserts. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

The Streeterville location (251 E. Huron) is one of four spots including Gold Coast (30 E. Huron), Lakeview (3332 N. Broadway) and Midway Airport.

In addition to Café L’Appetito, Northwestern Memorial offers more than 20 food-service retailers such as Burrito Beach, Pizza Studio, and Subway. The hospital also has its own flagship restaurant, Beatrix, which covers 10,500 square feet and is part of the Lettuce Entertain You nationwide chain.

“Being able to offer patients, visitors, and employees a variety of food options was a key goal when we were developing the Shop & Dine Northwestern concept,” said Gina Weldy, senior vice president of administration, Northwestern Memorial HealthCare. “One of the most important services we can provide is to give comfort to our guests, and Shop & Dine Northwestern has been successful in meeting this need.”

To learn more about all the restaurant hours and dining options at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, please visit Shop & Dine Northwestern.