Bill's Pizza & Pub to get Mundelein grant to help fund $600,000 renovation

A famed Mundelein restaurant will undergo a significant renovation in 2022 - and its owner will receive a $50,000 village grant to help pay for it.

Plans are in the works for exterior and interior improvements at Bill's Pizza & Pub, which has operated since 1957 at 624 S. Lake St.

The facades of the dine-in and takeout buildings on the property will get extensive facelifts. Additionally, a patio and pergola for outdoor dining is planned, as is a new bathroom for outdoor patrons that'll be more easily accessible for people with disabilities.

"We realized fairly quickly during the summer of 2020 that many of our customers really enjoyed dining outside at our restaurant," owner Mary Ann Rouse said. "We're expecting the outdoor dining trend to continue, and this project will create a much more comfortable outdoor dining experience for our customers."

Floor repairs, a parking lot repaving and other improvements are planned, too.

Rouse, the daughter of restaurant founder Bill Kwiatkowski, hopes to start construction this spring.

"Ideally we will have everything completed by mid-May (or) early June so we can maximize the usage of the new patio this upcoming summer," she said.

The work is expected to cost nearly $600,000, according to village documents.

"We haven't taken on a project like this in probably 40 years or so," Rouse said.

The total wowed village board member Kerston Russell, who leads the village's community and economic development committee.

"That's a substantial amount of money to spend on their business and to improve their business," Russell said during Monday night's board meeting.

Bill's is a member of the Pizza Hall of Fame established by PMQ Pizza Magazine, a pizza industry publication. A second location, Bill's Pub North, serves customers in the Grayslake area.

"I know how much they're loved in our community," Russell said.

Russell and the other trustees unanimously approved a $50,000 grant for Bill's on Monday.

Under the village's Business Incentive Grant program, awards of up to $25,000 are available for interior improvements and up to $25,000 for exterior improvements. Grants of up to $5,000 are available for sign improvements, too.

Instead of getting the money up front, recipients are reimbursed for their expenses.

Since the program launched, grants totaling about $700,000 have been awarded to dozens of businesses, officials said.

The program has a $125,000 budget for the 2022 fiscal year, which runs through next April. The money for Bill's depletes the budgeted funds, documents indicated.

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Bill's Pizza & Pub in Mundelein is planning a $600,000 renovation. The restaurant has been awarded a $50,000 municipal grant to help cover the cost. Daily Herald File Photo
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