Owners and Palatine residents Jimmy Iurio and Walt Oswald plan a March 1 opening (latest by March 15), in what was formerly known as Brandt’s The Little Café, a restaurant with a long and nostalgic history in the village.
Previous owner George Grisco over the years.
“We’re both longtime residents, we love Brandt’s, we have work to do especially on the outside, but it’s a great restaurant,” said Oswald. “We’ve got some great ideas to fix it up. It needs a lot of work.”
Planned improvements include knocking down a storage shed and a house on the property, in addition to removing two fences and adding landscaping, Iurio said.
The gravel parking lot also will need to be paved, as well as lighting, screening and storm water management issues handled, according to a village memorandum.
On the inside, the bar will be expanded by knocking a wall down between the current bar area and a smaller side room.
The village also will require interior renovations and upgrades to the kitchen, stabilization of the deck and installation of a fire alarm system, the memorandum said.
What will remain is the family feel, and the menu, which will be prepared by the cooks formerly of Brandt’s The Little Cafe. Tommy the bartender, who Iurio refers to as the ‘star of the show,’ also will continue to tend bar.
Iurio and Oswald purchased the two acres of property along with the two buildings on it, on January 30, which was a somewhat harrowing experience.
“The property was going to auction on January 31, and the money had to be in the bank by 4 p.m. on January 30,” Iurio said. “We got it in by 3:45 p.m.”
Other future plans to enhance the business include creating an outdoor seating area, and possibly holding some type of festival on the property in late June, Iurio said.