Locally based restaurant South of Chicago Pizza & Beef says in a Facebook post that it is being forced out of its longtime location at 619 Virginia Avenue in the Fletcher Place district. But the new owner of the building says it has no intention of evicting the restaurant.
A post on the South of Chicago site says “the new owners of the building” want the restaurant to vacate. "We have two options: Relocate or just shut down," the post says.
According to the post, restaurant owners said they had planned to stay in the location for at least 20 years.
“Rumors are, they are going to put in their own pizza place to replace us,” the post says. “Not Chicago style!”
Layton John of SJB Properties, which bought the building last week, says he has "no intention of getting rid of" South of Chicago. In fact, he said, a new lease is being ironed out with the restaurant owner's attorney.
The restaurant is housed in the Renna Building, which dates to 1911.
John said South of Chicago has been operating on a month-to-month lease and was having problems keeping up with rent. He said a misunderstanding might have occurred when the two parties discussed a lease with better terms for the restaurant.
Bob Jaeger, owner of the restaurant, has already set up the GoFundMe page "for anyone who is willing to support our goal in relocating South of Chicago and keeping our dream alive."
The restaurant had received $50 toward its goal of $20,000 by Friday afternoon.
"As much as we have created such a great fan base we need as much assistance as we can in obtaining the funds to relocate to another location and continue to serve classic Chicago food in Indianapolis," Jaeger says on the page.
South of Chicago also has a Greenwood location. It previously had Fishers and Noblesville locations, which have closed.