PAXTON — Open less than a year, the Little Chef Diner in Paxton has closed its doors permanently, leaving the restaurant building that once housed a Pizza Hut vacant yet again.
It was the second diner to occupy the red-roofed building at 560 John St. east of Interstate 57 since the Pizza Hut closed Dec. 31, 2016.
Prior to the Little Chef Diner opening there on March 21, 2018, the building was home to Three Boys Diner, which closed suddenly in early 2018 after being in operation since summer 2017.
The Little Chef Diner was co-owned by Paxton residents Guadalupe Olivares and her husband, Paulo Rebollo, who have owned and operated the Pueblo Lindo Mexican restaurant in downtown Paxton since 2015. The diner was also co-owned by Guadalupe Olivares’ uncle, Alberto Jasso, who was also the diner’s head chef.
The Little Chef Diner’s permanent closure was announced Monday on its Facebook page.
Guadalupe Olivares said "not enough business" led to the closure. Sunday marked the diner’s last day in operation, and its four employees were laid off, she said.
"We do want to thank everyone who decided to come out and try us and thank them for the support we had," she said. "Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to keep us running. Running a business is not as easy as everyone thinks; in the bigger picture, there’s bills, employees, taxes, food (costs). ... We definitely want to thank everybody, but unfortunately it didn’t work out as we had planned."
The restaurant building’s owner is now actively looking for another tenant, Guadalupe Olivares said.