Restaurant featuring 100 draft beers advances for final approval as part of Hawthorn redevelopment in Vernon Hills

Yard House restaurant second of three planned for Hawthorn mall out-lots on Milwaukee Avenue

Final details are being worked through as a restaurant featuring 100 draft beers on tap as part of the Hawthorn mall redevelopment in Vernon Hills is nearing official approval.

Yard House, which touts the world’s largest selection of draft beer, would be built on the southernmost of three out-lots along Milwaukee Avenue on the mall perimeter. The lots were created specifically for new restaurants on the eastern part of the Hawthorn campus, which is being reinvented with luxury apartments, new shops and stores and other features.

Texas-based Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille has been under construction since last year on the northernmost lot and will be the first of the trio to be completed with an opening anticipated in spring. A potential user for the middle spot has not been announced.

Yard House is one of nine brands, including Olive Garden and Ruth's Chris Steakhouse operated by the Darden restaurant group. There are about 80 Yard House locations nationally, including Glenview and Lombard.

Darden pitched the concept to the village board last summer and it was forwarded for detailed staff review and a public hearing, held Jan. 31 by the advisory planning and zoning commission. The restaurant is planned for about 290 indoor seats and 80 seats outdoors with a seasonal patio and beer garden.

“While the underlying details have been fleshed out over the course of the last five months, the overall concept remains very consistent with what you previously saw,” Community Development Director Andrew Jennings told the village board last week.

The first Yard House opened in 1996 in southern California and became known for its extensive beer collection and equipment systems to keep it fresh and chilled. The full-service menu features steaks, chops, chicken, seafood, burgers, pizza, salad and other offerings inspired by California roots.

According to Jennings, the commission generally was in favor of the facility and recommended approval with conditions related to the sign and landscape plans, parking and pedestrian safety.

The village board agreed to have ordinances drafted for official approval at a future meeting with the condition the staff work with the developer, Consolidated Development Services, regarding the location of a sidewalk. All details will need to be addressed before a site development permit is issued.

The mall redevelopment, known as Hawthorn 2.0, was launched in 2019. Construction is underway for Sephora, Anthropologie, FP Movement and Lovesac as ground-floor tenants on Hawthorn Row, the gateway to The Domaine, a 311-unit, high-end apartment development.

Another 250 apartments, 3-acre outdoor plaza, new food gallery on the upper level inside the mall and more development for parcels along Ring Road are planned in the next phase.

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