SIOUX CITY — After nearly 30 years in business, the Little Chicago Deli & Grill has served its last sandwich.
The downtown Sioux City eatery closed early Friday afternoon and then announced in a Facebook post Sunday it would not be reopening. The page gave no reason for the shutdown.
“It is with great sadness after almost 30 years to announce that we are closing our doors,” the post read. “Thank you to all of our faithful customers for all of your love & support since 1988! God bless!”
The post garnered nearly 400 online reactions, more than 300 shares and nearly 300 comments from longtime customers who shared their experiences at the sandwich shop.
Little Chicago was started by brothers Mark and Scott Wilkens in 1988 on Hamilton Bouelvard. Their goal was to open a local delicatessen but rather than just name it the "Sioux City Deli," the duo opted to go with Little Chicago, a nod to one of Sioux City’s early nicknames and anti-prohibition history.
Over the ensuing decades, the business expanded to locations downtown, in the city's westside and Morningside neighborhoods, and across the river in South Sioux City.
However, since 2010 the sole remaining location has been the now-shuttered store on Fourth Street.
Little Chicago, a popular lunchtime destination for a lot of downtown workers, was known for its made-to-order subs, burgers, hot sandwiches, soups, wraps and salads.
The restaurant recently was voted “Best Deli” in the 2017 Siouxland Choice Awards sponsored by The Weekender, which marked the seventh consecutive year Little Chicago had taken home the honor.