EDWARDSVILLE — An Edwardsville establishment abruptly closed up shop Monday.
Patrons who visited Shenanigans Bar and Grill, a longstanding hangout for Southern Illinois University Edwardsville students, early Monday would have found a note on the door of the restaurant informing them the bar is “closed for renovations until further notice.”
Despite the temporary tone, the note also thanks visitors for their “many years of patronage.”
The restaurant also announced its closing on its Facebook page but made no mention of renovations, saying, “As many of you have heard or are hearing about… Unfortunately, due to the decline in business ownership have decided to close doors. We thank you for your patronage throughout the years.”
The Internet domain Shenanigansbarandgrill.com, which was previously home to the restaurant’s website, is unoccupied, though it’s unclear how long it’s been available.
The bar and grill, located at 2 157 Centre in Edwardsville, had been in business since 1990 and was a popular destination for SIUE students for years, but an increase in the number of Edwardsville bars may have played a role in its demise. The arrivals of Big Daddy’s Patio Bar and Grill on Main Street and Bull and Bear Grill and Bar just a few blocks down from Shenanigans, among others, cut into the bar’s business.
Gregg Wilbert, a junior at SIUE, said students didn’t frequent the bar as much in recent years.
“I don’t know anybody who says, ‘Hey, we’re going to Shenanigans,’” Wilbert said.
Still, the closing came as a surprise to many, with multiple posts on the restaurant’s page expressing shock and sorrow at the announcement. Edwardsville city officials were also caught off-guard by the closing. City Administrator Tim Harr said that while the business had some discussions with the city over the years about the possibility of selling the building, its liquor license and business license were still in good standing.
“To my knowledge nothing’s been revoked with them at all,” Harr said. “They’ve been talking with us for a couple years about the possibility of selling. But that’s the limit of what I know at this time.”
The timing is also noteworthy in light of upcoming events. St. Patrick’s Day is traditionally one of the best days of the year for Irish-themed restaurants like Shenanigans, and the NCAA’s annual basketball tournament was also a big draw for the bar.
LoopNet.com, an online real estate site specializing in commercial properties, shows the building is for sale. The 4,175-square-foot building is listed for $899,000.
Multiple calls to Shenanigans and its owners were not returned.
Nathan Grimm may be reached at 618-463-2515 or on Twitter @GrimmTelegraph.