Joliet’s restaurant scene had several big stories in September

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JOLIET, IL – When it comes to local history, thousands of Will County residents may always remember September for a Joliet restaurant success story: the retirement of Ken and Pat Reimer, the owners of Chicken-N-Spice.

After 42 years of prosperity in downtown Joliet, the Reimers decided to quit on September 14. There was a big retirement party, with lots of free cakes and chicken pieces for everyone. Illinois State Senator John Connor attended the farewell ceremony and presented the Reimers with a state recognition award.

These days, the Chicken-N-Spice building is empty, day in and day out. The restaurant sign has been removed.

September also saw the end of Barolo’s Italian restaurant on Black Road in Joliet. Owners Guy and Melissa Turi announced the sale of their business on Facebook. Patch later learned that an owner of a Mexican seafood restaurant in Du Page County was considering expanding to Joliet, but it could be a few months before the new restaurant opens onto the old one. Barolo site.

The loss of Chicken-N-Spice and Barolo is sad for thousands and thousands of people in the Joliet area, but there was plenty of positive restaurant news reported in September by Joliet Patch.

There was also a story about the arrest of a woman inside the Joliet McDonald on Cass Street.

Here’s a look back at several of Joliet Patch’s most popular restaurant and bar stories that were covered in September:

Joliet’s first Robeks juice opens on Caton Farm Road

On September 29, Patch reported that the California-based Robeks franchise had made Joliet its second restaurant in Illinois. The first location is in Naperville. Angela Townsend has opened her Joliet store at 4704 Caton Farm Road. Robeks offers 10 classic smoothies, four superfood smoothies, three Acai smoothies, five performance smoothies, three low calorie smoothies and four wellness smoothies. The five fruit bowls include: Acai Strawnana Berry, Acai Tropical Mango, Nutty Acai, Green Bliss, and Acai Especial.

Franchise owner Angela Townsend opened Joliet’s first Robeks on Wednesday. Patch John Ferak / Joliet

Here’s why Bernie’s Jerk Kitchen became THA Kitchen

On September 29, Patch reported that after being closed for nearly four months, Joshua Betts reopened his restaurant on Black Road, changing its name and changing its menu. Betts said he wanted his restaurant Joliet to be known for more than jerk chicken. He also ditched the breakfast menu and got rid of the waffles. THA Kitchen officially reopened on September 23.

Joshua Betts transformed his restaurant Bernie’s Jerk Kitchen & Waffles into THA Kitchen. It is on the Place Infantry Drive at 2777 Black Road in Joliet. (John Ferak / Joliet patch editor)

McDonald’s fight in Joliet leads to arrest of woman: cops

On September 29, Patch reported that Joliet police said Mabel Rodriguez, 44, was responsible for a fight inside the McDonald’s restaurant on Cass Street. Rodriguez was at McDonald’s fighting the two over family issues, Joliet police said.

Joliet police arrested Mabel Rodriguez on several counts of aggravated assault and battery. Mugshot via Joliet police

Owners of the new Barolo will not serve Italian food

On September 28, Patch reported that Joliet-area commercial real estate developer Charles Sharp revealed that the new restaurant replacing Barolo’s would be impressive. Sharp told Joliet Patch that the new owners will not keep the Barolo’s name when they open their new restaurant. A Mexican seafood restaurant that also offers live musical entertainment will occupy the Barolo location.

Guy and Melissa Turi, the longtime owners of Barolo Restaurant on Black Road, recently announced the sale of their restaurant business in Joliet. (John Ferak / Joliet patch editor)

Smallcakes ribbon cutting: “Joliet’s comments are fantastic”

On September 24, Joliet Chamber executives Jen Howard, Mike Paone and the city’s Director of Economic Development attended Friday’s ribbon cutting for the first Smallcakes to open in Joliet. Howard said luring Smallcakes to Jefferson Street is another big hit for the city. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to have such a fun, upbeat and happy product and business opening in Joliet,” Howard said. “Just walking into the store will make everyone happy.”

Joliet’s room hosted Smallcakes in Joliet during Friday’s ribbon cutting. The city’s first Smallcakes is located at 2410 West Jefferson St. Unit 106. John Ferak / Patch

Portillo’s attracts an inflatable rat on the Joliet construction site

On September 21, Patch reported that the construction project along Larkin Avenue uses non-union labor, according to local laborers # 75. Local 75 said they were protesting the use of non-union construction workers in the Portillo restaurant development, in particular the use of Scapin Construction located in Inverness as well as Henson Concrete Construction, located in St Charles. The future 3,750 square foot Portillo’s Pickup restaurant in Joliet will not have an indoor dining room. Instead, it will feature three drive-thru lanes and an area for pickup controls.

For the second day in a row, Local 75 has an inflatable rat in front of the Portillo Pickup construction project on Larkin Avenue in Joliet. John Ferak / Patch

Joey’s Red Hots opens: 250 customers for lunch

On September 20, Patch reported that Monday marked the first day of activity for the popular Chicago-area restaurant which opened at 2228 Plainfield Road in Crest Hill. On Monday’s opening day, the most popular entrees included the Polish Maxwell Street sausage, hot dogs and “lots of gyros,” said Anthony Nardo, owner of Joey’s Red Hots. There are also Joey’s Red Hots in the Morgan Park area of ​​Chicago, New Lenox, and Orland Park.

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

Barolo restaurant owners move on and sell business

On September 20, Patch reported that Guy and Melissa Turi sold their Barolo restaurant along Black Road. Barolo Ristorante has been in Joliet since 2000. After opening in downtown Joliet, Guy Turi moved his Italian cuisine restaurant in 2008 to the mall near Black Road and Infantry Drive.

Barolo Ristorante had been in Joliet since 2000. (John Ferak / Patch Image File)

Route 66 dinner in Joliet: “We receive people from Europe, everywhere”

On September 15, Patch wrote an article on The Joliet Route 66 restaurant. About half of Joliet Route 66 Diner patrons are out of town tourists visiting Joliet as part of the Historic Route 66 experience. Claudia Salez and Ariana Ruiz operate the Joliet Route 66 Diner, and their breakfast and lunch have been a part of downtown Joliet for decades. Years ago it was called the Peter Piper Restaurant.

Joliet Route 66 Diner strives to have a reputation for providing prompt service. John Ferak / Patch

Farewell Chicken-N-Spice: Senator Connor presents an award

On September 14, Joliet Patch reported on the last day of business and retirement party for Ken and Pat Reimer, who closed Chicken-N-Spice in Joliet after 42 years in business. Joliet Mayor Bob O’Dekirk said it was bittersweet for Joliet to lose Chicken-N-Spice, given the impact the Reimers had on the city. “They have been a staple in downtown Joliet for years and will be sorely missed,” said O’Dekirk.

September 14 marked the retirement of Chicken-N-Spice owners Ken and Pat Reimer. Image via John Ferak / Patch

Opening of Domino’s Pizza on the West Side of Joliet

On September 13, Patch reported that eight months after the owners of Giarrante’s barbershop in Joliet announced they were moving from 248 Republic Ave. to a new location on Essington Road, a new Domino’s pizzeria arrives on Republic Avenue. The new addition on the west side of Joliet marks the seventh Domino’s Pizza to open in the region.

A new Domino’s Pizza restaurant opens its doors on Avenue de la République, not far from the AMITA Santé Saint Joseph Medical Center. John Ferak / Joliet Patch

Will Niko’s replace Chicken-N-Spice as the downtown Joliet draw?

On September 9, Patch announced that the first restaurant in downtown Joliet, Chicken-N-Spice, was closing permanently on September 14. This means that Niko’s Pizzeria could attract even more customers.

Niko’s is a social media giant. Niko recently surpassed 10,000 followers on Facebook. It is now at 10,021. What makes Niko so special?

“The unique specials and the crazy dishes we make,” remarked its owner.

The owner of Niko’s Pizzeria, 20 Ohio St., in downtown Joliet, now sells his family’s “extra, extra, extra virgin olive oil”. John Ferak / Patch

Mauve opens: “It’s so good to be back in our element”

On September 7, Patch announced the opening of the new Shorewood Craft Wine and Cocktail Bar on Route 52 called Mauve Nosh & Libations. It is owned by Nick Pena and Kala Bieniek Saunders. Mauve Nosh & Libations is an artisanal bar for cocktails, wines and small plates belonging to Nick Pena and Kala Bieniek Saunders.

Mauve will operate from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Thursday, from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday. It will be closed on Sunday, the owners said.

“It’s exciting,” Pena told the editor of Joliet Patch at Tuesday’s grand opening gala. “We had a huge turnout from friends and family.”

Le Mauve’s kitchen staff serve fondue and small artisanal dishes such as duck rillettes and cold cuts. Image via John Ferak / Patch

Chicken-N-Spice closing next week: Ken and Pat Reimer retire

On Labor Day, Patch announced that Joliet’s Chicken-N-Spice restaurant would close permanently next week after 42 years in business. On September 14, the restaurant will host a 2 pm to 4 pm celebration that will include “cake and fellowship”. Pat Reimer, who turned 78, and her husband, Ken, 81, are retiring. They rent the restaurant property from Joliet Junior College. The restaurant will be demolished for additional parking spaces, a plan that has been in preparation for several years.

On Labor Day, several police officers in Joliet ate at Chicken-N-Spice for lunch. Here, the officers are with the Pat Reimer restaurant, which will close the restaurant on September 14. (John Ferak / Patch)

K Ribs BBQ over 3 years in Joliet: “We only focus on our quality”

On September 3, Patch produced a report on K Ribs BBQ, as Joliet’s first Korean-style barbecue ribs restaurant will be opening in downtown Joliet for three years this fall. It’s in downtown Joliet at 221 North Chicago St., right next to the Joliet Junior College Culinary Arts Campus. “We thought we would have a hard time with the pandemic, but we didn’t do it at all,” said owner Dillon Kim. “We only focus on our quality. “

K Ribs BBQ is currently open Tuesday to Saturday 11:30 am to 6:30 pm John Ferak / Patch


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