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Chicago-style eatery suddenly closes after seven months in business

What used to be the Swansea Family Restaurant will soon become Cholula’s Mexican Restaurant. It’s located at 1500 N. Illinois St. in Swansea.
What used to be the Swansea Family Restaurant will soon become Cholula’s Mexican Restaurant. It’s located at 1500 N. Illinois St. in Swansea.

Customers craving Chicago-style dogs, sausages and beef are going hungry: Tasty’s Chicago Grill is closed.

The restaurant at 4421 W. Main St. in Belleville recently went dark after seven months in business, and it’s not clear why.

No signs are posted to the doors or windows and a phone number listed for the restaurant doesn’t work.

Mike Naser and his cousin Jamal Naser, who opened the restaurant in March, also operate locations in Decatur and Peoria. Neither man could be reached for comment.

Eaters were eager to dig in once they learned Tasty’s was opening in Belleville. The eight-month renovation of the building, which had previously been an Arby’s, lasted longer than the restaurant’s time in business.

Olive oil shop chooses Belleville

A shop devoted to extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars is coming to downtown Belleville and could open by November 1.

Tim and Julie Meeks, owners of Olive Oil Marketplace at 108 W. 3rd St. in Alton, are opening their second location at 18 E. Main St. in Belleville.

Build-out work is already underway in the building, which housed Local Lucy’s until that store relocated last month.

“The amount of interaction Belleville has with its community and the (Public Square) is amazing,” Meeks said. “Belleville is a happening place. We want to be a part of that.”

In addition to dozens of olive oils and vinegars, Meeks also sells marinades, spices and seasonings, gourmet foods, coffees and teas.

New signage on the storefront indicates hours will be 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. The store will be closed Sundays and Mondays.

SIUE to host small business symposium

Budding entrepreneurs and existing business owners are invited to a one-day conference aimed at offering practical advice for small businesses.

SIUE and its Metro-east Small Business Development Center will present the symposium “Optimize the Madness” Oct. 29 at the Morris University Center at SIUE. It runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The conference will feature an insurance specialist, an employment attorney, a payment solutions specialist and a social media expert.

According to a statement from the Center, the program is offered “to entrepreneurs and existing business owners across the region” with the goal of providing “practical strategies and maintainable tactics to run their day-to-day operations and grow their businesses.

Tickets to attend the symposium at $249, and lunch is included. Find more information at the Center’s webpage, www.siue.edu/business/sbdc.

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