The Country Squire, a long time landmark of Grayslake, closed its doors after serving fine food in an elegant and historic mansion since 1954.
“The restaurant and banquet surrendered its liquor license Thursday,” said Grayslake Assistant Village Manager Derek Soderholm. “They are officially closed.”
“It’s very disappointing and a bit surprising,” said Karen Christian-Smith, director of the Grayslake Area Chamber of Commerce. “We always get a lot of calls for a place to have a business lunch and that was the Country Squire. It’s just too bad.”
The Country Squire was originally built in 1938 as the residence of Wesley Sears, a member of the retail family.
Situated on the corner of Route 120 and Highway 45 the mansion included 17 rooms, eight washrooms and four fireplaces and was considered ten years ahead of its time when it was completed.
In 1954 the Country Squire restaurant was opened by Martin and Edna Giesel.
The family took care to preserve much of the original charm of the home, using the family’s dining room as the restaurants lounge, the living room as the fireside reception area and the original library as the Library Bar.
In 1986, after many requests to house larger banquets to overlook the 13 acres of manicured greens, the banquet facility was built.
The Govas family acquired the Country Squire in 1977. Patriarch William Govas died in 2008. The family continued the operation.
With what seems to be a sudden closure, individuals and businesses that had future events scheduled at the Country Squire are left surprised.
in Grayslake was scheduled to have its 50th anniversary celebration there in September. Pastor Kris Ferkin learned the facility closed when called by Grayslake Patch.
“I’m shocked, disappointed, speechless,” Ferkin said upon hearing the news. “They didn’t tell us anything.”
Ferkin said the church recently sent out more than 2,000 pieces of mail regarding the anniversary celebration. They are expecting 250 people for the event.
“We were looking at a lot of different places we know in town, but the Country Squire seemed to be the best place for the best price point. And, it’s beautiful there,” he said. “We’ll have to go back to square one.”
Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital has purchased the property for possible future expansion of its facility.
The Govas family could not be reached for comment.