JOLIET – Joliet is getting a MyGrain.
MyGrain Brewing Co. is the new name that a couple of brewpub developers are using for the microbrewery they plan to open in Union Station, city Economic Development Director Steve Jones said.
Jones gave an update on the brewpub project Thursday to the Joliet City Council Economic Development Committee.
He also discussed plans to find a banquet facility operator to take over The Grand Ballroom in Union Station, which Bussean Custom Caterers will leave in January.
Jones said the brewpub operators signed the lease for Union Station last week.
One thing that has changed since the developers announced their plans to call the brewpub the Golden Spike is the discovery that the name cannot be used because it already is taken by a beer out West, Jones said.
“It’s now going to be called MyGrain Brewing Company,” Jones said. “It’s something you’ll remember.”
City officials hope the prospect of a brewpub on the first floor of Union Station will help attract proposals to take over the Grand Ballroom banquet space upstairs.
Bussean Custom Caterers has operated the banquet hall since 2001. But Jones said owner Jeffrey Bussean has told city officials he is scaling back to devote attention to his other operations, including the Patrick Haley Mansion in Joliet, and a new facility being developed in Wayne.
“It was great that he has given us plenty of notice,” Jones said. “The goal is to get someone to just walk into that place when he leaves and carry on the same business.”
Councilman Pat Mudron asked if the city would consider proposals that would include more than a banquet operation. Jones said other uses on days when banquets are not held would be welcomed.
Councilman Larry Hug, chairman of the committee, said he would expect “the foundation” of the operation to be the banquet business, while other uses could put the space to more use on off days.
In the criteria for potential tenants reviewed by the committee, the city will review proposals to take over the space based on experience in banquet and related businesses, experience with historical facilities, and “vision for the The Grand Ballroom.”
During the height of train travel, The Grand Ballroom is in a space that at one time was the main lobby area where train passengers would gather. The station, built with limestone, opened in 1912.
The Request for Qualifications that would be used to advertise the 10,250-square-foot space points out that the station is on the National Register of Historic Places and notes The Grand Ballroom features that include 24-foot palladium windows, marble floors and rotunda ceilings.
“You can’t replicate space like this,” Jones told the committee.