Former TGI Fridays in Wheeling could become a recreational marijuana shop

A cannabis dispensary for recreational users could replace a former TGI Fridays restaurant in Wheeling.

If the business - proposed for a free-standing building at 1500 E. Lake-Cook Road in the Schwind Crossings shopping center - gains village approval, it'll be Wheeling's first pot store.

A company called Mindful Illinois wants to open the dispensary, which would be called Hatch, village documents indicate. The company already operates the Mindful pot shop in Addison.

The company's partners have been involved with Rivers Casino, the Stir Crazy restaurant chain and other businesses in the gambling, cannabis and hospitality industries, documents indicate.

They hope to open the store in early 2021, documents indicate.

The TGI Fridays restaurant closed in August after 13 years there. A franchisee had been renting the 5,800-square-foot building.

The village's economic development department helped the landlord lure Mindful Illinois to the site, documents indicate. Wheeling would collect a 3% tax on any sales at the store.

For the proposal to progress, village officials need to change Wheeling's zoning rules to allow a cannabis dispensary in the shopping center. The center's other businesses include a Binny's Beverage Depot, a Hair Cuttery Salon and a Potbelly Sandwich Shop.

The dispensary would need a special use permit, too.

The village's plan commission will consider the proposal when it meets remotely at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. The meeting can be viewed online at or on local cable channel 17 or channel 99.

In October, the village board approved a special-use permit for a proposed cannabis growing facility at 1480 S. Wolf Road. But that proposed business still needs a state craft growing license, and none have been issued yet.

Cannabis dispensaries operate in Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Mount Prospect, Schaumburg, Mundelein and other suburbs. Some, such as the ones in Buffalo Grove and Mount Prospect, only serve customers with medical prescriptions.

Buffalo Grove's Sunnyside dispensary wants to expand its client base to recreational users and is seeking state permission to do so.

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