The Dew Chilli Parlor at 2312 Wabash Ave. has closed, although owners Mike Monseur and John Leskovisek will continue to operate the two Dew Pub and Grill locations in Springfield.
A statement on the company’s website references the recent end of a five-year lease for the Wabash Avenue location. “Since there are two other locations in the Springfield market, the decision was made to look outside the Springfield market… the Dew has been exploring the Chatham market,” it reads in part, and also indicates negotiations are in the works for a Decatur location.
“All employees who worked at the Wabash location have been reassigned to either a Dew location or to Godfather’s Pizza,” the statement continues. Monseur and Leskovisek also own the Godfather’s Pizza restaurants in central Illinois.
The Dew dates back to 1909, when founder Joe Bockelmann served his first bowl of tavern-style chili, using the unconventional spelling of “chilli” in the name of his restaurant. His original location was at the corner of Sixth Street and Lawrence Avenue, but Dew Chilli Parlor is best known for the more than 25 years it operated out of a parlor added onto the front of Bockelmann’s home at 1216 S. Fifth St.
After his death in 1975, longtime employee Rita Maurer took over the business until 1994. The business was then dormant until Mark Roberts III, owner of technology company GoWeb 1, bought the rights to the original recipes, along with the Fifth Street building, in 2013. He operated a food truck before reopening the renovated Fifth Street location the following year. Monseur and Leskovisek purchased the business from Roberts in August 2017.
They continued to operate the Fifth Street location for another year before closing it, citing safety concerns due to parking along the high-traffic road. Roberts later sold the building at auction.
Monseur and Leskovisek expanded rapidly, opening the Dew Chilli on Wabash followed by locations at 301 North Grand Ave. West and 2690 S. Dirksen Parkway within the first year of acquiring the business.