Chambers restaurant to close May 28
by CYRYL JAKUBOWSKI
The Chambers Seafood Grille and Chop House, 6881 N. Milwaukee Ave., Niles, will close on May 28 after nearly 50 years in operation.
Chambers restaurant co-owner Tony Maranto said that he took over business with his brother Joe in 1996. Maranto said that the business originally was a bar called Pocks that opened in 1956 and that it was turned into the Chambers in 1972.
"It’s been a good run, and we’ve been here a long time and the business has been good to us, but it’s time to move on," Maranto said. Maranto sold the property to Home Comfort Services Systems, which plans to move from its location on Busse Highway in Park Ridge to Niles.
"There are a lot of things that I would still like to do," Maranto said. "I’m going to be 50 years old, and I feel like if I don’t do something now, then I will be stuck here for the next 10 or 15 years. I got a good offer for the building, and I’ve decided to go for it."
Maranto said that the restaurant has remained profitable. "It’s bittersweet. Business has been good and I’m going to miss everyone, but it’s time to move on," he said.
Home Comfort owner Dan Schacke said that his business has operated in Park Ridge for 17 years and at its current location for 11 years.
"We’re closing the current location and we are expanding because that site features a lot more parking spaces and is almost two-thirds larger than the current space," Schacke said. He said that plans originally called for gutting the restaurant but that he is thinking about using the current space as is with some modifications.
"We do heating, cooling, plumbing and remodeling, so we’re going to have offices and storage, but also a showroom for our kitchen and bath remodeling," Schacke said. "It was on the market for a while, and we kept coming back to it. It’s about 6,000 square feet, so it is an improvement to the 2,000 square feet we’re in right now."
Schacke said that the facade of the building would be upgraded. He said that some of the dining areas would be used as a showroom. Schacke said that the business would have about 20 trucks but that many workers take their trucks home.
The Chambers was known for its live entertainment and dancing almost nightly. News of its closing has spurred comments by saddened patrons on social media sites.
"Over the years we’re had some of the best jazz musicians perform here or just drop in to jam for a jazz session, people like Ira Sullivan, Von Freeman and recently Judy Roberts," Maranto said.
"We’re closing on May 28 and (Roberts) will finish it up for us," Maranto said. "A lot of great musicians have made this their hangout."
Roberts and her husband, Greg Fishman, will perform on May 28. Roberts is a well known jazz singer and pianist who has received several Grammy Award nominations.
"One of the best home for jazz is closing," Roberts had posted on her Facebook Web page this week. "Not just a club, not just a bar, not just a restaurant, not just a piano and PA, not just a gig, but a home for music and fans and friends and musicians and singers."
The restaurant will feature a buffet on the day of the closing. "Once the food is gone we’re done," Maranto said.