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Saying Goodbye To Ann Sather Andersonville

Ann Sather Andersonville

Ann Sather Andersonville
Photo: Thom Greene

Written on the red and yellow walls of the Ann Sathers Andersonville location reads “God Mat Husmanskost Fram Kallar Minnen Om Barndomen.” Long time waitress, Ella Pietch tells me it is a Swedish saying that translates to, “Good food brings back childhood memories”. When I think of Ann Sathers, my godmother comes to mind. A passionate patron of anything sweet, she is a raving fan of their famous cinnamon rolls. On our regular dates there, she enjoys the lightest of breakfasts to justify taking one roll with her on her way out the door. For most residents in the Andersonville neighborhood, Ann Sathers has been a staple of the community and stood amidst all other restaurants that have come and gone over the years. Andersonville’s long time favored breakfast restaurant will be officially closing their doors on Monday January 6th. For sweet-tooth lovers and savory-flavored fans, we are all sad to have to say farewell.

After working for 22 years, Ann Sathers quit her job and dedicated all of her life savings towards opening up a Swedish restaurant originally on Belmont, which would later be known as the Ann Sathers Restaurant. She ran the restaurant by herself for 30 years and then sold it to Thomas Tunney. Tom worked directly under Ann for a year before taking over and maintaining the culture and feel of the restaurant that brought in a regular crowd. It was under Tom’s ownership that Ann Sathers expanded into multiple locations. The first of which was the Andersonville location in 1987.

The Andersonville location has original artwork by Scandinavian artist Sigmund Arseth. Arseth was hired by Tunney to paint the murals which tell the story of Nils. Nils is a young boy who, according to Swedish legend, flew above Sweden on the back of a goose. Unfortunately, the building has been in ongoing need of repairs and fixings on a regular basis. Owner Tom Tunney, also the Alderman of Lakeview, felt as if it was time to sell the business. The constant need for maintenance and upkeep was wearing on the owner and the staff. It would be easier to sell off the location than to continue to fix all of the things breaking down in the condition the building is in.

Ella says, “If you want to know where to eat, watch where the wait staff eat. All of us bring our families to Ann Sathers regularly, so that should tell you something.” Ella will be celebrating 32 years on January 23rd, said working at Ann Sathers and “I am looking forward to 33.” The current staff will be transitioned into working at one of the other 3 locations. While the community is sad to see the restaurant leave the Andersonville neighborhood, the locations on Broadway and Belmont will remain open. Have no fear cinnamon roll lovers, you won’t have far to travel should you need your sweet sticky fix!


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