Gas station could replace restaurant, vacant factory in Mundelein

  • A Thorntons gas station could replace the Original Omega Restaurant at the northeast corner of routes 176 and 45 in Mundelein. A restaurant has been there for decades.

    A Thorntons gas station could replace the Original Omega Restaurant at the northeast corner of routes 176 and 45 in Mundelein. A restaurant has been there for decades. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • A Thorntons gas station could replace a vacant industrial building and a nearby Omega Restaurant at the northeast corner of routes 176 and 45 in Mundelein.

    A Thorntons gas station could replace a vacant industrial building and a nearby Omega Restaurant at the northeast corner of routes 176 and 45 in Mundelein. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 8/26/2020 1:22 PM

A Mundelein restaurant and a vacant industrial building may make way for a gas station and convenience store at a high-profile location.

A developer wants to build a Thorntons station where the Original Omega Restaurant, 10 E. Maple Ave., and an unused building just to the north at 739 N. Lake St. now stand.

 

The restaurant, which still is serving customers despite the plan to raze it, is at the northeast corner of routes 45 and 176. That's one of the more heavily traveled intersections in Mundelein and a gateway into the downtown area.

The factory building has been vacant for about four years.

A Northbrook company called GMX Real Estate Group has proposed building the gas station and store on the land, which comprises nearly 3 acres. A company representative spoke to the village board about the plan Monday night.

GMX already has a contract to buy the land, documents indicate.

The station would have eight pumps and room for two more, documents show. The convenience store would be about 5,500 square feet.

The developers want to break ground in summer 2021 and open the station in 2022.

The village board informally told the company to move ahead with its plans Monday. Only one of the six trustees, Robin Meier, opposed the proposal.

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Meier voiced concern about gasoline from underground tanks leaking into the ground and area water supply.

A restaurant has operated at the corner of routes 45 and 176 for decades. It's had many names through the years, but pancakes, omelets, sandwiches and other traditional family fare long have dominated the menu.

Longtime Mundelein residents may recall that one restaurant that operated on the site, Tops, closed in 1996 after the village denied a liquor license request by owner John Christofalos, a member of the family that long has owned the building and land.

The family subsequently plastered the facade with large signs blaming officials for the closing. Signs urging passersby to vote for a new administration were posted on the building, too.

An attorney working for the family at the time said the liquor license was rejected because the family also owned strip clubs elsewhere in Lake County. The family still owns the Maple Avenue building and land, but those strip clubs are long gone.

After Tops, the restaurant reopened as Mundale's in 1998 but closed after about two years. It was reborn as Grandma V's Pancake House in 2000, closed in 2012 and was re-christened as The Original Omega Restaurant in 2013.

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