Naperville Staple The Lantern Is Set To Have A New Owner

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“The Lantern Tavern has been in the Feldott family for 57 years and to be honest, it was devastating to realize that that legacy is ending,” said The Lantern’s General Manager, Teri Feldott. “But honestly it’s such a relief to know that the person who wants to buy it, doesn’t want to change a thing.”

The downtown Naperville staple, The Lantern, has been run by the Feldott family since its opening. In the coming months, there will be a new owner that takes over the Naperville landmark. In 1966, Don Feldott opened The Lantern with his wife Patricia and they ran the bar till 2012. Don’s son, Bill and his wife Teri, took over that year. Now, 10 years later, a change of ownership has risen.

Who’s Buying The Lantern?

Buying The Lantern from the Feldott family is Mike Lococo, a longtime businessman in the Naperville area, who has lived here for 25 years. He made the offer by walking into the tavern a couple months ago and simply asked if he could buy it.

“We knew since my father-in-law had passed away and the business is owned by a trust now, we knew that it would have to be sold sooner or later somehow,” said Feldott. “They came in and said ‘hey are you for sale?’ I said ‘well, talk to my brother-in-law.’”

Obtaining A Class-C Liquor License

The Naperville Liquor Commission met on Thursday (11/3/2022) to discuss if Lococo will be able keep the same Naperville Class-C Liquor license. The Lantern has had that license for over 50 years and they will continue to keep it. The commission voted 4-2 in favor of Lococo to retain the license.

No Changes Will Be Made To The Lantern

The Feldotts and Lococo say that the Lantern will stay the same, including the decor and keeping all the employees, some of whom have been there for decades.

“No changes whatsoever. There’s 30 plus employees there, they’re staying there,” said Lococo. “Teri is basically the manager, GM, and that’s her crew and we’re going to keep it the same. Trivia Wednesday, Tuesday’s karaoke night,  we’re going probably fill in a couple bands here and there just, you know, low key stuff and have fun. It’s going to be a fun place, nothing’s going to change; the atmosphere, the dynamics of it, the kitchen, food.”

“The fact that Mike wants everything to stay exactly the same, with all the same staff, that means a lot,” said Feldott. “That makes it a lot easier to go ‘okay, alright let’s keep everything the same, I’m happy.’”

Naperville News 17’s Joe Kennedy Reports.

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