JOLIET – Developers of a brewpub at Union Station hope to open by July.
The MyGrain Brewing Co. brewpub has been in the works for nearly a year.
Entrepreneurs Vince Turrise and Greg Lesiak are renovating first-floor space in the 1912 train station for their MyGrain brewpub. They leased the space in April from the city of Joliet, which owns the station.
Turrise said he and Lesiak are trying to open the brewpub by June if possible but have set July as the target date.
The summer opening date depends, he said, on the city approving a change in the lease agreement that would bypass typical city bidding procedures for new heating and air conditioning needed for the space.
The brewpub owners want to take advantage of summertime activity downtown, including baseball games at the Joliet Slammers stadium about a block away.
“You get more foot traffic [in summer],” Turrise said. “The baseball field will be active. There will be summer festivals. We want to be open for that.”
City officials last week told the city council’s Economic Development Committee that the MyGrain space needs a new heating and air conditioning system.
Typically, a major capital investment like that is done by the city, which owns the building. Officials said the developers are concerned that plans for a summer opening would be delayed by the city’s bidding process. They want to alter the lease agreement to contract the heating and air conditioning themselves and be reimbursed later.
City officials have projected that new heating and air conditioning would cost about $400,000.
Councilman Larry Hug said he wanted some price protection in the lease rewrite so that “we’re not paying a huge premium for their convenience.”
The full city council will vote on the lease change at its first meeting in March.
Turrise said that going through the city procedures for heating and air conditioning could push back the opening about two months, meaning the brewpub would open in the fall.
Meanwhile, the city in coming weeks plans to fix leaks in the roof over the brewpub space.
The space also has a corroded vertical steel beam that needs to be replaced, Turrise said.