A chain restaurant is shutting down in Oak Park, but another chain is quickly lining up to take its place.
Cosi, which has been a fixture at the high-traffic corner of Lake and Marion in Oak Park for a decade, announced in November that it is closing this spring. But Anthony Shaker, who owns the building at 1101 Lake, has announced that burger chain Johnny Rockets is taking over when Cosi leaves.
Johnny Rockets is a 1950s-themed burger eatery, around since 1947 with more than 320 locations worldwide. Shaker said in a press release that the burger joint will share the space with a full-scale deli operation.
“This ‘fast casual’ twin use is in vogue in Chicago and will be modeled after its successful operation at State and Lake streets in Chicago,” Shaker said in a press release.
The property owner has signed a letter of intent to sign a lease with the joint venture of Halsted Street Deli and Johnny Rockets, according to the press release.
Meanwhile, according to Shaker, the company is also marketing a vacant space across the street that used to be part of Barbara’s Bookstore, half of which is now occupied by Potbelly’s Sandwich Shop. Shaker said he’s negotiating with three different companies for the space, and the future tenant will likely be a restaurant.
“The high taxes and building operational expenses in this area of Oak Park almost mandate that a chain, food service or otherwise, occupy this kind of space,” Shaker said in the release.