Road Work Blamed for Woodfire Closing

Landlord describes owner’s frustrations.

was a contributing factor to the closing of , according to Charles Ifergan, the property’s landlord.

According to Ifergan, Woodfire partner Andelo Cardaras saw business slipping at the restaurant specializing in barbequing chicken and ribs over a wood fire. The decline was exasperated by last summer’s construction.

Ifergan was sympathetic to Cardaras’s plight but would only go so far to help the Deerfield institution survive.

“He said the Lake Cook Road construction was hurting his business,” Ifergan said. “He asked for lease concessions that were just unreasonable.”

Most construction on Lake Cook Road was because of how it damaged local businesses.

Though a sign on the door reads, “Closed for remodeling, reopening soon,” the business is no longer in operation, according to Deerfield Code Enforcement Supervisor Clint Case. The closing was further confirmed by Ifergan.

Case received a call from the Deerfield Bannockburn Fire Protection District fire marshal Thursday informing him equipment was being disconnected from the building. The removal triggered an automatic signal to the fire department.

“I said I would go down there and check it out,” Case said. “When I got there they were removing the equipment.”

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Wang April 04, 2012 at 11:57 AM
I am new to north suburbs and fell in love with Woodfire...can anyone recommend a replacement?
barry April 04, 2012 at 12:23 PM
Teddie Fabs just west on the other side of the road. For BBQ, local, Traks has just Installed a new smoker for BBQ and I was told by an expert on the subject of food that it is fantastic. I look forward to trying it. And as I stated yesterday....another empty space in deerfield for a Chase bank to go into....or....an Italian eatery....or a place to get a $12 burger. The model seems to be if there are already at least three within a mile, add a 4th . Why get creative? That would only confuse invesors
barry April 04, 2012 at 12:39 PM
....again....? How many sales tax dollars does a bank inject back into the community? I'm just asking....
Billy Bob April 04, 2012 at 01:24 PM
Barry, the answer is "at least as much as a closed Woodfire does." If you want retail presence for the tax dollars, than people need to patronize the retail establishments. If people don't, then the retail operations close.
Linda Lou April 04, 2012 at 01:38 PM
I think it is absolutely APPALLING that IDOT has ruined so many businesses along Lake Cook Rd. What was so wrong with Lake Cook in the first place? No consideration was given to the impact the lane closures would have. And now they finally realize this? They're postponing more intrusions until 2013? The same problem will reoccur then without more compassionate planning!
Bob Blinick April 04, 2012 at 01:38 PM
That's sad. I and my family have gone there for years, even back when they were "Full Slab Ribs". They were always known for good food and quick and efficient service.
Jeff Epstein April 04, 2012 at 01:45 PM
It seems that the stimulus dollars used to fix roads has a reverse effect on good local businesses that need traffic to survive. Btw, with all the lake cook road expansion it is still 2 lanes near pine and. 294.
John April 04, 2012 at 02:29 PM
That blows
Jay April 04, 2012 at 02:30 PM
The owner and most of the employees of Woodfire always "took customers for granted" and appeared to have a genuine contempt for their customers. Never and I do mean NEVER did anyone there greet you when you entered and even more infuriating, never would say "THANK YOU" as you paid the bill! For over 12 years, they always gave me the impression that they were doing you a big huge favor in taking your order and then being troubled to open the cash register to take your money! The food was great there -- our family liked the ribs, the chicken and the gyros. However, I just started to do take-out there every 2 to 3 months to avoid their surly service. Back in the day, we used to eat there at least once a month. So, be advised that it was not only the Lake-Cook Road construction that led to Woodfire's demise, it was accumulated years of disrespecting people (AKA customers) with their cavalier insulting business manners. They never said: "Thank You for your business". They never said: "Come back again." So, starting about two years ago -- the customers never came back again! It's normally sad to see a failing business close it doors -- but in the case of Woodfire - not so much! They earned it!
Bob I April 04, 2012 at 02:55 PM
Oh, dissapointment. We pulled in there last night for dinner and were slightly reassured by the remodeling sign. Teddy Fabs is good, but there was something very nice about Woodfire. I know I won't be alone in missing the restaurant - maybe he can open up where George's What's cooking left vacant?
Ed60062 April 04, 2012 at 03:01 PM
I'll have to agree with Jay. We ate there fairly often and I usually remarked to my wife that the servers would get better tips if they were more friendly and did more than just bring food to the table. Their food was good and the prices were reasonable. Teddy Fabz (just a couple of blocks away, near Home Depot) is the place to go for a wide selection, great food, reasonable prices, and friendly service.
charles April 04, 2012 at 03:54 PM
No one is willing to admit that Deerfield is an absolute dining wasteland and proverbial black hole for places that people "want" to go to. NOTHING exists in Deerfield that people would like after 9:00 pm, especially on weekend. How many establishments have come and gone in the past 5-10-15 years that people/families actually liked? Chili's/Applebee's, etc., among the few. No name places seem to be the favored option for Deerfield's culinary challenged officials. Stoney River Steakhouse. Really? On the Border. Really? Zippy's. Really? Noodles & Company? Really? The never heard of joint going into the Red Star Tavern space. Really? Who's responsible for keeping Portillo's out of Deerfield. I could go on and on. Deerfield residents should be "hot as a grill" mad at the options we're given.
Allen Goodman April 04, 2012 at 05:15 PM
Charles, really??? Do you really hold the belief that there is a group of people that conspire to keep businesses out of Deerfield? Kind of like an ANTI-Chamber of Commerce??? The lack of options is due to a lack of bonafide success which is driven by apathy. Quality establishments, like maybe a Rosebud Cafe, will bring in the crowds. Less-than-quality establishments, that are tired and lack appeal, will eventually fail especially in a town like Deerfield.
barry April 04, 2012 at 06:06 PM
....I have never been disappointed by the dining options a bank has to offer. And you just can't have too much Italian food in a one mile radius, right? Subway? Now that's an option I haven't heard mentioned. We can sure use another one of those since there are only 3. Formica is the key ingredient for the meal options here so far. Someone with imagination and some business savvy, with a history of success and who has some financing....please pick up the white courtesy phone
Bringin' Down Briarwood April 04, 2012 at 10:54 PM
THANK YOU, CHARLES!! Forget the restaurants for a moment. The lack of creativity that is going into this whole thing is raising my antennae. It's the choice of restaurants. It's the choice of businesses. It's the inability to create the "traffic" that draws people to the area. The inability to create a new millenium area for foot traffic. The Deerbrook Mall is hideous. How can it sit like that for THAT long? Ten years ago, the economy wasn't what it is, yet the theaters were long vacant. If the town doesn't know how to work with developers, then we have the wrong people leading the town. As for the restaurants, can we stop with the generic chain restaurants? THEY DON'T WORK. And Charles is right. That area SCREAMS for a Portillos. It's a no-brainer.
Bringin' Down Briarwood April 04, 2012 at 11:06 PM
RE: Quality establishments bring crowds That's my point, Allen. They may bring a "crowd," but they don't keep the crowd in town spending money. They don't go (walk) to a second destination for dessert or a night cap. Dinner at 7, leaving by 8:30. A small theater ... a comedy club ... a few small galleries ... Steppenwolf North ... Old Town Folk Music North ... a small jazz place ... Tommy Nevins North. Two places like this downtown. Two places like this in Deerbrook Mall and two restaurants to go with each of them and you're talking a different game. It's obviously not that easy, but I wonder if it's even been discussed. I think this town just tries to get something to fill the walls, and that's not working.
RB April 05, 2012 at 01:11 AM
I often see the hotel vans dropping people off at Deerbrook. I'm guessing out of town guests asked to be dropped off at a local mall to do some shopping. Too bad the driver drops them about 2 miles west of a real mall. It is embarrassing, but the Village does nothing. Look at other developments made during the hey day and things turned out much better. Without Whole Foods, Walgreens and people walking around (not buying books) at Barnes and Noble, our Downtown would be pretty much empty of people. And that parking lot! I remember the board meetings. The board insisted Malk add spaces to his original plan, that made them too tight. It's horrible. I hope the Village does something to help retail and restaurants, allows no new banks and gets it together. We have lots of new workers coming with Oreo and we should give them some local choices for lunch and shopping. Maybe even a shuttle paid for by business owners during lunch hours. Also, did that Prime company move out of the Starbucks shopping center that had the Baker furniture? I might have missed that?
Bringin' Down Briarwood April 05, 2012 at 04:20 AM
Hmmmm, it's Friday night and I want to go out. Deerfield or ... http://highlandpark.patch.com/announcements/highland-parks-inaugural-restaurant-week-take-a-break-eat-out BIG, BIG problem.
John Smith April 05, 2012 at 04:00 PM
I love(d) the Woodfire Grill. Those guys were awesome, and the last time we went in we ran into Bulls Center Joakim Noah who was chatting with the younger customers and giving them autographs while awaiting his tall order.
Wang April 05, 2012 at 08:55 PM
Rumor alert: someone bought the space already and is reopening in 2 weeks with same concept. If they keep same suppliers and employees we should be set.
Wang April 08, 2012 at 02:23 AM
And for the record...the Portillos call is genius
David Greenberg April 08, 2012 at 11:17 PM
Deerbrook mall, is, and always has been a joke - even when the theaters were there. The installation of Northbrook Court only hastened it's demise. I don't think a decent restaurant has ever been in that mall - hot dog stand, the Old Country Buffet, some kind of italian place that was a bear to get to, and... forget it. Lots of other places to eat that are EASIER to get to. No one wants to deal with the traffic in that area when they're looking for food.... Location, location, location...
David Greenberg April 08, 2012 at 11:19 PM
Real Urban Barbeque in Highland Park (2nd street and Laurel - inside Port Clinton Square).
David Greenberg April 08, 2012 at 11:26 PM
There's more than just sales tax to contribute. Property taxes, utility taxes. Banks also attract persons to the area to conduct transactions - some at least *some* percentage of persons in the area will conduct a transaction that creates some sales tax revenue. Let's also add in the fact that banks make mortgages and loans, which enable many people to purchase homes and vehicles (transfer taxes, more property taxes, and sales tax for vehicles).... Banks require services - maintenance and repair, and they purchase things incidental to the business, so they pay some sales tax on those items (some of which are local). They're not totally tax-inert entities by any stretch of the imagination. Everyone likes to pick on banks or service businesses because they supposedly "don't contribute" - but nothing could be further from the truth.


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