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Owner dispels rumors of Royalberry closing

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By Bob Bong

Frank Salman, owner of Royalberry Waffle House and Restaurant in Palos Heights, has a simple message:

“We’re not closed!”

Salman said rumors have been rampant in the area that his restaurant of 17 years suddenly closed at the corner of 127th Street and Ridgeland Avenue.

“We are not closed. We are going strong,” he said, adding that Royalberry is suffering from labor shortages and the toll COVID restrictions have taken, like many other restaurants.

Salman said he has temporarily cut back on the hours his restaurant is open.

“We dropped dinner service because of the COVID restrictions,” he said. The restaurant is now open daily from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“Once things get back to normal, we’ll bring back dinner hours,” he said.

One reason he believes people have gotten the wrong impression about Royalberry is because new owners of the plaza took down his restaurant’s sign while they update the façade for the businesses still in the plaza, which he says is more than half empty.

“We will be getting a temporary banner,” he said. “And a new permanent sign in front of the store in three to four more weeks.”

Pete’s Fresh Market purchased the plaza a few months ago, Salman said. Pete’s has been making improvements before they start working on converting the former Dominick’s Finer Foods into a new Pete’s Fresh Market store. Royalberry is adjacent to the supermarket space.

“They said they were going to start work after the Jewel lease expires next month. They are looking at opening in the spring of 2023.”

In the meantime, they have been sprucing things up.

“They are putting up new facades, they repaved the parking lot. A new monument sign will be going up.”

Salman hopes the new supermarket will help his restaurant business.

“I’m not sure if it will help us or hurt us,” he said. “But one thing’s for sure. It will bring more people into the plaza.”

Pete’s has 17 locations and plans for at least six more including Palos Heights, Orland Park, Tinley Park, New Lenox and Oak Lawn.

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