Moretti's 'flagship' location could open in late spring in Barrington
In the works since the middle of 2017, Moretti's Ristorante and Pizzeria could open its Barrington location in late spring near the village's train station.
Restaurateur Mark Hoffmann purchased the former Wool Street Grill and Sports Bar, which is in the final stages of being converted into Moretti's. Hoffmann is vice president and owner of Ala Carte Entertainment.
Extensive work has been done to upgrade the building's interior. Hoffmann set out to preserve the integrity of the Wool Street structure, which the Barrington Area Historical Society said dates to about 1865.
"Of all of our new locations that we open, this will definitely be our flagship," Hoffmann said Thursday. "Plus, we're local boys here, so nowhere would I want to invest my money more than in my own neighborhood."
Barrington Assistant Director of Development Services Jennifer Tennant said Hoffmann has been "really doing his best" to make the village's Moretti's stand out.
Many changes to the original plan have been made since Ala Carte Entertainment closed on the building purchase in May 2017.
Plans now call for a small cafe on the Klingenberg Lane side of the building toward the train station to serve morning commuters, Tennant said.
There also will be a second-floor outdoor dining area with a cover and an al fresco option unprotected from the elements.
As part of the Moretti's project, an 1870s-era house that was next door at 117 Wool St. was moved to accommodate restaurant parking.
Hoffmann didn't want to raze the historic house for the parking, so he gave it to documentary filmmaker Jeff Baustert, who had it towed in September 2017 to his family's Barrington Hills property for use as a guesthouse.
Work on the new Moretti's didn't progress as quickly as expected in the beginning to accommodate the move of the historic house. Tennant said the eatery could open in late spring.
While Moretti's wound up short of the number of parking spaces required by Barrington, village officials recently agreed to sell permits to the restaurant for employee use of an adjacent public lot. Moretti's is expected to buy 12 spaces on a quarterly basis.