Separate pot shop and bakery proposed for vacant Wheeling restaurant building

  • A cannabis dispensary and a bakery have been proposed for the former Twin Peaks restaurant on Milwaukee Avenue in Wheeling.

      A cannabis dispensary and a bakery have been proposed for the former Twin Peaks restaurant on Milwaukee Avenue in Wheeling. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer, 2019

 
 
Updated 6/3/2022 11:12 AM

A recreational cannabis dispensary and a bakery to be run separately have been proposed for a vacant restaurant building in Wheeling.

Developers are eying the former Twin Peaks space at 781 N. Milwaukee Ave. for the two businesses. It last was occupied by a Twin Peaks restaurant that closed in 2019.

 

The roughly 1.6-acre property is in the shadow of the Westin Chicago North Shore hotel, just south of Lake-Cook Road.

That's near the northern end of Restaurant Row, a long strip of Milwaukee Avenue that includes many dining establishments and other businesses.

Village Manager Jon Sfondilis said the proposed businesses would be "great additions to the corridor."

Twin Peaks occupied the nearly 11,900-square-foot building for about seven years. It previously had been a Claim Jumper restaurant.

A limited liability company called CESAM and a company called the Fifty/50 Group are behind the proposal, village documents show.

If plans move forward, the dispensary will be called OKAY Cannabis Experience, Fifty/50 Group president and co-founder Scott Weiner said in a letter to village officials.

The bakery would be a West Town Bakery. Four operate in Chicago; this would be the first suburban location.

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Under state law, the bakery would not be able to sell cannabis-infused products.

The building will have a single entry and lobby that will be used for both businesses, documents show.

Weiner said he and his partners hope dispensary customers will visit the bakery, have brunch and "visit us socially."

The space also would have a private area for corporate and private events, Weiner said.

No significant facade or landscaping changes have been proposed.

The property is zoned for commercial or residential uses. The developers have requested a special use permit to operate the dispensary.

The village board will consider that request when it meets at 6:30 p.m. Monday at village hall, 2 Community Blvd.

Wheeling's plan commission, which advises the village board on development issues, recommended approval late last month.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Village President Pat Horcher was excited about the proposal -- especially that the building could have two distinct occupants. He doesn't expect any opposition on the board.

"I can't wait for the ribbon cuttings," Horcher said.

If the dispensary is approved, it will be Wheeling's second.

A pot shop called Hatch opened in April 2021 at 1500 E. Lake-Cook Road. It, too, occupied a space previously held by a restaurant -- in this case a TGI Fridays that had closed the year before.

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