CHICAGO (AP) For years, restaurants around the city have struggled to keep up with a rising health crisis that has left them with little choice but to add more employees and more servers.
A growing list of restaurants and food trucks are also opening in a wave of restaurants opening this summer.
But they’re not the only ones struggling to stay ahead.
The latest data from the Chicago Department of Public Health shows that about two-thirds of restaurants surveyed reported having fewer than 20 employees, and another quarter said they had no full-time employees.
And just over half reported having more than 20 full- or part-time workers.
And in the last few years, a number of businesses in the city’s core have been struggling to attract workers.
Among the restaurants that had the most trouble attracting workers in recent years was The Olde Schoolhouse, a Chicago institution known for its signature beef Wellington steakhouse and famous burger joint.
It was a restaurant that opened in 1961 and closed in the 1970s.
At the time, it was the only one of Chicago’s three remaining eateries, but the owner said the restaurant closed in 2009, and has struggled to survive.
The restaurant has since gone through several owners and its new owners have tried to keep the business afloat.
In 2010, owner Mike D’Angelo bought The Old E Schoolhouse from longtime owner Robert R. Suter, who said at the time that he wanted to build a restaurant where people would come to “be the first ones to sit down at a table and share a meal.”
But that plan never materialized.
In the same year, D’Lavori announced plans to open a burger restaurant at the same site.
The first two locations were sold to two other owners, and in 2011, The Old Schoolhouse and the Burger King were sold.
D’angelo, who also owns the Baskin-Robbins on the South Side, announced plans in 2015 to open two more locations of his own.
In addition to the restaurants he owns, Dallaire, who opened The OldE Schoolhouse in the early 1970s, has operated restaurants in the Uptown neighborhood, along Lake Michigan and in Chicago’s South Loop.
His restaurant has had problems in the past.
Dallarees health has declined since he opened TheOldE Schoolhouses, but his owners said he’s had some recent health issues, including a stroke last year.
But his owners say he has been working hard to get back to where he was.
“He’s been working really hard to regain his health and is very happy with the health of the restaurant,” said David Riechman, owner of Dallarenas Burger Shop.
“It’s a business that is really on the rise and in the business right now, he’s very excited about the future.”
The restaurant was opened in a small storefront on the corner of Washington and Wabash avenues in 1961.
It had a history of good reviews, with a review on Yelp in 2015 calling it a “great steakhouse.”
But in recent decades, the restaurant has suffered from poor service and food.
In 2011, a year before the restaurant opened, TheOld E Schoolhouses owner said he lost three employees and was forced to shut down the business.
Dandarees manager, Michael E. Sperling, said the chain has tried to get rid of the bad reviews, but it hasn’t worked.
“We have a great history here and have great customers,” he said.
“I think it’s the way it’s been set up.
I think that the owners have done a great job with the quality of food.”
In a statement to WGN-TV, Dandares family attorney, Brian P. Dando, said he believes TheOlde Schoolhouses was “a business that was built to serve its customers and was built for the past 40 years.”
Dando said the owner, Suter and his family “did everything they could to keep it going.”
He added that the business was “truly one of the best places to work” and that Dandariaas was always “open and accepting” to anyone who wanted to work there.
Dandeats father, William Dando Sr., said in an email that he is proud of his son’s efforts to keep TheOld Schoolhouse open and that he would like to thank him and his wife for their support.
“Mr. D. and his children have always strived to provide excellent service and hospitality,” he wrote.
“Their devotion to TheOldSchoolhouse will live on for generations to come.”
TheOldschoolhouse has been open since 1968 and had three locations before Suter sold it to Dandarias.
“For a long time, I thought the Olde schoolhouse was going to be a great business.
But the business went into decline and I didn’t think we could keep it,” Dandandareas father, Robert R Suter Sr., told WGN