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Applebee's to close 8 Chicago-area restaurants

(MCT) — At least eight of Applebee’s 33 restaurants in the Chicago area are expected to close as its local franchisee seeks to reorganize its operations in Chapter 11 bankruptcy, a spokesman said late yesterday.

The casual-dining chain has 2,000 U.S. restaurants, of which all but two dozen are owned by independent business owners. On April 22, AppleIllinois LLC filed for bankruptcy in the Eastern District of Kentucky. Today, many consumers are trading experiences at restaurants such as Applebee’s for cheaper, faster fare or they’re splurging for a trendier experience.

AppleIllinois plans to sell its franchise rights and its assets, including its restaurants, as part of its bankruptcy proceeding, said Dan Smith, a spokesman for the franchisor.

It plans to close at least eight of its 33 restaurants in the Chicago area but doesn’t rule out more closings, Smith said. Expected closures include:

1690 S. Randall Road, Geneva, Illinois 60134

17575 Halsted Road, Homewood, Illinois 60430

19826 S. LaGrange Road, Mokena, Illinois 60448

741 E. Dundee Road, Palatine, Illinois 60067

472 N. Weber Road, Romeoville, Illinois 60446

18 S. Roselle Road, Schaumburg, Illinois 60193

880 S. Barrington Road, Streamwood, Illinois 60107

16200 S. Harlem Avenue, Tinley Park, Illinois 60477

The state of Illinois requires companies to give it notice if there’s a potential for mass layoffs.

That’s why AppleIllinois has informed the state of Illinois of potential layoffs totaling more than 1,700 in Cook, DeKalb, Kane, Kendall, DuPage, Lake, McHenry and Will counties, he said.

“They notified employees at all 33 restaurants,” Smith said.

“But we expect from speaking with the franchisee that several parties will be interested in buying the franchise rights,” said Smith, who doesn’t expect all of them to close.

He said there are multiple reasons why any one franchisee might file for bankruptcy and close restaurants.

“Chicago remains a very viable and important market for Applebee’s,” Smith said.


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