Known for never closing, Omega Restaurant in Niles shuts down temporarily due to COVID-19 pandemic

Omega Restaurant, 9100 W. Golf Road in Niles, announced it has closed temporarily due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Jennifer Johnson / Pioneer Press)

The ongoing pandemic has shut down — temporarily — a popular Niles restaurant known for never closing.

Omega Restaurant, which offered 24-hour service seven days a week at 9100 W. Golf Road, locked its doors Nov. 29 and will remain closed until February, owner Tom Konstantopoulos said.


“The reason we closed was so we can be here next year, so we can minimize the losses,” he explained. “We’re not closing for good, we’re not going anywhere. We had our best year last year in 2019 and we were doing great, but then the pandemic came and kept chopping away at us.”

Unable to provide indoor dining due to the state’s current restrictions, Konstantopoulos said staying open for carryout and delivery “doesn’t make sense” financially. A message shared with customers on the restaurant’s Facebook page stated, “the reality is that we cannot maintain operations, compensate our employees what they deserve and survive without indoor seating.”


Government assistance helped the restaurant survive the first indoor dining shut-down in the spring, Konstantopoulos said, but this fall, there has not been a second COVID-19 relief package approved by the federal government.

If the state eases restrictions and allows indoor dining to resume, the restaurant could open sooner than February, he indicated.

“Our restaurant, we’re meant to dine indoors and enjoy our beautiful restaurant with our beautiful bakery case, so we’re going to wait for indoor (dining to resume),” Konstantopoulos said.

The restaurant’s 85 employees will be impacted by the closure, though all have said they plan to return when business resumes, the owner said.

“That made the decision a little more easy to swallow,” Konstantopoulos acknowledged.

The health and safety of customers and employees also factored heavily into the decision to close temporarily, he explained.

“It’s for the best,” Konstantopoulos said. “Coming to work every day and not knowing if you’ll be the cause of someone becoming sick is very stressful as well.”

During warmer months, Omega offered an outdoor tent for limited dining and some customers were continuing to use it through November, Konstantopoulos said.


John Melaniphy, director of economic development for the village of Niles, said this week that no other restaurants in the village have, so far, announced plans to close temporarily. Niles Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Alicia Bermes said she was unaware of any member restaurants planning to do the same.

In neighboring Park Ridge, owners of some restaurants have indicated they may have to consider temporary closures, said Jim Brown, director of community preservation and development.

“They want to stay open and are trying to search for ways to continue without relying solely on carryout,” he said.

Twitter: @Jen_Tribune