Ruling expected soon on Geneva Fresh Thyme development

  • Work on the Fresh Thyme Farmers Market on Randall Road in Geneva has stalled.

    Work on the Fresh Thyme Farmers Market on Randall Road in Geneva has stalled. Rick West | Staff Photographer

Posted3/21/2018 2:24 PM

For the longest time, we looked at empty storefronts that were victims of the economic recession -- and wondered how long before they might finally be back up and running.

While that fear has somewhat subsided, we can still be left scratching our heads about a retail development that has fallen victim to the oldest roadblock in the books -- a legal hassle.


Many readers are asking about it, but it appears not much has changed since Daily Herald reporter Susan Sarkauskas wrote a piece a couple of months ago about why construction came to a halt on a new Fresh Thyme grocery store and Burlington Coat Factory in the Fabyan Crossing shopping center in Geneva.

The remodeling of that former Dominick's grocery store site started, then stopped over a squabble about what types of stores could go in there. A sign proclaiming the "coming soon" new stores at that location has been replaced by plywood covering most of the front facade.

So, what is worse? Going through what we did when the Golden Corral restaurant site in Batavia was finished and sitting there waiting for legal matters to drag on forever? Or for a site like the former Dominick's in Geneva to go the unsightly route and have plywood covering the facade as if bracing for a hurricane?

Neither does much good for investors, business owners, consumers or a city's reputation.

The city of Geneva is not named in the dispute between Geneva 2015 LLC and Wauconda LLC as to what can be built in that former grocery site. So, city officials are pretty much like the rest of us, hoping this can be settled in a way that benefits everyone and opens up another retail space.

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Wauconda wanted a similar halt to the At Home furniture store going into the former Gander Mountain location, but Kane County Judge David Akemann didn't allow it.

He has taken the Fresh Thyme case under advisement, and is expected to issue a ruling at any time.

It makes us long for the days when the retailers in that strip generally just spoke out about simply wanting a better presence along Randall Road and easier sight lines for those driving by to see the stores.

A Primrose party:

It's been open since March 19 for preschoolers ages 6 weeks to 6 years old, but Primrose School of St. Charles West has a celebration from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday planned at the 1940 Bricher Road location.

Franchise owners Nilam and Mrugesh Patel and Pinal and Shashi Kerai say they saw the impact Primrose had on their own children and they want others in the Tri-Cities to enjoy the same benefits.


The school, which has 11 classrooms, five playgrounds and a Primrose Patch for gardening activities, can serve up to 180 local children and their families.

The party Saturday will feature various family activities, a balloon artist, face painter, glitter tattoos, a juggler, and a disc jockey. Samples from the school menu will be available as well.

As you can see by that lineup, it's something at which the youngsters should have a good time.

That hammered dulcimer:

How do you commemorate the 200th anniversary of Illinois statehood through music?

You can find out by attending the St. Charles Public Library's Sunday Concert Series at 2 p.m. Sunday when singer and hammered dulcimer player Phil Passen will perform.

And yes, a hammered dulcimer is an actual instrument, not a dulcimer player who has had too much to drink.

Passen is a member of all sorts of Chicago and national folk music organizations, so he knows a thing or two about presenting stories through music.

With Illinois as the topic, that means the music will be about prairies, lakes, rivers and the various cultures that have been part of our home state.

And the hammered dulcimer? The musician uses a pair of "hammers" that feature different types of shapes and coverings to register different sounds as they are tapped on the dulcimer.

To my untrained ear, this instrument sounds much like a cross between a piano and a harp.

Speaks to winter:

In a note about Batavia's Indoor Winter Market held from 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays at downtown restaurant Gaetano's, it struck me as to how long "winter" can really last around here.

The indoor market, which features vendors selling produce, baked goods, plants and other items, operates from October through May.

Sure, part of that is supposed to be our "fall" or "spring" seasons, but it generally stays fairly cool, if not downright cold, during those months.

Anything that indicates our winters can last eight months is at least partially depressing.

But we do have to give a shout out to Gaetano's for keeping the spirit of a weekend marketplace going through some of the more rugged months.

Went with tradition:

The traditional Dave inside of me said, "Let's go to Culvers, like we always do during Lent, for the Northwoods Walleye sandwich."

The more daring Dave inside of me said, "You've been to Culvers a million times, let's try some other fish fry for a change."

We went to Culvers.

This course staying open:

While he was glad I mentioned last week that the driving range and Pheasant Run Golf Course in St. Charles would be open this year, resort general manager France Langan reminded me that talks between the DAA and Pheasant Run were resolved last year as to the future of the course.

The course is open now and will be well into the future.

That was good to hear. I've always enjoyed playing that course, and many of those staying at the resort or living in nearby communities likely feel the same way.

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