Charley Horse Restaurant Closed Feb. 4; Interested Parties Already Lining Up
The Village of New Lenox is fielding questions about potential occupancy.
It's been only four days since the popular Charley Horse Restaurant and Pub closed its doors suddenly on Feb. 4, but already the Village of New Lenox has had inquiries from similar businesses.
Mayor Tim Baldermann, who was caught off-guard by the surprise closure, said Thursday that some people have expressed an interest in the building at 901 E. Lincoln Highway. The first question interested parties want to know about is the process for getting a liquor license. Liquor licenses are not transferable, he added. A fresh application is necessary for each new restaurant that wants to serve alcohol.
The Route 30 construction project, which makes it awkward to find the entrance cut specifically on the main drag, has not seemed to deter interest in the building. It's set back from the busy roadway and features a sizeable outdoor patio and pond.
"My understanding is there are some people that are already in the restaurant business that are interested. However, nobody has come in formally to apply yet."
A year ago at this time, Peter Gelis, the owner of Frankfort's Jameson's Pub, 9545 W. Saint Francis Road, had requested a liquor license from the Village of New Lenox for the Charley Horse location. The intention was to open an eatery called Van Horne's American Grill. Once New Lenox Village officials discovered that no lease agreement had been signed between Gelis and Charley Horse owner Bryan Sord, the item was eliminated from the agenda.
Financial strain forces foreclosure
The Will County Circuit Clerk's website shows that a commercial foreclosure was initiated on Jan. 25 by Marquette Bank against Sord and Charley Horse Restaurant and Bar.
Maria Sord explained in an e-mail that the restaurant has struggled to make ends meet. "As a matter of fact, business has struggled there for a long time and we managed to hang on this long."
Regarding the foreclosure, she said, "The only comment I would like to make is that Marquette Bank has been working with us to resolve the issue of the loan." Both parties, she added, "want to resolve the ASAP."
The closure, with no notice to the community, put stress on some customers who had organized upcoming fundraisers at the restaurant. Rachel Tuley, who was organizing a TEAM Gladieux Benefit this weekend at the restaurant, said she received an email at 1 p.m. Monday that the restaurant was closed. She managed to reschedule the event for 2 p.m. Feb. 10 at the nearby American Legion, 14414 Ford Drive. Because flyers and invitations listing Charley Horse as the location, she had to work fast to update benefit attendees.
Sord noted that previously booked event organizers were offered the use of another of his restaurants, Orland Park's 94 West.Tuley declined.
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