CHICAGO - With decades of memories, a longtime Edison Park restaurant is closing its doors and ready to downsize.
The owners say the pandemic was the final straw.
"These walls hold so many great memories. So, we’ll take that with us. Can’t take that away," said Don Juans owner, Jacob Concannon.
Concannon and his mother Maria are closing down Don Juan Restaurante 37 years after Maria introduced the Edison Park community to Mexican food.
"They didn’t have any idea what it was. What do they think now? They’ve become so addicted to tacos," said Maria Concannon.
To give an idea of how much people love this restaurant, Maria says in their final week, 1000 people stopped by to say good-bye.
"The people were great. There is no negative feeling about it, it’s just a new beginning, a new thing," said Maria.
That new beginning means opening a smaller spot a mile and a half way in Park Ridge.
"They were one of our first restaurants to open up, now we have more than 15 in a couple block radius. So, to lose them is a huge loss for us and a gain for the village of Park Ridge," said Melisa McInty, Executive Director of the Edison Park Chamber of Commerce.
The Concannons blame, in part, the high price of doing business in the city, plus increased competition. Then, COVID happened.
"It was a synergy of all what we saw happening around us in the last five years, and COVID was just a catalyst," said Jabob.
Also, Maria will turn 81 soon. The change means she can take a step back and let her son lead.
"So in a perfect world, we'd love to open by Cinco de Mayo. Our next target day would be my mother's birthday on May 15. So we'll just keep our fingers crossed," said Jacob.