Before we get into the latest retail casualty of the year, let’s start with what’s opening in the metro-east.
A new Mexican restaurant will open in Caseyville this week. Restauranteur Octavio Caratachea is expected to open his third restaurant, Tres Caminos, on Oct. 2 at 601 N. Main St.
Caratachea has poured his heart into the business. Every detail, from landscaping to the menu, has his touch. Hand-stitched logos adorn booths and chairs made in Mexico. One-of-a-kind murals reflect his heritage.
“That’s what I wanted for this restaurant,” Caratachea said. “I wanted it to look authentic.”
At age 27, Caratachea isn’t new to the food and drink industry. He owns two Mexican restaurants: one is in Nashville, Tennessee, another in Bridgeton, Missouri.
Now, his latest restaurant, Tres Caminos, sits near the intersection of Illinois 157, South Morrison Avenue and Caseyville Road.
Tres Caminos is Spanish for “three roads.”
Caratachea hopes the location will bring business to the restaurant. The building was previously home to the Happy Cow restaurant until it closed in 2016.
A new restaurant hasn’t opened in Caseyville in years, village clerk Lola Cline said. Fast-food chains moved in decades ago, but there aren’t many full-service restaurants. And, it’s been decades since someone has made a restaurant investment as large as this one.
Caratachea said he considered other cities, but he decided to take a bet on Caseyville because of its location. Fairview Heights is on his radar, too.
When the restaurant opens, Caratachea will be able to seat about 100 people inside.
Outside, customers will be able to drink and dine on a patio. A fountain will be installed outdoors near the entrance of the restaurant.
Caseyville residents are eager to check the place out.
“The people are excited about it,” Cline said. “They are looking forward to having someplace new to eat.”
Toys R Us files bankruptcy; stores remaining open so far
Toys R Us is declaring bankruptcy in order to better invest in its long-term growth, the company says.
Short-term, that means stores will continue to operate as usual. The retailer has made no announcement about closing stores or inventory reduction. Toys R Us and Babies R Us have stores in Fairview Heights.
Customers will notice changes to the big box stores in the next few years.
CEO David Brandon has said Toys R Us stores wants to add interactive spaces with rooms to use for parties, live product demonstrations put on by trained employees. The store also wants to give employees the freedom to remove products from boxes to let kids play with the latest toys.
The Chapter 11 bankruptcy allows the company to restructure about $5 billion in debt. Forbes reports the company has been “overleveraged” since 2005, when it went private in a buyout.
All of Rothman Furniture stores closing; selling off inventory
All six of Rothman’s furniture stores in the region are closing, including a store in O’Fallon, the company has announced.
The company says it is selling off its inventory.
Jay Steinbeck, executive vice president of the regional chain, sent a flier to thank customers for letting the store furnish their homes for more than 90 years.
The company said the chain’s inventory will be sold; in addition to the store on U.S. 50 in O’Fallon, it also has locations in Alton, Bridgeton, Shrewsbury, Affton and O’Fallon, Missouri. The chain has been open more than 90 years.
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Staff writer Mary Cooley contributed to this report.