JOLIET – The third time may be the charm for the onetime Crabigale’s comedy club that again is going into the hands of a private developer.
The City Council on Tuesday approved a development agreement with Jason Snorek, a restaurant and residential developer who is part owner of The Vault Cafe and Bar in Lemont.
Snorek is the third developer with a plan for the city-owned building at 1 E. Cass St. that once was home to the Crabigale’s comedy club and also is known as the Loughran Building.
Snorek represents Leaf Capital Investments, which is buying the building for $300,000. The city, which owns the building, will provide renovation credits that match the purchase price, so Leaf Capital will not pay the city anything if it spends at least $300,000 on renovations.
City Manager Jim Hock noted at the Monday workshop meeting of the council that the same deal was offered to the last prospective developer interested in the building.
The owner of the Lockdown Bar and Grill, a prison-themed night spot in Chicago, had proposed a second location at the Joliet building but later gave up the plan.
The city acquired the 1890 building in 2001 and sold it at a nominal price to encourage downtown development. The building was sold to an entrepreneur who opened the Crabigale’s comedy club. But when Crabigale’s closed, the city regained ownership.
Hock said the plan now is to open a restaurant on the first floor, put a banquet facility on the second floor, and build eight apartments on the second and third floors.
The development agreement also includes a five-year rebate on food and beverage taxes in exchange for additional renovation expenses.
Snorek is required to preserve the building facade, retain stained glass in the building, and restore the entryway at the corner of Cass and Chicago streets. The restaurant must be open and operating within 12 months of the closing on the sale, and Snorek must present full financing for the project before the closing.
In other business, the City Council approved:
• liquor licenses for beer and wine at the Starbucks at 1536 Route 59 and for the Wingstop restaurant at 2410 W. Jefferson St;
• the appointment of Diane M. Harris to fill a vacancy on the Joliet Public Library board;
• the annexation of 7.6 acres with zoning for light industrial use at the southeast corner of Briggs and Rosalind streets.