CHICAGO (CBS) — Back in the 1980s, Sizzler steakhouses were ubiquitous in the Chicago area, and now, the chain is planning a comeback.

Crain’s Chicago Business reports Sizzler wants to open 18 Chicago area restaurants over the next five years, with the first location to open within the next 18 months.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Felicia Middlebrooks reports

Culver City, Calif.-based Sizzler once had 700 locations around the world, but has been reduced to 179. There were once 15 Sizzler restaurants in Chicago – found everywhere from East Lakeview to the Lincoln Village shopping center to Palatine.

But the steakhouse chain has not operated in the area since filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 1996, Crain’s reports.

But now, Sizzler is scouting locations and franchises, and hopes to reopen some of its former locations in Naperville, Crystal Lake and Gurnee, Crain’s reported.

The chain was recently acquired by the new firm Sizzler USA, led by chief executive officer Kerry Kramp, which bought the restaurant from Pacific Equity Partners of Australia, Crain’s reported.

Sizzler is also considering moving into Denver, Minneapolis and St. Louis, Crain’s reported.

Sizzler was founded in Culver City in 1958 and became known for its steak, seafood and salads, and later for its all-you-can-eat buffet. Sizzler recently replaced the buffet setup with a return to made-to-order items, Crain’s reported.

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