January 28, 2022


Free For All Food

Illinois Restaurants That Closed For Good In 2020

ILLINOIS — The coronavirus pandemic made for a difficult year, and 2020 was especially hard on thousands of Illinois bars and indoor restaurants forced to endure prolonged shutdowns in order to keep the public safe.

Sadly, many of these long-time establishments in our communities decided to close permanently. They won’t be around as we ring in the new year.

Here’s a look back at businesses across Illinois that closed their doors in 2020.

Argus Brewery In Pullman Closes As Coronavirus Kills Keg Sales

Argus Brewery owner Bob Jensen closed up shop and plans to put the craft brewery up for sale after an award-winning, 10-year run in Pullman. Image via Mark Konkol/Patch

PULLMAN — After a 10-year run, Argus Brewery died from complications related to the new coronavirus, its owner said.

The father-and-son brewery in Pullman opened by Bob and Patrick Jensen in 2009 was already suffering from underlying economic struggles when bars and restaurants closed statewide last month to slow the spread of COVID-19. It was a financial hit the craft brewery couldn’t survive.
“There was market downturn, and we had distributors that weren’t salesmen. They’re just order takers and, you know, it’s kind of a shame,” Bob Jensen said.

Coronavirus Crisis Kills Three Floyd’s Beloved Brew Pub: Report

Three Floyds Brewing’s Munster, Indiana brew pub has been closed indefinitely. Brewery and Distillery operations continue. Image via Mark Konkol/Patch

MUNSTER, IN— A permanent darkness has fallen upon Three Floyd’s brew pub.

The brewers of Dark Lord, one of the world’s best Russian Imperial Stouts, announced to investors that its death-metal themed brew pub in Munster, Indiana, closed indefinitely earlier this year due to the coronavirus crisis and would not be making a comeback.

“There’s no other way to put it — 2020 has sucked. We’ve been navigating this new world day by day and rolling with the punches it has thrown at us,” the Facebook post said back then.

Chinn’s 34th Street Fishery On Ogden Avenue Closes After 25 Years

LISLE —In March, Glancer Magazine reported that Chinn’s fishery at 3011 Ogden Ave. in suburban Lisle was going out of business after being open 25 years. “To our loyal customers, friends, and family; it is with a broken heart that we announce Chinn’s will be closing its doors for good on Saturday, March 28th. Like many small businesses we have seen our share of ups and downs but this challenging time has delivered a crippling blow from which we will not be able to recover,” Chinn’s announced.

The Vault and Gelsosomo’s Pizza Permanently Close In Lemont

LEMONT — In November, the Lemont Patch reported that the number of liquor licenses in the community of Lemont had decreased after two restaurants went out of business. The Vault, which was located at 308 Canal St., closed as did Gelsosomo’s Pizza, which was located at 206 Main St. Gelsosomo’s consolidated with its sister restaurant, Digs on Canal. Gelsomoso’s first opened in 2014 in Lemont.

Bob Evans Restaurant Closes In Joliet

The parking lot at the former Joliet Bob Evans restaurant on McDonough Street sits empty Thursday, July 16. Image via John Ferak/Joliet Patch Editor

JOLIET — The Joliet Bob Evans closed during the coronavirus shutdown of all Illinois indoor dining restaurants in March and never reopened. The Bob Evans was at Larkin Avenue and McDonough Street, right off the Interstate 80 exit. In July, Bob Evans removed all its signage on the property at 1776 McDonough St., although there still was the rustic Bob Evans mailbox near the entrance doors. Thousands of people ate at the Joliet Bob Evans over the years.

The Joliet Bob Evans showed a rating of 4.1 out of 5 stars among its 892 Google restaurant reviews. It also had more than 8,900 Facebook check-ins from customers.

Leonard’s Bakery Closing After 34 Years in Northbrook

Leonard’s Bakery, 2776 Dundee Road, opened its doors in Northbrook in 1987. (Street View)

NORTHBROOK — At the same time many businesses have begun reopening in Illinois, a beloved North Shore institution is shutting its doors forever. Leonard’s Bakery, which opened for business in Northbrook in 1987, announced in late May that it was closing.

Marc Becker, the proprietor and owner of Leonard’s Bakery, has opted to retire, according to his Facebook post. The bakery is located at 2776 Dundee Road. The fifth-generation bakery dates back to 1908 on Chicago’s South Side.

Old Town Restaurant Closing In Lemont

LEMONT — Old Town Restaurant, a Polish, Slavic and Lithuanian restaurant in Lemont, closed its doors on Aug. 2, the business shared on its Facebook page. The restaurant, in downtown Lemont, has been in business for 27 years. The business did not give a reason for its closure.

2 Downtown Evanston Restaurants Close Permanently

Two restaurants in downtown Evanston, Unicorn Cafe at 1723 Sherman Ave., and La Macchina at 1620 Orrington Ave., closed permanently this week. (Google Maps)

EVANSTON, IL — A pair of downtown Evanston restaurants closed for good in September as the coronavirus pandemic’s economic impact continues to reshape the city’s retail landscape.

Unicorn Cafe, a bakery and coffee shop at 1723 Sherman Ave., shuttered permanently after nearly 30 years in Evanston, while La Macchina, a motorcycle-themed Italian restaurant, closed its doors after seven years at 1620 Orrington Ave.

Jessica Donnelly took over as owner of Unicorn Cafe in 2015. Even before the spread of the coronavirus in Illinois triggered emergency public health measures that have economically devastated the state’s hospitality industry, Donnelly described a lack of support from city officials for locally owned, independent businesses in Evanston.

Louie’s Chophouse Will Not Reopen In Oak Lawn After Shutdown

Louie’s Chophouse will not be reopening in Oak Lawn after the shutdown but will be relocating to Mokena. Image via Lorraine Swanson/Patch.

OAK LAWN, IL — Oak Lawn’s most venerable steak house announced in June that it is relocating to Mokena. Louie’s Chop House has been a fixture in the village since 1996. The owners of Louie’s announced that it would not be reopening in Oak Lawn after the coronavirus shutdown. The owners said they will consolidate the chop house with his other restaurant in Mokena, Jamo’s Live at 10160 191st St., a live entertainment venue and sports bar serving American fare.

“It is the best financial decision for us,” one of the owners said in an email. “With everything that is going on and [social distancing] restrictions, we will have a lot of restaurant to fill, and still pay the same amount of rent. It didn’t make sense.”

La Grange Coronavirus: Restaurant Closes For Good

LA GRANGE, IL — A “perfect storm” has resulted in the immediate closure of La Buona Vita restaurant after six years in La Grange. La Buona Vita restaurant owner Jim Barron issued a statement in late March announcing the closure of the restaurant, 15 Calendar Ave., which offered northern Italian cuisine.

“After thoughtful analysis and a heavy heart, it is with great disappointment I inform you that effective immediately, the restaurant is permanently closed,” Barron said.

Joliet’s Truth Restaurant Closes For Good, Property For Sale

For 17 years, Joliet’s Truth Restaurant was near the corner of West Jefferson Street and Raynor Avenue. Image via John Ferak/Patch

JOLIET, IL — A sit-down Joliet restaurant that remained closed during the new coronavirus health crisis announced on Memorial Day that it’s shutting down for good. Representatives of Truth Restaurant, 808 W. Jefferson St., posted the news on their Facebook page.

Truth had been a fixture on Joliet’s west side since 2003 and it was regarded as one of Joliet’s best indoor dining restaurants.

The Truth restaurant property has been for sale on the commercial real estate website, LoopNet. Two retail buildings are available for a total of $449,000.

A total of 6,567 people had checked-in on Truth’s Facebook page over the years. The restaurant’s slogan was: “Where Great Food and People Meet.”

Bakery Closes After 71 Years Of Operation In Arlington Heights

The Arlington Heights Cake Box Bakery opened in 1949. Image via Google Maps

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL — For the past seven decades, the Arlington Heights Cake Box Bakery has been feeding local residents and beyond with delicious baked goods. In late September, the family owned business announced it was closing.

In a social media post, current owners Paul and Karen Gardner announced the bakery will be permanently closing after 71 years. The third generation bakery was opened in 1949 by Walter and Wilma Aronson, Karen’s grandparents.

Geneva’s Wildwood Closes Permanently Amid Coronavirus Shutdown

Wildwood in Geneva closed permanently due to financial hardships brought on by the coronavirus, owner Patrick Neary said. Image via Google Maps

GENEVA, IL —After 14 years of serving up steaks, wines and fine dining in Geneva, Wildwood has closed its doors for good, owner Patrick Neary announced in May. The coronavirus pandemic and the state’s restrictions on dine-in restaurants “have turned an already tough competitive environment into an uncertain and likely losing proposition,” Neary wrote on the restaurant’s website.

MidiCi Neapolitan Pizza Closes In Naperville

NAPERVILLE, IL —MidiCi The Neapolitan Pizza Company, who specialized in wood-fire pizza, first opened their doors in June 2015 on 135 Water Street. It was one of three downtown Naperville businesses that had closed in May because of the coronavirus pandemic hardships, reported Naperville Community Television.

It is with a heavy heart we share MidiCi Naperville is permanently closed. It was a pleasure serving you! People will ALWAYS be the best thing to happen to anyone. Stay healthy friends, we will miss you! The Party of Five Family posted on its Facebook page in May.

Diamand’s History? Empty Joliet Restaurant Available For Lease

JOLIET, IL — Diamand’s Family Restaurant opened in Joliet in 1989 on Route 30 near the Interstate 55 exit for Joliet but its chances of reopening appear more and more unlikely by the day. Ever since the new coronavirus pandemic reached Illinois, Diamand’s has remained a shuttered building.

Turns out, a downtown Chicago real estate company has been retained in hopes of finding a new tenant for the Diamand’s property, 3000 Plainfield Road, Joliet Patch learned.

Diamand’s was one of a handful of sit-down restaurants in Joliet that declined to reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic. Image via John Ferak/Patc