THE RAINBOW INN CONTINUED…

When I wrote the entry for the Rainbow Inn restaurant, the ending was rather vague.  I knew that the restaurant burned but when and how it happened were unknown.  In researching another posting, I came across an article from 1981 that referenced a fire at Tino’s Restaurant at the corner of Roselle and Higgins Road in Hoffman Estates.  It wasn’t possible to confirm this was the former Rainbow Inn until Gus Lykos was mentioned as the owner.  That rang a bell.  Gus was the owner before and after the Captain’s Cove days so I knew I’d struck pay dirt. 

The article mentioned the fact that it was demolished five years after it was gutted by fire.  With that information it was possible to track down an accounting of the fire.  According to the April 1, 1975 Herald, the fire “was reported about 1 a.m. at the restaurant, 1 W. Higgins Rd, and firemen from four departments using 10 pieces of equipment fought the fire for three hours before it was contained…  The deputy fire chief said the fire was ‘tough’ because the flames got into the ceiling, and firefighters had a difficult time getting at the flames.  He noted the exterior walls were still sturdy.  When the flames ate through the roof, the air-conditioning unit exploded because of the overheated Freon in the unit…”

Tinos had just opened a few months before after a renovation overseen by Mr. Lykos.  He named the restaurant for a Greek island.  The menu featured a wide range of seafood, steaks and flaming dishes.  The chef was Jerry Blankenberg who came to the Rainbow from the Sportsman Country Club in Northbrook and the Den in Roselle.  Unfortunately, the run did not last long. 

The gutted remains of the restaurant sat boarded up for a few years until the village of Hoffman Estates began looking for ways to get the property razed.  Considering the restaurant was in the center of the village at that time, they considered it to be an eyesore.  By 1981, they were successful and on the afternoon of April 6, 1981, the remainder of the building was demolished by Plote, Inc. who was paid $5970 to do the task.  Having provided entertainment and dining for so many years in what was a remote part of Cook County, its demise was unimpressive but its lengthy and colorful history certainly cannot be underestimated.

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