Now that it has the village board's blessing, a popular Mundelein takeout sandwich shop is offering indoor seating.
GRIL, 403 Washington Blvd., Suite 11, specializes in gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches. It opened in May as a takeout and catering operation, but customers have clamored for a place to eat inside, owner Paul Patricelli said.
GRIL is in an industrial park, though, and dine-in restaurants generally aren't allowed in such areas in Mundelein. So Patricelli had to apply for a zoning change, which the village board granted Monday.
A large dining table and two small high-top tables have been set up for hungry customers. They were donated by village Trustee Kerston Russell, who runs a different business in the same center.
Patricelli was excited to expand GRIL's service.
"It gives us a chance to meet more members of the community, and thus better serve them," he said.
Nikita Kibardin and Jimmy Carrillo, who work at a U.S. Bank in Mundelein, took advantage of the indoor seating at lunchtime Friday.
"It's nice to get away from the office, so you get a mental break," Kibardin said between bites of a sandwich called a Regulator that featured cheddar and Muenster cheeses and a spread of seasoned artichoke hearts and fresh baby spinach.
Carrillo is a GRIL fan, too.
"It's unique," he said while polishing off a Mustang sandwich that included cheddar and colby cheeses and smoked bacon bits.
Trustees approved indoor seating for the restaurant as long as Patricelli limits the total number of employees working at once and the number of seats for customers to 10 or fewer.
Under state plumbing code, allowing more employees or patrons would require construction of a second bathroom.
When Patricelli appeared before the village board this month to discuss his request for indoor seating, Trustee Ray Semple said he'd rather see the restaurant operate in Mundelein's downtown area than in an industrial park.
After this week's vote, Semple said he still hopes GRIL's business relocates downtown.
"His restaurant would be a great fit for downtown once he grows in popularity," Semple said.