Lake in the Hills to get gastropub this spring
A gastropub will open this spring in the former Applebee's building off Randall Road in Lake in the Hills.
The site has been vacant since Applebee's closed in July 2013 after the chain's area franchise holder went bankrupt. It is in a prime location in front of the now defunct Dominick's site on the northeast corner of Randall and Algonquin roads.
Gino DeVivo, village economic development director, said the village has been pursuing an investor to take over the Applebee's site for more than a year.
He said interest in vacant properties in that area has increased since McHenry County dropped a controversial idea to build a continuous-flow intersection (CFI) at Randall and Algonquin roads that would have affected access to area businesses.
"It's all because of the new activity and renewed activity from the CFI being lifted from over our shoulders," he said.
The pub will serve high-end craft beer and food, said owner and restaurateur Dave Abraham of Hoffman Estates.
It will be named Woods Creek Tavern after one of the largest lakes in the village.
"We wanted to tie in with the local community," Abraham said.
Abraham, who owns a restaurant in Schaumburg, purchased the Applebee's property in December. He originally considered opening a sports bar there, but later decided on the gastropub concept.
"A gastropub is a pub with higher quality beer and higher quality food," he said.
That means no frozen food, and only fresh ingredients.
"A lot of it is going to be (prepared) from scratch," Abraham said. "It's not going to be upscale. We want to be right at the $10 to $12 mark for entrees. We're going to have a huge selection of local and regional craft beer on draft.
Abraham said the architect is working on the design and construction is likely to start in a couple of weeks.
"We're going to beautify the exterior. We are totally going to redo the interior," he said. "You won't know it was ever an Applebee's when we're done with it. It's not going to be that feel."
The pub is expected to open sometime in May.