The owner of the Des Plaines building that long housed Grazie Ristorante is tearing it down and plans to build a fitness club there in its place.
Joe Matuschka said Monday he has just started talking to city officials about his plan for the site at 1050 E. Oakton St.
Matuschka, who owns restaurants including Hofbräuhaus Chicago in Rosemont, said he has owned the building a few months. He is choosing not to open another restaurant so close to one of his existing eateries.
"I don't think it's a good idea to have another restaurant that close," he said.
In January, the Des Plaines city council rejected a request from a Northfield pediatrician to open a not-for-profit religious community center on the property. At that time city officials said they wanted multifamily and commercial uses on the site.
Grazie closed in 2011 after the property was foreclosed upon. At the time of its closing, city officials said they were hopeful the site would quickly be purchased and operated by another restaurateur.