Three quick-service eateries planned on Gene & Georgetti site in Rosemont

A vacant Rosemont restaurant building that for a time housed the only suburban Gene & Georgetti location is set for the wrecking ball, to make way for as many as three quick-service restaurants.

The village board Monday approved a $257,600 contract with Elgin-based Omega III LLC for teardown of the 18,000-square-foot restaurant/bar and 5,000-square-foot banquet hall, as well as an adjacent three-story, 200-space parking garage owned by the village. Schiller Park-based Northern Builders will be paid $7,500 for construction oversight.

The property at 9421 W. Higgins Road is already fenced in, and officials from the village's building department were there Monday morning as part of preparations for the demolition.

Mayor Brad Stephens said he and officials are negotiating letters of intent with three possible users who would move into two new buildings on the village-owned land, which is located between a Giordano's pizzeria and Taco Bell.

Stephens said the upscale restaurant and banquet hall was "way too big," while the new fast food eateries would be a "great use" for office workers in and around the Higgins Road commercial corridor. The new tenants could be revealed as soon as next month, he added.

The village evicted Gene & Georgetti in October over unpaid rent and taxes, halfway into a 10-year lease. It served as only the second location in the legendary restaurant's history, which - at 80 years - is the oldest family-owned steakhouse in Chicago.

The owners last fall attributed the closure to the pandemic, with the grand ballroom event space taking the biggest hit.

The 260-seat restaurant opened in July 2015 just six months after the closing of the Rosewood restaurant and banquet hall, whose owner Jim Mandas decided to retire after 25 years. At the time, the village bought out the remaining 47 years on a 70-year land-lease agreement and the building for $5.2 million, before inking a lease deal with Gene & Georgetti.

Stephens said it could take at least a year to redevelop the site.

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  A 3-story, 200-space parking garage on Higgins Road in Rosemont is set for demolition. The village-owned garage is being torn down with the adjacent restaurant building. Christopher Placek/
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