“I have a deep love for restaurants. I started out as a busboy-host at Baker’s Square back in 1991-2. Since then, I’ve been in almost every position you could have in the restaurant industry – from busboy to executive manager and chef.”

“It’s an industry that my dad and I have fallen in love with, where you get to have an impact on people’s lives. Nobody is actually in the restaurant industry to make millions of dollars.”

“With the first closures we lost 100 percent of business for a couple of months. When carry-out came back, it was down about 80-85%.”

“To raise morale, we donated meals to the local nursing and E.R. staff. Mom’s a nurse so that was a soft spot. We did our best to keep them fed, strong, and positive. We also donated meals to the Lazarus House, a local homeless shelter in St. Charles, which helped us to keep our staff working.”

“In September, things were great. We were breaking even, paying off our bills, our loans and doing what we could to pay off what we borrowed. But when Pritzker announced that he was going to do another shutdown, we looked at our financials.”

“There was no way we would survive if we were going down another 80% in business just doing carry out, especially because in the cold months, nobody will sit outside.”

“Our staff would hurt. It would devastate them. Some of them would be evicted. We were preparing for the worst-case scenarios.”

“These were a lot of the factors that came into play, and we decided that instead of fighting it by opening illegally, we would fight it in the courts.”

“We believe in doing what’s right. What’s right is to take a stand and tell the governor he’s wrong.”

“We contacted some attorneys on a whim and said, ‘We have this case. We were wondering if they’d like to take a look at it.’”

“[Attorney] Kevin Nelson said, ‘That’s amazing. I’ve been working on this case – I’ve been waiting for somebody to call me on this. I’ve been watching this since the first closure. I want to take your case.’”

“It was amazing because he already had everything written out before we even called.”

“The one thing I want to make sure everyone knows is that we did this for the staff. The depression that hit from the lockdown was unbearable. Everybody here was so devastated, not being able to work or see each other.”

“We are doing everything we can to operate safely. We’re still in our masks. We’ve updated cleaning procedures, and we’re not doing away with that. We are going to keep being a clean restaurant and a safe restaurant, going by the guidelines.”

K.C. Gulbro
Co-franchise owner, Foxfire steakhouse
Geneva, Illinois