Grandma V's Pancake House, a longtime restaurant and gathering place in downtown Mundelein, is closed, but work is already under way on a new eatery to replace it.
Operating at the northeast corner of Maple Avenue and Lake Street for more than 12 years, Grandma V's had become a fixture in the area but closed without fanfare apparently within the last two weeks. Details of the closing weren't available.
"People are asking, and I have to say we don't know," said Mike Flynn, assistant village manager. "This was news to us. We didn't have any forewarning."
The prominently located building has housed many restaurants through the years but Grandma V's, which replaced Mundale's in 2000, had staying power.
Flynn said the restaurant was a gathering place for the community. Village officials met quarterly, for example, with downtown business owners at Grandma V's.
The village had no pending actions regarding the property, and the operators had no requirement to inform the village of its actions, Flynn said.
Meanwhile, the furniture and floors inside the restaurant were covered Tuesday as painting and other work on the new incarnation of the business proceeded.
Mundelein resident Chris Ellis said he owned the original Tops restaurant -- one of the predecessors of Grandma V's -- and he is one of two partners working to open a new restaurant at the location.
"It's going to turn around," Ellis said.
The new operation will be a family restaurant open for dinner with an emphasis on service, cleanliness and quality food, he said. Grandma V's had not been open for dinner.
Besides paint, the improvements will include new carpeting and fixtures, which do not require a village permit.
"We don't have any facts," Flynn said. "At some point, they'll have to get a business license."
Calls to the phone number on the current license were not returned. Grandma V's had been operated by George and Pete Vassos.
The property has been owned for decades by the Christofalos family. Danny Christofalos, who was at the closed restaurant Tuesday, is listed in county records as the taxpayer. He said the new venture will be called the Original Omega restaurant.
Ellis said the new operation will be "excellent for the neighborhood" and be open in three or four weeks.