Although its name might mean “new beginning” in Aztec dialect, Axcan Mexican Grill is looking at the end, and is listed as immediately available for sale or lease.

“It’s not that the restaurant is not doing so good, it just seems like Forest Park in general is not doing so good,” said Brandon Johnson, manager, noting that several restaurants on Madison Street have closed in the last year.  

Johnson said he believes owner Sylvia Xim’enez is selling because she’s buying other restaurants and focusing on other ventures. Xim’enez also founded Il Sogno Ristorante, an Italian eatery, in Wheaton and the Aztec-inspired Mexican restaurant, Aguamiel Restaurante, in Clarendon Hills, according to Axcan’s website. Her restaurants have been featured in several TV segments, including on the “Hungry Hound” show on ABC 7. Once a new owner takes over, Johnson said he believes the space will continue to house a Mexican restaurant.

“Yes, the restaurant is on the market. Yes, we are talking with several interested parties,” said David King, owner of the Oak Park-based David King & Associates, who is acting as a realtor for the commercial property. “Axcan will remain open for the foreseeable future; stay tuned.”

Axcan, 7404 W. Madison St., is described as a “fully equipped restaurant” of more than 4,300 square feet and with 100 seats indoors, at the bar and under a covered patio, according to CityFeet.com, a real estate listing site.

The terms of the lease are “negotiable,” and the post specifies that the restaurant was totally renovated in 2011.

The Mexican restaurant opened in December 2014, and brought Executive Chef Enrique “Kike” Gomez to Forest Park after a career spent working as a “teaching chef for Mr. Rick Bayless” at Frontera Grill in Chicago, which was awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand in 2018, according to the website. Gomez also worked at Aguamiel for at least two years.

“‘Kike’ believes no flavor can be truly represented unless it is made as our ancestors created them: fresh, from scratch, with passion and the love it is created for those who share it with,” the Axcan’s website states.

Axcan replaced Italian restaurant Fiorenza Ristorante, which closed in June 2013 after an eviction dispute.

CONTACT: ntepper@wjinc.com

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