Anyone craving Dante’s cheese steak sandwich can relax, the popular Algonquin restaurant is open and its owner plans to stay in town.
Harry Canellos planned to close Dante's the restaurant, at 10400 Route 31, last month and go into business with Luke’s in Carpentersville because he had not been able to negotiate a new lease agreement.
“We were very far apart on the terms so I played hardball a bit and I didn’t cave in,” Canellos said of the negotiations.
The property owners were not taking into account the economic downturn and wanted to charge 2008 rates. “The property is worth substantially less than it was in 2008,” Canellos said.
He began to make other plans which included closing Dante’s and going into business with Luke’s. That offer was contingent on Canellos’s lease negotiations, he said.
But, he was able to sign a lease extension so he scrapped plans to close.
“Obviously, I didn’t want to close my business,” Canellos said.
Canellos grew up in the restaurant industry. He is a first generation American whose family is from Greece. The family owned restaurant since he was young.
Dante’s will celebrate its five- year anniversary in February.
He’s been telling customers that the restaurant will stay open. Business has been busy, good enough that he wanted to stay at the location, he said. Dante's will continue selling its popular cheese steak sandwich as well as offer a new burger, the Demon Burger.
“I’m happy,” Canellos said of remaining in business at his current location. “It’s a nice way to start the year off.”