Lake Zurich will become the second suburban outpost for a Mexican restaurant that started near Wrigley Field almost 50 years ago.
Plans call for El Jardin to open at 500 Ela Road, a building where restaurants have come and gone since the 1990s. Lake Zurich village board members recently granted a special-use permit to El Jardin that'll allow the eatery to provide outdoor dining.
Trustee Jeffrey Halen is among the elected officials who are enthused about El Jardin filling the vacant Ela Road structure.
"Just can't wait for the restaurant to open," Halen said.
Menalon Greek restaurant was the most recent occupant of the structure at the southeast corner of Ela and Route 22. Menalon's roughly one-year run ended in 2012.
El Jardin co-owner Lawrence Ruiz, a Lake Zurich resident, told village officials the eatery opened on Clark Street just south of Wrigley Field in 1967. El Jardin, which means "the garden" in Spanish, launched its first suburban location in Glenview about 10 years ago.
"We are very proud of our recipes, as they have not changed throughout the years," Ruiz said.
Ruiz said he expects 15 to 30 new employees will be hired to staff two daily shifts at the Lake Zurich El Jardin. An opening date is not yet known.
In addition to its food, El Jardin is known for a deep menu of margaritas and tequilas. The restaurant offers 22 tequila options.
Lake Zurich officials said El Jardin's special-use permit will allow outdoor dining on an existing deck attached to the building's east side. The village has approved El Jardin's proposed changes to the deck that include a beige and brown color scheme replacing blue and white.