Goose Island pub coming to downtown Grayslake?
Grayslake's continued push to make its downtown a regional destination may include a six-figure incentive package to restaurateurs planning to redevelop a building dating to the early 1900s.
Mark Khayat and Pete Giannakakis would launch a restaurant-pub, possibly under the Goose Island Beer Co. banner, in the vacant historic structure they bought that covers 250 and 266 Center St. They stand to receive a $350,000 economic incentive package from the village for the proposed 233-seat establishment.
Village officials said at least $2.9 million in private investment would go into the project. Khayat owns Austin's Saloon and Eatery in Libertyville, and his son-in-law, Giannakakis, has Anastasia's Restaurant and Sports Lounge operations in Antioch and Waukegan.
Grayslake Village Manager Mike Ellis said transforming the downtown into a regional dining and entertainment spot is a longtime goal that's close to being met. He said the proposal from Giannakakis and Khayat would be a good fit.
"Downtown is the biggest selling point we have," Ellis said.
Khayat said downtown Grayslake has a growing culinary scene. It includes the critically acclaimed Cacao Sweets and Treats, The Vine Martini and Wine Bar, Something's Brewing and Emil's Tavern on Center.
"I feel like Grayslake's got its own vibe going on down there," he said. "I like it a lot. It will be a foodie destination. I think that it's a great downtown area. It's a great community and we're looking forward to being a part of it."
The village's economic development commission has recommended approval of the incentive. Grayslake trustees Tuesday night plan to discuss whether to provide the $350,000 and specifically how it would be done.
Projections show Grayslake would break even in five years, based on a combination of annual sales and property taxes generated from the venture.
Village officials said the proposed deal, one of the largest incentives for downtown redevelopment, would help preserve the historic building, converting its second level into space for patrons and meeting Americans With Disabilities Act requirements.
If a Goose Island deal is not struck with brand owner Anheuser-Busch InBev, Khayat and Giannakakis still would run a similar concept, according to the village.
Khayat declined to comment on the talks regarding Goose Island. He said the restaurant-pub would be expected to open by January.
Assistant Village Manager Kevin Timony said the west portion of the building dates to the early 1900s. The addition on the east was constructed in the 1930s.
Grayslake has not shied from using incentives in an effort to revitalize downtown. Last year, trustees approved a $200,000 package to assist the Bowes family with an Italian steakhouse at 127 and 129 Center St., which is under construction across the street from where Khayat and Giannakakis intend to open their restaurant.