Owner of Jack Straw's dies; site of iconic Wheaton eatery for sale
The former Jack Straw's restaurant in downtown Wheaton is drawing interest from prospective buyers as the family of the longtime owner mourns his death.
Real estate broker Alexandra Korompilas has fielded inquiries from residential developers and other restaurateurs eyeing the high-profile property where Jack Straw's served customers for 35 years until the landmark closed in June.
"We've had a lot of people come forward with a lot of ideas," Korompilas said Monday.
She represents the family of Jack Straw's founder, William Hood, who died at Edward Hospital in Naperville the day after Thanksgiving, only five months into his retirement.
In June, the Naperville 63-year-old bid farewell to the fast-food joint he opened in 1982, prompting regulars to flood social media with their memories of Jack Straw's. Named after a Grateful Dead hit, the restaurant served Chicago classics -- Vienna beef hot dogs, gyros, Italian beef and burgers -- and frequently employed high school students.
At the time of the closing, Paula Barrington, the executive director of the Downtown Wheaton Association, a group of business owners, called Jack Straw's an "iconic eatery."
The restaurant has since sat vacant in a quaint building on a corner lot at Naperville Road and Willow Avenue. The listing price is $350,000.
"There's so much history there," Korompilas said.
Hood's family has no interest in leasing the site to another drive-through restaurant or in waiting months for a potential buyer to secure zoning approvals from the city for a redevelopment, said Korompilas, a broker at Baird & Warner.
"The owner would like to sell it as-is," she said.
That means the listing price includes Jack Straw's cooking equipment and machinery.
"It is turnkey-ready," Korompilas said.
Hood, who lived in Naperville since 1986 and graduated from Hersey High School in Arlington Heights, also owned the Rosati's Pizza in Woodridge.