Mundelein awards $180K in incentives for microbrewery in former fire station

  • Entrepreneurs want to open a microbrewery and restaurant in a former fire station on Seymour Avenue in Mundelein.

    Entrepreneurs want to open a microbrewery and restaurant in a former fire station on Seymour Avenue in Mundelein. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer, 2020

 
 
Updated 7/13/2021 8:21 AM

The entrepreneurs behind a plan to open a microbrewery and restaurant in a former Mundelein fire station will get $180,000 in grants and other incentives from the village for their efforts.

The village board approved the financial package with Tonality Brewing Co. on Monday night following a presentation by partners Don Phillips and Zach Gelfand.

 

Phillips and Gelfand want to operate in the old fire station at 169 N. Seymour Ave. after an extensive interior renovation. A 2022 opening is planned.

The development deal calls for the village to give Tonality: $50,000 from the local Business Incentive Grant program; a 50% sales-tax rebate of up to $65,000 over five years, once the business is operating; and up to $65,000 from a village tax increment financing fund over five years, once the business is operating.

Tonality will purchase the building from the village for about $340,000, documents indicate.

The two-story, 7,200-square-foot structure was built in the 1940s. For the last 20 years or so, it served as a public works maintenance garage. It was vacated last year.

In addition to an on-site brewery, Tonality would have a kitchen, rooftop dining space and other features. For example, Phillips and Gelfand envision a 2,000-square-foot patio outside the building's large bay doors.

Those doors would stay open, weather permitting, allowing diners inside and on the patio to have views of Kracklauer Park across the street, Gelfand said.

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The second floor of the building would be reserved for event space and overflow dining, Gelfand said.

Phillips, who works as a chef, predicted a "fun and accessible" menu that wouldn't be pretentious but would be more refined than traditional bar food.

Gelfand, who has worked in marketing, said Tonality would have a "family-friendly atmosphere."

Two other breweries operate in Mundelein: the Tighthead Brewing Co. on Archer Avenue and Bosacki's Brewery on Hawley Street. Neither offers dining service.

Trustee Sol Cabachuela said she's excited about the concept.

"It's a really cool idea," she said.

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