Wisma closes doors in Libertyville
Wisma in Libertyville closed its doors Jan. 15. | File photo
Updated: March 25, 2013 1:18AM
LIBERTYVILLE — Just two years after it opened in Libertyville, Wisma unexpectedly closed its doors on Tuesday, Jan. 15.
The purveyor of fresh made food and wine arrived in Libertyville in early 2011 in a storefront at 528 N. Milwaukee Ave.
The original Wisma location, located at 24 E. Scranton Ave., in Lake Bluff, remains open.
Wisma is the brainchild of chef John des Rosiers, who is also the proprietor of Lake Bluff fine-dining spot Inovasi and upscale burger joint Royce in Highland Park, formerly called Moderno.
Des Rosiers declined to comment on why the Libertyville location closed.
Libertyville residents reacted to the news on Facebook, with many expressing disappointment.
Kristine Knutson, owner of How Impressive in Libertyville, said Wisma delivered food to her while she was manning her nearby store alone. She said the staff was friendly and knew the names of customers.
“It was a true community place and will certainly be missed,” Knutson said.
Despite the closing, Libertyville’s Economic Development Coordinator Heather Rowe is upbeat about the future of the community’s business climate.
“The good news is that while we’ve had this unfortunate closure, we’ve had even more new business openings and many inquiries about possible openings,” Rowe said.
Rowe said there have already been several inquiries about the Wisma space.
A rush by business owners to act on an open store space is not unusual. Rowe said that there are very few vacancies downtown and businesses are quick to fill in empty spots when they become available.
“When something opens up, they jump on it,” she said.
Those interested in the space will have to wait until the owners of the building meet with Wisma management.
Libertyville resident David Whitmore, along with an unspecified number of partners, is the owner of the property. The former Wisma space is approximately 1,500 square feet, he said, and rent would run anywhere from $17 to $22 per square foot.
If and when the Wisma space gets a new tenant, it will not be the only new business downtown. Rowe said that a new salon opened in December and a new sushi spot will open in February.