Two neighborhood eateries in downtown Fox River Grove could soon make way for a new Culver's restaurant, while plans for the long-awaited downtown redevelopment are stalled due to the developer's financing woes.
Culver's franchisee Barry Himmelfarb is eyeing a stretch of property along Route 14 between Lucille Avenue and School Drive east of the train station. The site is home to Mr. Beefy's gyro shop, Villa Bleu Tavern & Restaurant and a nearby apartment building.
Himmelfarb, who operates Culver's restaurants in Woodstock, Hoffman Estates and Schaumburg, is in negotiations to buy both restaurants, owned by Dan Skoubis, officials said.
"The entire site will be completely redeveloped," Village Administrator Derek Soderholm said.
In December, the village board approved special use permits to build a Culver's drive-through restaurant with outdoor seating at 512-516 Route 14.
"The developer went through the process of getting zoning entitlements, but they have not purchased the land at this point," Soderholm said. "We anticipate receiving building plans within the next couple of months for permitting."
If approved, the Culver's restaurant would operate from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Wisconsin-based Culver's has 111 Illinois franchises specializing in its signature Butterburgers, fresh frozen custard and cheese curds. Locations in Kane and McHenry counties include Carpentersville, Crystal Lake, Huntley, Island Lake, McHenry and South Elgin.
Meanwhile, the 20-acre downtown redevelopment project remains dormant. The plan calls for a mix of apartments, commercial office and retail spaces to be built in phases along both sides of Route 14 from Algonquin Road on the east to the Fox River on the west.
The first phase would involve building 300 apartments south and west of Route 14 and Lincoln Avenue, and 75,000 square feet of retail, office and service uses east of Route 14 and north of village hall in the second phase. Phases three and four called for 200 apartments and a marina with restaurants/lodging, respectively, village documents show.
"There is potential life there," Soderholm said. "No land has been purchased. The party is trying to potentially rejuvenate and make another go at it, probably taking a different approach. We're still hopeful that at some point we will have apartments in the downtown area."