Reporting Regine Schlesinger
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FOX LAKE, Ill. (CBS) – A suburban resort once frequented by Al Capone is up for sale on eBay.
WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports the starting bid for the Mineola Lounge and Marina, located on Fox Lake, was listed Monday with a starting bid of $2 million.
As of Thursday morning, however, no one had bid on the historic hotel.
Built in 1884, the Mineola Lounge and Marina sits on 17 acres on the shores of Fox Lake. It was once a favorite hangout of Chicago gangster Al Capone.
Since 1943, it’s been owned by Pete Jakstas’ family. He used to perform all kinds of tasks when his parents ran the place, including tending bar, washing dishes, and making beds.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports
“Being there all these years, it becomes part of you,” he said.
Jakstas said it’s the largest frame building in Illinois. It was also listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.
He acknowledged the Mineola needs a lot of repair work, but he said his daughter’s death last fall sapped him of the strength to keep running the place.
“It becomes like a second wife. Mixed emotions, you’ve got to walk away,” he said, “And it’s very, very difficult for me, doing this; especially after losing my daughter.”
Jakstas is in the midst of a legal battle with the village of Fox Lake, which is trying to shut down the Mineola as unsafe. A court hearing on that issue is scheduled for next Wednesday.
Jakstas said his own structural engineer has determined the building is in no danger of collapsing, although it does need significant repairs.
He hopes to find a buyer to restore it to its former glory, when it was known as the “Grand Lady of the Lakes.”