Scalini’s customers share memories of the longtime Smyrna restaurant

Scalini’s Italian Restaurant, a favorite in Cobb County for 42 years, closed after dinner on Aug. 7. And longtime diners are mourning the restaurant that was known for its eggplant parmigiana, which many claim helped induce labor in pregnant women close to their due dates.

The restaurant leaves behind its “Baby Wall” containing hundreds of pictures of babies from over the years. The restaurant closed because of staffing issues, according to cofounder R.L. “John” Bogino. While he’s hopeful someone may step in and reopen the legendary spot, he encourages people to dine at Provino’s, with locations in Snellville, Rome, Kennesaw, Cumming, Canton and Buford.

Diners shared on social media their experiences at Scalini’s over the years. Quotes have been edited for length and clarity.

“I would go every year for my birthday. On 9/11 the day that the terrorists attacked, I decided to go to work because for some reason I didn’t want to be home alone. I was at work sad and after work, I came here to eat my birthday dinner. It made things a little better.” - Michelle Lynn

“Ten years ago my daughter was 38 weeks pregnant with her first child, and I was about to embark on a pre-planned 7 day cruise leaving in less than a week. I drove up from Orlando and we walked around a lot to try to begin labor. I took her to the much acclaimed Scalini’s for dinner and made her order the eggplant parmigiana which she hates! Less than 6 hours later she was in labor and delivered a healthy baby boy, which I was blessed to be able to be there at his birth.” - Anita Kennedy

“Our little eggplant baby is almost 13 years old. Really sad we won’t get to see his picture at the restaurant again.” - Kerry Colin

“It was one of the first restaurants I ever went to when I first came to GA 30 years ago! My baby’s picture (along with hundreds of others!) was on its wall! So sad to hear it! It was one of my favorite restaurants with their delicious salad and rolls (Yum!) and their amazing baked ziti!! We will miss you!!!!” - Marie Prince Lavigne

ExploreScalini’s Italian Restaurant, home of the ‘Eggplant Baby Club,’ closes after 42 years

Credit: Phil Skinner

Credit: Phil Skinner

“When my friends and I couldn’t afford to take each other out for our birthdays we could always count on Scalini’s! Thanks for the memories and best wishes!” - Marie Smith

“I ate it on 12/24/92 when I was 4 days late. We had a healthy 8 lb baby girl less than 24 hours later!” - Marie Muscarello Hain

“Ate there for the first time in college, and have only missed 5 birthday meals there in the last 30 years. Also attended literally dozens of loved ones’ birthdays there as well. It was a Marietta institution catering to anyone needing their famous Eggplant ‘overdue baby ejecting’ Parmesan or anyone just looking for a delicious free birthday meal.” - Allen Stephens

Attached is a photo of me 8.5 months pregnant having the famous “Eggplant Parmesan”! - Hadley Smrekar

ExploreCobb County dining news

Credit: Hadley Smrekar

Credit: Hadley Smrekar

ExploreMetro Atlanta restaurant closings

“A friend brought me there for a date when I was 8 months and a few weeks pregnant to see if the Eggplant... would send me into labor. It did not. My son didn’t want to come out. (Induced after my due date). Great memories made since 1993 (when I moved to Marietta). Many amazing memories made there, through the years.”- Liz Clarke

“I went there many many many times with friends and family. They had the best salad and rolls I’ve ever ha ! Even better than the Italian restaurants I’ve been to many times in New York!” - Christian Kohlhaas

“My baby’s picture has been on the wall there for 20 years.” - Quincy Valencia

“I had my rehearsal dinner there also in 2006. I wish they could have given a close date, I would have loved to have eaten there one last time.” - Lisa Westphal