ANDERSONVILLE — Reza’s Restaurant has consolidated its Andersonville location after its decades-long Clark Street home was sold to investors who plan to redevelop a portion of the building.
Reza’s — which found itself in hot water with the city building inspectors and state tax officials last summer — has vacated the corner of its large restaurant complex at 5255-59 N. Clark St.
The restaurant has consolidated into the southern portion of the complex at 5255 N. Clark St., confirmed Mitch Goltz, retail property investor who purchased the Reza’s building with a business partner.
With Reza’s vacating the corner storefront at Clark Street and Berwyn Avenue, Goltz said he plans to renovate the spot and find a new tenant, he said in an email. Apartments will also be added to the building’s second floor, he said.
Reza’s signed a lease with Goltz’s group to occupy the southern half of the building, where the popular Middle Eastern restaurant has operated a dining space and sidewalk seating.
The consolidation comes one year after Reza’s and its sister restaurants came under fire from city building inspectors, state tax officials and the U.S. Department of Labor.
Representatives from Reza’s did not respond to requests for comment.
Last July, Reza’s in Andersonville saw its state business registration revoked by the Illinois Department of Revenue due to non-complaince with state tax law.
At the same time, the restaurant building was also ordered “off limits” by the Chicago Department of Buildings after inspectors found multiple code violations, including exposed electrical wiring.
Reza’s reopened its Clark Street restaurant a day after losing its state’s license, having resolved its tax issue with the state, officials confirmed at the time. But the business had failed to address the code infractions, and building inspectors ordered the restaurant closed for the second time in three days.
The restaurant eventually reopened last summer.
In September 2022, Reza’s Oak Brook location was forced to pay a $17,000 fine for not complying with a federal wage investigation, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Reza’s owners failed to comply with a subpoena in the investigation, leading to the fine. After later complying with the subpoena, with investigation found no violations of federal wage laws, according to the department.
An entity controlling the Reza’s building on Clark Street sold the complex to Mitch Goltz and partner Howard Natinsky in April for $2.6 million, Cook County property records show.
The title that sold the building appears to be controlled by the family who controlled Reza’s, brothers Joseph and Reza Toulabi. Court documents from a lawsuit Reza Toulabi filed against Joseph Toulabi in 2013 showed that Reza Toulabi owns the properties containing the restaurants while his brother controls the restaurants, according to media reports from the time.
Reza’s was opened on Clark Street in 1983 by Reza Toulabias and became one of the first and most prominent Persian restaurants in the city. The business expanded to suburban Oak Brook in 2004 and to Evanston in 2021.
Reza’s also had locations in Lincoln Park and River North that have since closed, according to Eater.
The Toulabi family lost their Winnetka mansion to foreclosure in 2022 and the historical estate was put up for auction in May, according to Crain’s Chicago Business.
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