Pup-friendly Lazy Dog Restaurant plans 2024 opening in Northbrook

The Northbrook Plan Commission will hold a public hearing on an application by Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar, set to open next year at Willow Festival.

Based in Costa Mesa, California, the casual dining restaurant has multiple restaurants open in eight states. Aside from the Northbrook location at 992 Willow Road, the chain has restaurants in Vernon Hills, Oak Brook and Naperville.

The 9,200-square-foot vacant space is the site of the former Granite City Food & Brewery.

Founded by CEO Chris Simms, Lazy Dog debuted in 2003 in Huntington Beach, California. The concept features rustic Jackson Hole, Wyoming-style interiors and furnishings and American comfort food.

A permanent, covered, dog-friendly patio with seating, a fire pit and multiple flat-screen monitors is proposed for the Northbrook location.

Open for lunch, dinner and brunch on the weekends, the restaurant sells sandwiches, burgers and other meats, fish, salads, and has a children's menu.

It also offers a "Lazy Dog Beer Club," with wine and beer proposed for off-site consumption.

Lazy Dog will extensively redevelop the building but maintain existing on-site parking.

The public hearing at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 19 at the Northbrook Village Hall, 1225 Cedar Lane, will focus on Lazy Dog Restaurant's request for a permit to allow three wall signs to be higher than district height limits of 20 feet.

"In order for Lazy Dog Restaurant to successfully operate at this location, visible signage is critical," Lazy Dog representative Jared Taylor said in a June 26 letter to the village.

According to the village, over the years it has approved several special permits for height exemptions to Willow Festival businesses such as Whole Foods and Lowe's.

The restaurant also seeks to operate outdoor dining hours from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. during weekdays and 9 a.m. until midnight Saturday and Sunday.

Current code allows outdoor dining from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

In a preliminary review by the Northbrook village board on July 11, Trustee Muriel Collison, chair of the board's planning and economic development work committee, favored the proposed wall sign and outdoor dining hours extension requests.

At the Sept. 19 meeting, the plan commission will conduct a public hearing on a proposal for Rosewater Senior Care, 2944-2960 Dundee Road. Rosewater seeks rezoning of a property with two single-family homes to a Residential Specialty District to build a one-story assisted living facility for up to 17 residents.

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