A Wahlburgers sign at the corner of Randall Road and Route 38 hints that the long-awaited St. Charles burger joint could be opening soon -- and "not Donnie soon," it reads.
Spearheaded by celebrity Donnie Wahlberg, the new restaurant and bar at 825 S. Randall Road is expected to begin operating by early April, a Wahlburgers corporate representative confirmed Wednesday.
The Massachusetts-based chain was founded in 2011 by Wahlberg and his two brothers, actor Mark and executive chef Paul, who have since expanded the Wahlburgers brand nationwide. It's been a longtime dream of Wahlberg's to bring his business venture to St. Charles, where he lives with his wife, actress and TV personality Jenny McCarthy, and their sons.
The city council approved plans for the Wahlburgers restaurant in the summer of 2018, and a ceremonial groundbreaking was held last spring.
Wahlberg and his team are in the midst of a 16-week build-out since gaining access to the building after Thanksgiving, a corporate representative said, noting the restaurant is being run as a franchise.
The establishment will have a full-service bar, a sit-down dining area and an outdoor patio.
Setting it apart from other locations across the country, the St. Charles Wahlburgers also is expected to display memorabilia belonging to Wahlberg and McCarthy.
"Our goal is to make St. Charles the ultimate Wahlburgers experience for our customers and our fans," Wahlberg said in a statement Wednesday.
The burger restaurant is one of three new commercial buildings planned for the Meijer outlot.
A Starbucks coffee shop and drive-through is under construction, and a tenant for the third structure has not been announced.
The St. Charles location will be the second Wahlburgers to open in Illinois.