Closure of Joliet restaurant disappoints city manager
JOLIET, IL – Last Friday’s decision to close the The sophisticated street food of Amigeaux restaurant at 2307 West Jefferson St. surprised Joliet City Manager Jim Capparelli.
The former Arby’s was billed as the test site for a new Louisiana-themed restaurant concept focusing on Cajun and Tex-Mex cuisine.
After several months of redevelopment work and the addition of a new paved parking lot, three Louisiana business partners opened the Amigeaux on July 7, 2021.
Saturday, February 26 marked his last day of work. Joliet did not embrace that of Amigeaux.
“I didn’t see that coming at all,” Capparelli remarked during Tuesday’s interview at City Hall. “I ate there several times. I liked their okra, their donuts and their tacos were good, so I was disappointed that they left.”
Capparelli said Amigeaux’s closure is not a sign of the times for Joliet.
He insisted that Joliet’s restaurant and dining scene was thriving. After all, Portillo’s first pickup in the country, a triple drive-thru, opened Feb. 1 at 1444 North Larkin Avenue.
Pop’s Italian Beef and Sausage opened in late January on West Jefferson Street at the former Boston Market location. Two other sit-down restaurants have also opened recently: Mariscos El Pulpo, a Mexican seafood restaurant, took over the former Truth restaurant at the corner of Raynor Avenue and West Jefferson Street.
In late February, FORNO Wood Fired Pizza opened across from the Inwood Recreation Center, marking the first wood-fired pizzeria in Joliet.
“I believe or hope that we will continue to attract business to Jefferson Street,” Capparelli said.
Next week, Joliet is celebrating the highly anticipated grand opening of its first Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers restaurant near the Louis Joliet Mall, Capparelli said.
In light of Amigeaux’s closure, Joliet Patch asked Capparelli what kind of restaurant he would like to see open in Joliet.
“Joliet is a diverse community,” Capparelli said. “I’m surprised we don’t have an Indian restaurant. I think an Indian restaurant or an upscale Middle Eastern Shawarma” would do nicely.
Patch asked if Capparelli wanted to see an Indian restaurant open specifically on West Jefferson Street or Larkin Avenue, two of the city’s busiest thoroughfares.
“Anywhere,” Capparelli replied.