Taste of Brasil closes, may reopen elsewhere

Oak Park restaurant loses lease, searches for new location

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By Timothy Inklebarger

Staff Reporter

Oak Parkers with an appetite for Brazilian cuisine lost a favorite local restaurant last week, not because sales were low but over a lease dispute, according to the owners Cristiane Pereira and Andre Otero.

Taste of Brasil, 906 S. Oak Park Ave., opened in late 2009 and has gained a dedicated following, but Pereira and Otero said they were forced to close on Aug. 19 because they missed the deadline to renew the lease by four days.

Otero said their first 3-year lease included two options to renew. The couple said they told the landlord they planned to renew, but that verbal agreement was rendered invalid — the contract required a written notice — when ownership of the building changed hands. 

"This has been a good lesson in making sure you read your contract and really understand what it is," Otero said.

Pereira, Taste of Brasil's chef, said they've looked to relocate in Oak Park, but the competition for restaurant space has grown since they launched the business. 

"It's become a lot more expensive than when we opened," according to Otero.

They're putting the restaurant search on hold, but Taste of Brasil fans might not have to wait too long before they can start ordering Pereira's dishes again. She hinted that she already is looking into other cooking opportunities but declined to elaborate.

If Taste of Brasil does relocate, Pereira said she's ready to up her game.

"This chapter of Taste of Brasil is important to my life, but if we reopen, then I'll probably rethink the concept of our Brazilian menu, even though we'll continue to be authentic," she said.

Otero said the two will miss their customers, some of whom have been with Taste of Brasil from the very beginning.

"At the end of the day, we are all going to go away from this Earth, and what is there if not connecting to people?" he said.

Email: tim@oakpark.com

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Reader Comments

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Bill Dwyer  

Posted: August 24th, 2017 6:54 AM

I wasn't "mansplaining" anything, whatever that silly term may mean. I was pointing out what Ms. Lopez missed in her reading of the article.

Kline Maureen  

Posted: August 23rd, 2017 6:11 PM

Bill - Thank you for demonstrating your great mansplaining skills to David. I hope he appreciated your effort.

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: August 23rd, 2017 5:22 PM

Forget "reading between the lines." Just read the words in the story, which state clearly that the "verbal agreement" was rendered invalid after the building was sold, because that agreement was not between the owner and the new landlord.

David Hammond  

Posted: August 23rd, 2017 5:18 PM

The article is very clear: "Pereira and Otero said they were forced to close on Aug. 19 because they missed the deadline to renew the lease by four days." And that is all I'm going to say on this topic, Ms. Lopez, as you clearly want to go on about other issues. As a side note, I liked Taste of Brasil very much and am very sorry to see it go.

Ramona Lopez  

Posted: August 23rd, 2017 4:45 PM

David....Please read between the lines " but that verbal agreement was rendered invalid " It was likely rendered invalid because fixed costs (I.e. property taxes ) are rising. Yes, real estate is in finite supply David, but rents in Oak Park will rise higher than neighboring communities because of the tax burden. Don't forget about the 3 rules of real estate...location, location, location. I work near Englewood and you can buy an empty lot for a few hundred if you like. Between the state income tax and property tax increase I have to come up with another $2,500 or so to pay some gov't bureaucrat who really doesn't care about me. That's $2,500 I won't be able to spend now at our local businesses in Oak Park. Also, with the minimum wage increase I will now get LESS for the LESS amount of money I have to spend. Sorry, but my wages haven't increased nearly as fast as the tax man taketh away. ""It's become a lot more expensive than when we opened," according to Otero." Did YOU read the article David? I know little ole me isn't going to make much of a difference in Oak Park, but multiply me by 10 or 15 thousand, then we better hope and pray that all those wealthy people moving into the downtown high rises spend their money locally. Again, I still think it would be interesting to compile some data from the Village of Oak Park regarding sales tax before the latest tax and wage increases and see how it trends for the next few years.

Kline Maureen  

Posted: August 23rd, 2017 3:48 PM

at any rate, good luck to Cristiane Pereira and Adre Otero with your future restaurant ventures - sorry you've been forced to close.

Kline Maureen  

Posted: August 23rd, 2017 3:45 PM

as do taxes, at least local property taxes... and salaries for superintendents but that's another story...

David Hammond  

Posted: August 23rd, 2017 3:37 PM

Given limited inventory, the price for land on planet Earth tends to rise over time.

Kline Maureen  

Posted: August 23rd, 2017 3:31 PM

It DOES say that the cost of renting space has increased, quoting from the article: "It's become a lot more expensive than when we opened," according to Otero... One would think that the new owners would be happy to renew a lease for an established tenant - unless they have other plans, which likely includes charging a higher rent to a new tenant. But I have no idea why a landlord would want to raise the rent.

Donna Oswald  

Posted: August 23rd, 2017 1:34 PM

Article says they lost lease & are looking for other spaces within Oak Park. Nothing about Oak Park being unfriendly to restaurants or minimum wage etc issues. I wish folks would actually read articles all the way through rather than just the headline

David Hammond  

Posted: August 23rd, 2017 11:56 AM

Nowhere in this article, Ms. Lopez, does it state that Taste of Brasil closed for the reasons you list (taxes, minimum wage, workers comp insurance).

Ramona Lopez  

Posted: August 23rd, 2017 11:20 AM

This will be common place in Oak Park. Businesses will keep turning over with few who can stay for the long haul. Property taxes, minimum wage and workers comp insurance are going to drive quite a few away. Would be interesting to get some sales tax data from the Village and see what kind of trends occur in the next couple of years.

Terry Stanton  

Posted: August 23rd, 2017 9:34 AM

Unfortunate. Now, did we ever hear why Novo closed? That spot seems to be where restaurants go to disappear.

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