Downtown Wauconda restaurant Middleton's on Main closes

  • Middleton's On Main restaurant in Wauconda closed last week after more than nine years.

    Middleton's On Main restaurant in Wauconda closed last week after more than nine years. Daily Herald file photo, 2012

  • Middleton's restaurant co-owners from left Joe Kafka, Aaron Aggarwal, and brothers Jeff Middleton and Brian Middleton decided to close the restaurant last week after nearly a decade in business.

      Middleton's restaurant co-owners from left Joe Kafka, Aaron Aggarwal, and brothers Jeff Middleton and Brian Middleton decided to close the restaurant last week after nearly a decade in business. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer, 2017

 
 
Updated 12/28/2021 6:20 AM

Middleton's on Main restaurant in Wauconda is shutting down after nearly 10 years in the historic downtown building at 110 S. Main St.

The restaurant hosted its final crowd last Wednesday, Dec. 22.

 

"We'd like to take this time to thank the community for a wonderful 9.5 years," the owners announced on the restaurant's Facebook page Thursday. "It has truly been a pleasure serving all of you and we look forward to one day doing it again."

Jeff Middleton, who co-owned the restaurant with his brother Brian Middleton, Aaron Aggarwal and Joe Kafka, said the decision to close was a result of the difficult business climate.

"I wouldn't totally say it's the pandemic, but in our industry it's about trying to get as many people in as you can," Jeff Middleton said. "That goes against everything you need to do when it comes to the pandemic."

Middleton's opened in June of 2012 as an Irish-American gastropub serving food and drink in a relaxed atmosphere with a vintage feel. The building it occupied was a hotel in 1847 and throughout the years has been a stagecoach stop, tavern, restaurant, theater and more. The space featured hardwood floors and dark painted woodwork with vintage light fixtures further lending historic charm.

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"It won't be long until something else moves in and reopens the doors there," Jeff Middleton said.

Middleton's was a home for live music until the end. During the last day of business, the restaurant hosted a traditional Irish band for an evening of caroling.

Jeff Middleton said he was there on the last day with his family and was able to enjoy the wonderful atmosphere one last time. The announcement that the restaurant was closing was made the following morning so just a few customers knew they were there for the restaurant's final service, Jeff Middleton said.

"It wasn't something we'd put out there publicly," Jeff Middleton said. "We didn't want to make a big deal out of it for the wrong reasons."

After the closing was announced, fans shared their love for the restaurant on Facebook.

"Thank you for so many wonderful meals, fun nights, and special memories," one customer wrote.

"I will be crying in my corned beef and cabbage come Saint Patrick's Day," another wrote.

The final word on the farewell post on the restaurant's Facebook page was "Slàinte," a Gaelic word often used as a toast in Ireland meaning "good health."

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