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GRAYSLAKE, Ill. (CBS) — A long-time culinary favorite in the northern suburbs has shut its doors for good.
As WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports, the Country Squire Restaurant, at 19133 E. Belvidere Rd. in Grayslake, is now closed after more than 57 years in business.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports
The restaurant was located in a 17-room mansion that had once belonged to Wesley Sears (1898-1944), the son of Sears, Roebuck & Company founder James Warren Sears.
At the time the house was built in 1938, the mansion was considered 10 years ahead of its time with all of its modern conveniences. It had eight bathrooms and four fireplaces, and featured everything from glass-enclosed bathtubs to brass hardware on the front door.
Martin and Edna Geisel, known at the time for Chicago’s Café de Paris on North Dearborn Parkway, opened the Country Squire in 1958. They turned the original family dining room into a lounge, the living room into a fireside reception area, the library into a library bar, and the bedroom suites into a banquet area.
The estate surrounding the old Sears house included a 13-acre woods with a variety of native and transplanted trees, and current owners Bill and Kris Govas continued the tradition by adding a gingko tree from China to the mix.
The restaurant hosted a vast array of famous visitors, including Carl Sandburg, Marlon Brando, Esther Williams, Gary Coleman, Mike Ditka, puppeteer Burr Tillstrom, and even DJ Wolfman Jack.
“For a place I didn’t design, it’s a nice joint you’ve got here,” the restaurant’s Web site quotes Frank Lloyd Wright as saying about it.
Grayslake village officials said the closure took them by surprise. This past Thursday, the owners called to turn in their liquor license to the village, the Daily Herald reported.