CRYSTAL LAKE – Just eight months after the IHOP in Crystal Lake closed and independently reopened as The Forester, the restaurant is turning back into the pancake chain.
The Forester, located at 6606 Route 14, closed its doors Monday afternoon and will reopen as an IHOP later this spring, according to Director of Operations Keith Appelhans.
"We're looking at mid-May at the earliest," he said. "Probably beginning of June."
Last July, after his contract with the pancake chain expired, IHOP franchisee Mike Kunke reopened the restaurant as The Forester, named after his father Roy Kunke's first restaurant.
Mike Kunke, who owned the franchise for more than 12 years, told the Northwest Herald in July, "A year from now, this will look nothing like an IHOP."
Kunke is no longer the franchisee of the restaurant.
Interior and exterior renovations are planned for the restaurant before it opens in the spring, Appelhans said. He is currently interviewing former Forester employees.
"We're looking forward to coming here," he said.