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Vision for Vacancy: Former Mia Cucina

The property at 56 W. Wilson Street in downtown Palatine has remained vacant since the popular restaurant closed in 2006. What do you think would be the next best use for this building?

The 10,000 square foot building that previously housed Mia Cucina Restaurant sits on 26,000 square feet of land in downtown Palatine. 

After Mia Cucina closed, the Village of Palatine purchased the property at 56 W. Wilson Street near Brockway, at a price tag of $2.2 million for future redevelopment. 

The village even hired a company to help market the property in 2010, but no projects ever came to fruition.

The property is included in the central business district and has a wide array of potential uses, including a bakery, antique shop, professional offices or even another restaurant, among many other options. 

Palatine Patch wants to know, if you had a say, what would you like to see come into this property? Share in the comments section below!

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Melanie Santostefano (Editor) November 27, 2012 at 02:23 PM
Good morning, love the interaction on this topic. I agree, a nice sit down restaurant would be a great addition. To Patricia and Frank's comments: Village Manager Reid Ottesen was interviewed about the purchase of this property back in 2010 by former editor Brian Slupski. Ottesen said the owners of Mia Cucina approached the village about selling the property. http://palatine.patch.com/articles/village-hires-broker-for-mia-cucina-property
Matt November 27, 2012 at 02:27 PM
Maybe they can turn it in to a live poultry shop for back yard chicken lovers?
Shawn Jackson November 27, 2012 at 02:29 PM
I think it was sad that the Mia Cucina people decided they no longer wanted to have a restaurant in Palatine and then sold it to the village for 2.2 million(nice chunk of change). The village on the other hand bought it, but just let it sit. I think Palatine would benefit with a restaurant like Orange in Chicago. It would be nice to have a trendy breakfast place that didn't feel like a hurry up and eat diner.
Frank Reiss November 27, 2012 at 02:37 PM
I'll asked the previous owner what really happened - tonight. I agree another restaurant similar to Mia Cucina ambiance would be nice.
Bill C November 27, 2012 at 02:41 PM
fire fighting training site then...bonfire!!!
BryAnne November 27, 2012 at 02:52 PM
Reopen Mia Cucina :)
Kathleen Zimmermann November 27, 2012 at 02:58 PM
We are encouraged to shop downtown Palatine but there really isn't anywhere to do much shopping. How about a small "Mall" with different shops that would be of use to people that live in that area? Another restaraunt like Mia Cucina's would also be nice. It's been a long time looking at that forlorn building. It's time to bring something to that piece of property besides peeling paint and disrepair.
TMB November 27, 2012 at 03:02 PM
If Palatine paid as much attention to its village as it does to the Rt.14 and Rt. 12 corridors, perhaps this prime location wouldn't have sat vacant for six years. Not to mention the vacant spaces in the giant Gothic building a block east. Someone who can sell Palatine's value on the train line needs to step up and fill these spaces. Mia Cucina's space should definitely remain a restaurant - still has better atmosphere closed than most other spots in town.
Ben Hebebrand November 27, 2012 at 03:04 PM
How about an international coffeehouse (in the a.m. hours) and a wine bar (in the p.m. hours). I would envision a wonderful array of global perspectives in the form of newspapers; video conferences with Palatine's Sisiter City in France and other global communities. The locale could offer introductory language classes, weekly travel presentations, culinary classes, and occasional wine tastings. Bring the world to dtwn Palatine.
Mike K November 27, 2012 at 03:12 PM
Tatoo Parlor? Pawn Shop?
Bill C November 27, 2012 at 03:40 PM
Ben, enjoy that by yourself. Burn baby burn.
Lisa November 27, 2012 at 03:41 PM
How about the village keep it and use it as a location to help promote the arts in Palatine. Small theater, art exhibits, craft and antique shows, kids programs. The village needs a draw in the down town area to balance out the restaurants that are currently there. Yes I am a restaurant/tavern owner, and the answer is not another restaurant unless you can bring more business downtown to sustain all the food related businesses that the village has allowed to open. We won't all survive. Another small sandwich shop is opening in the near future. With out more foot traffic in the downtown area, the exisiting restaurants will not survive. The village needs to add diversity to it's development plan and make Palatine a place to visit for reasons other than eatting and drinking. I say support the arts; it's good for all ages! - and then you can use it for Farmer's Market in the colder months!
Mario Bilotas November 27, 2012 at 03:47 PM
I didn't read all the comments, so hope not duplicating, but I think it would be amazing if there was a book store + restaurant area, soft of where borders meets corner bakery. A place for people to hand out while waiting for the train, have lunch or even dinner, yet interact with something when alone. It could draw people in, which would attract business down town palatine so desperately needs.
Vince November 27, 2012 at 03:48 PM
The village should take a look at Arlington Hts and pay attn. The resturants there bring in a lot of business to the area. Need more business savy village officuials. The spot should be a popular and unique resturant kind of like Mia Cucina.
Beau November 27, 2012 at 03:49 PM
The Board (Palatine) bought up the downtown, put up condo's Made some rich and they left Most of them are empty They wanted to close Dobby's, this keeps people in town Maybe think and plan, help what is left Ask the people
Vince November 27, 2012 at 04:09 PM
You are just trying to eliminate more bar/resturant compition.
Lisa November 27, 2012 at 04:13 PM
Barnes and Noble would be awesome
Rosa November 27, 2012 at 04:47 PM
I would like to see a convenience store where one can walk to for daily staples such as milk, bread, magazines, etc. It would be perfect for the commuters. They can get off the train, walk to buy whatever, and then be on there way home. So many residents love walking or riding their bikes so this would be closer and easier to get to than Jewel or even the 7-Eleven.
KimberlyAnnz November 27, 2012 at 06:01 PM
A reasonably priced restaurant, something like Moretti's would be nice. We need a decent restaurant to get pizza downtown.
Laurie Schaefer November 27, 2012 at 07:15 PM
I loved the Mia Cucina atmosphere; I think primarily because of the beautiful (and now rare) barrel trusses. I believe this site was the first Jewel Tea Company building in Palatine (?) It would be a shame to demolish it....one of the oldest in the town. How about a BAKERY??? We need one...
Zeena November 27, 2012 at 09:20 PM
Bakery, restaurant, book store, arts...Palatine needs it all! Like Vince said, take a look at Arlington Heights, they need to hire that developer because he got it right. Palatine has such potential and we have been waiting but they seem to keep missing. So much can and needs to be done but they keep buying property, like the repair shop on Palatine Rd and Plum Grove Rd and do nothing with it.
maryann ostrem November 27, 2012 at 10:33 PM
As a downtown resident I would love to see that building saved. A great breakfast and nice lunch place.would be nice. No fast foods. Like Egg Harbor maybe. And books, books, books and newspapers and magazines and staples to buy when getting off or on the train. And coffee bar and maybe a wine bar with some live music in P.M. or poetry readings. Maryann
Tina November 28, 2012 at 02:27 AM
The Village never forced Mia Cuccina to close...they were having problems paying their bills and their employees...they wanted out...it was unfortunate because I too really enjoyed going there ...the atmosphere and the people were wonderful...
badge November 28, 2012 at 01:37 PM
We need to face facts. “Downtown palatine " is Northwest Highway. It has small malls, restaurants and other store that people actually frequent. We should slow down the traffic on NWHY, put in more crosswalks and maybe rename it Main Street. Problem solved.
Lisa November 28, 2012 at 03:09 PM
I don't need to try to eliminate anyone. More restaurants/bars are fine - people attract people, which is good for business - the problem is there are not enough people coming downtown in general. We need something more to attract people. Ideally, they should move the Village Hall into the downtown area in order to generate foot traffice.
S R November 28, 2012 at 10:31 PM
The village shouldn't have kicked Mia Cucina out in the first place. They (the village) had it in their minds that they wanted to tear it down and build more condos. Palatine needs more condos as much as they need more banks. Which is NOT AT ALL! It was wrong to force Mia Cucina's to close in the first place. Palatine lost a wonderful downtown restaurant. Too bad we can't just bring Mia Cucina back.
PEP December 01, 2012 at 05:05 AM
Amen! I so very much agree with you!! I've been saying that for years at the village meetings since Mia's closed. It all falls on deaf ears! I worked at Mia's for 4 years as the hostess and manager....it rocked then. It was more than a restaurant. It was a meeting place for friends, it was a place to have a celebration, it was comfortable, fun, and people from the community and surrounding communities supported it. It surely is a part of our history!
PEP December 01, 2012 at 05:09 AM
How about a Trader Joes for all those commuters and condo owners!
W.J. Walsh December 06, 2012 at 03:26 AM
Agreed.
Eric December 18, 2012 at 02:55 PM
As someone who has spoken with the past operator of Mia Cucina, it is my understanding that the large footprint of the space made it unrealistic for an efficient restaurant operation. Filling up one or two nights a week can not support such a large space. Hopefully the new restaurant operators have a better approach to making us of the space, or they'll find the same to be true. Mia Cucina was not forced out of town, it was barely staying open when the village offered the purchase.

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