Last call for Countyline, as popular Buffalo Grove bar and restaurant abruptly closes
A bar where everybody knows your name may be a TV cliché, but to the customers and employees at Countyline Tavern in Buffalo Grove, it was reality.
After ushering in the new year, the restaurant at Lake-Cook and Weidner roads abruptly shut its doors this week.
"Due to the current difficult business conditions, we have decided to close the Countyline Tavern effective January 1, 2022," Amy Simmerson, spokesperson for owner Select Restaurants in Cleveland, wrote in an email Tuesday. "We will re-evaluate this decision at a future date."
For Countyline employee Korei Galow, the news was heartbreaking.
"It's still not even real to any of us yet. We're all still trying to process it," said Galow, a server and bartender who had been working at Countyline for more than four years. "We had all just worked New Year's Eve. We thought it was a decent night. Everything had gone well. And then we all got the phone call from the corporate office (Monday) afternoon."
Galow said for her and fellow employees, working at Countyline was more than a job. The restaurant opened in 2015 in a space previously occupied by Winberie's Restaurant and Bar.
"What made it special was the people that worked there throughout the years and the customers that we had," she said. "The people that I have worked with at Countyline over the past few years, we all became a family."
Buffalo Grove resident Sue Oakleaf Jacobson said she visited Countyline on a monthly basis, enjoying dishes such as chicken Marsala and their desserts, including a delicious S'mores concoction.
"Everything we ordered there was good," she said.
She said the closing is a loss for the village.
"This was something that was a little bit different," she said. "We lack some variety because of that."
Pianist and entertainer Andrew Blendermann, who performed at Countyline as recently as the Thursday before Christmas, said he was looking forward to a long and happy relationship with the business. He was booked for two more nights this month.
"I'm very disappointed that it's closed," he said.
Buffalo Grove Deputy Village Manager Chris Stilling called the closing unfortunate.
"We're very saddened by it. I know that when the COVID situation occurred originally, they had shut down for an extended period of time as well," he said.
Simmerson said all outstanding gift cards will be honored and can be redeemed by calling (216) 378-8112 or emailing email@example.com.