Joliet is working on a deal that could put a restaurant in the long-vacant Crabigale’s building downtown.
The owners of The Lockdown Bar & Grill in the Ukrainian Village neighborhood of Chicago are interested in the site, City Manager Thomas Thanas said Thursday.
He said city officials are in “preliminary discussions” on a package that would include financial incentives to bring the restaurant to town. The city owns the building at Chicago and Cass streets, taking it back after Crabigale’s failed.
The city sold it to the owner of Crabigale’s for a token amount as part of an effort to create an entertainment district downtown. Crabigale’s, a restaurant and comedy club, lasted two years, closing in 2006, and the building went into foreclosure.
Details about the new restaurant proposal, including the incentive package, will be presented to the Joliet City Council Economic Development Committee when it meets at 5 p.m. Tuesday at city hall.
Mayor Thomas Giarrante, who heads the committee, said he likes the proposal.
“The building has been sitting empty for a long time,” Giarrante said. “We need to get something in there.”
Thanas said there has been interest in the Crabigale’s site, also called the Loughran Building, during the past year from other prospective users. He said the proposal from the Lockdown group is appealing because the restaurant would be a potential downtown night spot.