New restaurant planned at former Golden Chef in Wheeling

  • Brian Hill/bhill@dailyherald.comA new restaurant will replace the former Golden Chef in Wheeling, officials said.

    Brian Hill/bhill@dailyherald.comA new restaurant will replace the former Golden Chef in Wheeling, officials said.

Updated 1/28/2021 9:06 AM

A shuttered eatery on Wheeling's Restaurant Row may not be out of commission for much longer.

The owners of Yu's Mandarin, which has locations in Schaumburg and Vernon Hills, plan to open a third restaurant with that name in the former Golden Chef at 600 S. Milwaukee Ave.


"Lots of our current customers come from that area," co-owner Sean Hong said. "That's a good market for our restaurant."

Hong plans to renovate the exterior and interior of the building. It will be modern but have Asian design elements, he said.

"It's going to be totally new," Hong said.

Hong said he hopes to have the new Yu's ready for customers by late summer.

"The pandemic really slowed down everything," he said.

Wheeling's plan commission is tentatively expected to consider the renovation plans Feb. 10, Village Manager Jon Sfondilis said.

"The village is proud to welcome Yu's Mandarin to Wheeling," Sfondilis said. "The regionally acclaimed restaurant, with its traditional and modern creative menu, will bring yet another unique and new flavor to Restaurant Row."

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Golden Chef closed in early 2019. The building was up for sale a year earlier, real estate records indicate.

A restaurant had operated on that site for decades.

There are some other vacancies along restaurant row, which runs along Milwaukee Avenue between Hintz Road and Lake-Cook Road.

One, the former Twin Peaks restaurant at 781 N. Milwaukee Ave., is under contract, Sfondilis said. The prospective purchaser wants to divide the 12,000-square-foot structure into two spaces for separate restaurants or stores, Sfondilis said.

Filling retail and restaurant vacancies along Milwaukee Avenue is a top priority for the village's economic development staff, Sfondilis said.

To that end, the village board in December increased the amount of money available in a local grant program designed to help local business owners pay for site improvements. The board also amended the program's rules so funds can be used for interior improvements, not just exterior ones.

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