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Red Door Tavern in Naperville.

I went out for dinner this weekend, eagerly anticipating my first time dining experience at the Red Door Tavern in Naperville, only to be disappointed to see it closed. I have tried to see if I could find out what happened and when or if it will re-open. It got such good reviews and the food sounded yummy. Does anyone have any information on it?

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  1. This is news to me. I am a bit surprised to hear that they've closed, but then again there is a lot of competition in downtown Naperville and, from what I hear, the rents are astronomical (similar to Michigan Ave. on a per square ft. basis). We went in there numerous times over the past several years, and got to know the owner (balding fellow with goatee) fairly well -- nice guy.

    That said, the food definitely wasn't anything spectacular (burgers always tended to be on the dry/overcooked side, even when ordered medium rare). It was average bar food, at best, and certainly not a dining destination. But it was a convenient, friendly atmosphere, and I'm sorry to hear that they're closed (assuming it's a permanent thing as opposed to a temporary "closed for remodeling" type of thing).

    21 Replies
    1. re: RMA

      There was no sign indicating anything, however when we looked in the door window there was a sign saying "liquor would not be served today sorry for the inconvenience". It made me wonder if they lost their license or something.

      I know Naperville is expensive for these places, but I like unique friendly places. I am so tired of the chains. I used to love Copa Cubana (somewhere close by I could get food of my childhood!) I wonder how Noodles makes it because I have not heard much good about them.

      1. re: libgirl2

        Noodles & Co. is a chain, and not a good one at that, but it seems popular (especially for people with small kids, etc.). We also liked Copa Cubana a lot, and still miss it. I think it's gotten to the point that the small, unique and locally-owned places cannot make it in downtown Naperville.

        1. re: RMA

          I agree, these places need the big chains behind them in order to survive. It is a shame as, while I do eat at some of the chains, its nice to find something unique. I also like to support independent places as well.

          1. re: libgirl2

            The lone star independents hanging on are the Lantern, Front St. Cantina,
            and one more that escapes me now. I just went back 'home' as it were and
            each visit I am blown away by the amount of restaurants that are new and the amount of traffic. I have enjoyed food at the Timpano Chop House (especially their $2.00 menu and drink specials in the "Starlight Lounge" which they do serve all day if you ask) and Hugo's Frog Bar, the manager is so friendly and welcoming. Ted's Montana Grill was a pleasant surprise and I ate their twice in 10 days, we at in and also did take out, lovely food except the squash casserole, too bready for me. I'll be back in November and await what has changed yet again.

            1. re: manomin

              Oh, the third independent is Jimmy's that is on the land in the building that
              our old family friend had a gas station in/on. They sure seem to pull them
              in with their burgers and such, I've never been though oddly enough.
              I am sure the food is o.k. but the real draw must be the giant outdoor
              seating area.

              1. re: manomin

                We ended up eating at Jimmy's.... it was okay. Nothing outstanding..... I agree location is what keeps it going. The outside had a wait list, inside was empty. We ate inside and walked when we were done.

                1. re: libgirl2

                  For future reference, Features/Club Mamalu (two spots, same owner -- Club Mamalu actually is the "old" Features and is connected to the "new" Features...kind of confusing) has very good burgers and actually has much better bar food than either Jimmy's or Red Door, IMHO.

                  1. re: RMA

                    Was downtown Naperville and ate at Hugo's Frog Bar. Can't understand why they are so popular, the food was quite ordinary. When we left at about 9PM, that area was full of people, as Ted's Montana and its next-door neighbor have patios which were full. Also, the new Jilly's restaurant was in full swing: with the front windosws open, you could hear their piano player/singer for 2 blocks. Its very lively in Naperville every night, especially on warm summer evenings. That's why the commercial rents are so high in that section of town. Long-time merchants who used to be on Jefferson and nearby streets could make a lot of money by selling off their businesses there are re-locating to other parts of town (Oswald's pharmacy is a good example, as is CIty Meat Market).

                    1. re: CJT

                      That stretch of downtown Naperville definitely is "lively" these days, that's one way to put it. (A little too lively, at times). We dine at Hugo's quite frequently and always find the food to be outstanding. I think the steaks (Gibson's) are excellent, as are the crab cakes and a lot of the seafood offerings, such as the stuffed lobster and the fresh fish specials. We've probably eaten there more than 20 times, and always enjoyed the food. Although the service sometimes is spotty, the management is friendly and accomodating. I'm not sure that I can think of a better restaurant in town right now -- perhaps Catch 35, but that's about it.

                      1. re: RMA

                        There was a yummy take out middle eastern place right near Starbucks that folded early last year. I still miss it! We used to love the place. A pizza place moved in and this weekend we saw that it is gone as well.

                        1. re: libgirl2

                          Does anyone know the name of the place that is taking over where the tile shop was in the same shopping area as Bar Louie and Timpano? When we were there it just said (I think) "Wild Rose". Good to know about the burgers at the Club Mamalu. This sure ain't the Naperville of my youth where the Naperville Pharmacy was the big game in town and Washington Square for food!

                          1. re: manomin

                            Still not exactly sure what happened to the Red Door. I liked the place as it seemed to have "better" bar food (primarily the paninis). Heard that the owner didn't get his liquor license renewed on time and had to close the doors while he worked on getting the license. Still, it has not reopened since, and my feeling is it is out of business. Tough for an idependent to stay in business down there. Sort of disappointing to see old favorites go out of business to make way for another steak house. Miss 10 West/Elaine, the mid-eastern place next to Starbucks, Copa Cubana, and others.

                            The new Tessa's italian place (where Brickhouse pizza used to be) is ok. It is owned by the Jimmy of Jimmy's grill. Cool building, especially if you can sneak a peak at the rooftop deck.

                            and the new east African place over above Quigley's is pretty cool. Services a bit spotty, but that is to be expected for independents feeling their way through their first restaurant. Food is good and they have live jazz.

                            1. re: SirEatsALot

                              Thanks for your comments and the reminder about the place above Quigley's - how was the food? Have you tried Rizzi's on Jefferson about 2 doors in from Noodles & Co.? Very good pasta dishes and other entrees. You might also check out Lan Dee chinese which replace the old, not-so-good Grand Mandarin on Ogden in Lisle. Another to try is Lemon Grass Thai on south side of Ogden about 1-2 blocks east of River Road.

                              1. re: CJT

                                Rizzo's is an interesting place. From my experiance the food is good, but the place seems to suffer from abit of an identity crisis. It is nicer dining and tablecloths, then all of a sudden it is a nightclub. Sort of odd going in there for an 8:00 dinner and then at the end of the night have the crowd totally change and find people dancing adjacent to your table. Honestly, I'm not sure if they can do both. As for specials they always seem to have a buy one dinner get one free coupon in those local mags that just get sent to your house and their Monday $1 draft night is good. They also have been doing a free wine tasting on Wednesday nights and heavily discount the bottles that they are tasting.

                              2. re: SirEatsALot

                                What is the name of the East African place? My DH and I love trying new foods.... Take that back, I googled and found the name. Its getting excellent reviews, next time I am in Naperville, I will check it out.

                                1. re: libgirl2

                                  Masala Yangu is the name of the East African place. Very fun experience. Although when I went they were out of East African beers and I really wanted to try one. Here is the website....

                                  http://www.masalayangu.com/

                                  1. re: SirEatsALot

                                    Anyone have any info on the Red Door? I'm assuming it is closed for good. Went past there after Ribfest and it was closed and then again this past Friday night.

                                    1. re: SirEatsALot

                                      I was out there at 6pm on a Saturday night about 3 weeks ago and it was closed. I think its gone!

                                      1. re: libgirl2

                                        I don't get them, one day they close, then they re-open, then they close again??? I just tried calling down there and their line is "temporarily disconnected"!?!?!?

                                        1. re: janybird

                                          At this rate they will not be re-opening!

                                          1. re: libgirl2

                                            I'm guessing it went out of business. Sad. Liked the smoke free environment (although Jan 1st can't come fast enough for everyone going smoke free) and the food was decent. Another independent restaurant in Naperville bites the dust.