The Chicago’s Home of Chicken & Waffles restaurant on Evanston’s west side — which received a $200,000 loan from the city — closed this week.

But Paul Zalmezak of the city’s economic development staff tells Evanston Now the restaurant’s owners are now current on their loan payments to the city and have pledged to continue making the loan payments while they seek to sell the restaurant building at 2424 Dempster St. to a new operator.

Restaurant manager Darnell Johnson told the Daily Northwestern the Evanston location turned out to not be a good fit. The company continues to operate restaurants under the same name in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood and in Oak Park.

The building had been the site of a shuttered auto parts store and had been foreclosed on when the restaurant plan emerged in 2012. After several months of renovation work, the restaurant opened in January 2013.

But by the middle of last year the restaurant owners had fallen behind on their loan payments to the city. In January the issue came to a head when the city moved to suspend the restaurant’s liquor license over the failure to make loan, liquor tax and property tax payments.

The license was restored after a hearing at which the owners promised to clear up the back payment issues.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Chicken and Waffles
    The restaurant was not a bad fit. We tried it 3 times over a period of their first year open and every time we went the service was deplorable. Not only was it deplorable for us, but it was deplorable for other folks sitting near us. You could place an order, but wait times for food to actually be served were LONG! Seriously – like 45 to 60 minutes would go by and your food still hadn’t shown up. On one occasion, when food actually ended up on our table, it came out one meal at a time with one in our party of four receiving his meal, then another receiving a meal 15 minutes later (which was cold!). When the third person received her meal it was missing all sides. She only received a plate with a piece of fish. I never received a meal on that night.

    We tried two successive visits and neither were much better. The food was very tasty. If they could have fixed the service issues, I think this place would have had a much better chance. Yelp reviews showed clearly that the service issue persisted throughout the course of this place being in business.

  2. I stopped in one time and
    I stopped in one time and that’s all it took for me to never, ever come back. It took 55 minutes for 2 pieces of over price chicken. The staff was not very friendly and not helpful at all.

  3. service…not location.
    We gave the restaurant three chances and every time they failed. The service was beyond horrible, actually the worst service I have ever had in my life. It could have made it with new management.

  4. The Problem Was the Food AND the Service

    The location was great, with a nice parking lot. The decor was lovely. Live music was a nice addition.

    The first time I took my family we ordered a good sampling of the menu. We were very surprised that the chicken pieces were so small. The side dishes were bland and the waffles were tasteless. The food took so long we thought that our server had clocked out and left!

    We gave it a second try. Same results. Bland food, tiny chicken portions, poor service.

    We waited a long time and were excited when this place finally opened. What a disappointment!

  5. Chicken and Waffles

    I really enjoyed C & W and am very sorry to see it close. Food always tasty and service generally OK. Will miss them. 

  6. I hate to be a lemming but

    I hate to be a lemming but the prevouis posts are accurate. Food was sub-par and over-priced. Service was just bad. It is rare when all 3 fails come together. City must have seen this coming.

    These people have lied to mayor about their liquer permit. I would not expect them to keep their word about repaying the loan. City should take action to protect the taxpayers' money.

  7. Service

    The resturant was nice, however the service was horrible. Me and my family went there for a birthday dinner and we had to wait a little over an hour for our food. Not to mention when we did receive it, it was cold. We didn't receive our food all at once but rather one at a time. To make it so bad, we saw a couple of people who came in well after us, get their food first. They didn't come back to refill our drinks, and when we did finally get our food, not once did anyone come check on us to see how we were doing. This place deserved to close down. I would never go there again! Horrible customer service!

  8. Chicago’s Home of Chicken and Waffles in Evanston
    I took my family to Chicago’s Home of Chicken and Waffles in Evanston three times and every visit the food, the service and the music was excellent. I am sorry that some did not have the experience, but I want to make sure that those who enjoyed the restaurant and will miss it are heard as well.

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