Vacant Lone Star Steakhouse will get three new restaurants

 
 
Updated 2/15/2011 6:05 PM

What would apparently be the first Nathan's Hot Dog restaurant in the Chicago area is being eyed for southwest Arlington Heights.

As well, three other restaurants that will operate in the old Lone Star Steakhouse at 115 W. Rand Road, are farther along in the approval process and expected to open soon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

They are Caribou Coffee, Jersey Mike's Subs and Smashburger, which recently opened its first Chicago-area restaurant in Batavia. The Caribou will include a drive-through.

Nathan's -- a Coney Island icon that hosts the national hot dog-eating championships each year -- is eyeing 1766 W. Algonquin Road just west of New Wilke Road in the Plaza Del Grato shopping center.

Nathan's plans were presented recently to a committee of the Arlington Heights plan commission, said Charles Witherington-Perkins, director of planning & community development, but it's not known when the company will submit a complete application and go before the full Plan Commission.

Perkins said he thought the subcommittee responded favorably, but a parking analysis is needed because parking is a little tight in that center, he said.

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The first Nathan's opened 90 years ago at Coney Island in New York, and now the company has franchise restaurants as well as package products sold in grocery stores.

Caribou Coffee, Jersey Mike's Subs and Smashburger already have leases and are expected before the plan commission Feb. 23, said Perkins. He expects them to wrap up the details and open soon.

"This will bring life back into that portion of the center," said Perkins, acknowledging the Lone Star has been closed for at least a few years.

"It's pretty common these days to see groups of restaurants that offer different products work together for synergy," he said.