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posted: 8/3/2013 8:00 AM

Fox River Grove helping eatery rebuild

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By Lenore Adkins

A Chinese restaurant that's been a Fox River Grove staple for nearly 40 years is getting additional help from the village while the eatery rebuilds from a winter fire.

The village board Thursday agreed to issue a letter of comfort to New China restaurant that outlines its participation in the village's facade improvement grant program.

The village will reimburse owner Bill Gee for up to $43,000 under the program, and the letter is a tool Gee will use when he's ready to hire a new contractor.

"You have assurances (in the letter) you'll get the money back because the village's standing behind this," Village President Robert Nunamaker said.

Gee, who could not be reached for comment Friday, secured the grant earlier this year toward the eatery's repairs and code updates.

The entire project costs $50,000, which means Gee needs to put in $7,000 of his own cash.

A January grease fire destroyed the restaurant's kitchen but left its dining room intact, Nunamaker said.

The restaurant has been closed ever since, but it is expected to reopen in six weeks.

"New China has been in Fox River Grove for over 37 years," Village Administrator Karl Warwick said. "It's an important part of the downtown, and it's very important for us to have him rebuild and reopen the restaurant and hopefully set a new tone for the downtown."

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