Longtime Mundelein bar is getting new sign with help from village grant
A bar that's been a staple in downtown Mundelein for 40-some years will receive a $5,000 village grant to help pay for a new sign.
The owners of Emil's Sports Bar, 604 N. Lake St., plan to get rid of the iconic pole sign that stands outside the business. The sign doesn't conform with strict village regulations enacted four years ago.
An illuminated, double-sided sign will be attached to one side of the building.
The grant money will come from Mundelein's Business Incentive Grant program, which aims to help local businesses or commercial landlords improve the appearance of their properties or replace old signs.
Updating commercial signage has been a particular focus for village leaders since the board approved extensive rules for business signs in 2015 to improve the look of the community.
"Improving commercial signage across our village is in the public's interest," Mayor Steve Lentz said.
The village board unanimously approved the grant for Emil's without debate Monday night.
Although some people may miss Emil's pole sign, Lentz called the design for the new sign "very nice."
"I think it will grow quickly on people," he said.
The business grant program began in 2014. Instead of getting money up front, recipients are reimbursed for up to half their expenses.
Grants for sign-replacement projects are capped at $5,000. The new sign at Emil's will cost $10,995, according to village documents.
Grants for other exterior improvements are capped at $25,000, as are grants for interior improvements.
Since the grant program launched, officials have awarded 44 grants totaling about $450,000, Village Administrator John Lobaito said. Notable recipients have included Park Street Restaurant, Lakeside Recreation Center, Greg's Frozen Custard and Luke's of Mundelein.
The business grant program has a $75,000 annual budget, and officials expect to hit that mark this fiscal year. Seven grants have been awarded so far this year, Lobaito said.
Also Monday, the board voted to authorize the creation of a resolution for a $37,954 Business Incentive Grant for Hinwood Inc., a home remodeling business at 1415 Wilhelm Road.
Hinwood's owners are planning to install new fire alarm, sprinkler and water systems at an estimated $75,575 cost. The systems are required by village building regulations, documents indicate.
Hinwood relocated this summer to the space on Wilhelm Road from a different spot in Mundelein. Trustee Ray Semple said they were happy to work with the business' owners and offer the grant "to keep them in town."
A vote on the grant is expected at the Oct. 14 board meeting.