ST. CHARLES – Residents might not have to wait that long to sink their teeth into a Cheezy Beef following the recent closure of the Beef Shack restaurant in St. Charles.
Spiro Douvris Jr. – the son of Beef Shack founder Spiro Douvris – decided to close the restaurant at 2115 W. Main St. in St. Charles because he plans to get out of the restaurant business. The restaurant, which opened in 2011, was the first Beef Shack in the franchise chain.
Sunday was the last day of operation for the St. Charles restaurant. Even though the family sold Beef Shack's franchise rights a few years back, the Douvris family retained ownership of the St. Charles restaurant. Beef Shack also has locations in Elgin, Huntley, Bartlett and Joliet.
Dan Perillo, president of franchising for Beef Shack and Rosati's Pizza, said there are plans to open a bigger store in St. Charles within three to six months. The franchise that owns Beef Shack is connected to Rosati's Pizza.
'We're negotiating with a few locations in the area," he said on Tuesday. "We are going to reopen in the St. Charles area."
They hope to secure a building that has a drive-through. The St. Charles restaurant lacked a drive-through.
"All of our other four stores have drive-throughs," he noted. "We're going to have a bigger location with more seating."
The new location will also have a bigger parking lot.
"That particular location was neglected a little bit," Perillo said. "The parking lot was always a problem. It was too small and there was no drive-through."
The restaurant chain plans to open additional locations in Schaumburg, Downers Grove and Addison this year. In addition, plans are to reopen by the end of the month the Beef Shack restaurant in DeKalb that recently closed.
"We are a thriving franchise," Perillo said. "All our stores are doing great. We found another franchisee [for the DeKalb location] that is going to be an owner-operator there. So that's what we're looking for. We're always looking for owner-operators."
The plan is to make Beef Shack a national franchise, he said.
"Our goal is to have multiple stores in multiple states," Perillo said. "We have 200 Rosati's around the country. We plan on in the next five years to probably have anywhere from 60 to 80 Beef Shack stores."
The chain is known for its Cheezy Beef on garlic bread. It also sells burgers, Chicago style Vienna Beef hot dogs, sandwiches, salads and shakes.
"The food is fantastic," Perillo said. "That's why we decided to buy the concept years ago."
Douvris Jr. said he plans to get out of the restaurant business.
"I'm just moving forward with a different path in my life," he said. "It had nothing to do with sales. It had nothing to do with anything like that."
He is proud of what Beef Shack has accomplished since it first started and of the continuing support of the St. Charles community.
"We built a really good following in St. Charles," Douvris Jr. said. "I started when I was 21 and I'm 29 now. I felt like I grew up with the people of St. Charles. I really appreciate the people of St. Charles and all the support they gave us. We'll miss it."