St. Charles likely to offer incentives for new sports bar

Updated 2/14/2019 3:45 PM
  • St. Charles is expected to award about $45,000 to help property owners transform a portion of 100 S. Riverside Ave. into an upscale sports bar.

      St. Charles is expected to award about $45,000 to help property owners transform a portion of 100 S. Riverside Ave. into an upscale sports bar. Lauren Rohr | Staff Photographer

St. Charles is expected to offer financial assistance to help transform a vacant downtown property into an upscale sports bar.

A nearly $200,000 investment is planned for upgrading the exterior of 100 S. Riverside Ave., improving its interior systems and separating the building into two tenant spaces, according to city documents.

The renovations are slated for completion by this spring, when the Flagship on the Fox restaurant and bar plans to move into the northern portion of the site, said Russell Colby, community development division manager.

Aldermen acting as a committee this week supported covering a portion of the project costs through two economic incentive programs. A $20,000 grant will go toward facade improvements, and an additional $25,000 will help upgrade building utilities, pending approval from the city council.

The exterior renovations are primarily planned for the portion of the building that will be occupied by Flagship, Colby said. Property owners are installing overhead doors, allowing a covered dining patio to be usable year-round, he said, and the side of the building facing Walnut Avenue will be replaced with a glass storefront.

The city's historic preservation commission recommended approval of the facade grant, saying in a resolution that the improvements would "enhance the appearance of Riverside Avenue."

"(The commission) was very supportive of the design and thought the enhancements really were going to add to the character of the building in a way they thought was a nice fit for the downtown area," Colby said.

Additional investment could go into building out the tenant spaces, Colby said. Flagship will take up about 6,400 square feet, and property owners are working to pin down a business for the southern portion of the building.

The property overlooking the Fox River has been vacant for several years. It previously housed Danny's Corner Pocket and Chord on Blues.

"It's a fairly large building that was used by two different businesses but hasn't been divided into two properly demised spaces," Colby said. "Some of the work being funded is to assist with utility services to separate them properly between the two units."

Flagship on the Fox owner Stephen Mayer said the establishment will offer a night life experience with TVs for watching sporting events and a menu featuring burgers, sandwiches, salads, soups and a variety of appetizers. Mayer also owns Flagship Tavern in Chicago.

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