It hasn't been a good year for veteran fine-dining restaurants, and the year isn't even one-third complete yet.
Le Titi de Paris, an haute-cuisine fixture in the northwest suburbs for nearly 40 years, will close in mid-June, joining such 2012 dropouts as
Staffers at Le Titi de Paris were informed Sunday night by chef/owners Michael and Susan Maddox.
"It has been an emotional last few weeks," said Michael Maddox. "We've done some soul-searching, had sleepless nights, all those things people do. But the opportunity came to us."
The opportunity was an offer to purchase the Le Titi de Paris property in Arlington Heights. The Le Titi building will be bulldozed, the land redeveloped for retail space. Often restaurants close out of economic necessity, but for Michael and Susan, both 41 years old, their principal consideration was quality of life.
"Our daughter (Emily) is a freshman, and it hit us," he said. "Have we spent enough time with our family? As with all restaurant owners, we work seven days a week; I'd be at an event for Emily or Bryce (in seventh grade) for a while, then run like a rabbit back to work.
"The problem is, you can't take back the things you've missed."
The Maddox' future plans aren't finalized. Susan already teaches several culinary classes at College of Du Page, and Michael envisions cooking on more of a 9-to-5 schedule.
"I like the idea of doing some retail store," he said, "perhaps selling duck confit, rum balls (both Le Titi signatures), sauces and vinaigrettes."
Other issues, including what to do with the restaurant's massive wine list, china and other items, have yet to be decided.
"It's going to be a difficult two months," Maddox said, "but we'll enjoy the time with our staff and customers." Le Titi de Paris' career will end in mid-June with a special wine dinner June 15 and a final night of service June 16.