Blue Martini Lounge sites planned for Schaumburg, Oak Brook, Rosemont

  • This is a rendering of the proposed Blue Martini Lounge in Schaumburg that would be the product of a $1.2 million improvement of the former Ram Restaurant & Brewery building at 1901 McConnor Parkway.

    This is a rendering of the proposed Blue Martini Lounge in Schaumburg that would be the product of a $1.2 million improvement of the former Ram Restaurant & Brewery building at 1901 McConnor Parkway. Courtesy of Michael Manzo

  • This is a rendering of the proposed Blue Martini Lounge in Schaumburg that would be the product of a $1.2 million improvement of the former Ram Restaurant & Brewery building at 1901 McConnor Parkway.

    This is a rendering of the proposed Blue Martini Lounge in Schaumburg that would be the product of a $1.2 million improvement of the former Ram Restaurant & Brewery building at 1901 McConnor Parkway. Courtesy of Michael Manzo

  • Developers seek a Class 7A tax incentive from the Cook County Board to help fund a $1.2 million upgrade transforming the former Ram Restaurant & Brewery building at 1901 McConnor Parkway in Schaumburg into a proposed Blue Martini Lounge.

      Developers seek a Class 7A tax incentive from the Cook County Board to help fund a $1.2 million upgrade transforming the former Ram Restaurant & Brewery building at 1901 McConnor Parkway in Schaumburg into a proposed Blue Martini Lounge. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 3/27/2020 7:46 PM

The investor behind a proposed Blue Martini Lounge in Schaumburg has released not only renderings of the expected $1.2 million upgrade of the former Ram Restaurant & Brewery building, but also news of future expansion into Oak Brook and Rosemont.

Michael Manzo describes the Blue Martini Lounge concept that was born in Florida 20 years ago as a restaurant/bar with a live entertainment component. In all three communities he's looking at, he considers it a place where people would be able to make both their dinner and after-dinner plans for an evening out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"That's the void we're hoping to fill," Manzo said.

The hoped-for time frame for his plans would see the Schaumburg location at 1901 McConnor Parkway open this November, followed by one next to Gibsons Steakhouse in Oak Brook in summer 2021 and finally one at a yet undetermined Rosemont site in 2022.

If all goes well, only then might he consider turning his sights on a Chicago location, Manzo said.

There are currently nine Blue Martini Lounge locations across the nation, including in Atlanta, Las Vegas and Phoenix.

Though the Rosemont location hasn't been fixed, Manzo added that he's definitely leaning toward the new Pearl District at the intersection of Balmoral Avenue and Pearl Street.

Oak Brook Development Services Director Tony Budizkowski said he's aware of where a Blue Martini Lounge is being considered, but that his village is not yet reviewing any formal proposal.

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Schaumburg trustees this week unanimously recommended approval of a Cook County Class 7A tax incentive for the site on McConnor Parkway, which is still awaiting its hearing before the Cook County Board.

The 11,900-square-foot building has been vacant since the fall of 2018 when Ram closed after nearly 19 years of operation, and is not highly visible from major roads.

The tax incentive being sought, intended to make commercial development in Cook County competitive with the collar counties, effectively cuts property taxes in half over a 12-year period.

The level of assessment is reduced from 25% to 10% for the first 10 years, then rises to 15% in year 11 and 20% in year 12 before returning to normal.

The proposed upgrade of the building is expected after its pending $1.6 million purchase. The business plans to employ 40 full-time and 20 part-time workers.

While current COVID-19 restrictions could have some impact on the Cook County Board's meeting schedule or the start of construction, there's enough flexibility in Blue Martini Lounge's expected time frame for it to still meet its target opening date, Schaumburg Economic Development Director Matt Frank said.

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