RIDGEWOOD, N.J. — After serving the Village of Ridgewood Italian American cuisine for 23 years, Natalie's has closed its doors.
"It's bittersweet," said owner Natalie Trent. "Natalie's was my life for many years."
Trent, a self-taught cook, and her father Natale Donadia (a.k.a. "Notty") first opened Natalie's in 1993. The duo relished the opportunity to serve their homemade Italian recipes to hungry village residents. But when Natale passed away two and a half years ago, Trent suddenly felt different.
"My heart changed without my dad there," Trent, 57, told Daily Voice. "It just felt like it was time to move on."
Even so, Trent said the decision to close was not an easy one.
"We made so many friends and had so many great customers over the years. I'm going to miss walking around the floor and talking with everybody."
Trent sold Natalie's to Bergen County restaurateur Chris Tarta, who owns nearby restaurant "due". Tarta told Daily Voice that due will move into the space vacated by Natalie's.
As for Trent, she said she plans to retire from the restaurant business and spend more time with her grandchildren and traveling.
"We had a nice run," Trent said. "I hope people remember Natalie's by our family atmosphere."
"We tried to make customers feel like family."
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