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updated: 1/31/2011 6:33 PM

Are Boston Blackie's restaurants closing?

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  • An undetermined number of Boston Blackie's Restaurants have been shut down this week.

      An undetermined number of Boston Blackie's Restaurants have been shut down this week.
    Daily Herald file photo

 
 

A number of Boston Blackie's Restaurants have been shut down this week, though the chain's Arlington Heights location remained open for business Wednesday.

Phone lines to a number of the restaurant chain's eight stores, as well as the restaurant's main toll free line, were disconnected when called Wednesday, fueling speculation that the restaurant chain is closing down some, if not all, its locations.

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The Boston Blackie's Restaurant in Skokie was called "Doubletree Restaurant" when contacted Wednesday. The name change took place Monday, though the person answering the phone would not discuss the matter.

Calls to the Boston Blackie's corporate office in Chicago were not returned.

Boston Blackie's has three locations in Chicago, as well as restaurants in Arlington Heights, Naperville, Deerfield, Glencoe and Skokie.

A manager at the Arlington Heights restaurant declined to comment, saying the location is still open for business. He directed all media inquiries to a corporate number.

Phone lines were still working at the chain's Deerfield restaurant, though no one answered.

The closures come almost a year after the restaurant chain declared bankruptcy, and after Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez announced check-kiting charges against owners Nick Giannis, 62, and Chris Giannis, 38, and restaurant manager Andy Bakopoulos, 38.

Alvarez said the owners wrote checks on bank accounts that had no funds, deposited those checks in other bank accounts and immediately began withdrawing money from those accounts.

She said the scheme began in 2008 and involved several banks, including Charter One, which lost $1.3 million, and Washington Mutual, which lost about $833,000. Banks used by the defendants, she said, included J.P. Morgan Chase, New Century Bank, Citizen's Bank and Trust and Broadway Bank, which is owned by the family of state Treasurer and Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias.

Nick Giannis, his son, Chris, and Bakopoulos were charged with two counts of felony theft, which carries a possible sentence of four-to-15 years in prison. Chris Giannis also was also charged with organizing a continuing financial crimes enterprise, a Class X felony punishable by six to 30 years in prison. All three men are from Chicago.

Staff writer Madhu Krishnamurthy contributed to this report.

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