Naperville 2018 business recap: Sparrow and Patel Brothers open, Sam’s Club and Land of Nod close

The beginning of 2018 may seem like it was ages ago, and some restaurants and other businesses that opened in Naperville at the start of this year have already become mainstays in town.

From the opening of Sparrow Coffee and the Patel Brothers grocery store to the closing of Sam’s Club and Elly’s Pancake House, the Naperville business community packed a lot into 2018.

- Advertisement -

Here are some highlights:


Sparrow Coffee opened its first cafe location in downtown Naperville in January. The roastery is popular among Michelin star restaurants in Chicago, and has been offering coffee with various brewing methods, pastries, toast and the smooth Liege waffles in downtown Naperville’s Water Street district for almost a year.

The Patel Brothers grocery store chain celebrated the grand opening of its Naperville location at 1568 Ogden Ave. in April. The Indian grocery store filled the long-vacant space once occupied by a Menards. Patel Brothers’ 39,000-square-foot store includes a fresh produce section, bakery and Indian-style deli. The store stocks rice, spices and other items Raja Foods imports from England, Spain, India, Pakistan, China and Australia.

An Aldi location with a “modern” look opened its doors in May in the Naperville Crossings building originally built for a Fresh Market grocery store. The 24,800-square-foot store at 2708 Showplace Drive has natural lighting, open ceilings, and was built using environmentally friendly materials, including recycled materials, energy-saving refrigeration and LED lighting. The new location also stocks fresh-baked goods, including bread, pastries, rolls, cookies and doughnuts.

Bakery-restaurant chain Le Pain Quotidien opened April 10 and filled the space left empty by Naperville General Store at 204 S. Washington St. The chain founded in Brussels offers fresh baked breads, an artisanal menu and rustic interior decor.

Up North Ale House opened at 1595 North Aurora Road in the spring. The restaurant’s owners remodeled the building, which once housed a Blockbuster video store, into a space to serve burgers, sandwiches, wings and more than 50 beer options. Up North also features live music on select days.

Syrah Home opened in the former Country Curtains store on the corner of Main Street and Jackson Avenue in downtown Naperville in the spring. The store offers furnishings from India and Morroccan-inspired lighting — and has one of the few private parking lots downtown.

Allegory opened in November in the shuttered Heaven on Seven location in downtown Naperville. The restaurant’s menu sources ingredients from local farms and that change based on what’s in season. Allegory’s back wall features reclaimed oak wood from a barn in Antioch and part of another wall is from a barn on 75th Street in Naperville.

In addition to Sparrow, downtown Naperville’s Water Street district also saw openings from Mes Amies dress boutique, MidiCi The Neapolitan Pizza Company and Naperville Jewelers.

Aloha Poke opened its doors at 215 S. Washington St in August. The Hawaiian cuisine restaurant serves poke bowls and allows diners to create their own bowl with tuna, salmon or tofu, rice or mixed greens and a slew of other ingredients and sauces.

Codeverse, a coding studio for children, opened at the end of 2018 at 55 S. Main St. in Naperville’s Main Street Promenade. The business offers classes and camps focusing on topics like computer and robot programming, a 3D printer and maker lab and mobile game coding.

Additional restaurant openings included Buttermilk at 1715 Freedom Drive, Invicto at 1727 Freedom Dr., Fat Rosies Tacos and Tequila Bar at 47 E. Chicago Ave. and Happy Lamb Hot Pot at 1170 Iroquois Ave.


The Naperville Sam’s Club store and gas station at 808 S. Route 59 closed Jan. 26. The location was one of five in the chain deemed to under-performing in Illinois. The business contributed nearly $1 million in sales tax revenue to the city annually, Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico said at the time.

Elly’s Pancake House at 2656 Showplace Drive in the Naperville Crossings plaza closed in early 2018. The restaurant opened in 2016, and it was unclear why it closed. A sign posted on the front doors in April read, “Sorry, we are closed. But we are coming soon with a new concept!” The building remains vacant.

The Carson’s Furniture Clearance Center at 1835 Jefferson Ave. in Naperville closed in 2018 as Bon-Ton Stores, its bankrupt parent company, liquidated its assets.

Just across Jefferson Avenue, the Naperville Land of Nod outlet store at 1860 W. Jefferson Ave. closed in February along with two other Illinois locations.”No, we haven’t disappeared,” a sign posted on the door read at the time. “We’ve just moved into the Crate and Barrel location right next door. So stop reading this and come see a specially curated collection of Nod furniture, bedding, decor and more. (You don’t even have to say any magic words.)”

The Savory Spice Shop at 123 S. Washington St. closed in March. The spice shop has one other Illinois location in Chicago’s Lincoln Square neighborhood. The storefront remains vacant.

Fontano’s Subs of Naperville at 2879 W 95th St. closed at the end of February, according to the location’s Facebook page.

[email protected]

Twitter @erin_hegarty


- Advertisement -