Plan to renovate Lake Zurich Fritzl's site for new firehouse-themed restaurant approved

Lake Zurich leaders approved a plan for a new firehouse-themed restaurant at the former Fritzl's European Restaurant & Pub, which was a village mainstay for 36 years before closing in 2021.

Husband-and-wife duo Kris and Moriah Schoenberger received permission to open Station 52 Truck Company Bar & Grill at 377 N. Rand Road. As the name suggests, the restaurant will bear many similarities to the Schoenbergers' Antioch establishment Station 51, which opened in 2021, albeit in a space four times the size.

The plan approved unanimously by Lake Zurich trustees Monday night calls for everything except the first-floor exterior walls of the building to be removed and replaced. The interior will be reconfigured to provide for a bar, a restaurant, a banquet room and kitchen space, according to village documents.

A new red facade will be added, which will change the building's roofline and give it a more modern feel. The exterior also will feature red lighting that Kris Schoenberger said in a letter to the village would memorialize firefighters and first responders who have been killed in the line of duty.

The Schoenbergers also own the BBQ'd Productions Bar and Grill at 405 N. Rand Road immediately north of the Fritzl's site and plan to connect the two so people can drive between them. The couple also own BBQ'd locations in Third Lake and Kenosha, Wisconsin.

The former Fritz's has been vacant since the fall of 2021, when owners Rob and Peter Tschurtz announced its closure with the message "SCHNITZEL HAPPENS!" Robert "Bob" Tschurtz and his sons opened Fritzl's in 1985, naming it after Bob's father, Fritz, a master meat cutter in Austria.

After the board voted to approve the plan Monday night, Lake Zurich Mayor Tom Poynton bid Moriah Schoenberger good luck and asked her when she thought the new restaurant would open.

"Hopefully, soon," Schoenberger answered.

"OK, you got a lot of work to do, so soon probably is the wrong answer," Poynton joked.

'Schnitzel happens!': Fritzl's owners announce closing of Lake Zurich restaurant

'It's gonna be a journey': Firehouse-themed Station 52 planned for former Fritzl's spot in Lake Zurich

This rendering depicts what the Station 52 Truck Company Bar & Grill will look like when completed in Lake Zuirch The restaurant will open where the former Fritzl's European Restaurant & Pub now stands at 377 N. Rand Road. Courtesy of the Village of Lake Zurich
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