By David Wade

SAUGUS (CBS) – Another beloved Boston area food institution is shutting down its grill and a lot of sub lovers are mourning their large Italians. That word comes on the heels of the announced closing of Durgin-Park in Boston. This time, it’s a fixture on Route 1 in Saugus.

They’ve been getting a delicious job done for more than 60 years at Santoro’s Sub-Villa. “Our grandfather started this business, 1954,” says Rob Santoro.

Santoro’s Sub-Villa in Saugus (WBZ-TV)

Since then, through changing times and tastes, it’s been a treasure in Saugus for generations of sub lovers.

“I’ve been coming here since I was a kid,” says Alicia Murphy.

“There is no better sub,” adds longtime customer Anne Malone.

For the past 40 years, brothers Rich and Rob Santoro have worked here. They now run the restaurant, working long days with few breaks. They say it’s time for a change and a chance to relax. They’re planning to close next month and sell.

Rich and Rob Santoro (WBZ-TV)

“Exploring another chapter in our lives. We’ve sacrificed a lot to run the family business,” says Rich.

“We’re just looking forward to being able to live our lives, instead of this being our life, which it has been,” adds Rob.

It’s old school here, the classics, made with quality products and care. “It’s sad to see the place close because the sub you got 30 years ago is the same sub you get today,” says customer Lorna Cerbone.

Santoro’s Sub-Villa (WBZ-TV)

And it’s hard to know whether it’s the customers or the owners who’ll miss it most. “It’s going to be really nice to be able to say we’re going to go here for a week and then find out, let’s stay another week. And we can,” says Rob Santoro.

“We’re going to miss it. They have the best honey mustard dressing around,” says customer Alicia Murphy.

“We have a little quote over there, don’t be sad that it’s over, but smile that you were a part of it,” says Rich Santoro.

At one point there were seven Santoro’s restaurants in New England. The one in Saugus is the last. The target date for closing is Feb. 3.

David Wade

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