A familiar restaurant location on Route 60 in Vernon Hills likely will be getting a new user for the first time in 25 years.
Jameson's Charhouse has a preliminary green light from village officials to transform the former TGI Fridays at 151 E. Townline Road to what is regarded as a welcome new addition to the village's growing roster of diverse restaurants.
Owner Spiro Angelos presented the idea Thursday to the village board during an informal work session. Pending official approvals, Angelos said he hopes to open his seventh suburban location by Nov. 1.
"You could not open sooner as far as I'm concerned because when this was on the agenda, I had a lot of people comment to me, 'Oh yeah. Yeah,'" said Village Trustee Thom Koch. "It's unanimous."
An ordinance will be prepared for official approval at a future meeting.
The plan calls for renovating the facade and adding a patio on the west side of the building. The front would be updated with new wall finishes to include decorative stone and brick. A condition of approval is the upgrade the landscaping and repair of the parking/walking areas.
Angelos told the board he is a restaurant owner and real estate developer in business for 30 years.
The Vernon Hills location would be the ninth Jameson's location nationwide. Two are in South Carolina, and the others are in Bloomingdale, Crystal Lake, Huntley, Mount Prospect, Skokie and Woodridge. Angelos told the board he owns a total of 15 restaurants.
TGI Fridays closed suddenly in December after 25 years. The franchisee chose not to extend its lease, a company spokesman said at the time.
Vernon Hills has been on a roll with new restaurants. Blufish and Scotty's on 21 opened in recent months, and Sinchan Ramen House is scheduled to open in July.
On Friday, Shake Shack became the eighth restaurant in the Mellody Farm retail center, which opened in October at the northeast corner of Townline Road (Route 60) and Milwaukee Avenue (Route 21). It soon will be joined by City Works Eatery and Pour House.
Several new entries also are planned on the Hawthorn Mall property to the west across Milwaukee Avenue.
"While the names of the restaurants have not yet been disclosed, we are impressed by the themes and uses being shared and excited to see the transformation and emergence of this corridor with more varied dining and entertainment options," said Assistant Village Manager Jon Petrillo.