A new restaurant or perhaps a brew pub may be headed to Grand Boulevard once the sale of the former Helping Hand Thrift Store is finalized, according to officials at both village hall and Helping Hand.
Mary Beth Hepp, executive director of the Countryside-based Helping Hand Rehabilitation Center, confirmed last week that there is a contract on the agency’s property at 3726-30 Grand Blvd. The sale is scheduled to be executed on Oct. 24, Hepp said.
The property, which actually includes two buildings, is listed for sale at $129,000. The 6,300-square-foot property comprises the main Helping Hand retail store at 3726 Grand Blvd. and a two-story building immediately to the south at 3730 Grand Blvd.
The building has sat empty since April 2013 when a fire sparked by an electrical malfunction swept through the one-story main building. Earlier this year, Helping Hand gutted the building, essentially leaving a shell for the prospective buyer.
In the wake of the fire, officials at Helping Hand indicated they might want to repurpose the Brookfield property to accommodate their programming. However, the agency in January purchased a 30,000-square-foot building at 6160 East Ave. in Hodgkins from Central Blacktop.
Hepp said that building is being renovated and will become Helping Hand’s adult services center. Meanwhile, the agency’s Countryside location will become Helping Hand’s school for children with autism.
“We’re expanding both programs,” said Hepp.
As a result, the Brookfield property became expendable.
“Our board assessed all of our properties and felt this was the best decision as we’re expanding programming in other areas,” Hepp said.
Exactly what the prospective Grand Boulevard property owners plan to do with the old thrift store space is sketchy, but Hepp said she heard a restaurant was planned for the space.
Keith Sbiral, the director of Brookfield’s building and planning department, confirmed that the village had been contacted about using that building for a restaurant, while Village Planner Heather Milway said she had also heard that the new owner might be planning a brew pub at that location.
Brookfield resident John Scaletta, an acquaintance of the prospective buyer, wouldn’t comment on the business being planned for the space, though he hinted it would likely be some type of eatery.
“Whatever ends up being there, it’ll be a really positive thing for Brookfield,” Scaletta said.
Eastern European eatery eyed for Ogden
The Brookfield Village Board on Oct. 13 will vote to approve a Class 2 liquor license for a woman who says she is buying the former Nino’s Buona Cucina property at 9237 Ogden Ave.
Kristina Mangrova told the village board on Sept. 22 that she plans on opening a restaurant/bar/rental hall that will feature the cuisine of countries of the Balkan peninsula of Europe.
The restaurant will be called Skadarllia, a reference to a neighborhood in the Serbian capital of Belgrade. According to Mangrova, who came to the U.S. from the former Yugoslav Republic in 2000, Skadarllia will feature seasonal casual dining and a full bar. The 4,800-square-foot building is large enough, she said, that it will be able to be divided in order to accommodate small weddings and other private events.
Mangrova said she is scheduled to close on the property Nov. 10. After that, she’ll begin renovating the building, which has sat empty since Nino’s closed in 2010. Skadarllia will likely open sometime in early 2015, Mangrova said.
“There’s a lot of work that needs to be done inside the place,” Mangrova said.