Nicolette Unruh, owner of Nico’s Little Italy, dies at 36

Nicolette Unruh, owner and operating partner of Nico's Little Italy, cuts the ribbon for the restaurant's Lazio room opening. Unruh died on Friday at the age of 36. (Kelsey Chellberg | Collegian Media Group)

Update: According to an automated Nico’s Little Italy email reply, the restaurant will remain closed until Wednesday, Nov. 15. The article has been updated with this information.

Nicolette Unruh, 36, the owner and operating partner of Nico’s Little Italy in Aggieville, died Friday.

“We used to talk about her dream of opening and running her own restaurant over bourbon and pickle backs and it has been my greatest honor helping her achieve her lifelong dream with Nico’s,” Skyler Wikoff, service manager at Nico’s Little Italy, said in a Facebook post Tuesday.

Nico’s Little Italy will remain closed for the next several days to “grieve our loss,” according to the Facebook post. According to an automated email reply from the restaurant, it will stay closed until Wednesday, Nov. 15.

She was predeceased by her grandfathers, Grant Olin Unruh and Edward Pachta. She is survived by her parents, Dale Unruh and Bernadette “Berny” Unruh (Pachta) of Great Bend, Kansas; her husband Nathan “Nate” Uhl; her step-son Tristen Uhl of Manhattan, Kansas; her siblings, Adam Unruh of Pawnee Rock, Grant Unruh of Carleton, Nebraska, and Danette Unruh of Esbon, Kansas; her grandmothers, Wynona Unruh of Great Bend and Carol Pachta of Belleville, Kansas; and her in-laws, Bobby and Patricia Uhl of Texas. She is also survived by numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Visitation will be held Thursday from 5-7 p.m. at the St. Thomas More Catholic Church, and a prayer will follow at 7 p.m. at the same location. A funeral service will be held Friday at 10 a.m. at St. Thomas More Catholic Church, and a burial will be held Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Bergthal Mennonite Cemetery.

I'm Carter Schaffer, the editor-in-chief of the Collegian. Previously I wrote for the news desk and did some photo/video work. I am a senior in mass communications with an emphasis in journalism, and I hope to work in news or video production one day. I've also interned at The Well News in Washington, D.C., through TFAS. I grew up in Andover, Kansas, home of the Andover Trojans, and I've been a Wildcat all my life.