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Bloomington's CJ's Restaurant closed; future unknown

Bloomington's CJ's Restaurant closed; future unknown

CJ's Restaurant and Catering (copy)

Diners at CJ's Restaurant and Catering, 2901 E. Empire St., are shown in this 2014 file photo. 

BLOOMINGTON — The future of a longtime Bloomington restaurant on the city's east side is unknown.

CJ’s Restaurant and Catering, which has known issues with unpaid rent and unpaid municipal taxes, has been closed for at least a week.

“CJ’s will be closed until ? Thank you,” reads a sign on the door.

There was no answer at the restaurant. Efforts to reach owner Peter Goranitis were not successful.

Last week, the Bloomington Liquor Commission suspended the restaurant’s liquor license for failure to pay municipal taxes. City officials say the restaurant owes approximately $5,000 in estimated municipal taxes, and the check for a recent renewal of the liquor license was returned for non-sufficient funds.

The taxes and license renewal have not yet been paid, city officials confirmed Monday.

Goranitis is due in court April 25 for a status hearing on the Bloomington-Normal Airport Authority’s attempt to take possession of the building located at 2901 E. Empire St. near the former Central Illinois Regional Airport. The restaurant owes a significant amount of money under the terms of its lease, said William Wetzel, an attorney for the airport authority.

The restaurant was originally founded in 1997 at 2419 Springfield Road by  C.J. Stolfa, owner of C.J.’s Catering. In 2008, the restaurant moved to its current location. Stolfa died in 2011. Goranitis purchased the restaurant in April 2014.

Follow Kevin Barlow on Twitter: @pg_barlow


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