Metro-East Living

Belleville IHOP is closing; ice cream shop gets a new neighbor

After 45 years of serving short stacks in the metro-east, Belleville will lose its IHOP location on Carlyle Avenue later this year.

IHOP franchisee Mohammad Youseff plans to retire in August, according to his real estate agent John L. Eichenlaub. It's unclear what will happen to his Missouri location in Bridgeton. An employee who answered the phone Monday said she could not comment. Youseff could not immediately be reached for comment.

Dine Brands Global, IHOP's parent company, announced that it plans on closing 30 to 40 IHOP restaurants this year. But Eichenlaub said the Belleville closure is related to Youseff's retirement, not the national announcement about potential closures across the country.

The Belleville location was listed for $299,000 two months before the news of more closures.

The restaurant with the iconic A-frame is located at 601 Carlyle Ave. It was built in 1973 — the same year the marketing acronym "IHOP" was introduced.

Four decades later, an online brochure from Barber Murphy Group describes the landmark building as a space that could be converted into office or retail space. The restaurant was partially remodeled late last year after it voluntary closed to address public health concerns.

Worried about the fate of other IHOP locations in the metro-east?

IHOP spokeswoman Stephanie Peterson said the company does not have plans to disclose which restaurants have the potential to close in 2018. Dine Brands Global is also the parent company for Applebee's. The bar and grill-chain announced it will close 60 to 80 restaurants this year. The company has not yet announced which locations will be closing.

After 24 years, Belleville bar quietly closes

The watering hole Shenanigan's has vacated the west Belleville strip mall it has called home for more than 20 years. Located at 15 N. 64th St., the sports bar and restaurant opened in 1994, replacing Dundee's Sports Cafe.

Local restaurateur Mark Onstott owned the bar for more than two decades before turning it over to longtime employee Jeremy Reynolds.

Reynolds had big plans for the establishment. He wanted to add a front deck with outdoor seating, simplified the menu and added frozen drinks to bar.

"We're looking forward to new business," Reynolds said in a March 2017 interview. "This is going to be a really good thing for the west end of Belleville."

One year later, the bar has closed. Reynolds could not be immediately reached for comment Thursday. The doors to the restaurant were locked Thursday, the lights were out and an empty beer bottle sat alone inside near the front window.

As a part of the deal, Reynolds also took over the lease for Marco's on Main at 6401 W. Main St., but decided to close the neighboring restaurant to focus on Shenanigan's. Developer Adam Hill, who owns the strip mall, has opened an office for his company Sonoma Capital in that space. He declined to comment about the bar closing.

Temporarily closed ice cream shop gets a new neighbor

A political consulting firm working for J.B. Pritzker's gubernatorial campaign has moved next to the west Belleville ice cream shop that has temporarily closed for construction.

Scoops Ice Cream Shop, located at 8205 W. Main St., posted a "closed through construction" sign on the front door late last year. The owners declined to comment further about the temporary closure.

Since then, the political consulting firm Progressive Organizing Solutions has setup an office next door, which the owner of Scoops has leased in the past. One sign on the door at Scoops says "sorry, no ice cream!" Another sign tells job seekers to go next door for interviews.

The adjoining spaces are separated by an inside door. Workers have been seen on both sides of the space.

Progressive Organizing Solutions offers $90 a day in pay, according to a sign on the door.

The contact for the company had an email address from Terra Strategies, which was paid $69,833.07 by J.B. Pritzker's gubernatorial campaign for "strategic field consulting" on July 6 of last year, according to State Board of Elections records.

Pritzker’s campaign confirmed it was using Terra Strategies for paid canvassing in order to help increase turnout ahead of the March 20 primary election.

This isn't the only political campaign to set up shop near or in a closed local food establishment.

The congressional campaign for St. Clair County State's Attorney Brendan Kelly is leasing out the former St. Louis Bread Company location in downtown Belleville for its campaign headquarters. Kelly's campaign also is using the space to promote campaigns for other St. Clair County Democrats.

Do you have a tip? Send me an email at canthony@bnd.com. Of course, I’m available to chat on Twitter @CaraRAnthony, and if you really want to go old school, call me on my landline at 618-239-2471.

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