JOLIET, IL — The sign for the Church’s Chicken on Joliet’s Collins Street proclaims, “Real Big Family Meal $15.” The other side of the sign reads, “$5 Garlic Butter Shrimp N Tenders.” A third restaurant sign on the property proclaims, “Garlic Butter Everything $5 Seafood Platters.” However, if you show up at Joliet’s only Church’s Chicken fast-food restaurant this week expecting to fill your stomach, you will walk away hungry and frustrated.
A long-time fixture on Joliet’s east side, Church’s Chicken closed this week.
On Tuesday, Joliet Patch visited the property at 345 N. Collins St. and there were two signs on the front door of the restaurant. One reads: “We Are Always Hiring.” The other read: “We are temporarily closed until further notice.”
A real estate banner for Network Commercial Real Estate LLC is displayed across the main storefront window informing passing motorists that the Church’s Chicken property is “AVAILABLE.”
The timing of the Church’s Chicken closing comes a matter of weeks after the new Thorntons gas station and convenient store opened across the street. The Thorntons serves up hot meals daily for walk-in customers including hotdogs, Polish sausages and more.
Additionally, in April, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen opened its new fast-food restaurant near the intersection of Cass and Collins Street, just a few blocks away from the Church’s. In January, Harolds Shrimp & Chicken opened its new restaurant in downtown Joliet inside the Catholic Charities building owned by Joliet businessman John Bays.
As for Church’s Chicken, the restaurant franchise’s Facebook page informs people that it’s been “serving fresh, hot fried chicken since 1952.”
According to its website, the restaurant chain continues to operate 10 Church’s Chickens in the city of Chicago and one restaurant in each of the following Illinois communities: Belleville, Harvey, Maywood, Peoria, East Saint Louis, Washington Park and Marshall.