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updated: 12/4/2013 5:22 PM

LongHorn Steakhouse coming to Vernon Hills

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Another new restaurant planned for Vernon Hills will add variety to its well-stocked menu of familiar eateries.

Smith Capital Management has the preliminary green light to proceed with plans for a 242-seat LongHorn Steakhouse restaurant at Route 60 and Fairway Drive.

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A vacant building on the site formerly occupied by Wolf Camera and California Pizza Kitchen would be torn down to make way for the new venture.

"This is a higher end steakhouse," Trustee Jim Schultz said Tuesday during an informal discussion of the proposal. "This is a very, very good addition to our stock of restaurants."

LongHorn operates in 11 Illinois communities, including Bolingbrook, Orland Park, Rockford, Oak Lawn, Schaumburg, Norridge and Des Plaines. It is part of Orlando, Fla.-based Darden Restaurants, which owns and operates 2,100 restaurants including the Olive Garden and Red Lobster brands.

Jason Smith of Smith Capital Management said the average tab at a LongHorn Steakhouse is $18.50.

As proposed, the new building would be closer to the northeast corner of the property. It would require variations to the village code because it would intrude in the required building setback and landscape easement.

The company needs to add parking spaces to meet village code and is working with the adjoining Target store to add 29 spaces to serve both properties. A multi-tenant sign also is being suggested for the northeast corner of the property.

Village officials agreed with the general concept and directed that it proceed with the review process where those and other details would be worked out. A public hearing would be held at some point before the board would consider the project for final approval.

Village records show permits were sought this year for nine restaurants. They include Chick-fil-A, which opened last week, and Dave & Buster's, Maggiano's Little Italy, and, Smashburger planned for Westfield Hawthorn shopping center.

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