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Local Maid-Rite Closes After 6 Months in Business

The first Maid-Rite in Chicago came and went, sources say. The business, 2429 N. Lincoln Ave., has been shuttered since March with an owner's promise to reopen April 2. That promise will not be kept.

Maid-Rite didn't even last one year in Lincoln Park.

The burger joint—made famous by its "loose meats" sandwich—at 2429 N. Lincoln Ave. has closed, sources confirmed Thursday. An independently owned franchise, it opened in late September 2012 near the corner of Lincoln and Fullerton avenues. It was the first Maid-Rite in Chicago.

The restaurant has been shuttered during the week since March. While an answering machine message says it will reopen April 2, that day has come and gone. Maid-Rite remains dark.

"Dear Maid-Rite customers, we have made the difficult decision to temporarily close our dining room during week days," says a man on the eatery's answering machine.

He continues, saying the restaurant will remain open on weekends but a number of "off-site and special events" require it to close during the week.

"We will reopen our dining room on April 2, 2013," the man says. "We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused you and we look forward to serving you again very soon."

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Franchisee Rob Svendsen was a member of the Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce, Spokesman Padraic Swanton said on Thursday. The chamber's membership director confirmed that the diner has, indeed, closed permanently. She cited an e-mail she received from Svendsen.

"We will miss them," Swanton said, noting that Svendsen was a "hit at the chamber holiday party." "They were really active for the short time that they were members. We're sad to see them go."

One Maid-Rite representative told Patch Thursday that the location has closed indefinitely unless another buyer comes along. But company president, Bradley Burt, said he thought the diner was still open on weekends.

"Is it not?" he said.

Employees next door at Qdoba Mexican Grill said Thursday that they hadn't seen anyone in the restaurant in at least two weeks, though people were "carrying stuff out the back door" a few days ago.

Burt said the store took a hiatus from weekday business to tend to some catering duties.

"That's the last I knew," he said. "He had a good operation there. He'd been doing catering during the week and then opening on Friday, Saturday and Sunday."

Svendsen told the Sun-Times in September that he opened the store while moving onto the next phase of his life. He was previously a trader and financial adviser.

“I didn’t do any significant, quantifiable research,” he said, according to the story. “I was born in Galesburg, [Ill.], and they had a Maid-Rite in Galesburg that I would visit when I visited my grandmother. I couldn’t believe that there wasn’t already one in Chicago, that there had never been one.”

Svendsen didn't immediately return voice mail messages left Thursday on answering machines at both the restaurant and on his cell phone.

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