Buffalo Grove picks new operator for golf course restaurant
In the Buffalo Grove Golf Course restaurant sweepstakes, Buffalo burgers beat out Southern-style steak sandwiches.
Buffalo Grove trustees this week chose a proposal from the Cardone Restaurant Group, the owner of Mambo Italiano in Mundelein, to run the restaurant at the village golf course.
The Cardone concept of The Wild Buffalo includes a menu featuring entrees such as roast duck, sandwiches, including a buffalo burger, wraps and pizza.
Their proposal beat out one from Tap Room Hospitality, which currently operates the Village Bar & Grill at the golf course. Tap Room proposed a revamped restaurant it would dub The Still featuring a Southern theme.
"It was our preference to see a new branded concept come in that was really different, and we felt that Cardone offered the widest variety menu at the price point that would work well in that space," Village Manager Dane Bragg said. "You're catering to multiple customers. You have the golf customer and you have a lot of neighborhood customers in this area who like to utilize the restaurant. So we felt like they had the broadest appeal for those two groups."
The Village Bar & Grill will close by Dec. 31, at which point work renovations will begin. Cardone's goal is to open by April 2017, in time for the golf season.
The board approved a five-year contract with the restaurant operators, with three five-year optional extensions, meaning it could run as long as 20 years. Under the agreement, the Cardone group will pay $4,500 per month base rent, as well as 1 percent of food and beverage sales.
The village will fund renovations covering the underlying infrastructure of the restaurant space, including the bathrooms, the common area flooring and walls, the plumbing and the HVAC. The Cardone group has committed to a minimum of $100,000 in interior improvements.
The Cardone Restaurant Group's owners, Salvatore and Briana Cardone, have ties to Buffalo Grove. Salvatore grew up in the village and graduated from Buffalo Grove High School. Briana spent most of her life in Buffalo Grove and Long Grove and graduated from Stevenson High School.
Prior to opening their Mundelein restaurant in 2004, they worked for Valentino Vineyards in Long Grove.
"We're really proud to open a restaurant in this village," Briana Cardone said Monday.
"I know that right now, as it stands, it may look dated, it may look worn, but please do have faith in the fact that my husband and I are going to turn it around," she added. "We definitely want to bring a whole lot back to this community, besides providing a great restaurant and atmosphere for our golfers."