Here's why a Peoria BBQ restaurant is closing after over a decade in business
Famous Dave’s BBQ, located in Peoria near the Shoppes at Grand Prairie, will close indefinitely by the end of 2022.
Until then, the restaurant has transitioned to to-go and catering only, shutting down dine-in operations.
Customers can place to-go orders from 3 to 8 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Orders can be sent online or by calling 309-691-7427.
For Ron Helms, president of Mercedes Restaurants, Inc. which owned the business, there was a myriad of factors that contributed to the decision. More barbecue restaurants have opened in recent years, increasing competition. Food and supply costs have also been on the rise.
“Unfortunately for the past year and a half we have not been making money - to the point where we just can't keep the business open,” Helms said. “It's become too much of a detriment.”
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Staffing, Helms said, was the straw that “broke the camel’s back.”
Helms said Famous Dave’s BBQ will fulfill the catering commitments it has made. He said the restaurant may accept some – but not all – new catering orders, because he said the business is working to “limp along through the holiday season.”
The location had celebrated its 12-year anniversary in October.
Previously, Mercedes Restaurants closed its Famous Dave’s in Bloomington, which Helms said had been in operation for 22 years. Last November, the company also shut down its 38-year-old Alexander’s Steakhouse location in Champaign.
“I've been with the company for 41 years and the last two years have been the hardest that we've ever dealt with throughout that entire history,” Helms said.
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With COVID-19, inflation and staffing shortages, Helms said businesses have been presented with challenges which they are unable to control.
Helms said he is disappointed to see Peoria’s Famous Dave’s close. He said Mercedes Restaurants was the longest running franchisee for the Famous Dave’s brand. Ultimately, however, he said shutting down was the only decision the company could make.
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Connect with Cassidy Waigand by emailing her at CWaigand@gannett.com or by following her on Twitter at @justxaxwriter.
This article originally appeared on Journal Star: Peoria's Famous Dave's BBQ to close. Here's why after 12 years here