DeKALB – The future of Applebee's in DeKalb could lie in the hands of a new franchise owner.
The restaurant at 2411 Sycamore Road sits in limbo as Kentucky-based owner AppleIllinois plans to close several of its Chicago-area locations.
At least eight of the franchise holder's 33 restaurants will close their doors, and more closures could be on the horizon.
Dan Smith, a spokesman for Applebee's, said AppleIllinois filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in April in an effort to reorganize the business, which includes selling the franchise rights of the remaining 25 restaurants and their assets.
Smith said Applebee's has already received a bid for the franchise rights from another Applebee's franchise owner. But that doesn't mean the DeKalb location is completely safe.
"It will be the new franchisee's decision whether to close additional restaurants," Smith said.
DeKalb economic development consultant Roger Hopkins said the city has received a precautionary letter from the corporate manager of AppleIllinois indicating the DeKalb restaurant could close.
The company has notified all 33 locations of possible layoffs, which could affect anywhere between 300 and 1,700 team members, Smith said.
Hopkins said local job agencies are prepared to help the 68 employees who could potentially be laid off, but he hopes that won't be an issue.
"My belief right now is that the store is doing better than other stores in the chain," Hopkins said.
Smith said the closing of these restaurants is unique to the franchise owner, AppleIllinois, and is not indicative of the state of the Applebee's brand.
"We do not anticipate that all restaurants in the Chicago market will close," Smith said. "There's already a bid in place for existing assets and future developments."
Locations to close:
1690 S. Randall Road, Geneva
17575 Halsted Road, Homewood
19826 S. LaGrange Road, Mokena
741 E. Dundee Road, Palatine
472 N. Weber Road, Romeoville
18 S. Roselle Road, Schaumburg
880 S. Barrington Road, Streamwood
16200 S. Harlem Avenue, Tinley Park