WICKER PARK — Inhale those "free smells" along Milwaukee Avenue while you still can: Wicker Park's Jimmy John's will be closing and moving within the next nine months, according to its owner.
Jeff Fort, a franchisee who owns 51 Jimmy John's, including six in Chicago neighborhoods, said the rent at the Wicker Park outpost, 1557 N. Milwaukee Ave., is too high and the storefront is too big.
"I love it; it's an awesome street. The rent is just too high. It's a very large 2,000-square-foot space, we have a lot of extra space we are paying for and not using. Most Jimmy John's are between 800 and 1,000 square feet," Fort said.
The Wicker Park Jimmy John's opened in 2008. Its lease is up in July.
Fort, who took over the Wicker Park outpost from another franchisee about four years ago, said he is "actively looking" for a spot in which to move and he's open to suggestions from the community.
Fort employs 15 part-time workers and 7 of those fulfill delivery orders.
"About half of our sales are delivery," he said.
Fort said the existing Jimmy John's in Wicker Park would be better suited for a bar or a full-service restaurant.