From chicken to corn dogs, ramen to bubble tea, Rolling Meadows officials this week revealed some of the fast-casual restaurants in various stages of the permitting and construction process that will help fill shopping center vacancies throughout the city.
“(There’s) a lot of great activity to get new restaurants in places in town,” Alderman Kevin O’Brien said during a report on some of the new businesses during a city council meeting Tuesday.
According to O’Brien, a member of the city’s economic development committee, and Martha Corner, the city’s business advocate who works as a liaison to local businesses, the new eateries are set to replace ones that have closed in recent years:
• Kong Dog, offering a menu of 10 unique sweet and savory corn dog toppings, has a lease for the former Bigby’s Pour House at 1649 W. Algonquin Road. With locations in Park Ridge, Glenview and three in Chicago, the Korean-style corn dog chain has submitted permits for renovations. Bigby’s, a craft beer bar, closed in 2021 amid the pandemic, after nearly seven years in business.
• Chicago Ramen Lab is set to replace the former Pizza & More restaurant at 2222 W. Algonquin Road. The Japanese noodle dish operator is in the process of renovating the space and already has a sign installed in front.
• Just a couple of doors down in the same shopping center, Ding Tea — featuring the popular bubble tea drinks that originated in Taiwan in the 1980s — is opening at 2226 W. Algonquin Road.
• Sorry Mommy, offering central Asian cuisine and possibly dishes the owners brought from their native Kazakhstan, is proposed to take over the vacant restaurant building at 5153 New Wilke Road. The space was a Pepe’s restaurant for years, then housed Sabroso Authentic Mexican restaurant for less than a year until it closed during the pandemic.
• bb.q Chicken, a fried chicken chain that was founded in Korea in 1995 and expanded to America in 2014, is completing interior upgrades at a former PPG Paints store at 2180 Plum Grove Road.
• The owner of a sports bar chain is looking to possibly move into the former Asian Tokyo restaurant at 1655 Algonquin Road. City officials met with the owner about what would be needed to obtain city approvals, but so far no paperwork has been submitted.
• There was a proposal for a Mexican restaurant to move into the former Great American Bagel at 3240 Kirchoff Road, but that is no longer on the table.
The restaurant updates from city officials came as the council gave final approvals Tuesday to a new eatery they announced last month. Raising Cane’s — the quick-service national chain known for its basic menu of chicken fingers, crinkle-cut fries, coleslaw and Texas toast — will be built on the site of the shuttered Buona Beef at 1420 Golf Road, which closed in 2020 during the pandemic.
Timelines on the restaurant openings vary, as business owners navigate the city building permit process, Corner said.