A proposed new “American-style bar/restaurant” expected to be named the Peckish One may be coming to the corner of Howard Street and Callan Avenue – just steps away from the new Ward 8 Bar – under a similar lease-to-purchase contract with the City. City Council approved the lease portion for introduction on the consent agenda at its Feb. 25 meeting.
The City purchased the building at 623-627 ½ Howard St. in October of 2011 for $475,000. The City anticipates spending another $200,000 on the building to bring its mechanicals, including HVAC, plumbing and electricals, up to code and turn over a “vanilla box” to the new restaurant for it to finish. This amount will be repaid in full to the City in five years if the restaurant exercises its option to purchase, because the purchase price then will be $675,000.
Peckish One will be owned and run by Jamie and Deb Evans, with Jeanne Stiles and Tom Fogarty investing in and creating a microbrewery on site. Until recently, the Evanses were co-owners and operators of the Celtic Knot Public House. They worked at Tommy Nevins prior to moving to the pub on Church Street, and have now sold their interest in the Celtic Knot to their partners.
“We’re looking for the next project,” said Mr. Evans. The couple are also behind Taste wine and food shop on Jarvis across from the Red Line CTA stop.
Under the Peckish One business plan, the owners and investors intends to sink $300,000 into the business. The business intends to employ 26 people including management, kitchen staff and waitstaff.
The proposed lease provides for no rent for the first 18 months of operations, and then graduated rent thereafter. All rent paid prior to the purchase-option exercise date will count toward the purchase price, an arrangement that mirrors Ward 8’s deal with the City.
Peckish One will feature a large outdoor patio and a stage for live music. Local activist Junad Rizki objected to the deal in part because of this: He said the outdoor music will disturb neighbors.
The Peckish team will next appear before the economic development committee. If all goes well, the permitting and construction process will begin. Mr. Evans said if approved by the City, they hope to open the restaurant in December 2013.