The former Jimmy's Place, an Arlington Heights institution for five decades until it closed in 2011, is getting a new look and a new name before opening later this summer.
The Arlington Heights village board unanimously approved plans for Big Ang's -- a hot dog restaurant named after new owner John Fridono's wife, Angie -- at the former Jimmy's location on the corner of Northwest Highway and Euclid Road.
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Several village trustees said they were excited to see the space renovated and reopening soon.
Big Ang's, 640 W. Northwest Highway, will seat 48 people with indoor and outdoor seating. Renovations to the site will bring it up to handicap accessibility codes, modernize the building, add landscaping and re-stripe the parking lot, said architect Kelly Bruckbauer of Tinaglia Architects.
Some trustees voiced concern about the amount of parking on the site, which is less than what is normally required, but Bruckbauer said the restaurant has agreements to share spots with Firestone Complete Auto Care and Olympic Indoor Aquatic Center nearby.
"I am concerned that you might be so popular that parking is an issue, but we're going to have to figure out a way," Trustee John Scaletta said. "But, I'm very pleased to see this part of town rehabbed a bit."
Fridono said he started dating his wife when they were teenagers and he has always called her Big Ang. The Inverness residents will own the restaurant and their son, Rocco, will manage it.
The menu will be a take on popular Chicago-area hot dog places like Gene and Jude's in River Grove, and feature fewer than 10 items, including hot dogs, fresh-cut french fries, sandwiches and Italian ice.
Big Ang's will be open Sunday through Thursday from 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to midnight. Fridono said he expects the restaurant to open this summer.
"For many of our longtime residents who went to high school with Jimmy's across the street they will enjoy the familiarity of something from the old part of our community coming back," Village President Arlene Mulder said.