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Plans for Last Chance Remain Undecided

Former site could become a steak house or an Italian restaurant.

Grayslake residents have been eager to learn what's going in to the former Last Chance Saloon, which closed in November, as Patch reported.

The rumors were correct in that the western-themed restaurant on downtown Center Street has been sold to the owners of Emil's Tavern, located a couple doors down.

Ursula Bowes, one of the family members who owns and operates Emil's and now the former Last Chance, told the Lake County News-Sun that the concept for the new restaurant is still up in the air. It could become a steak house or an Italian eatery. Customer suggestions are being considered.

The Last Chance was 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. "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."

Local landmark

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.

Last Chance Saloon Closes

Tom bennett December 28, 2012 at 01:40 PM
Either one would be nice, steak or italian food. Or an italian steakhouse? Its nice that the new owners are committing to Grayslake when a lot of other business owners are being driven out by high taxes etc. We've seen Pat's and Mitch's and Last Chance close while new viable businesses have stepped in like The Vine, Bulldogs and Emil's. Downtown Grayslake can support multiple restaurants. Lets just hope the trend of investing continues. I would love to see someone like the owner of Rio Tequilla Bar step in and make Abel's fresh. I also think Charlies could be converted as well. Keep it up Grayslake!
catalina10 December 28, 2012 at 02:20 PM
What would you convert Charlie's into? I think the old time bar and atmosphere is what makes it unique. The owners do a fantastic job and it is more like a "Cheers" atmosphere which is nice.
Brad Faxton December 28, 2012 at 02:54 PM
Exactly on point comment. The reason Mitches & Pats closed was due to simply awesome new places opening up. You either change with the times or go out of business. Glad to see The Vine, Emils and Bulldogs doing such an awesome job.
Craig Melin December 28, 2012 at 03:00 PM
It should be noted that before "Ace" Wilkins took over and named the bar the "The Last Chance" it was for years "Sheen's Tap" it wasn't fancy but it was the main Watering Hole in town.
Softball Jim December 28, 2012 at 03:12 PM
Brad, you are correct. The reason Mitch's closed was not due to the taxes, it was due to the lack of buisness, the owners tried, but just could not keep the same atmosphere from when the previous owners had it. Just could not compete with Emils and Bulldogs.. Pat's had the same issue, also he had been trying to sell the buisness for many years and decided to just close. He also had a hard time keeping up with Bills & Emils. His service declined and quality declined over the years and it was just not the same. The Chance was no better as far a service and also has been on the market for at least 2 years. I am glad to see the Emil's family purchase it. Hope to see either one or both. A quality family owened restraunt with good food and prices will be a nice addition to Grayslake. It is nice to see downtown Grayslake packed every night of the week.
Softball Jim December 28, 2012 at 03:16 PM
Catalina, I think you are right too, leave Charlies alone, although I do not patranize the bar, I do think it does a good buisness, and has a loyal following. Craig, Sheen's Tap, wow, I have not heard that name before. Good Info !
Jami Jakobi Oatsvall December 28, 2012 at 04:34 PM
I agree. Charlies is perfect just the way it is. If it's not broken don't fix it. As far as the Chance, I would love to see it turned into a nice steakhouse- on the level of Jimmys Charhouse for example. We dont have a big selection of restaurants to choose from in Grayslake and I would rather eat local then have to drive at least 10 or 15 minutes for a good meal.
tommy gun December 28, 2012 at 07:51 PM
Charlies is fine the way it is!
Tom bennett December 29, 2012 at 02:17 AM
I will have to go back to Charlie's but my initial idea would be to make it an Italian restaurant. The outdoor courtyard is perfect and the indoor area is ample for the winter months plus the bar area can handle waiting patrons or those on a liquid diet. Actually it could even be like a Grayslake version of Tavern. Lots of businesses are capable of sustaining but I'm thinking of businesses that are capable of thriving and moving forward with our small town.
Angela Sykora (Editor) December 29, 2012 at 02:28 AM
I like Charlie's too. A fun hang out and nice to have the outside enclosure in the back. I can sometimes be found there on Thursday nights for karaoke with a gang of fellow reporters :)
Leslie Kaiser December 29, 2012 at 02:31 PM
tom Bennett - as owner of Charlie's we are doing just fine the way we are so please do stop in and introduce yourself. We can have a chat and I just might buy you a beverage!
Nightcrawler December 29, 2012 at 03:19 PM
Thanks, Leslie. Of all the businesses in town, Charlie's is the closest thing to perfect. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. And PS - Hammer misses you. We'll stop by soon.
Leslie J. Kaiser December 29, 2012 at 06:00 PM
I will look forward to your visit! I miss Hammer (and you too). Thanks for the good words you wrote about Charlie's. It truly means alot.
catalina10 December 30, 2012 at 12:58 PM
Charlies AKA "CHUCKS" . Get your drink on and your social "networking" fix today!

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