Brandt's Holds Out Hope to Stay Open
Owner George Grisco and daughter Georgina Konuk say they haven't lost faith there will be some way for the family restaurant of more than 65 years to remain in business.
With Christmas just a couple of weeks away, the owner of Brandt's-The Little Cafe, is thankful for the more than 65 years his family business, located at the corner of Northwest Highway and Quentin Road, has remained in Palatine.
Brandt's owner George Grisco, and his daughter Georgina Konuk also are holding out hope that something of a Christmas miracle might happen to keep the Palatine business staple, afloat.
"I still have people trying to help me, in the way of finding investors or an affordable loan, to keep our business alive," said Grisco.
How the business got into trouble, as reported by Palatine Patch in mid-October, goes back to the late 1990's when property taxes on the two acres the restaurant is located on, began to whirl out of control.
"In the early 1990's, I was paying $12,000 a year in taxes, but in the late 1990's, they [taxes] rose to $50,000 a year, that's when things got hard," Grisco said.
Georgina, who has worked at Brandt's since she was a teen, said she also retains hope for the business she grew up around.
"I always hang on, when we had the fire, everything worked out, I have to believe that something good can happen and we won't lose what our family has built for now, three generations," said Konuk.
Both George and Georgina pride themselves on the quality they have provided for customers since the businesses' early beginnings in 1947.
The current location at 807 N. Northwest Highway, opened in 1968, and was previously run by George's in-laws. He bought the business in 1986.
"We've always used the freshest ingredients, and made sure quality was first and foremost," Grisco said.
And customers at the restaurant Sunday night, agreed.
"Brandt's is a mainstay in Palatine, my wife and I have been coming here for more than 20 years, the quality is always the best, dependable, consistent," said Jack Lee, Palatine resident.
"We just got back from Florida, and our first thought was, where do we go for a great meal?" said Claire Lee, Palatine resident. "The answer was simple, Brandt's."
Jack Lee said it would be a true loss for the village, to see Brandt's go. "I'd hate to see it, I do hope they can find some way."
Grisco said if something isn't able to happen with potential investors, or even an affordable loan to stay afloat, the business will likely close by late January.
"I haven't given up yet," Grisco said.