12 restaurant, bar openings, closings for 2021 near Joliet


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 some of the new restaurants we are just getting to know about towards the end of 2021.

The list below features some of the most popular Joliet Patch reads over the past year and those that have generated a lot of reader reaction. At the end of this article you will see that there is a mention of a Joliet restaurant that is not even open yet.

Why was this story included on this list?

Find out what’s happening inside Joliet with free real-time updates from patch.

The answer is obvious. When this particular restaurant opens, the line for customers waiting to get into the eatery can very well stretch from Joliet to Indiana or Kentucky.

In no particular order, here are a dozen notable Joliet patch stories from last year:

Find out what’s happening inside Joliet with free real-time updates from patch.

1. Chicken-N-Spice farewell: Senator Connor presents the award

Ken and Pat Reimer are retiring after running the restaurant on North Chicago Street in downtown Joliet for 42 years. Their farewell party for the community started at 1:30 p.m. While a large crowd gathered around the dining room of the restaurant, State Senator John Connor stood near the counter and presented the Reimers with a state recognition award.

September 14th marked the retirement ceremony for Ken and Pat Reimer, who closed Chicken-N-Spice in Joliet after 42 years in business. John Ferak / Patch

2. Barolo restaurant owners move on, sell their business

On September 20, Guy and Melissa Turi announced 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 is a family, special thanks go to each of them for their love and service,” wrote the Turis on Facebook.

On September 30th, Joliet Patch reported that Mariscos El Vallartazo, a West Chicago Mexican seafood restaurant that has regular live entertainment confirmed it is expanding to Joliet, replacing Barolo’s restaurant on Black Road.

The year 2021 is drawing to a close, Mariscos El Vallartazo has yet to open.

The Mariscos El Vallartazo in West Chicago has a total of 526 Google ratings with an average of 4.1 stars out of 5. John Ferak / Patch

3. O’Charley’s Irish Pub announces its closure

O’Charley’s Irish Pub has been on the corner of North Center and Oneida Streets since 1988, but August 17th was the last time this evening ended at 117 North Center St, “wrote Kathy Charley in a statement to Joliet Patch.

On November 3, Patch reported that less than three months after the O’Charleys Irish Pub was finally closed, the owners of Tap crybaby take it 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, 435 East Jackson St.

O’Charleys was painted blue in August after Kathy Charley and her family members announced that O’Charley’s Irish Pub would be closing. John Ferak / Joliet patch

4. Louis’ family restaurant owners are retiring after nearly 30 years

An era came to an end on November 28th, the last business day for Louis Polimenakos, his Louis’ family restaurant at 1001 West Jefferson St. on December 18, 1992. “This place was a huge success,” he said. In the 1970s, Polimenakos came to the United States on a student visa from Athens, Greece.

Then, on December 7th, 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 excited to have a really nice place and we’ll make it as beautiful as possible,” said Michael Polimenakos to the editor of Joliet Patch.

November 28th was the last day Louis Polimenakos ran his Louis’ Family Restaurant in 1001 West Jefferson St. John Ferak / Joliet Patch Editor

5. Long John Silver’s is closing the Joliet Restaurant forever

Joliet’s Long John Silver’s at 2421 West Jefferson St. has gone out of business and the town has left no Long John Silver fast food restaurants. Area residents now have to go to Downers Grove, Morris, Matteson, Ottawa – or even Gary, Indiana, to get their Long John Silver repaired.

Joliet’s only Long John Silver’s restaurant on West Jefferson Street has ceased operations. John Ferak / Joliet patch

6. Joliet IHOP flattened by Milburn Demolition: Photo gallery

Less than two months after Joliet Patch spread the news that the IHOP restaurant on Larkin Avenue had closed, only the main entrance of the building was left. Demolition teams razed the former IHOP to make way for the first Portillos pickup Illinois restaurant.

Joliet will be the first Portillo in Illinois to have a triple through lane. Portillo’s will open in early February, according to Preston Funkhouser, vice president of Construction and Facilities for Portillo’s October.

Since Joliets IHOP is permanently closed, it will be replaced by a Portillo’s Restaurant. John Ferak / Joliet patch
Joliet’s first Portillo’s is slated to open in the first week of February. John Ferak / Patch

7. Goodbye Diamand’s Family Restaurant, Hello Raising Cane’s

In late July, Alpine Demolition Services had demolished most of the walls for Diamand’s Family Restaurant along Plainfield Road near Louis Joliet Mall. As early as February, Joliet Patch spread the news that a Chicken Fingers restaurant by Raising Cane would be built on the site. In late November, Patch also brought news that Raising Cane plans to demolish an empty bank in Shorewood along the Route 59 corridor, meaning a second fast food restaurant could open in the Joliet area later in 2022 .

Diamand’s Family Restaurant operated on Plainfield Road for 30 years, closed during the pandemic and never reopened. John Ferak / Patch
Raising Cane’s is a fast food restaurant founded by Todd Graves in 1996 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Image via John Ferak / Patch

8. Julia’s tavern acquired, CUT 158 is expanded

Joliet restaurateur Bill Dimitroulas made another major acquisition this year. In March, the owner of Joliet’s CUT 158 Chophouse, Hamburgerseria and Rosemary Cafe announced that they had acquired Juliet’s Tavern at 205 North Chicago St.. But that wasn’t the only big news from Dimitroulas in 2021. Sometime in February 2022, CUT 158 expects to occupy the new restaurant area at 116 North Chicago St., which is right next to Joliet’s world-famous Rialto Square Theater.

In June, Juliet’s Tavern in downtown Joliet reopened under new ownership. It’s at 205 North Chicago St. John Ferak / Patch
CUT 158 Chophouse plans to move to the new restaurant area in John Bays’ Two Rialto Square Building. John Ferak / Joliet patch

9. Mauve opens: “It feels so good to be back in our element”

Months of renovation work on a former yoga studio are over. In September, Mauve Nosh & libation opened in Shorewood. It is a handcrafted cocktail, wine and small plate bar owned by Nick Pena and Kala Bieniek Saunders.

Mauve offers more than 40 types of wine. Some of the wines come from Oregon, Washington, and California. Some wines come from Spain and Italy. Mauve also has more than 30 types of handmade cocktails and various bourbons.

The new Shorewood wine and cocktail bar on Route 52 is owned by Nick Pena and Kala Bieniek Saunders. John Ferak / Patch

10. Olive Garden plans to open Joliet restaurant in 2022

November 8, 2021 is a day that tens of thousands of people in the Joliet area will remember for one thing: on this day, the news of the construction plans of Olive Garden in Joliet was revealed. The new Olive Garden is slated to open in 2022, Joliet city officials told Patch. This is the second major development on the boulevard. The Costco store opened last November.

“I’m excited to hear that announcement today,” Joliet’s two-time mayor Bob O’Dekirk told Joliet Patch. “This project has been followed by the city and past mayors, and I am glad I played a role in bringing Olive Garden to Joliet.”

The new Olive Garden opens near the Costco store on Interstate 55 and Route 30 in the Joliet and Plainfield area. Image via Google Maps

11. Joey’s Red Hots opens: Attracts 250 customers for lunch

Joey’s Red Hots opened in Crest Hill on September 20th and people from all over the Joliet area flocked here for lunch. “It was great. We had 250 customers for lunch, ”remarked Joey’s owner, Anthony Nardo. “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 Chicago’s Morgan Park, New Lenox, and Orland Park.

The new Crest Hill Joey’s Red Hots is located at 2228 Plainfield Road in Crest Hill. Image via John Ferak / Joliet Patch

12. Chick-fil-A Joliet opens: “We are happy to serve this area”

Gone are the days of wondering whether Joliet will ever get a Chick-fil-A-Restaurant. At 6:30 a.m. on January 14th, around 50 cars were parked around 2705 Plainfield Road. They were waiting to place their order new Joliet Chick-fil-A.

Around 8 a.m., the new Joliet City Manager Jim Capparelli, Joliet Mayor Bob O’Dekirk and a few city employees showed up at the new Chick-fil-A.

“I keep saying that the city of Joliet continues to develop even during the pandemic,” remarked O’Dekirk at the opening. “This is a great place for Chick-fil-A. We have a new Costco up the street, the new Binny’s, although some stores in Louis Mall have closed, new stores keep adding and replacing them.” . “

It took a few years for the Chick-fil-A redevelopment project on Plainfield Road to materialize, but it happened. John Ferak / Patch


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