Written earlier this morning, unpublished. (See update below)
Freeport, Illinois — May 16, 2017 — Over the past few weeks as we have traveled throughout town visiting and conversing and filming segments, as we do with various people in the city, many have made mention of This Is It Eatery.
What we are being told is that the restaurant is soon to be either up for sale, or closing. Sources have also told us that Randy is moving to Elgin, Illinois and leaving Freeport.
As a courtesy, we contacted Randy and asked him if what we have been hearing is true. Randy is friends on Facebook with our producer. We figured we’d give Randy the first opportunity to refute the rumor or, at least give us some details about his restaurant, it closing and what (or when) he wants to say something to the public.
Randy did not reply to our request.
What we are hearing is that sometime in the beginning of June, Randy is leaving Freeport and moving to Elgin, Illinois. We have heard from direct sources who have told us that This Is Eatery is either being sold, or closing its doors. We cannot confirm this but this is what we are being told.
As some of you have probably seen, Randy has been offering up for sale many of his belongings. First it was his Jaguar, then it was his motorcycle.
Then he offered the chicken statue that sat out front of the This Is It Eatery restaurant for sale, and we recently noticed he was selling a home owned in Freeport. The selling price of the home was the cost he paid to put on a new roof, $5,000.
While we cannot confirm exactly what is happening (SEE UPDATE BELOW) downtown Freeport at the This Is It Eatery restaurant, we know a lot of people love Randy, Justin and the This Is It staff. Just as many people love the This Is It Eatery restaurant also, including us.
If Randy is leaving Freeport, we’re sure the restaurant and the This Is It name will continue for many years even if its current owners do sell the business. Or at least, that’s what we hope anyway.
Don’t panic, don’t get your underwear in a bunch and just keep on visiting This Is It Eatery for lunch or dinner. Just keep supporting Randy and give him and Justin some support and encouragement.
Whatever is happening and why is really none of our business. What is our business is to support our local people and be positive about it, especially our small businesses. Randy, Justin and their entire staff have given Freeport something. They’ve given downtown Freeport a re-birth, a new vibrant fun feel and they’ve supported our community with a passion that even people born here never have. That’s worth a whole lot in our book.
So while hopefully none of what we’re hearing is true, we do tend to think it might be but — we wouldn’t worry too much. Randy’s a big boy, he really does love Freeport dearly and he can make his own decisions which were certain, will be made with Freeport (and the restaurant) in mind.
The entire story we’re sure will come out soon and some other news media will give you all the juicy details. If this is it for This Is It, well, we guess you will all find out in a few weeks anyway.
UPDATE: It has been confirmed. See this final dance event hosted by This Is It Eatery.
According to the event page:
“Sadly, the rumors are true. It’s heartbreaking for the boys, Randy Justin and Brad and their staff but on June 3rd, it will be the last day of This Is It Eatery. We are asking everyone to come and give thanks for them helping to bring downtown back to life with such a fabulous restaurant. They’ve put many years of hard work into our downtown community, so let’s show them how much we care by stopping by to thank them. Let’s pack the place between now and June 3rd!
On June 3rd, starting at 6 PM, for a $20 cash cover, you’ll get a delicious buffet with $2 drinks (ALL drinks) and $1 Wine and Draft Beer. The $20 cover will be for the buffet and for DJ Extraordinaire Wyatt Herman, who will be DJing the night away starting at 8 PM. Come down one last time to eat, drink, say goodbye to the boys, and thank them for actually caring about Freeport and our downtown 16 N Chicago Ave in Downtown Freeport. Please Share”
UPDATE: At 1:28 a.m. on May 17, 2017 Randy Skeens shared this news:
“Ok here’s the whole story. We are not moving, we are staying right here in Freeport. We love living here and the people are amazing. We are closing due to the lack of guests during the week. Lunch and Fri’s and Sat’s are great. Tue thru Thur, on the other hand, are slow for dinner hours.
These slow times eat up any profit that would be had since we employ around 18 co-workers.
So people think we are moving to Elgin. This is not true, Justin was offered a position with my brother. This was after he had heard we were looking to sell the restaurant. My brother is looking to retire soon and is hoping Justin can manage the business and keep it open. As we all know, if anyone can do it, it’s Justin.
We are trying to sell things because we will not have the time to keep up, ride, or even need 4 vehicles. Last year we got to ride our motorcycle once. It’s not good for any vehicle to sit like that.
The rooster was sold to Debra Diamond Green and that made our day. She plans on placing it in front of her store on bypass 20 so everyone can still see it. The house on Oak is worth every penny. Love that house, but with Justin working and me trying to get things straighten out, we have no time to redo this awesome home.
We are not leaving.
In the future, I’m hoping to be able to finish My dream: a dinner playhouse at 29 W Main st in downtown Freeport. All I ask is please continue to support us for the next few weeks.
I love you Freeport, you have been so good to us. Do I feel this is a Gold Mine? Yes, I do. Just need the right person to run it.
Most of you know why some in Freeport will not support us and I understand. Many do not forgive and bash us. We cook everything from scratch. Mistakes will happen and we are truly sorry for this.
There are 25 thousand people in this town, and we should be slammed every night. But, many have given up on us or never gave us a chance.
Love all the guests that have made us feel special. You know who you are.