Demolition nears for former sports bar, diner in Rosemont

  • The former Pine Grove diner is boarded up in preparation for demolition in the coming months in Rosemont.

      The former Pine Grove diner is boarded up in preparation for demolition in the coming months in Rosemont. Christopher Placek | Staff Photographer

  • Only a storage room that belongs to the Best Western at O'Hare motel may have to be demolished as part of the teardown of the neighboring shuttered building. But the motel itself will remain in business as a stand-alone building, officials say.

      Only a storage room that belongs to the Best Western at O'Hare motel may have to be demolished as part of the teardown of the neighboring shuttered building. But the motel itself will remain in business as a stand-alone building, officials say. Christopher Placek | Staff Photographer

 
 
Posted8/9/2022 5:30 AM

Demolition of a shuttered sports bar, diner and nightclub at the edge of O'Hare International Airport in Rosemont is finally planned in the coming months, village officials said.

The village board Monday inked a $187,128 contract with Elgin-based Omega III to do the work. The company also will abate asbestos at the property on the northwest corner of Mannheim and Higgins roads for $35,000 more.

 

Rosemont paid $1,675,000 this spring for the building that once housed Shoeless Joe's sports bar, the neighboring Pine Grove diner and Enigma The Lounge basement nightclub.

Officials have been eyeing the prominent corner for redevelopment for years, even pondering a condemnation lawsuit before they came to agreement over a sales price with the owner. Shoeless Joe's was the last tenant to leave the property, relocating to nearby Schiller Park in 2019.

The demolition will include only the easternmost portion of a three-story, 75,000-square-foot building; the attached Best Western at O'Hare motel, which is connected via a hallway, will become a stand-alone building, said Mayor Brad Stephens.

A storage room that belongs to the motel near the property line might also have to be torn down. If so, the village will rebuild it for the motel owner, Stephens said.

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The village's lawyers and engineers are still trying to clean up a series of complex cross parking easements so that the motel and former diner/bar properties will each have their own parking lots and appropriate site circulation.

For the motel, that means enough room for garbage trucks to get around, Stephens said, and for the neighboring property, a possible drive-through lane as part of the new redevelopment.

The mayor said he met with the hotel's new owner, who was in town from Minnesota recently, and is amenable to the village's plans.

The village still has to secure demolition permits from the Environmental Protection Agency. And, just before demolition day, ComEd will have to disconnect electricity that's still needed to power a sump pump in the constantly flooded basement. A flood forced the bar to shut down for three weeks in 2018.

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