Restaurateur Mark Hoffmann plans to purchase the eatery at 118 Wool St. and the hair salon next door at 128 Wool St. and open a Moretti's restaurant by the end of the summer. He will add an additional 21 spaces for parking by tearing down the salon, he said.
"It's an exciting time for our company," said Hoffmann, who is vice president and owner of Ala Carte Entertainment, a restaurant operator for the Moretti's brand and restaurants and bars throughout the suburbs, including the Snuggery in Schaumburg and McHenry; the former Cadillac Ranch, now called Lucky Star; and Famous Freddie's Road House in Fox Lake. He operates the company with his father, Fred.
Village leaders in Barrington confirmed they have been in discussions with Hoffmann. "We're pleased his project is moving forward," said spokeswoman Patty Dowd Schmitz. "Wool Street has been a wonderful restaurant in Barrington for many years and we will miss them," she said.
Hoffmann, 52, said he is friends with the owner of Wool Street who reached out to him to see if he was interested in the establishment. Hoffmann said he hopes to close on the property May 31 and then renovate the establishment. The owner of Wool Street did not immediately return calls Thursday. Wool Street operated a location in Cary for several years before it closed in 2012.
Hoffmann, who grew up in the family restaurant business, lives in Barrington Hills with his wife, Jessica, and three daughters, and is enthusiastic about the new eatery. "This is a very special location," he said, because of its proximity to his home. He has memories of growing up in Park Ridge and riding his bike to his family restaurant.
Moretti's, known for its pizza and other Italian and American fare, currently has locations in Schaumburg, Mount Prospect, Bartlett, Hoffman Estates, Fox Lake, Lake in the Hills and Chicago's Edison Park neighborhood, with plans to open another in Rosemont.
Hoffmann said he has been asked if he has plans to expand in Lake Zurich and take over the Hackney's restaurant that closed Sunday. The business owner said he looked into the property on Rand Road, but has no plans to purchase that parcel.
He added that Ala Carte owns the real estate of all its locations. "We are constantly striving to upgrade all our brands. "We like to set the trend," he said.