New Moretti's may be on tap for Elgin
Elgin City Council members gave preliminary approval this week to an economic development package that could bring a Moretti's location to the city.
Ala Carte Entertainment Inc. is seeking to redevelop the vacant building at 2300 Bushwood Drive as a Moretti's Unique Events restaurant. The building, just west of Randall Road and north of the I-90 tollway, was most recently the home of Gifford's Kitchen & Social.
The company is seeking "fast-track" permitting and waiving development and building permit fees for the building's renovation. City officials estimate the fee waivers will total approximately $55,000. The city council's committee of the whole unanimously recommended approval of the proposal at its meeting Wednesday. The proposal heads to the full council for a vote at a future meeting.
Schaumburg-based Ala Carte plans $1 million in renovations to the 20,000-square-foot, two-story building. Plans include the construction of a service elevator to the second-floor event space that can be accessed directly from the first-floor kitchen, kitchen reconfiguration, new storage space, and enhanced special event areas.
"Ala Carte have a long-standing history of successful enterprises, and we couldn't be more pleased to see that they've chosen Elgin as its next outpost for another location," City Manager Rick Kozal said during Wednesday's meeting.
The company was founded in 1970 by Fred Hoffmann of Fox Lake. It currently oversees about 1,500 employees at 24 restaurants and nightclubs. The company started with the Snuggery in downtown Chicago, later opening other locations and eventually the Excalibur nightclub. There are 10 Moretti's locations.
"I appreciate the fact that they bring experience to that location that has struggled for a number of reasons," council member Tish Powell said.
The building opened in 2007 with Hennessy's Steak and Seafood on the ground floor level and upscale pool hall OnQClub on the second floor. It later became the dance club Boogie Nights, before opening as Tilted Kilt in 2010. Tilted Kilt closed in 2013 and the owners of Gifford's Kitchen and Social bought the building in 2016, opening the restaurant in mid-2018. That business closed abruptly last March after the filing of a bankruptcy petition in January 2020.
"I would suggest that they're going to have as good a chance of being successful here or better than anybody that's been here," Mayor David Kaptain said.