Peter Daniel closing
Sisters Bridget Couch (left) and Beth Johanson (right), and long-time employee Nancy Holmes at the clothing store. | Dan Luedert~Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 20, 2012 8:05AM
Amid messy legal wranglings, longtime clothing retailer Peter Daniel is being evicted this month, after 29 years at the Barrington Ice House Mall.
The closing of the 5,500 square-foot store is expected by the end of April, with items currently marked down 30 percent to 70 percent, according to store officials.
Founder Peter Hammond died in 2004 and the remaining family members say the store has suffered lean years since asking for reduced rent in 2008.
The family-owned store is in litigation with the landlord, James Nelson. Nelson’s attorney William Graft, of Graft & Jordan in Hoffman Estates, said Tuesday that the business owes $161,250 in back rent, along with damages. According to court documents, a lawsuit asking for the backrent and the damages was also filed in February in Lake County.
The Ice House’s lawyers filed paperwork on Feb. 23, demanding payment of the rent owed in five days or it would demand Daniel leave.
Members of the family who run Peter Daniel said they do not know if they will reopen another store in the Barrington area after the Barrington Ice House location is closed.
“Our future is very uncertain,” said Elizabeth Johanson, daughter of the founder and listed as a corporate president of Peter Daniel Inc..
But in a statement, Graft said the Ice House Mall remains economically viable.
“Some retailers are doing well, but not everyone,” Graft said in a statement. “We are sad that after several successful decades here, Peter Daniels was not able to thrive after the death of its founder just a few years ago.”
There has been specualtion that other retailers might leave.
Another possible legal snare has been about the way in which Peter Daniel leaves. Village Attorney Jim Bateman said a village ordinance bars the store from selling items on consignment, not normally sold there, if they are advertising a closing out sale, liquidation sale, or lost our lease sale.
Graft added that the landlord has an injunction barring “a consignment or liquidation sale.”
Johanson said the troubles for the store really began with the economic downturn.
“We did really well until about 2008, when the economy starting tanking,” Johanson said. “It’s sad ... the customers, they become your friends.”
The store carries “classic, traditional clothing for all occasions, day, evening, golf or picnic,” said Bridget Couch, another daughter of the founder.
Graft said no alternative retailer has been signed for the space once Peter Daniel leaves.