By the end of October, owner Tim Ivers hopes to have Gray’s Mill open for business again.
Trustees on Monday gave Ivers the go-ahead to put up a tent for outdoor dining at the old mill, at 211 N. River St. After obtaining his liquor license last month, the special use permit was the last village approval Ivers needed to open his restaurant.
Ivers has teamed with My Chef Catering of Naperville for the new venture, which he said will feature American food, from barbecue to burgers to fish fry. My Chef has been in business for 23 years, and has catered more than 100 weddings, including several at Gray’s Mill, according to owner William Garlough.
The tent will seat 200, and can be used for weddings and other functions, Ivers said.
Trustees on Monday did argue over whether Ivers should be required to put up a bicycle rack. The village’s zoning code requires that all new developments must put up a bike rack, as must any development requesting a change in zoning, Senior Planner Michael Brown said.
This provision was added when the village began seriously looking at transit-oriented development. Village Manager Anne Marie Gaura said the community has a history of encouraging bicycling, including requiring bike paths along all collector routes in the village.
Trustee Matt Brolley, a civil engineer, said bike racks for new developments are standard in the industry.
But Trustees Stan Bond and Andy Kaczmarek objected, saying it should be up to the business owner whether a bike rack is installed. Trustee Pete Heinz offered a compromise: “Take the burden off him until next spring or summer,” he said. “No one’s going to be out there riding their bike now.
Ivers, an avid bicyclist himself, said he would likely wait until next year to install the rack, if allowed.
“My attitude is, whatever the trustees want, I will comply with,” he said.
Four of the five trustees at Monday’s meeting voted for the special use permit, with Kaczmarek casting the dissenting vote. Trustee Bill Keck was absent. Kaczmarek, Heinz and Bond all asked staff to revisit the bike rack requirement, and report back.
Ivers has owned Gray’s Mill since 1984, and has completely renovated it, for which he won an award from the Illinois Landmarks Preservation Council in 2001. A number of tenants have opened restaurants in that space, most recently Jason’s at Gray’s Mill, which closed in 2007.
Ivers said he will be ready to open as soon as he receives approvals from the Kane County Health Department and other agencies. He’s aiming for the third or fourth week of October, he said.