Kathleen Bergeron hasn't pinned down a name for her new East Dundee bar and cafe, but she knows exactly what type of vibe she wants it to convey.
She envisions a cozy, welcoming atmosphere where customers can mingle and converse. She pictures visitors choosing from a variety of options -- healthy juices, locally grown produce, decadent small plates -- while sitting at the bar or relaxing on the patio.
"I want it to really be a place that has a sense of community, where people are comfortable," Bergeron said. "You'll be a friend when you leave. That's the kind of environment I want to create."
The downtown property at 215 Barrington Ave. is about to undergo a roughly $400,000 interior and exterior renovation. The 900-square-foot space will be gutted and reconfigured, Bergeron said, and the entire facade will get a facelift.
East Dundee is offering Bergeron up to $130,000 in tax incentives over the next 14 years to assist with project costs. She will recapture 50 percent of the incremental property tax revenue and 90 percent of the business development district sales tax dollars generated at the site.
Bergeron is aiming to open the establishment by Thanksgiving. In addition to the 25 seats available inside, another 45 people can dine on an outdoor patio, which will be open seasonally.
The building formerly housed The Measuring Cup, a breakfast and lunch cafe that closed in May after nine years. Owners Arlene and Marco Botta sold the property for $225,000 to Bergeron, who had been eyeing the quaint spot along the Fox River Trail for years.
"I love East and West Dundee, and I like the idea that it's on the bike path, so you constantly have traffic without being on a busy street," said Bergeron, who lives in the area. "I love the idea of starting with a concept that I'm really passionate about, but starting small."
The establishment will offer a juice and espresso bar, pastries and healthy menu items made with organic and locally grown ingredients. Starting at lunchtime, customers will be able to order specialty pizzas, small plates and other delicacies made in a wood-fired oven.
"If it's not fresh, raw and cold, it'll be coming out of that wood oven," Bergeron said. "There's no fryer, no grill. Everything's going to be very fresh, very healthy and absolutely delicious."
The cafe and bar will be open every day from breakfast through dinner. Bergeron also anticipates serving late-night options on the weekends.
"I'm so passionate about food, and I love things that are unique and different," she said. "I want to be able to offer that here."