Tuesday, January 12, 2010

No Mo' Loco

Color us extremely bummed.  A reader wrote in to say that the El Pollo Loco at Wilson and Sheridan is apparently out of business, as he saw the signs being taken down today.  A quick check with the EPC website seems to confirm it:  the closest restaurant to zip code 60640 is in Summit, Illinois.  Very disappointing to those of us who enjoyed healthy fast food, a decent dining experience, and gorgeous and well-kept grounds.  We're hoping the vacancy at the spot gets filled soon.


  1. Healthy fast food? Debatable, but still sad to see this intersection continue to be all scaffolding, empty buildings and loitering space.

    Pollo Loco seemed to struggle from the get go. I wonder if this is just a bad location for a fast food joint. The Burger King, admittedly internal corporate disputes aside, wasn't there very long either.

    Let's hope something new and revitalizing goes in here. We can hope right?

  2. I'm glad I read this, was going to stop on my way home from the train tonight.
    What type of business would thrive on that corner?? I think with McDonalds $1 menu across the street they couldn't compete- maybe??

  3. It doesn't help that they were doing great the first year and then they raised their prices like 22 for a 12 piece meal when Mcdonalds and Ms Eggroll have cheaper menus.

  4. honestly i woulda ate there more if there wasn't so many bullets flying

  5. I walk by Pollo Loco multiple time daily and have never seen a gun or a bullet there.

    That is the lamest excuse ever!

    Pollo Loco will be missed, although it is really hard to compete with local owned businesses that are really beyond compare such as Siam Noodle, Carmellas, Mr Salsa, and even the corner store with their great and affordable sub sandwiches and fries.

  6. Too bad, twas a good clean place to grab a decent reasonably cheap lunch and not have to compete with the homeless taking sink baths in the bathrooms.
    Uptown just hasn't been kind to chicken joints, joining the KFC on broadway and two different "Harolds" on Sheridan. Just leaves Jakes for some broasted birds

  7. I'm sorry to see them go. It was a well kept restaurant and I liked the food.

    I'm not surprised. The company originated in Mexico and their primary target market here is Mexican immigrants.

    If you look at the census data in 1990 Uptown was about forty percent Hispanic. In 2000 twenty percent Hispanic.

    Today? Ten percent? Five percent?

    More hispanic immigrants move directly to the suburbs today than move into Chicago. Couple that with reduced immigration because of the economy and not a great time to be running a business catering to hispanics in this neighborhood.

    There are still plenty of small Mexican restaurants around, but I just don't think there were enough of the "target market" to make an operation that big successful.

    When El Pollo Loco opened here the reaction struck me as similar to Krispy Kreme. Lots of people who knew the chain from their prior residences crowded in, but after awhile the novelty and nostalgia fade.

    Oh well. I want a White Castle to open there.

  8. I think a fast food place called Irish Pirate would be great.

  9. While I'm sad to see Pollo Loco go, that place was a disaster. I tried going there on numerous occasions, and it always took an inordinate amount of time to get my food. So much so that I questioned why I wasn't cooking chicken at home.

    On more than one occasion the drive through took so long that my kids were freaking out because we waited over ten minutes in a drive through line.

    Couple that with the fact that they had an extremely poor selection of sides, a very limited(no soft tacos) menu and it wasn't hard to figure out that Pollo Loco wasn't going to make it.

    They were a good neighbor, but not a very well run business.

  10. I stopped eating at EPL many years ago when I was back in L.A. I just wasn't into the rubber-chicken texture. I've opted for Popeye's since... but I wish they had Charo Chicken here!!

  11. it was disguisting...good riddins!

  12. Perhaps we could get one of these restaurants to open here. Combine it with a White Castle and I would be there every day.

  13. I shall miss the flan. Not great, but just enough to satiate my cravings.

  14. Less competition for local business. Tired of seeing that building empty, though.

  15. they should demolish that building & replace it with something more appropraite for its urban location. sadly, given the over-saturation of building at the moment, that prob will not happen for a number of years from now.

  16. they should demolish that building & replace it with something more appropraite for its urban location.

    A park would nicely offset the perpetual scaffolding across the street, and the deterioration west of the location along Wilson between it and Uplift.

    I'd support TIF dollar-usage for that.

  17. two words.. famous dave's 'nough said.

  18. wow, im super glad that this place is gone,
    its an LA chain, its okay,
    and its not just for hispanics, its popular enough in LA and the USC campus by downtown there,

    but it does seem out of place in chicago and im glad it failed here, cause it just doesnt fit in.

    i agree that while this place is shuttered it kinda sucks, but i would rather have it shuttered with hope for a real building on that corner, there are too many fast foot onestory buildings in uptown and the city in general

    and i always relish the change when one of them bites the dust.