Aug 11, 2022 - News

Scalini's Italian Restaurant closes after 40 years

Illustration of a sad eggplant holding a suitcase and tearfully waving goodbye.

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

It's been a sad week in Smyrna. Scalini's Italian Restaurant — the eatery with eggplant parmigiana that would send women to labor within 48 hours of eating it — announced its closure on Monday after 40 years in business.

Why it matters: It's nice to know there are still places in this data-driven world where legends are built on beliefs — even if it's the belief that eggplant, ricotta and sauce is all a baby needs to be convinced it's time to say hello.

Details: Scalini's says its sister restaurant, Provino's — which has been open since 1977 — will carry on. Provino's has the same eggplant parmigiana dish, even if it's not as famous.

What they're saying: People poured onto Scalini's Facebook page this week to share stories of first dates that led to marriages, birthday parties that became birthday traditions and, of course, of the babies.

  • "My 19 yr old Navy soldier is on the wall. She is a Scalini's baby," one woman named Kim wrote.
  • "How will pregnant women go into labor?" another Kimberly wrote.

And then there was one from an expectant mother named Angela: "I had the pleasure of working here as my first job when I moved to Georgia and was hoping my September baby would be a Scalini's eggplant baby!"

  • To which Scalini’s replied, "We will share the recipe for you …"

As Scalini's founder Joe Bogino told CBS46: "One gal or two came in, happened to eat the eggplant, delivered their baby, I think they started telling people of that occurrence and it just caught on all by itself. Do I believe this induces labor? I believe my customer!"


Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Atlanta.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Atlanta stories


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Atlanta.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more