A lengthy collection of brief updates about business developments on Ridge Road and Torrence Avenue
By Josh Bootsma
LANSING, Ill. (November 17, 2022) – With the opening of Starbucks last Friday, one of many development projects in Lansing moved from “in-progress” to “finished.” Many other projects are expected to be finished in the coming year, and The Lansing Journal contacted business owners and village officials for updates:
Ridge Road projects
Bulldog Ale House (formerly Jack’s Sports Pub & Eatery)
Wall Street Capital, LLC and CEO Matt Ahmeti purchased Jack’s Sports Pub & Eatery, located at 3325 Ridge Road, as well as the Bakers Square building (see below). Their plan is to slowly transform the longtime bar into a new Bulldog Ale House location, without closing during the remodel.
“I’ve talked to some of the regulars, and I don’t want to take anything away from them,” Ahmeti said.
The Lansing location will be the 11th Bulldog Ale House in Chicagoland, serving burgers, pizzas, wings, and other bar food alongside a wide variety of beers, wines, and other drinks.
Cadou Decor (formerly Card Carousel)
Renovations to Cadou Decor are finished, and much of the interior of the former Card Carousel has been completely remodeled to create an upscale storefront space. The delay in opening, said owner Summer Megdadi, comes largely from inventory issues. Megdadi has ordered high quality furniture and art pieces, and many of them have taken months to come in. Assuming inventory arrives in time, Cadou Decor — located at 3336 Ridge Road — will open before the end of the year.
Golden Palace (new name not yet known)
Krystal Goins first came before the Village Board of Trustees in late 2021 to present her vision for a ramen restaurant in the former Golden Palace location, at 3307 Ridge Road. Goins is a Le Cordon Bleu-certified chef and was trained by Japanese chefs.
“We don’t have too many high-end niche restaurants in Lansing,” Goins said in 2021, “and I’m looking to bring the downtown Chicago feel to our community.”
Although the property has been largely cleared out, Goins is still finalizing her construction estimates and timeline as part of her redevelopment agreement with the Village of Lansing.
Greenway Bikehouse (formerly Barber Rick’s)
Greenway Bikehouse has been operating within the walls of Visible Music College (3404 Lake Street) since April. Owner Cam Harvey’s goal of moving his bike shop a block south to 3414 Ridge Road is suffering delays. Cost issues and switching contractors have pushed back rehabilitation at the property, which Harvey hopes will serve as a coffee shop in addition to a bike retail and repair shop. Preliminary work is expected to start in the new year.
Honey Berry Cafe (formerly Baker’s Square)
After abruptly shuttering in January 2020, the Bakers Square property at 3545 Ridge Road is now being transformed into Honey Berry Cafe, a brunch restaurant that will be open from 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. seven days a week. Matt Ahmeti, CEO of Wall Street Capital, LLC — which also bought Jack’s (see above) — said, “This concept really fit well for this area. That’s why we’re investing in the area, and we’re going to be here for a long, long time.” Work has already begun in the parking lot and on the exterior of the building, with an opening date estimated in March or April of 2023.
Municipal Collections of America
Though not a new business, Municipal Collections of America has drawn the eyes of many passers-by in recent months as the building has undergone substantial reconstruction. Located at 3348 Ridge Road, Municipal Collections of America had retained the distinctive mansard roof installed in the 1970s by the previous occupant, the Fireplace Shop, until this fall, when the facade was updated.
One Trick Pony (formerly De Young’s Furniture)
On August 28, 2018, the Lansing Village Board voted to approve a Class 8 Property Tax Incentive for One Trick Pony’s owner Mark Kocol to begin turning the former De Young Furniture Store into a One Trick Pony gastropub. Four years, a pandemic, and slew of supply chain and inflation issues later, construction work has not yet begun on the new pub. Kocol is still committed to opening One Trick Pony at the Ridge Road location, however, and is optimistic that preliminary work will begin in the coming months.
Torrence Avenue projects
Bevda’s Beverage Superstore (formerly American Sale)
The Patel family owns Santori’s Liquors, Ridge Wine & Spirits (Vierk’s Liquor), and Lan-Oak Liquors (Torrence Tap/Buke’s Place). The family will move its Ridge Wine & Spirits location to the north side of town to create Bevda’s Beverage Superstore. Currently remodeling the former American Sale building at 16955 Torrence Avenue, the owners hope to create an upscale liquor store similar to Binny’s Beverage Depot.
“I think it’s a good spot for a packaged license because it serves a spot that really hasn’t been served by a packaged license before: the Torrence Avenue corridor north of 80,” said Podgorski.
Chipotle (new construction)
A Chipotle location is planned at the northwest corner of Torrence Avenue and Thornton Lansing Road, across from the new Starbucks location. Glazier Corporation, the same developer that brought Starbucks to life, is planning the development. Village Administrator Dan Podgorski said Chipotle has yet to come before the Planning and Zoning Board of Appeals to request a special use for a pick-up window. The project also has to receive approvals from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District and the Illinois Department of Transportation, indicating the development is still early in its process.
KYNGZ (formerly Old Country Buffet)
The five local friends who created KYNGZ Restaurant at 16731 Torrence Avenue have received all the necessary approvals, and they are continuing work on their kitchen in order to open. Once finished, the upscale restaurant, which is located in the former Old Country Buffet location, will include live entertainment on select nights.
Mingles Bar & Grill (in River Place)
Minnie Daniels is planning to open and operate a restaurant and bar located at 17030 Torrence Avenue. Daniels, who appeared before the Village Board recently to request a liquor license, said, “It will mostly be my recipes in the kitchen. It’s going to be family-managed. … I’ll also be making the drinks.” Plans submitted to the Village indicate the location will be designed in a modern style, open for lunch, dinner, and late into the night. Architectural plans have not yet been submitted to the Village of Lansing, but once they are, the remodel can begin.
QuikTrip (formerly Kmart)
Construction is underway at the southeast corner of 173rd Street and Torrence Avenue, where the former Kmart building was demolished to make way for a large QuikTrip gas station and convenience store. The structural skeleton of the covered gas fueling area can already be seen on the north side of the property. Completion is expected next year.
Smoothie King (formerly Cafe Borgia and High Performance Graphics)
The former Cafe Borgia and High Performance Graphics buildings on Torrence Avenue will soon be demolished to make way for development to start on Smoothie King. Located at 17923-17927 Torrence Avenue, owner Parth Patel said the future Smoothie King could see up to 90% of its sales come from drive-through customers. At the Village Board meeting on Tuesday, Trustees passed a resolution allowing Patel to move forward with demolition. Smoothie King is expected to open in 2023.
Taco Bell (formerly Rosemoor Funeral Home)
Soon to be the northern neighbor of Starbucks, Taco Bell is another Glazier Corporation project, and will be be constructed where Rosemoor Funeral Home once stood. Podgorski said the development has been granted a special use for a drive-thru, but is waiting on approvals from other entities, such as the Illinois Department of Transportation.
“IDOT’s dragging their feet and holding back a lot of development right now,” Podgorski said. “They’re understaffed. Their planning department is taking a long time on planning reviews and the Taco Bell project is in that category. But it’s full steam ahead, I expect shovels in the ground next year and open next year as well.”
Torrence Place / Christian Community Health Center
After years of planning and 13 months of construction, Full Circle Communities’ Torrence Place development is welcoming its first residents. The 48-unit development caters to veterans and includes accessibility features for persons with disabilities. Before the end of year, Christian Community Health Center will open its new medical office space in the building, which also includes a pharmacy.
Readers who have information or questions about development projects not listed above are invited to contact The Lansing Journal at [email protected].