A distinctive barnlike restaurant building that's sat vacant for nearly six years along a busy Mount Prospect thoroughfare soon will become home to the village's first microbrewery.
Village officials on Tuesday recommended a Cook County tax incentive to help bring The Red Barn restaurant and tasting room on the former site of Bogies Ale House.
D.J. Harrington, the former general manager of the Mount Prospect Bar Louie restaurant, will co-own and operate the new venue in the 10,000-square-foot space at 303 E. Kensington Road. Harrington told the village board Tuesday he is working aggressively to open by August.
"This is an opportunity for us to redevelop a building that has had so much meaning to so many people in the community," he said.
Bogies closed in 2012 after 17 years in business. Owner Jeff Martinez cited declining business caused in part by new restaurants in the neighboring Randhurst Village.
George Reveliotis, an attorney for the new owners, said the property was bought at auction for about $500,000. The owners will be investing $500,000 into improvements, as well as $500,000 for brewing equipment, he said.
To help, village trustees Tuesday recommended that Cook County grant the new business a Class 7C property tax incentive. If approved by the county board, the incentive would reduce the property's assessment level from 25 percent to 10 percent for three years. It would then go up by 5 percent for two years before reverting to the full assessment level.
Village officials were excited Tuesday about the prospect of filling the long-vacant restaurant space.
"It brings back a property that has been dark now for over five years," Community Development Director Bill Cooney said. "It's one of our strategic goals to get a microbrewery or brewpub in town."
The Red Barn will be a full-service restaurant that will produce six to 10 beers in house, as well as root beer. The brewery will fill growlers for take out and include a tasting room. The loft portion of the eatery will feature live entertainment, under the plan.
Although Harrington hopes to open The Red Barn by August, he does not expect the brewery to be operational until October. Until then, beer will be supplied by Itasca Brewery Co.
Trustee Paul Hoefert noted that the board has been hoping to bring a microbrewery to town for some time.
"We have aligned our ordinances to fit that, and you're the first," he said.