Zak's Place in Hinsdale Closing Its Doors Saturday Night

One of the restaurant's owners said disagreement with the owner over rent contributed to the closing of the restaurant, which has served Hinsdale since 2007.

Updated at 12:03 p.m. Friday

Zak's Place owners announced Thursday that the restaurant will be closing down this weekend after serving its contemporary American cuisine to diners at 112 S. Washington St. in downtown Hinsdale for five years.

"All of us at Zak's Place have made great friends, had fun times and created many wonderful memories with you," reads a Thursday night Facebook post from Yamandú Perez, one of the restaurant's two owners. "But, sadly we can no longer afford the costs of doing business, so we've decided to say farewell."

Perez's co-owner, Matthew Van Valkenburgh, said the restaurant's owners said the their first five-year lease ended in August and they were unable to lock down a long-term lease with the owner. 

"We basically couldn’t come to an agreement on price," Van Valkenburgh said.

The co-owner said rising costs and a dip in business also contributed to the decision. 

"To make it work, our rent had to come down a lot," Van Valkenburgh said.

Jay Javors of Midwest Property Group, the firmed that manages the property, said the owners had not paid rent for the last several months. Van Valkenburg said that's true, but also said they were at the same time trying to work out a long-term deal they could afford.

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Perez's post thanked Zak's Place's customers.

"I want to thank you for your loyalty for the five plus years we've been open," it reads. "In particular, your loyalty throughout the rough economic times of 2009-10 will never be forgotten. We couldn't have survived without you."

Van Valkenburgh echoed that sentiment. He commended the people of Hinsdale.

"People here care," he said, "and that’s the thing we’ll remember the most, how much our customers cared for us and supported us during the rough times and the good times."

Friday night and Saturday night, the last two nights of service at Zak's Place, Van Valkenburgh said all wine will be half price, hoping the restaurant can show its customers one last good time.

"Even the cheap stuff," he said. "We’re doing everything half price."

Zak's Place opened in 2007 "by two friends with the vision of creating a neighborhood restaurant with an urban feel," the restaurant's website reads. "Zak's Place began with the idea that excellent food and service should be customary."

Perez is also an owner of TWO, a restaurant on Chicago's near west side.

Marty Kwilosz November 12, 2012 at 03:30 AM
it really doesn't. Aside from the 2 hot dog places and Peter Burdis restaurants things seem kind of dreary. I have to be in Hinsdale a few times a month for personal business. Compared to other small down town areas it feels like a ghost town. I really feel a store like Gorilla Games www.gorillagamesil.com or something Brookstone-ish would turn things around.
Steve Woodward November 12, 2012 at 04:10 AM
Hinsdale is a town without a soul. It is a town of late-model cars and a police force which despises the people it is supposed to serve. It is a place occupied by self-absorbed, heartless people, so it is no surprise that its commercial landlords do not hesitate to let thriving businesses die. It is a sad place, really. A microcosm of the cesspool that is Illinois.
Sue Pircon November 12, 2012 at 04:03 PM
Wow Steve, what a statement. I cannot believe you would describe your neighbors with such animosity. As a life long resident I feel your description of our town could not be further from the truth. I know from personal experience that Hinsdale is filled with compassionate and generous people that care for each other and come out in droves when a neighbor is in need. To attack the police force that keep our crime rate low and our elderly residents feeling safe is an outrage. I find your comment that Hinsdale is a town without a soul personally offensive. In the past you have attacked our schools, our village representatives and now our residents and police force. Perhaps you need to do some soul searching and find another town more suited for you.
Mary Buddig November 12, 2012 at 07:31 PM
Steve, I have lived in this town since I was 13. I am not sure where you live, but you are so wrong on every point. I am also sad for you that you have such anger towards our little town. The people in Hinsdale work hard; we care about our neighbors; and we help other towns and states whenever something is needed. Our families are generous and caring. In addition, for you to say bad things about our police force, really offends me. I agree with Sue. If you think that this area is so bad then please move to an area that will make you happy. We live in America. You are free to move to another town or state for that matter. I hope that you can find happiness somewhere. Life is to short to have such anger.
mike rummler January 01, 2013 at 05:25 AM
Hinsdale is great. Period. My husband and I were married in Hawaii and were concerned about finding a place to live that would welcome a gay couple. When we lived in Jefferson park so many people gave us issues. I grew up in Jefferson park and attended a catholic Schiller and my husband is from nearby saugnash. We even had friends who were police officers in the 16th district. Lots if anti gay stuff all the time. Hinsdale has been the exact opposite. Our first week here, we were invited to three parties and welcomed by all. We even have been able to hold hands in downtown hinsdale.


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