Johnny’s Char-House restaurant in Orland Park closes
BY MIKE NOLAN email@example.com January 21, 2013 1:44PM
Jonathan Mantas smiles when talking about opening his new restaurant Johnny's Char House in the former Canoe Club in Orland Park, Illinois, Tuesday, May, 3, 2011. | Joseph P. Meier~Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 23, 2013 6:24AM
Johnny’s Char-House in Orland Park has closed its doors, owner Jonathan Mantas confirmed Monday.
The restaurant opened in spring 2011 at 15200 S. 94th Ave., formerly the site of the Canoe Club. Mantas declined to comment on the reasons for the closing apart from a lack of business. He said it closed at the end of December.
He also owns Kingsberry Restaurant & Waffle House outlets in Flossmoor and Oak Forest. Mantas previously owned Jonathan’s, which was in Palos Heights for 15 years.
Some customers, such as Mark Hoffer, are likely stuck with gift certificates that now amount to little more than a paper souvenir of the restaurant. Typically, restaurant closings leave holders of gift certificates with virtually no recourse to redeem them or recoup what was spent to buy them.
Hoffer said he received a $175 gift certificate to the restaurant from his boss as a Christmas present. He said Monday that he and his wife tried to redeem it for Sunday brunch on Jan. 6, but found the restaurant was closed. They returned on Jan. 20 and again the restaurant’s doors were locked.
“The first time we didn’t think anything was up,” he said.
When they went to the restaurant Jan. 20, they saw men loading some kitchen items into a truck.
Mantas said the restaurant stopped selling gift certificates Nov. 20, but Hoffer said his certificate has a date showing it was sold Dec. 11.
The Canoe Club opened in early 2005 at a cost of $4.5 million and featured fake palm trees and sharks swimming in a 3,000-gallon aquarium. It closed in October 2007.
Mantas extensively remodeled the 12,000-square-foot building, including removing the aquarium and replacing the booths.