PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Joe Slyman has seen Adams Street in Peoria at its best and at its worst.
“We’ve been downtown since ’83 so I’ve seen quite a bit of ebb and flow in the scale of businesses,” said Slyman, who recently sold Adams Street Cafe to new owners after 38 years in business.
Adams Street Cafe closed back in March 2020 and never fully reopened. St. Patrick’s Day specials are still on the board, a pandemic time capsule of sorts.
Slyman said the timing is good for someone else to take over. It’s bittersweet, but its time to move on.
“We’ve seen a lot of ups and downs and I think this is part of the upswing,” he said. “I’m just happy that we were able to find the right people that are interested, and their timing is impeccable.”
As one eatery closes, another is opening across the street.
Craig Janssen, owner of Great Harvest Bread Co., is opening a third location, attached to the new OSF Healthcare ministry headquarters.
“We’re really excited about bringing our products, bringing our services downtown. There’s a huge need now that downtown is being revitalized,” he said.
After more than two years into planning and construction, they are almost there. Janssen said there have been supply chain issues, worker shortages, and people calling out sick.
“Honestly as a business owner and going through the last two years of COVID, you kind of just learn that nothing is going to the way you expected, and you’re ok with that,” he said.
Janssen said it will be different from the other two locations. It will offer acai bowls, avocado toast and full espresso line from CXT Roasting Company.
“We’re more of a coffee shop/café, where our North Peoria location is more bakery/café and our Morton location is more café style,” he said.
With OSF in the neighborhood and others slowly returning, Slyman said things are looking up for downtown.
“You’ve got bodies coming back downtown, and I think it’s a matter of time before this last strain of the COVID…I think that’s going to reach its peak and things are going to start settling down,” he said.
Janssen said they are aiming for late February or early March for a soft opening.
Saffron Social, another restaurant, is slated to open next door to OSF as well. WMBD reached out to the owner.
Slyman declined to say who bought the property, on Adams Street, but disclosed that it is a couple from Springfield.