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updated: 2/20/2012 10:47 PM

Hoffman Estates gives OTB restaurant final approval

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The Hoffman Estates village board unanimously approved the final site plan Monday for The Saddle Room, an upscale restaurant with an off-track betting facility that will be located in the village's economic development area.

"This has been a long-awaited development," Mayor William McLeod said before congratulating the restaurant's owner, Parker Grabowski, for receiving a final approval from the board after years of discussion.

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In August 2009, Grabowski had obtained site plan and special use approval from the village to build an OTB restaurant on the southeast corner of Pratum Avenue and Prairie Stone Parkway, but the project was stalled when financing for the project fell through.

Last year, Grabowski got back on track with his plans when he found different financing for the restaurant.

But again, the project was delayed because the seller of the corner lot Grabowski had hoped to purchase had entered foreclosure.

Grabowski is now in the process of purchasing 5.8 acres at 2559 Pratum Ave. currently owned by Cabela's, the hunting, fishing and outdoor gear store just east of the property.

He said Monday that he is hoping to break ground on the restaurant at the end of March and have it open in about six months.

"This is the original land that we wanted in the first place," he added. "The view is going to be fantastic. It's going to be a real destination restaurant."

According to the restaurant's concept statement, the menu will feature "brick oven specialties, pastas, fish, pork and steak," with prices for dinner ranging from $10 to $40. The lounge will feature more than 80 bottle beers and 200 wines.

The restaurant will also feature a wine bar, a patio with an outdoor bar and three dining areas and, of course, a 3,800-square-foot OTB room, which will be decorated with stone, used barn wood, finished cherry and oak woods and leather.

There will also be room to accommodate groups up to 120 people.

"It's very upscale," said Trustee Karen Mills, who also serves as chairwoman for the village's planning, building and zoning committee. "It's going to be very different from what people would surmise to be an OTB."

"I think it's going to be a great asset to town," she said, adding that she is thankful to Grabowski "for sticking with us."

Senior village planner Jim Donahue said last week that the village and Cook County will each receive 1 percent of the "handle," or dollars wagered at the facility.

That means the village and the county could each receive about $140,000 annually from the estimated $14 million Grabowski expects the restaurant to accumulate in handle per year.

No residents were present at Monday's meeting to voice opposition to the OTB facility.

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