More downtown DeKalb businesses listed for sale

Hillside, Eduardo’s owners confirm they are looking for buyers for buildings

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DeKALB – Buildings for two longtime restaurants in downtown DeKalb are listed for sale.

Eduardo's Mexican Restaurant, 214 E. Lincoln Highway, and The Hillside Restaurant, 121 N. Second St., which have been in business in downtown DeKalb for decades, are being put up for sale by their owners. The marked prices for Eduardo's, which is two stories tall and more than 7,000 square feet, and Hillside, a one-story building that is more than 2,500 square feet, are $875,000 and $479,900, respectively.

Gavin Wilson, co-owner of Hillside, said he and his wife Mary have been in the stages of looking for a new buyer for the building. Wilson said selling the restaurant, which the couple have owned for 30 years, is not an emergency situation, and it could still be a while before the business is sold, he said.

“We’re getting closer to that point where we want to slow down a little bit,” Wilson said.

Wilson said he still will have ties to the community with his financial business and isn’t planning on going anywhere. He said the restaurant has seen a dramatic increase in business with the increase in shows being programmed each season for the Egyptian Theatre.

The announcement follows the recent closure of O'Leary's about a month ago.

Rosa Balli, manager and co-owner of Eduardo’s, said she has helped run the business since her family opened Rosita’s in 1972 and Eduardo’s 10 years later. She said she especially didn’t want to close the restaurant’s doors before selling the place after the O’Leary’s closure resulted in an empty building across the street.

Balli said the sale of her business isn’t going to happen overnight, either, and that she’s waiting for the right buyer to come along before changing ownership.

“It doesn’t mean we’re closing the doors, because that would’ve happened already” if that was the case, Balli said.

Balli said she has been concerned about the state of affairs in DeKalb lately, but she’s hopeful about Egyptian Theatre renovations and Bill Nicklas taking over again as city manager. The quality employee pool is shrinking and stricter regulations have made it more challenging to run the business than it used to be, she said, but the main reason she’s looking at someone buying the business is becuase she is getting older and she has to plan for a change coming at some point.

“That doesn’t mean that it’s negative,” Balli said. “It’s just part of life for me.”