After a brutally cold winter thwarted any chance to begin construction early, crews broke ground last week at the site of a new Red Robin restaurant in one of the four outlots lining Harlem avenue near Costco.

North Riverside Mayor Hubert Hermanek Jr. told the Landmark last week that Red Robin, despite a late start, could be open for business by late summer, perhaps September. The restaurant will be located on Lot 4 (the four outlots are numbered 2 through 5 from north to south). 

Early last week, a backhoe started digging the foundation for Red Robin, but construction on the other outlots is also expected to begin very soon. According to Karyn Byrne, the village of North Riverside’s code enforcement officer, Monroe Investment Partners, which owns the outlot properties, has received its permits from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) to build a pair of multi-tenant buildings on two of the outlots.

Construction can begin on the two multi-tenant buildings — to be located on Lots 3 and 5 — at any time, now that MWRD has approved the storm water drainage plans submitted by Monroe Partners.

The larger of the multi-tenant buildings will be constructed on Lot 3 and include space for four businesses, according to plans on file with the village. One company being wooed for a location in that strip center reportedly is Potbelly’s Sandwich Shop, which will have a drive-thru lane.

Among the other tenants reportedly coming to the two multi-tenant buildings are Sport Clips, Bedding Experts, Redwing Shoes, an AT&T retail store and a dentist’s office.

And while, no one has officially come to the village to seek approvals yet, Monroe Partners apparently is negotiating with a couple of potential tenants for Lot 2. 

On plans Monroe submitted to the village April 15, the northernmost outlot is slated as the new home of Famous Dave’s, which now has a restaurant directly north of that site in the North Riverside Park Plaza.

Famous Dave’s has been contemplating expanding its North Riverside location for at least two years, said Byrne. 

But on Monday, according to Byrne, Monroe Investment Partners submitted plans for “tentative review” for AAA Auto Care Center at Lot 2, so it’s unclear at this time just who might end up at that particular outlot.