Bell's Apple Orchard to revive Long Grove Apple Haus concept
A family whose name is synonymous with apples is planning a comeback.
Bell's Apple Orchard and Bakery will take over the former Apple Haus in historic Long Grove and reopen the Haus "the way it used to be," said Jim Uszler, interim coordinator of the Long Grove visitors center.
It's a meeting of two iconic businesses. John Bell, of the family that founded and ran Bell's Apple Orchard in Lake Zurich for generations beginning in 1939, has requested a business license for an anticipated May opening.
All types of apple and apple-inspired bakery goods are expected to be offered. Bell was not available Friday to discuss the venture, but village officials are encouraged and hope this venture will spark others.
The storefront at 230 Robert Parker Coffin Road is best known as the location of the Long Grove Apple Haus, where Uncle Johnny's Brown Bag bag apple pies and apple cider doughnuts were a staple for 40 years. It also sold apple cider, gourmet jellies and butters, and it was a popular spot during Long Grove festivals.
The space has been empty the past few years, a reminder to many of what has been lost in the historic district.
Long Grove Village President Angie Underwood said word of the new business is creating a buzz. She said her blog post about the pending opening has gotten 1,000 hits.
"The Apple Haus was beloved by a lot of people," when it closed in 2012, Underwood said. "It's hit a nerve. There are a lot of positive memories and a lot of people would like to see our town come back."
Bell will rent the store from the Forsythe family, which owns many buildings in the historic area.
Uszler said downtown merchants are excited about the promise of what's coming in spring.
Village Pizza & BBQ, a Michigan-based family-owned business, is scheduled to open March 1 at the former Long Grove Cafe, 235 Parker Coffin Road in the Mill Pond Shoppes.
Meanwhile, Bell's Apple Orchard and Bakery hopes to be open by Chocolate Fest, the weekend of May 20-22.
Village and business leaders hope the new ventures will attract other businesses.