A sign posted on the door of the former Applebee's at 16200 S. Harlem Ave., Tinley Park. It was among four local restaurants closed by the operator of 33 Applebee's in Illinois, which is in bankruptcy and sold 15 others. | Mike Nolan Sun-Times Media
Updated: August 4, 2013 6:10AM
Applebee’s restaurants in a few Southland communities have closed as a result of the ongoing bankruptcy reorganization of AppleIllinois.
Several other area Applebee’s locations have been sold to a new company.
Restaurants in Homewood, Matteson, Mokena, Romeoville and Tinley Park were among those closed by AppleIllinois, which, at the time of its bankruptcy filing in April, operated 33 restaurants in Illinois.
It was unclear when the restaurants closed, but in a bankruptcy court document AppleIllinois said it had broken leases on those locations as of June 28.
The company last month completed the sale of 15 other Applebee’s to a firm called RMH Illinois for $4.86 million, according to court records. The parent of RMH Illinois operates Applebee’s in nine states, including Alabama, Florida, Missouri and Texas.
The deal included AppleIllinois-operated restaurants in Calumet City, Country Club Hills, Crestwood, Evergreen Park, Ford City Mall on Chicago’s Southwest Side and two Joliet locations.
Kentucky-based AppleIllinois filed for bankruptcy April 22, listing assets of between $1 million and $10 million and liabilities in the same range.
In a document filed that month, AppleIllinois said it acquired 23 underperforming Applebee’s in the Chicago area from another franchisee in 1998 and poured money into boosting sales, including extensive renovations of the restaurants.
The company said the recent recession hurt revenue, and it marketed the restaurants to about 50 potential buyers before filing for bankruptcy.
AppleIllinois is affiliated with another Kentucky-based Applebee’s franchisee, Apple Sauce, which operates restaurants in Florida, Indiana and Ohio, but those locations are not affected by AppleIllinois’ bankruptcy case.