Chicago Area Restaurant News – September 2018

Posted by at 13 September, at 13 : 51 PM Print




THE labor shortage is a real problem. For the past few years now, a problem known to only a few restaurateurs, has become a problem for most. Since we are licensed to sell businesses in Illinois, Indian and Wisconsin, we have determined that the labor shortage is now a common issue for many restaurant owners.

When you ask restaurant owners how they are doing, almost all will start complaining about the current labor short – age. Their complaints are accompanied by comments regarding hiring issues, such as: “we cannot find help”, “no matter how much we pay employees, they ask for more”, “even applicants and employees who have no experience are asking for high pay”, “they form groups and have high demands”, “they  lackmail us”, “we cannot talk to them without running the risk that they will walk off the restaurant”, “you cannot make any suggestions to them; they know it all”. Is there anything a restaurateur can do in order to lessen the
burden of this labor shortage? They cannot do a lot, but here are some tips:

1). If you plan to open a new restaurant, make sure that the location is easily accessible and there is public transportation;
2). Think of ways to make employees feel like part of the team / give them a sense of ownership: offer them some small percentage of ownership or bonus incentives;
3).Increase employees’ pay;
4).Offer employees flexible hours;
5).Approach employees and frankly discuss with them issues and challenges related to the job and ask for their input.

It seems that the labor shortage problem is here to stay. Each restaurateur must deal with it in a smart and honest way. There are no easy solutions; there are only intelligent choices.



A 46-Year-Old Polish Restaurant Relic is Closing on the Northwest Side — Old Warsaw Buffet, a beloved and kitschy kingdom of Polish food in Harwood Heights, is closing at the end of the month after 46 years in business. Ownership of the restaurant, known for its gut-busting buffet, paczki, and bright interior, told the HYPERLINK “http:// news/ct-nhh-old-warsaw-closingtl- 0712-story.html”Norridge-Harwood Heights News that he’s shutting down the restaurant for health reasons. The
chain PDQ plans to take over and demolish the iconic space at 4750 N. Harlem Avenue in hopes to open there by the end of the year. Ex-Lettuce Entertain You and United Airlines Mixologist Charged With Rape in New
Orleans — A Chicago mixologist who’s worked for companies including United Airlines and Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises was arrested on Wednesday in New Orleans stemming from a rape allegation
that dates back three years. Adam Seger, 48, was jailed in Orleans Parish Prison and charged with one count of third-degree rape, according to court documents. Seger allegedly raped a man at a July 2015 party
Seger hosted during the Tales of the Cocktail conference which is annually held in New Orleans.

Wrigleyville Late-Night Bar Trace Will Close After 17 Years: The 4 a.m. Bar Has Been Sold to New Owners- After 17 years of 4 a.m. bar hijinks along Clark Street, Trace is closing in Wrigleyville. It won’t
happen immediately, but Bottleneck Management (Boundary in Wicker Park, Howells
& Hood off the Mag Mile), has sold its first bar. The new owners, Last Call Tavern Group (Full Shilling in Wrigleyville, Butcher’s Tap in Lakeview), will run Trace through the end of the Cubs season at
3714 N. Clark Street. They will then close Trace with the intentions of opening a new bar by the end of year, according to a news release.

Lawsuit Alleges Several Chicago Bars Withheld Over $30M in Tips – Four Corners, the owners of several Chicago bars — including Benchmark, Brickhouse Tavern, and WestEnd — have been hit with a class-action lawsuit by workers with an attorney alleging the company has withheld more than $30 million in
tips from servers and bartenders from 2011 to 2018. The lawsuit names 17 Four Corners’ establishments
and could affect as many as 800 employees.




After serving the community for nearly four decades, Corfu Restaurant on the east side of St. Charles is closing this weekend. It is being evicted for unpaid rent, totaling at least $76,667 plus interest, according to court records. Golren Enterprises Inc., which owns the restaurant, also owes a St. Charles contractor more than $191,000 for remodeling work done in 2015, according to a lien recorded against the property. The bill is only for supplies, not labor. John Golegos is the agent for Golren Enterprises, according to state business  records. Kane County court records indicate KFP Properties filed suit May 2 to kick the restaurant out of the building. A judge granted KFP’s request on July 11, 2018 but gave the restaurant until July 30, 2018 to move out.

The family-operated establishment located at 2520 E. Main St. has been a community staple for many longtime residents since 1980. Sunday will be its last day of operation, said Manager Ari Golegos, son of the restaurant’s owners. This year, Golegos dispelled rumors that circled social media suggesting the establishment
would soon close its doors. On Monday, he said business “isn’t the best,” and his parents felt it was time to
shut down the operation. Golegos said he’s received phone calls from customers who are sad to see Corfu go.
The restaurant is known for its all-day breakfast and fresh Greek entrees.



With more than 100 food items and just as many beers on tap, Lombard’s new Yard House restaurant offers plenty of options. But despite the large beer and cocktail selection, General Manager Udo Wirtz
doesn’t want people to view the establishment at 2301 Fountain Square Drive as just a bar. “I want them to think of it as a restaurant first,” Wirtz said, “because they’re going to be able to get high-quality
food, they’re going to get great service, and then we just happen to have a full-service bar to help them out.” Yvonne Invergo, Executive Director of the Lombard Chamber of Commerce, couldn’t be more
excited about the new restaurant. “Lombard loves its restaurants and we know that Yard House is going to love Lombard,” Invergo said Tuesday at a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

This is the Company’s 73rd Yard House
restaurant, and its third Yard House restaurant in Illinois — the others are in Glenview and Chicago. Wirtz said patrons should have no problem finding something they like on the menu.


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