A selection of comments posted at oakpark.com on Dec. 5 when we broke the news that Winberie’s is planning to close on Dec. 28:
Oh say it isn’t so! It was such an anchor I thought it would be there forever. Couldn’t they have downsized? Where else can a large group of people go in Oak Park for a good meal at a moderate price?
We are really going to miss Winberie’s! It’s going to be a big loss!
This is hard to believe and very sad. What is happening, Oak Park? Just such a shame.
Alanna Nasoff Sullivan
I’m depressed. When I had lunch at Winberie’s in 1997, I made the decision that Oak Park was going to be home. Always good food, great staff. Always took company there when in town. This is a huge loss. My kids will be bummed too. Thank you for 30 years of great food and atmosphere.
Amanda Poppenk Massie
I am so sorry to see this! We too took the place for granted opting, recently, for some of the more stylish offerings. Our kids practically grew up at Winberie’s as they offered good, solid choices. Love the French Onion Soup and the Chicken with Linguine, not to mention the incredible meatloaf. This is a huge loss to Oak Park. I agree, we should flood them with business so maybe the owners change course and stay open.
Laura Lesondak Sullivan
My family will truly miss Winberie’s. It’s such a loss for our entire community. It was always crowded and the food was great. Hopefully someone will change this decision!
No no no no! Winberie’s has always been the no-brainer choice for us, and we’ve gone there regularly. So many great memories from the last 30 years. Mommy/daughter and mommy/son dates as my kids grew up, family celebrations and many nights out with friends. It hasn’t been the same since Gary left, but the food is consistently good. Thank you, Ivy! This leaves a huge hole in our family’s repertoire.
Oh no! Where are we going to go for French onion soup?!
I don’t think the food is lackluster at all! We were there in October and the food was fabulous, as were the martinis. I remember when it was The Cheese Cellar, too. Such a loss for Oak Park.
Hate to see them go, but restaurants in this town face two big obstacles. First are taxes. Most are on net leases which require them to pay a share of the real estate taxes. As taxes continue to increase, so does the rent. Even if the landlord does not increase the rent, the rent still goes up. The second factor is there are only so many dollars available for restaurants. As more restaurants open in town, that money pool is spread thinner. Trustees should take note of all the restaurants that have gone out of business the past few years. If a new restaurant opens in that space, the dollar you spend there is a dollar you did not spend at another Oak Park restaurant. And heaven forbid if you went to Forest Park for the free parking.
Staff is amazing but the food is lackluster in my opinion. Wish they had chosen to do more organic and/or housemade options. Great space that could be really special.
Katie Bodendorfer Garner
My favorite eatery, without any comparison. Gonna miss the place. Very fine dining experience, business or family. Well done, guys, best of best.
Now I’m even more glad I enjoyed brunch here last Sunday. Winberie’s has always been a solid choice for a healthy meal. I’ll miss them.
Anything to stop the present staff from forming a new company to keep running a restaurant in the same space?
The closing of Winberie’s will be a significant loss, and I am afraid that I and a lot of folks like me may have contributed to it by simply taking this place for granted. Even though I have enjoyed every one of the many meals I have had at Winberie’s since its opening, and always found their menu to offer a good selection at a reasonable price, over the past couple of years I have been attracted to one or another of the newer restaurants and cafes which keep appearing with what seems to be increasing regularity. While I can’t say that any one of them has become the reliable mainstay that Winberie’s once was for me, collectively the greater array of good alternatives has led me all too often to overlook the fact that Winberie’s might have been the best choice on many of these outings. If only it would make a difference, I would happily sign a pledge to dine more frequently at this fine restaurant, and encourage others to do so as well. As is so often the case, we don’t appreciate what we have until it’s (almost) gone.
Noooooo! My dad took me to the opening night at the Cheese Cellar (1986?). The staff and management have always been so friendly and kind, and they have a whole vegan menu, which I and many others greatly appreciate. I hope they pull a Val’s halla and reverse course because Winberie’s closing would be a real loss for Oak Park.
Winberie’s has also been an important community supporter, always donating to local groups who ask. This local institution on such a great corner will be sorely missed. As a past employee, I know how much this spot meant to people.
Susan Beyersdorf Beach
That’s where my brother met his wife many years ago. Denise and Peter.
My family will greatly miss the staff and food. I know that it is part of a chain, but they have truly been a community institution.
I’m sure the reasons are complex but for our village it is a terrible loss. Does anyone know where to get dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets? Great staff and great food and drinks.
Love their chicken Marsala homemade mashed potatoes and fresh green beans! Homemade, which is a rare to find in many restaurants!
Alicia Lisa Cuevas
I am so very sorry to see them go! Winberie’s has been our go-to for a burger (the best in OP) or a salad for many years. We always grab a table in the bar where we easily strike up a conversation with the servers, who are like friends to us, or other diners. A huge loss for Oak Park!
Is there anything that can be done to prevent this? I’d love to find a way to help keep them open.
It would be sad if this were caused by lease issues and landlord $ increases (to cover the taxes of course). I have gone there since high school. Such a loss. They’ll be missed.