Over the weekend Mount Prospect saw the return of a village institution -- bearing a new name and with new ownership.
The Bristol Palace banquet facility, at 828 E. Rand Road, fills the void created in March, when the Bristol Court Banquet Hall closed.
The grand opening was held Saturday, June 7, by owner Sam Baig. U.S. Rep. Bill Foster, who knows the Baig family through its ownership interest in his Aurora office, and Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, counsel general of India both attended.
"It's wonderful to see a place like this refurbished and the excitement and the plans the owner has to really make something of the place," Foster said.
Baig, who has owned and operated Monty's Elegant Banquets in Bensenville for 11 years, bought Bristol last month, after its former owners closed without warning in early March.
Baig plans to eventually turn over operation of the Mount Prospect facility to his son.
Saturday's grand opening guests were treated to a buffet with both American and Indian dishes, as well as a wide assortment of sweets.
Among those in attendance was Mount Prospect Trustee Michael Zadel, performing as mayor pro tem in the absence of Mayor Arlene Juracek.
Zadel said he has a lot of memories from Bristol Court, including Lions Club functions and the village's own Shining Stars banquet.
"I'm thrilled that they were able to reopen it," Zadel said. "They were interested enough in buying the business here in Mount Prospect. They saw a good market. I was glad to see that."
Baig has honored bookings left stranded under the former ownership, including waiving the deposits. He also has hired back some staff, including Anna Rouhotas, who managed Bristol Court for 18 years.
"I feel great, because I feel like I'm back to my own house," Rouhotas said Saturday.
She said she was informed about the closing "three hours before the bank took over" on March 3.
But that is all in the past, and bookings for future events point to a bright future.
"Thank God people trust us again and they start (making reservations)," she said.
The day following the grand opening, Baig said, a small engagement party for about 250 people was scheduled.