R Place up for sale

The bar and restaurant remains open while on the market

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By Nona Tepper

R Place is on the market, after at least a decade of ownership by father and son. The bar and restaurant at 1527 S. Harlem Ave. will remain open while up for sale.

The 2,000-square-foot bar is listed for $375,000, according to a listing on the Loopnet commercial real estate site. The listing calls R Place an "established neighborhood concept," "well-maintained bar and grill," "great street presence on Harlem Avenue," and more. The building was built in 1978, although the Realtor's description mentions the bar has since been totally renovated.

"Rare opportunity to take over a space that is truly turn key," the listing reads.

This isn't the first time the bar's owners have looked to sell. In January 2014, R Place attempted to transfer its liquor license to new owners, although the application was eventually scrapped. The Milchhoefer's created the RCR Inc. in 2002, a corporation which owns the establishment.

R Place is known for its pizza, wings, beer specials and more. It has also been the site of a number of fundraisers, including Mayor Anthony Calderone's annual toy drive last year.

Co-owner Ron Milchhoefer Jr., of Riverside, was a vocal supporter of video gaming in Forest Park, saying the profits from the machines allowed R Place to compete with nearby establishments in Berwyn, donate to local charities and renovate the building. He said the legalization of video gaming in Forest Park also helped convince him and other investors to open Tacabron, a Mexican restaurant on Harrison Street in the village. 

"It's made us competitive; it's made our business worth more," he told the Review in April 2018.

After a narrow majority of residents voted to outlaw video gambling last November, R Place's machines were uninstalled. Milchhoefer replaced them around December 2018 with "sweepstakes machines," controversial machines that, proponents say, do not constitute illegal gambling since users can play for free and receive coupons for products as prizes, rather than cash. Unlike video gaming, sweepstakes machines are not regulated by the state and provide no tax or licensing revenue to Forest Park. R Place splits profits from the machines with their operator. The state's gambling regulator, the Illinois Gaming Board, considers sweepstakes machines illegal.

Milchhoefer Jr. did not respond to interview requests. Realtor Marcus Sullivan, who is marketing the property, did not respond to interview requests.

CONTACT: ntepper@wjinc.com

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