Owner Mark Kocol assures “sooner rather than later”
By Josh Bootsma
LANSING, Ill. (August 24, 2019) – Almost a year to date after One Trick Pony was approved for a Class 8 tax incentive for a new Ridge Road location, Mark Kocol, owner of the brewery, announced during Tuesday night’s Village Board Meeting that he still plans to open a location there—though the process for the opening has been, and will continue to be, a slow moving one.
Doing it right
Kocol said that his lack of expertise running a restaurant and doing the type of construction work that is needed at 3329 Ridge Road—the former De Young Furniture store—have been two reasons for the long timeline, as well as the time demands of operating the brewery.
“While all that’s going on there’s still a day job and a family and all that stuff,” he explained.
“I want to do this privately with a handful of folks and I’m working with folks right now [for the] construction as well as restaurant…. I’m finally starting to fill out a lineup card with those folks to be able to do this and do it right,” Kocol said.
Kocol did not share any specific timeline information, simply offering, “sooner rather than later.”
Kocol envisions having the same beers on tap at both the brewery and the restaurant. He is not ready to share any menu items, though he does have a vision for what he wants the restaurant to be like.
“It’s going to be a very comfortable place to go in and have a bite to eat, a good beer, a glass of wine—with your wife, your kids, your parents. It’s going to be inviting for everyone…. It’s going to be something the Village is proud of,” Kocol said.
The planned location for the restaurant is 3329 Ridge Road, a corner property in downtown Lansing that could see business from concert and event-goers at Fox Pointe, only a short walk away.
Rushing for tax incentives
Kocol attributes the many questions he’s received about the new location to the fact that the brewery was rushed to apply for a Class 8 incentive before they were ready to begin the Ridge Road project. The Lansing Board of Trustees held a special meeting on August 28, 2018, to approve some Lansing businesses’ tax incentive status anticipating changes from the state that would make the incentive program less advantageous and accessible. One Trick Pony was one of the businesses approved for the incentive program, which made the new location public knowledge before Kocol was ready to take action.
Growing the Pony’s popularity
The current One Trick Pony location at 17845-17851 Chappel Ave. opened in 2012 and has grown in popularity since. What Kocol once labeled a one-year experiment has turned into an established brewery that sells its beer in dozens of Chicagoland locations. He hopes the next step in growing the business will be making good use of the unique corner property on Ridge Road.
“Nothing’s open till it’s actually open, but this is something that I think about and am working on daily,” Kocol said.
One Trick Pony is located at 17845-17851 Chappel Ave. and is open six nights a week till 11:00pm and 10:00pm on Sundays.