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Great Steak, located in the food court at Eastland Mall in Bloomington, was evicted from its 839 square-foot space on July 7 because it failed to pay $113,389.83 in back rent, a McLean County eviction order shows.
BLOOMINGTON — The local franchise of a national restaurant chain specializing in cheesesteak sandwiches has been evicted from an eastside shopping mall because it owed more than $110,000 in unpaid rent, according to court records.
Great Steak, located in the
food court at Eastland Mall, 1615 E. Empire St. in Bloomington, was evicted from its 839-square-foot space on July 7 because it failed to pay $113,389.83 in back rent, a McLean County eviction order shows.
The order, filed against N&B Restaurants Inc. and Nick Enterprises Inc. — the two companies that operated the Great Steak restaurant — was initiated by
CBL & Associates Management Inc., the company that owns and manages Eastland Mall.
It ordered Great Steak to move out of the rented space by 9 p.m. July 7.
The franchise companies are based in Orland Park. They could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday.
CBL is headquartered in Chattanooga, Tennessee. A spokesperson for the company did not respond Thursday to a request for comment.
According to court records, the July eviction order came after Great Steak failed to comply with the terms of a previous order, dated May 26.
That document directed the franchise companies to move out of the space and return their keys to mall management by 9 p.m. June 30, and pay the outstanding rent before July 7.
All the terms of the May order were violated by the franchise companies, according to court records, leading to the final eviction order.
The space in the food court at Eastland Mall where Great Steak restaurant had operated since 2015 is shown Thursday. Court records indicate the franchise was evicted in July for failing to pay $113,389.83 in back rent.
Eastland Mall first filed an eviction complaint against Great Steak on March 11, after the business failed to comply with demands outlined in a Feb. 18 letter.
Those demands included paying outstanding rent totaling $82,702.71 within five days, according to the letter.
“Tenant failed to remit payment in response to the February 18, 2021 demand letter,” the March eviction complaint reads. “As of the date of this Complaint, Tenant remains delinquent, with an outstanding balance of $90,388.28, due under the Lease, and in possession of the Leased Space despite continued failure to pay rent and other amounts due.”
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The franchise companies signed a 10-year lease for the space in April 2015, agreeing to pay the mall a minimum yearly rent of $28,800.31 for the first year.
That payment increased each year by 2%, under the terms of the lease, meaning the company’s 2021 rent would have been $32,433.80.
Great Steak, which sells specialty sandwiches, fries and baked potatoes, first opened in Eastland’s food court in the early 1990s. It’s unclear when the Bloomington restaurant stopped serving food.
“Sources at the mall told us it closed a couple of weeks ago but that the equipment is still onsite,” the blog wrote.
chain’s website still lists the Bloomington location, but lists its status as “temporarily closed.” The mall’s website does not list the restaurant.
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A recent visit to the mall’s food court confirmed that the Great Steak sign had been removed from the restaurant’s space, which was covered by paneling.
Only three restaurants were open during the mall visit: Kobe Japanese Steak & Seafood, Pretzelmaker and Gloria Jean’s Coffee.
Bloomington-Normal business openings and closings
Sugar Mama Bakery
Nearly six years after a local bakery moved its ovens from downtown Bloomington to Uptown Normal, the business is prepping to open its kitchen again from a new downtown storefront.
Sugar Mama Bakery is on track to open sometime in early July from the former Subway restaurant, 109 W. Jefferson St., on the courthouse square. It will close its Normal location, 116 W. North St., before August.
I caught owner Susie Tod on Tuesday as she and employees were unloading and moving baking supplies into the space, which features exposed brick, natural materials and plenty of natural light.
“It’s not going to be a cookie-cutter design,” Tod joked with me as she moved a stand-mixer off a counter.
Tod closed her previous downtown Bloomington location, 405 N. Main St., in 2015 to focus her efforts on the Normal location.
The bakery, which specializes in artisan and custom-order baked goods, was first started around 2010 when Tod and then-partner Krista Gaff began baking out of Gaff’s home.
Tod’s plan had been to open the new Bloomington store on July 2, but that date will likely be pushed back, she said. She’s been met with some construction delays caused by the weekend’s storms and still needs to install some equipment.
Other than adding another option for coffee and baked goods to downtown Bloomington, the business
will fill a storefront that has sat vacant since mid-2019.
— Timothy Eggert
On Track Car Wash
The site of a former car wash on the city’s northeast side is set to feature a new car wash facility, to be built sometime this year.
Developers Jeremy and Jeffrey Schoenherr want to build at 1509 E. Vernon Avenue a new automated On Track Car Wash, largely replacing the 10-bay do-it-yourself Car Wash Express that occupied the site between 1988 and 2010.
The 0.92-acre lot sits on the corner of one of Bloomington’s busiest intersections and within one of the city’s major commercial corridors. It has remained vacant for the last 11 years, after the last facility was demolished.
The proposed car wash facility follows a design to house a franchise model of the Tommy Car Wash Systems, including a 110-foot tunnel for the automatic wash equipment and 15 outdoor vacuum bays.
City planning officials approved the new facility’s site plan in May, and the Bloomington City Council OK’d the plan in June.
— Timothy Eggert
Panda Express restaurant
In addition to nearly every other staple fast-food chain, the city’s westside commercial stretch will soon host a Panda Express drive-thru and restaurant.
CFT NV Developments LLC, based in Las-Vegas, Nev., wants to construct the 2,381-square-foot Chinese-American fast food restaurant at 1901 W. Market St.
The property was previously used for a gas station from 1978 to the early 2010’s. It has sat vacant since 2017, after the Citgo station was demolished.
The Bloomington Planning Commission approved the restaurant’s site plan earlier this month. It will be before the city council on July 26.
The restaurant’s construction would mark the second new fast-food business added to West Market Street in 2021.
A site plan for a new 3,900-square-foot structure commercial structure at 1514 W. Market St. — replacing the
old Grand Café West Side restaurant —was approved by the city council in April. A Domino’s Pizza restaurant will occupy one half of the new building.
— Timothy Eggert
Jersey Mike’s Subs
The build-out of a new sandwich shop on the city’s far eastside is progressing, with construction expected to be complete sometime in August.
Crews are altering the interior of unit 103 at the Eastland Commons, 305 N. Veterans Pkwy, to accommodate a Jersey Mike’s Subs restaurant. The space was previously occupied by a TD Ameritrade office.
A $130,000 commercial building permit for the conversion was issued in late May, and when I dropped in this week a contractor on-site said most of the rough-in was complete.
The sandwich chain offers east coast-style subs and competes directly with Jimmy John’s and Subway. Its Bloomington location will be the first in McLean County.
— Timothy Eggert
Texas Roadhouse restaurant construction
Construction of the
new Texas Roadhouse restaurant on Bloomington’s far east side is progressing, with the location set to open at the end of August.
Amanda Norton, spokeswoman for the Louisville, Kentucky-based restaurant chain, said that construction crews faced some delays because of last month’s extreme rain events, but that they’re still on track to open before fall.
The restaurant is being erected between the former
Toys R Us store and Olive Garden in the Bloomington Commons shopping center, 1701 E. Empire St., where Barnes & Noble, H&R Block and Schnucks also are located.
Contact Timothy Eggert at (309) 820-3276. Follow him on Twitter: @TimothyMEggert