East Dundee officials decided Monday night to help a long-standing business with a pair of expansion projects: one that will more than double the facility, and another that will extend its beer garden season.
By the time the improvements are completed next year, Bandito Barney's Beach Club and Bordello will have the ability to serve people six-to-eight weeks earlier and later than it does now, said Roger Shelton, president of Big Kahuna Corporation, which owns the bar.
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"That's where our money is," Shelton said of the beer garden season.
Shelton is pumping $1.1 million into the projects, and East Dundee agreed to reimburse him $300,000 out of a tax-increment finance district toward his costs. The village will recapture their investment through the bar's sales tax receipts.
"We're using TIF money to expand a business and basically turn it into sales tax," Village President Lael Miller said. "It's a huge draw for downtown, it'll bring a lot of business down here, and this enables (Shelton) to fix his seasonality problem. He has probably 500 people there every day in the summer time. In the winter time it's probably more like 20."
The building has housed a bar since 1900, Shelton said. His corporation bought it last December.
The first project involves heating the outdoor beer garden, then putting a roof over a portion of it to accommodate 300 people during bad weather. A 10-foot-tall, insulated wall in the beer garden and a new sound system would cut down on the noise from live bands that have been the bane of neighbors' existence for years.
Right now, the garden's bar seats 14 people, and Shelton is building a new bar that would seat 55 patrons. Once the beer garden improvements are complete, customers can enjoy a cold one outside even when temperatures plummet into the 20s, Shelton said.
The other project includes adding 5,200 square feet to the building itself.
The indoor bar seats 50 people, but by the time Shelton's done, 250 people will be able to sit and sip. He's also doubling the size of the kitchen and using new equipment to enhance the menu. He plans on adding roasted chicken, prime rib, pulled pork and beef brisket to the menu.
"We have all the equipment all in place, we're just finalizing the construction on all that," Shelton said.
The beer garden work should be finished by St. Patrick's Day, while the building expansion is scheduled for completion in November, Shelton said.