Fans mourn closure of Long Grove's Apple Haus
While fans Tuesday mourned the closure of the legendary Long Grove Apple Haus -- where generations enjoyed its Uncle Johnny's Brown Bag apple pies and apple cider doughnuts for 40 years -- a Long Grove business leader said the site might not be empty for long.
"Very exciting things are coming" for the Apple Haus site and possibly two other empty stores in historic downtown Long Grove, said Rachel Perkal, president of the Long Grove Business & Community Partners. Perkal also owns the Woodland Grove Gallery and four other businesses in town.
"There has been a flurry of activity here over three different sites, including the Apple Haus, and all I can tell you at this point is it's all very exciting."
She declined to comment further, citing confidentiality, but insisted that new development is on the way for the struggling downtown shopping district.
For more than 40 years, the Apple Haus had sold a variety of treats to visitors and locals in the historic Long Grove downtown district and has been the centerpiece of the town's festivals. It had sold apple cider, doughnuts, pies and breads as well as gourmet jellies and butters.
The Mangel family owned the Apple Haus and other stores that have closed in recent years in Long Grove, Perkal said.
John Mangel owned The Pine Cone Christmas shop, which had a fire and later closed in recent years, as well as the Farm Side grocery store, which closed last year. John Mangel did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
"We thought the family was refocusing their direction," said Perkal. "But when the Apple Haus suddenly closed, it was a little bit of a surprise by its timing."
On Monday, the Apple Haus posted a note on its Facebook page telling fans that it was hard to make the decision to close its doors. Reports said it had "temporarily" closed in late December for inventory and then didn't reopen.
"We have remained open as long as we could, but in today's economic climate, we have been forced to close the Apple Haus," the Facebook post said.
No one answered the phone at the Apple Haus. It's not known how many workers were affected, but the Facebook site listed nine employees at the store.
Still, fans shouldn't despair. The Facebook post promised to keep customers supplied via other sources.
The business said it would continue to offer frozen pies and Chef Ivo products at the Long Grove Confectionery, an outlet store in Buffalo Grove, which also is owned by the Mangel family. Other sources include the Angelo Caputo stores and through Oberweis home delivery.
The statement indicated that Apple Haus owners would provide further updates on other locations that would carry the pies and doughnuts.