The Last Chance Saloon and Grill, a downtown Grayslake landmark for nearly 20 years, closed its doors Monday. The new owners, who have yet to be identified, will be taking over the business and reopening, reportedly in a matter of weeks.
Former Last Chance owners Gary Roberts Sr. and Gary Roberts Jr. posted this statement on their Facebook Monday:
Today is a day that is very sad for me but someone once said nothing last forever. It has been a pleasure for my son and I to own The Last Chance for the past 19 years. Tomorrow we pass ownership on.
The new owners will be closing the restaurant for a few weeks but it will only be better when it reopens. Thanks to all the great guest and employees who made The Chance such a success. Stop by today and say Hi. Thanks, Gary and Gary.
The Center Street restaurant, known for its laid-back character, kitschy Western decor and eccentric memorabilia and pictures, like the John Wayne mural on the porch, had its last gathering with the old gang Monday night.
"My son and I had a great 19 years serving the Grayslake and surrounding communities," Gary Roberts Sr. told Patch via e-mail. "It was time for me to move on and I think the new owners will put new life back in The Chance. Very sad time for us."
Loyal, long-time Last Chance customers have been posting reactionary comments and well-wishes on their Facebook.
"Oh wow. Grayslake will never be the same. Good luck to you," wrote Chantelle Rogers Rodriguez.
"My Dad used to work there," wrote Christina Morales. "I remember Big Gary And Little Gary. They were nice people!"
"Thank you for all of your support of The Oasis/Grayslake Youth Center. Wishing you sweet times in your futures," wrote Joyce Campbell.
"So sad! My husband and I met at the Chance. Thanks for the great memories," wrote Maribel Lopez.
"Thanks Gary Sr. and Gary Jr. You have made many Friday and Saturday nights awesome and Sunday and Monday football nights over the past few years great. I hope they don't change the inside of the bar. I love the interior," wrote Joseph Kozikowski.
"My favorite place in town. Hope it stays the same. You were wonderful and had great food and fantastic customer service. Hope that doesn't change. Will miss seeing you -- best of luck," wrote Julie Hoffer Marcus.
With its distinguished omega-shaped roof line design, the building the Last Chance inhabits is a local historical landmark. According to the the structure was originally built in 1902 at 133 Center Street. In 1941, the building became home to the 5&10c Store. Its penny-candy counter is displayed at the Grayslake Heritage Center & Museum.
Share your memories of The Last Chance Saloon in the comments.