New Bartlett restaurant seeks village grant to build outdoor seating area
Entrepreneurs Monika Bashllari and Brennan Lucado have been a part of the restaurant business before. Bashllari owned several restaurants in Boston before moving to Illinois, and Lucado cooked for restaurants in the Chicago area after serving in the military for 10 years.
Together, the couple opened the Trackside Diner in Bartlett Town Center at the previous site of O'Hare's Pub & Restaurant.
The restaurant, which serves breakfast and lunch six days a week, opened in late March.
"The community has been absolutely receptive," Lucado said. "They've been fantastic."
All food is cooked fresh at Trackside, Lucado said. Recipes are either his or Bashllari's, sometimes tweaked to have a Midwestern style.
"It's a place where everyone can come, have conversation, have a cup of coffee and have some really good food to go along with it," Lucado said.
Before long, Assistant Village Administrator Scott Skrycki began to frequent to establishment.
"It brings you back to yesteryear," Skrycki said. "It's quick and simple and friendly. The ownership are two people that ... really care about your experience."
It was Skrycki who told the couple about the Bartlett Economic Development Assistance program and encouraged them to apply.
The program is open to all businesses in Bartlett, with priority given to those generating sales tax. Money can be used for renovations, code compliance, landscaping and more. The village has budgeted $250,000 for the program.
"We want to use this money," Skrycki said. "The mayor and the board are extremely business-friendly. We want as many places to apply as possible."
The Trackside Diner in Bartlett is seeking a $2,000 grant to aid in creating an outdoor dining area to brighten up the storefront and Main Street, Lucado said.
"When you look over you just see a building, you don't really know what's there," Lucado said. "We really wanted to spice it up."
Not only does he hope it brings in new business, but Lucado also said he hopes it will better accommodate those who are still cautious when it comes to COVID-19.
Other additions will include tables and chairs, parking blockers and new fencing, with an estimated total cost of $5,300.
At the July 6 committee of the whole meeting, Skrycki said, the village board was very supportive.
The final decision will be made at the next board meeting. It has been designated for the consent agenda.