When Route 47 is completely finished next spring, one Huntley business won’t be around to celebrate.
Del Toro’s restaurant is officially closing by the end of the year, owner Raul Del Toro said. He's hoping to have one last party to welcome a New Year and to say goodbye.
The restaurant closed its dining room in August and has been operating the bar while offering a smaller menu. The restaurant is up for sale and will be gone by the end of the year, he said.
There is a restaurateur interested in purchasing it but Del Toro declined to give any details. He said that prospective owner is excited about the Route 47 construction coming to an end.
The restaurant opened in 2001 in the Huntley Center on Route 47.
“Ever since I moved in, from day one, I’ve been embraced by the community,” Del Toro said.
He also has lots of regulars who are sad to see Del Toro’s go. Del Toro received a lot of emails from people giving their condolences.
“Some people were upset and couldn’t believe we are actually closing but said they would come as much as they can,” Del Toro said.
Del Toro has 25 years experience in restaurants and opened the Tex-Mex restaurant with his dad, Raul Sr., a well- known landscaper in the Chicago area. “It’s his pride and joy,” Del Toro said of his dad and the restaurant.
Both father and son agreed it was time to close the restaurant.
“We had a 10 year run and we are very happy here, but I have to see what else” is out there, he said. He plans to get more training as a chef and find new opportunities in the restaurant business in Chicago.
Del Toro is not being forced to close, he’s not in debt or in foreclosure. He just felt it was the right time to move on and sell the restaurant, he said. “A lot had to do with the economy,” he said.
“The last couple of years, things really did slow down quite a bit” due to the economy and the road construction, Del Toro said.
Del Toro’s is the third longtime Huntley restaurant to close in the last year. The Walleye Grill in Sun City Huntley closed suddenly in October 2010 and Nikko’s Grill and Pub closed last month.
The Route 47 construction has taken its toll on businesses along the route. The village of Huntley and the Huntley Chamber of Commerce held a Construction Crawl last month to help businesses on Route 47 and downtown.
Del Toro found the village has always been helpful to businesses, particularly during the road construction, he said. The village gave business regular updates on the Route 47 construction and offered assistance to owners, Del Toro said.
“There’s only so much any person can do to help a business in a poor economy but the village has always been there for us,” he said.