Aurelio's Pizza in Arlington Heights is closing Sunday, to be replaced soon with a breakfast-oriented restaurant, officials said.
The 5,100-square-foot restaurant opened in June 2015 in a strip mall space at 2944 W. Euclid Ave., just west of Arlington International Racecourse. The franchisee's return on investment hasn't met expectations, according to Joe Aurelio, the company's CEO and president.
"There's no bad blood," said Aurelio, who wanted the restaurant to remain. "It's not going as fast as they thought it was going to."
One of the investors in the franchise, George Vassos, has experience in the restaurant business, as owner of Sam's of Arlington at 1863 W. Central Road. Plans are to convert the Aurelio's into a restaurant that specializes in breakfast.
"George had the idea of a breakfast place," Aurelio said. "The other investors trust that they'll sell more eggs and pancakes than they will pizza."
Vassos couldn't be reached for comment Thursday for additional details.
As for Aurelio's, the closure of the Arlington Heights location will leave a void in the local pizza chain's coverage area. Arlington Heights had been the company's northernmost location -- save for one near the Twin Cities of Minnesota. Most of the franchises are in the south and west suburbs.
With the closure of the Arlington Heights restaurant, the nearest Aurelio's will be in Addison. The company operates 41 locations in six states.
Aurelio, whose dad opened the first pizzeria in 1959 in Homewood, said he'll be looking for franchisees, with the hope of opening restaurants in the northern suburbs.
"We definitely know we have a great brand and a lot of followers on the north side," he said.