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Beloved Little Italy restaurant Joe Benny's shutters this weekend

Beloved Little Italy restaurant closing this weekend
Beloved Little Italy restaurant closing this weekend 01:38

BALTIMORE -- It's a sad week for a staple in Baltimore's Little Italy.

Beloved restaurant Joe Benny's is closing its doors for good this weekend.

Owner Joseph Gardella grew up cooking with his mom and grandmother. He opened 'joe benny's nine years ago with the goal of making the restaurant more than a place to eat and drink, saying he wanted it to be an experience. 

The popular spot on South High Street is known for its meatballs. 

If you follow the restaurant on social media, you've likely seen emotional posts over the past few weeks.

Speaking candidly about the difficult decision to shut down, Gardella said in a video post that he needed to prioritize his own health. 

"I was forcing myself to keep going because I love this. I love you. I love what we've created, right? So I've pushed myself," he said. "Ladies and gentlemen, I can't push anymore. I'm tired. I'm fat. I'm crazy, I'm stressed. And it's not fair to you guys. It's not fair to my staff."

If you plan to head over, expect to be standing in line. According to the shops Facebook, Joe Benny's fans begin queuing up well before doors open at 5 p.m. 

And no, carry-out isn't an option this week. 

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