TOLONO — Lil Buford’s, the Tolono bar and grill that fought Champaign County health officials all the way to court last year over coronavirus restrictions, has been sold to a new owner.
Oct. 16 was its last day open as Lil Buford’s.
The purchaser was identified as DDSJW Enterprise Inc., and no further information on future plans for the property at 102 N. Long St. was available.
Former owner Jeff Buckler disclosed the sale on Facebook.
“And before the rumors start, it’s not because of the lack of business or money issues,” he said in his post. “I’m just overwhelmed with three bars/restaurants. Plus the fact that you just can’t find help these days.”
Buckler said staffing was the biggest issue for Lil Buford’s, but he also wasn’t happy with the Champaign County Health Department.
Buckler’s fight with health officials was over a state COVID-19 mitigation restriction that was in effect for part of last year forbidding indoor service at restaurants and bars.
The dispute ended this past January in a court-ordered settlement.
Buckler said he’s focusing on his other two businesses — Buford’s Pub in Sadorus, which has a recently updated menu, and his newest pub/restaurant, Big Buford’s in Arcola, which he operates in partnership with Marvin Meadows.