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Article posted: 8/2/2012 12:59 PM

The Wellington in Arlington Heights closes after 29 years

The Wellington says so long to the families, clubs and businesses that patronized it for nearly 30 years.

The Wellington says so long to the families, clubs and businesses that patronized it for nearly 30 years.

 

JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

The Wellington in Arlington Heights has closed.

The Wellington in Arlington Heights has closed.

 

JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

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One of Arlington Heights' most popular and iconic restaurants, The Wellington, has closed.

The restaurant, which opened at 2121 S. Arlington Heights Road in July 1983, closed on Wednesday, said John Melaniphy, business and development coordinator for the village.

"The Wellington has been a fixture in the community for decades and unfortunately the economic recession was a major factor in their demise. We have known for several years that they were facing financial difficulties," Melaniphy said.

Business at the Wellington had been declining for years and the property had been up for sale since 2009, he added.

Melaniphy said several brokers have been involved with trying to sell the property. The 20,000-square-foot-property has been listed on the village's retail availability report online for several years, Melaniphy said.

According to the report, The Wellington's banquet room sat 250 people. There were small banquet rooms seating 70 people each, a dining room for 230-250 people, a bar with live entertainment and parking for as many as 300 vehicles. No price for the property is listed on the report.

Since the restaurant had already been struggling, Melaniphy said the economic impact on the village would not be as strong, but that the closing is still a loss for Arlington Heights.

"It's extremely unfortunate to see a business close in the community," he said. "We're hopeful that we will be able to recycle that property and bring it to productive use." The Wellington did not renew their chamber dues this year or take out any advertising in the community guide, said Jon Ridler, executive director of the Arlington Heights Chamber of Commerce

"We heard they have been struggling for a while, but I don't know many more details," Ridler said. "Anytime a business closes in town it's not good for the community, but when one closes there's an opportunity for something new to come in."

The Wellington was home to several groups over the years, including the Arlington Heights Noon Rotary, which had been meeting there weekly for decades, said Mark Tauber, Rotary president.

"They've been very accommodating to us on a variety of levels. We're going to miss the affiliation we had with them and we wish everybody involved all the best," he said.

He added that the catering and waitressing staff felt like a part of the Rotary family.

Rotary members went to the Wellington on Wednesday night to pick up supplies, banners and flags they had stored there over the years, and are now looking for a new place to meet, Tauber said.

Village officials said there is not a new business on tap for the Wellington property, but that they are looking at a variety of options.

Neighboring Yanni's Greek Restaurant closed in June, but Melaniphy said the village is not looking for one company to come in and redevelop the corner of Arlington Heights and Algonquin roads at this time. The district office for Elk Grove Township Elementary District 59 is sandwiched between the two now closed restaurants.

Restaurant management was not immediately available for comment on Thursday morning.

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