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The North Star

The student news site of Naperville North High School

The North Star

The student news site of Naperville North High School

The North Star

BD’S Mongolian Grill and Barnes and Noble close their locations in Downtown Naperville

Photo by Zippy Rorvick
The building that previously housed a Barnes and Noble in Downtown Naperville remains unused.

Naperville experienced two losses to its plethora of retailers and restaurateurs in Jan. 2024. The first closure was BD’s Mongolian Grill which had been open for the past 30 years and the second was the closing of Barnes and Noble which served the community for the past 25 years. The closing of these well-loved establishments has left numerous Naperville residents taken aback and saddened according to the Naperville Patch.

BD’s Mongolian Grill (formerly located at 221 South Washington Street), an Asian fusion restaurant that allowed customers to customize their stir fry bowls, first opened its doors to guests in 1996. Its unique ability to combine Asian flavors with American cuisine garnered loyal customers and the approval of the community.

On Jan. 16, BD’s Mongolian Grill’s General Manager Kirsten Simmons notified customers that following the evening of Jan. 16, its doors would be permanently closed to its patrons via the “What’s Happening In Naperville’s” Facebook page, sending shockwaves throughout Naperville’s digital community as Simmons explained the situation.

“An unfortunate situation but something that is out of our control,” Simmons said.

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BD’s Mongolian Grill’s CEO Gregg Majewski later revealed to NCTV17 that the restaurant’s closure was due to the increasing costs of renting that particular property, spurring the chain to begin the exiting process from the Naperville property over one year ago.

“Rent has got to the point that it no longer made sense for us to continue and be profitable to the level of profitability that I would expect or want in any of my restaurants,” Majewski said.

According to Simmons, patrons of the restaurant can still enjoy its cuisine at the chain’s Bolingbrook location, housed at 619 E Boughton Rd #150, where discounts offered at the Naperville location will still be honored.

“We hope that our patrons remember the fond memories that they had and we’ll always be thankful for our time there,” Majewski said.

Following the withdrawal of BD’s Mongolian Grill, Downtown Naperville lost a significant retailer with the closure of Barnes and Noble. This nationally syndicated bookshop served the community for half a decade in its Naperville location (formerly located at 47 East Chicago Avenue Suite #132).

Barnes and Noble, which offers premier literature, games, toys, collections of vinyl records and more, opened their Naperville location in 1998. Since then, the store became an incredible fixture in the community, as it was a space for reading and purchasing books, as well as relaxation and socializing with others.

Its swift closure was announced via their Naperville location’s Instagram page on Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2023. They revealed that the establishment “…must leave this store,” requiring them to move from its Naperville location to the Prairie Market Shopping Center located at 2590 U.S. Highway 34 in Oswego, IL.

The Prairie Market Shopping Center Barnes and Noble location is set to open in June 2024, and according to Barnes and Noble’s Instagram statement, “… The new location offers us a huge opportunity to feature highly lauded new store design.”

Barnes and Noble closed on Sunday, Jan. 21, and although the community was dispirited because of its untimely departure, the Instagram statement ended remarking on the memory of the store.

“It has truly been our honor and privilege to be your bookseller in Naperville for the last 25 years…While we’re saddened to vacate our current home, we are so excited to stay nearby and in a beautiful new bookstore,” the Barnes and Noble team said.

The North Star reached out to the Downtown Naperville Alliance for comment on whether those businesses will be replaced soon, and the Alliance remarked that information is not available at this time.

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About the Contributors
Caleb Lewis
Caleb Lewis, Staff Writer
Caleb Lewis is a junior at Naperville North and is elated to be apart of The North Star as well as The Now. Caleb has a passion for various forms of writing including journalistic writing that is a channel of advocacy on social issues. Caleb hopes, through his writings, that solutions are brought forth for various issues young people face. Outside of the newsroom, Caleb is a member of the Black Student Leadership Association, and is actively involved in his Church as he is passionate about transforming the world through faith.
Zippy Rorvick
Zippy Rorvick, Multimedia Managing Editor
Zippy is a junior at Naperville North and can’t wait to start her role as the Multimedia Managing Editor and second year as a part of The North Star. She is excited to get to experiment with the NOW and write some more stories. Outside of The North Star, she is on the swim team and is a part of North’s mixed show choir, Entourage and in Model UN.   

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