Breweries interested in running beer garden in Lake Zurich park

Ten Chicago-area breweries have expressed an interest in operating a beer garden planned for Lake Zurich's Breezewald Park, officials said Monday.

Kyle Kordell, the assistant to the village manager, said the calls have come in since village officials put out word last week that they were seeking proposals for the facility that would overlook the village's namesake lake near the downtown area as soon as next year. The beer garden would include a beverage pavilion.

"The village is really interested in talking big picture and how it can grow into a big project," Kordell said. "We're trying to get the right operator who has the right business plan and the right vision for what this can become."

Kordell said village officials hope the beer garden can attract people to the lake and to the downtown area. He said he can envision a warm, 80-degree summer evening next year when people can order a beer and enjoy it in the park.

Village crews plan to build the 400-square-foot pavilion this winter, and utility work already is underway at the site, Kordell said. The plan also includes providing tables and benches, umbrellas and Edison-type lighting to create a welcoming atmosphere for a low-impact community destination without late-night operating hours.

Building the $157,000 beer garden won't come out of the village's operating budget. The village negotiated that money be paid by developer Foxford Communities as "park improvement fees" when the village sold the 1.35-acre downtown-area site known as Block C in August. Foxford Communities is constructing a two-building, 48-unit development called Somerset near the lake. The apartments will be built in summer 2018, according to the Foxford Communities website.

Which Chicago brewery will operate the beer garden won't be known until after the village begins reviewing the official proposals in February.

Kordell said village officials hope to open the beer garden for the start of the summer season.

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