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Local News

Lemont restaurant owners plan to take over Crabigale's site in Joliet

JOLIET – Owners of a downtown Lemont bar and restaurant plan to take over the old Crabigale’s site, city officials say.

The same people who run The Vault Cafe and Bar in Lemont will put a restaurant in the downtown Joliet location, said Steve Jones, director of economic development for Joliet.

The city owns the old Loughran Building at Chicago and Cass streets that was last used for the Crabigale’s comedy club. The city in August put out requests for proposals to put the 1890 building back in use.

Jones said the new occupants plan to put a restaurant and bar in the first floor, a small banquet facility on the second and apartments in both the second and third floors.

The proposal will go to the May 19 meeting of the Zoning Board of Appeals for approval of the mixed use of restaurant and residential. The City Council is expected to vote on the project at one of its meetings in June.

The future use of the Loughran Building was discussed last week at a meeting of the Joliet City Council Economic Development Committee.

Jones said the husband-and-wife team that owns The Vault has both restaurant and contracting experience. The building will need renovations on the second and third floors.

Like the Joliet location, The Vault is in an old, downtown building converted to a restaurant, he said.

Owners of The Vault could not be reached to comment on their plans in Joliet.

The city has provided an incentive package that would hand over the building, priced at $300,000, to the developer once that much money has been put into building improvements.

The developer also would get a three-month rebate on the city’s 1 percent food and beverage tax for every additional $25,000 spent on the building. The three-month rebate could be used for as long as five years depending on how much money is invested in the building.

Jones said the package is the same one that would have been provided to the owner of the Lockdown Bar and Grill in Chicago, when he had proposed putting a second Lockdown in the building. That plan later was abandoned.

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