Restaurant in the Joliet region, bar openings, closures for 2021
JOLIET, IL – Here’s a look back at the bars and restaurants in the Joliet area that we said goodbye to in 2021 and a look at several of the new restaurants we get to know as 2021 draws to a close.
The following list includes several of Joliet Patch’s most popular reads over the past year and those that have garnered a ton of response from readers. Towards the bottom of this article, you will see that there is a mention of a Joliet restaurant that is not even open yet.
Why did this story make this list?
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The answer is obvious. When that particular restaurant opens, the line for patrons waiting to enter the place may very well stretch from Joliet to Indiana or Kentucky.
In no particular order, here are a dozen remarkable stories from last year’s Joliet Patch:
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1. Chicken-N-Spice Farewell: Senator Connor presents an award
After 42 years at the helm of the North Chicago Street restaurant in downtown Joliet, Ken and Pat Reimer are retiring. Their farewell party for the community began at 1:30 p.m. As a large crowd gathered around the restaurant’s dining room, State Senator John Connor stood by the counter, handing over to Reimers a state recognition award.
2. Barolo Restaurant Owners Move On, Sell Business
On September 20, Guy and Melissa Turi announced that they had sold their 20-year-old business, Joliet’s Barolo Restaurant at 2765 Black Road. “It’s time for our next chapter. We are excited and blessed! Thank you for the memories. Our staff are family, special thanks to each of them for their love and service,” the Turis posted on Facebook.
On September 30, Joliet Patch reported that Mariscos El Vallartazo, a Mexican seafood restaurant in western Chicago that regularly features live entertainment, has confirmed its expansion in Joliet, replacing Barolo restaurant on Black Road.
As 2021 draws to a close, Mariscos El Vallartazo has yet to open.
3. The Irish pub O’Charley’s announces its closure
The Irish Pub O’Charley’s has been located on the corner of North Center and Oneida streets since 1988, but August 17th marked its end at 117 North Center St. “With a very heavy heart … O’Charley’s will close for the last time.” times tonight, “wrote Kathy Charley in a statement provided to Joliet Patch.
On November 3, Patch reported that less than three months after the O’Charleys Irish Pub closed for good, the owners of Crybabies faucet take over. Joliet City Council unanimously approved the transfer of the liquor license to Karen Talmadge, owner of Crybabies Tap on the east side of Joliet, at 435 East Jackson St.
4. The owner of Louis’ family restaurant retires after almost 30 years
November 28 marked the end of an era, the last day of activity for Louis Polimenakos who opened his Louis family restaurant at 1001 West Jefferson St. on December 18, 1992. “This place has been a huge success,” he said. In the 1970s, Polimenakos came to the United States from Athens, Greece on a student visa.
Then, on December 7, Louis Polimenakos’ two sons, Mike and Nick, opened Louie’s Waffle House on the site of the former Bob Evans family restaurant on the corner of Larkin Avenue and McDonough Street. “We’re just thrilled to have a really nice place, and we’re going to make it as nice as possible,” Michael Polimenakos told publisher of Joliet Patch.
5. Long John Silver’s permanently closes the Joliet restaurant
Long John Silver’s in Joliet at 2421 West Jefferson St. has closed, leaving the city without Long John Silver fast food outlets. Area residents will now have to drive all the way to Downers Grove, Morris, Matteson, Ottawa – or even Gary, Indiana, to get your Long John Silver fix.
6. Joliet IHOP flattened by the demolition of Milburn: photo gallery
Less than two months after Joliet Patch announced the closure of the IHOP restaurant on Larkin Avenue, all that was left of the building was the main entrance. Demolition crews razed the old IHOP to make way for the first pick-up from Portillo restaurant in Illinois.
Joliet will become the first Portillo in Illinois to have a triple drive-thru lane. Portillo’s wants to open in early February, according to Preston Funkhouser, vice president of construction and facilities at Portillo’s. “We could probably open in mid-January, but we want to give ourselves enough time to train staff,” Funkhouser told Joliet Patch through October.
7. Goodbye Diamand’s Family Restaurant, Hello Raising Cane’s
At the end of July, Alpine Demolition Services had demolished most of the walls of the Diamand’s family restaurant along Plainfield Road, near the Louis Joliet shopping center. In February, Joliet Patch announced the news that a Raising Cane chicken fingers restaurant would be built on the site. In late November, Patch also announced that Raising Cane planned to demolish an empty bank in Shorewood and open a second fast food restaurant in the Joliet area in 2022.
8. Juliet’s Tavern Acquired, Expanding CUT 158
Joliet restaurateur Bill Dimitroulas made another big acquisition this year. In March, the owner of Joliet’s CUT 158 Chophouse, Hamburgerseria and Rosemary Cafe announced that he had acquired Juliet’s Tavern located at 205 North Chicago St. But that wasn’t the only big news from Dimitroulas in 2021. In February 2022, CUT 158 plans to occupy the new restaurant space at 116 North Chicago St., right next to Joliet’s famous Rialto Square Theater.
9. Mauve opens: “It’s so good to be back in our element”
Months and months of renovations to an old yoga studio have been completed. In September, Purple nose and libations opened in Shorewood. It is a cocktail, wine and small plate bar belonging to Nick pena and Kala Bieniek Saunders.
Mauve has more than 40 grape varieties. Many of the wines come from Oregon, Washington and California. Many wines come from Spain and Italy. Mauve also offers over 30 varieties of craft cocktails and different bourbons.
10. Olive Garden plans to open the Joliet restaurant in 2022
November 8, 2021 is a day tens of thousands of people in the Joliet area will remember one thing: it was the day news of Olive Garden’s plans to build in Joliet was unveiled. The new Olive Garden is scheduled to open in 2022, officials from the city of Joliet told Patch. This becomes The Boulevard’s second major development. Last November, the Costco store opened.
“I am happy to hear this announcement today,” Joliet Mayor Bob O’Dekirk told Joliet Patch. “This project was continued by the city and the former mayors, and I am happy to have played a role in the installation of Olive Garden in Joliet.”
11. Joey’s Red Hots opens: 250 customers for lunch
Joey’s Red Hots opened on September 20 in Crest Hill and people from the Joliet area flocked here for lunch. “It was great. We had 250 customers for lunch,” said Anthony Nardo, Joey’s owner. “I’m looking forward to the dinner rush.
The new Crest Hill Joey’s Red Hots is located at 2228 Plainfield Road. There are also Joey’s Red Hots in the Morgan Park area of Chicago, New Lenox, and Orland Park.
12. Opening of Chick-fil-A Joliet: “We are delighted to serve this region”
Gone are the days of wondering if Joliet would ever have a Chick-fil-A restaurant. At 6:30 a.m. on January 14, approximately 50 cars were lined up around the perimeter of 2705 Plainfield Road. They were waiting to place their order at new Joliet Chick-fil-A.
At around 8 a.m., Joliet’s new City Manager Jim Capparelli, Joliet Mayor Bob O’Dekirk, and a few city staff introduced themselves to the new Chick-fil-A.
“I keep saying that even during the pandemic, the city of Joliet continues to move forward,” O’Dekirk said at the inauguration. “It’s a great place for Chick-fil-A. We have a new Costco on the road, the new Binny’s, although there have been a few store closures at the Louis Mall, new businesses keep coming in and replacing them. “