BUCKTOWN — Jane's, a Bucktown restaurant that attracted a loyal following and was known for its weekend brunches and being a reliable date spot, is closing after more than two decades.
"Thank you for your loyalty. It's been a great 22 years. We loved having you be part of it," says a sign posted to the window of the restaurant at 1655 W. Cortland St.
On Monday, the restaurant's Facebook page informed fans that Jane's will close on Sunday. The final hours of operation will be 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. lunch and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. dinner on Friday; 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday; and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.
Located at 1655 W. Cortland St. in an 1890s green brick cottage, Jane's opened in 1994 and expanded in 2005, doubling in size and adding a party room for weddings, showers and other special events.
The restaurant had been for sale since last August, according to a real estate listing.
Jane's co-owners Bill Senne and chef Tony Recillas — who bought the restaurant in 2014 from former business partner Julie Greenwalt — confirmed that they had sold the restaurant.
In a 2012 Windy City Times story, Greenwalt described the restaurant as "healthful," "charming" and "romantic."
On Wednesday, Greenwalt said Jane was started in 1994 by a couple, Arden Nelson and chef Jeff Auld, who named their venture for the name Jane which represented "plain Jane, sweet Jane, Mary Jane."
"It was a labor of love for them," said Greenwalt, who ran Jane's for almost 18 years.
Lisa Splet, a server at Jane's, said she was heartbroken over the closure, which was sparked by a sale to new owners who plan to renovate the restaurant and reopen it as a new concept.
"Everyone has one final weekend to get their Jane's fix before it's gone forever. Jane's represents a trove of unique and charming places tha we too often see fade away," Splet said.
Kari Laskowski, a manager at Jane's, issued the following statement.
"In spite of all the challenges we faced, there was a pulse that kept us alive and that was because of the staff who showed up day after day to keep opening the doors and the people who continuously came through them. It sounds cliche but it really was like family. It will be a sad goodbye to the Jane's community. And I'm grateful for the four years I got to be part of it," Laskowski said.
Senne declined to share information on the new owner other than to say that it is a local restaurant group.
"We are still the landlord [of the building]; we've had a great run there," Senne said.
Trapdoor Theater, which operates a theater behind the building, will not be affected by the restaurant's closure and has a lease through the end of the year, Senne said.