The Chinese restaurant Phat Phat is expected to open next spring in the century-old building that previously housed the Easy Street Pub in Schaumburg's historic district near Town Square.
The restaurant will be the second Chicago-area endeavor by the Indonesia-based Imperial Group that opened Imperial Lamian at 6 W. Hubbard in the city's River North area two years ago.
Phat Phat is aiming for a different clientele with its portions and prices, said Vincent Lawrence, managing partner for the group's U.S. operations.
Given the location at 17 S. Roselle, just south of the Lou Malnati's Pizzeria on the southeast corner of Schaumburg and Roselle roads, the business anticipates catering a little more to residents than to the village's ample business community that's centered closer to Woodfield Mall.
"We're excited," Lawrence said. "I think we can be a big addition to the community."
Given that the tenant of the restored building will be a restaurant, the investment group EZDUZIT 17 LLC affiliated with Lou Malnati's next door will be eligible for the full $250,000 reimbursement for a portion of the work village officials offered late last year.
Schaumburg Economic Development Director Matt Frank said the village made the offer because the building is a contributing structure to the Olde Schaumburg Centre district around it, as well as the only commercial building that remains from the period. Several others, including Lou Malnati's, are converted houses or barns.
The village promised the investors $150,000 upon completion of the building work and another $100,000 if the tenant was to their liking.
Frank said village officials believe a restaurant remains the best use of the site. And he was impressed by his recent visit to Imperial Lamian in Chicago.
"This is an operator who knows what's he doing," Frank said.
The building began as Charlie Krueger's Inn and Boarding House, which served the workers who first paved Schaumburg Road in the 1910s. It then operated as Lengel's Tavern for 45 years until gutted by a fire in 1976.
Jerry Trofholz bought the building from Johanna Lengel in 1978 and made it the Easy Street Pub, until his family closed it in May 2017, a year and a half after his death.
The new investors bought the building at that time for $500,000, with the intention of spending $721,000 on its restoration.
Because of the effort made to restore the original look of the building, Phat Phat can't do too much to change the exterior but will make the interior both distinct and respectful to the work already done.
"We're going to expose all the bricks inside," Lawrence said. "It's really going to work with our concept. There's a lot of windows, so there's going to be a lot light coming into the place."
The upper floor of the building also will be used by the restaurant as a mezzanine.
The Imperial Group will be going through the village's review process for its interior design over the next several weeks, with the intention of starting the four- to five-month construction in December, Lawrence said.