Geneva Applebee's to close as franchisee reorganizes

Published: Wednesday, May 8, 2013 6:11 p.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, May 9, 2013 6:41 a.m. CDT

GENEVA – The Tri-Cities’ Applebee’s restaurant is among several of the casual dining chain’s locations scheduled to close this summer in the Chicago area after the franchisee that operates the local restaurants filed for bankruptcy protection.

A spokesman for Applebee’s confirmed that the Applebee’s restaurant at 1690 S. Randall Road, Geneva, is slated to close sometime between June 22 and July 6.

He said information was distributed to the restaurant’s employees last month by the franchise holder, Crestview, Ky.-based AppleIllinois. AppleIllinois filed for federal Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in April.

As part of that action, AppleIllinois has said in court documents that it intends to sell 15 of its 33 northern Illinois Applebee’s restaurants to another Applebee’s franchisee, RMH Illinois, for $2.4 million.

However, that sale is subject to an auction should additional bids for those restaurants be received.
AppleIllinois directed all questions on the matter to Applebee’s corporate office.

Applebee’s corporate spokesman Dan Smith said there is “potential for other bids to come in” before the sale could be completed in mid-June.

Smith said seven other restaurants – in Schaumburg, Homewood, Mokena, Palatine, Romeoville, Streamwood and Tinley Park – are scheduled to close as part of AppleIllinois’ bankruptcy reorganization.

Smith said the decision to close the various restaurants is the result of “multiple factors” that are “unique to the franchisee,” AppleIllinois.

He said the bankruptcy does not indicate problems at Applebee’s corporate office or with its brand. Smith said Applebee’s intends to work with its remaining franchisees in the Chicago market to “minimize the number of restaurants closed” and to minimize job losses.

“From our point of view, metro Chicago remains a very viable market for Applebee’s,” Smith said.