Popular country band Rascal Flatts is planning to include South Barrington in its nationwide rollout of restaurants and entertainment venues.
Village officials said a stand-alone building for the Rascal Flatts Bar and Grill is proposed near Pinstripes at the Arboretum of South Barrington at Higgins Road and Route 59. Rascal Flatts has topped the country singles chart 17 times.
Plans call for the South Barrington Rascal Flatts to have Italian cuisine with Southern fusion, according to a village board presentation by co-owner Chris Burka. He said the live entertainment is expected to include Christian rock and country bands, but not hard rock or heavy metal.
South Barrington Mayor Paula McCombie and Village Administrator Robert Palmer said the Rascal Flatts venture should open next year. The building plans, which include an outdoor patio, were reviewed by the South Barrington architectural control commission at meetings in August and July.
"I think the town is excited about it," Palmer said. "It kind of gives the Arboretum a different twist."
Burka, a Bartlett native who could not be reached for additional comment, told South Barrington officials that no more than eight ticketed national shows would be expected annually at the family-oriented establishment.
Rascal Flatts opened its first restaurant and entertainment venue in a Stamford, Connecticut, mall in August. The group also intends to bring the concept to Los Angeles, Cleveland and Gainesville, Florida.
South Barrington's Rascal Flatts would include a 7,000-square-foot stage and bar area, with seating for about 450 patrons, Burka told the village board. McCombie said the establishment should be a regional draw.
"This is probably going to bring in another crowd of people, which will be helping all the businesses in the Arboretum," McCombie said.
Arboretum marketing director Monika Kalicki, who declined to address the Rascal Flatts plan, said there are other restaurants on the horizon for the lifestyle center.
Fast-casual Falafill, which features customizable Mediterranean bowls, wraps and pita pockets, and the East Coast-themed Hampton Social seafood restaurant are in the works. Kalicki said Hampton Social would be in a free-standing building while Falafill is planned for space between L.L. Bean and SportClips toward Higgins Road.
Country singer Toby Keith had a branded space in the suburbs for three years. In 2015, Toby Keith's I Love This Bar and Grill in Rosemont and most of his other locations across the country closed amid financial problems.