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Daily Journal
     January 31, 2020      #13-31 KDJ

Bakers Square files bankruptcy, Bradley location

By Lee Provost

Once a dining mainstay, Bakers Square is seemingly on its way out.

Although the Bradley restaurant, 1325 E. Armour Road, remains open, Bakers Square restaurants which once dotted the landscape are disappearing faster than one of its signature pies. As recently as mid-1999 there were 155 Bakers Square restaurants. The Bradley location opened in early 1993.

A Bradley employee noted it's business as usual at the Armour Road location.

"We are still serving great pies," the employee said.

Outside of Bradley, the nearest Bakers Square would be Schererville, Ind.

Owned by Blue Ribbon Holdings, the Nashville, Tenn.-based company only days ago announced it was closing several restaurants — among them Illinois locations in Orland Park, Alsip, Springfield and Libertyville and Indiana locations in Lansing and Merrillville — due to growing competition and shrinking profits.

Opened in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1969 under the name Mrs. C's, the company switched its name to Bakers Square in 1983.

However, the highly competitive dining industry has taken its toll. After the latest round of closures, there are only 22 Bakers Square restaurants remaining in the Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Ohio.

Earlier this week, American Blue filed for federal bankruptcy protection. Filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy allows the company to continue operations while developing a reorganization plan.

In addition to Bakers Square, the company also owns 84 Village Inn restaurants.

The company blamed high wages and growing competition for declining sales and higher operating losses.

* * *

There is more restaurant news in Bradley.

Checker's Hamburgers, 1250 N. Kinzie Ave., closed Monday, owner Aby Mohamed confirmed this week.

"It just didn't work out for us," Mohamed said.

Checker's opened in February 2017. The location had two fast-food type restaurant located side-by-side within the same area. The adjoining restaurant was Moe's Southwest Grill. Moe's opened in the spring 2017 and closed in December 2018.

Mohamed said he does not yet know what will become of the property.

The location would appear to be in prime position, as it is located along Illinois 50 in the heart of the village's retail area.

* * *

The Duane Dean Prevention & Treatment Center, 700 E. Court St., Kankakee, was given an additional downtown Kankakee property.

David Tyson, who owned and operated the former Tyson Engineering, Inc., 367 S. Schuyler Ave., recently donated the 10,000-square-foot office to the clinic. He said the property also included about 15,000 square feet of additional land.

The Tyson Engineering firm merged with Robinson Engineering in August 2019. As part of the merger, the Kankakee office was relocated to Bourbonnais.

With the acceptance of the property, Duane Dean now has its main office as well as 1113 and 1151 E. Court St. The 1151 property was a former longtime funeral home.

Bill Barnes, clinic spokesman, said the drug addiction recovery organization does not have any plans for the property at this point.

"The Tyson offer of the property caught us by surprised," he said. "It's a good property. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to expand and help more people. Now it's all about planning and funding."

The Daily Journal's Lee Provost writes about local business rumors, comings and goings and other notes of interest. Anyone with information to share should contact Provost at lprovost@daily-journal.com or 815-937-3364.

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Lee Provost
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well written...makes me hungry!
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Can't hurt.....
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good points by Scott
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"It's a comment.", he says.
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Excellent article
shadow @ November 15, 2020, 6:18 pm
I fully agree.
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