Customer hugs for the staff have been part of the scene at Antioch's Squire Restaurant as it heads toward its finale Sunday at routes 173 and 83.
Plans call for demolition of the family restaurant to allow construction of a Walgreens drugstore at the visible intersection. Squire waitress Grace Dituro said owners Spiro and Faith Liarakos plan to reopen at another location in the village or general area.
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"We're grateful," Dituro said of the expected reopening.
Dituro, who's been serving the Squire's popular skillet breakfasts and other items for 22 years, said she'll miss the clientele at the restaurant that's just south of Antioch Community High School. She said the teenagers often dropped in for ice-cream creations after school or events.
Among her many regulars were a group of teachers from the Antioch-area Oakland Elementary School, who gathered at the Squire every Friday.
"People are just stopping in and giving us hugs," Dituro said during a brief break Friday morning.
How much the Squire Restaurant has meant to Antioch was evident at a village board meeting last month. That's when Mayor Lawrence Hanson presented a certificate of appreciation to Spiro Liarakos for the business' 24-plus years of service to the community.
Liarakos has been "a true business leader who has a heart," Hanson said. Village board trustees said the Squire always was a place to get a great meal and excellent service.
Dituro, who considers her customers as part of her extended family, said the Squire will be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. for Sunday's finale.
"This is an Antioch landmark," she said.