Construction is expected to begin soon on the renovated former Rosebud restaurant in Naperville, to be known as Empire by Ballydoyle.
“Permit has been approved,” owner Phil Cullen said Monday in an email. “We will start shortly.”
A year and a half in the making, the new establishment is slated for the century-old space last occupied by Rosebud at Chicago Avenue and Main Street, along the West Branch of the DuPage River. Rosebud now operates at the southeast corner of Chicago and Washington Street, where it reopened in February 2011 after a fire four years ago this month closed its doors at the previous location.
The new business will specialize in upscale pub food and craft beers, shifting later in the evening to an entertainment venue featuring live music and targeting adults age 30 to 55.
Cullen last year succeeded in his effort to have the municipal liquor code modified to allow an additional late-night license in the downtown area. City Council members, who acknowledged the economic benefit of filling the vacant property’s prime location, deliberated the new permit at some length. Some voiced concerns that the added patron volume Empire would bring might overly burden police peacekeeping efforts in the city core, where bar violence recently had been eased with help from added patrols.
The late-night license allows restaurant owners to continue serving alcohol until 1 a.m. on weeknights and 2 a.m. on weekends without keeping their kitchens open.
Cullen, who told The Sun last month that “lots of people are asking about Empire,” aims to be open by the end of the year.
Among the details of the ambitious building overhaul, which will bring considerable steel supports into the vintage structure, is a retractable roof over the southern portion of the upper level. Cullen has said the feature will enable the balcony and adjacent seating area to be used from spring through fall.
“It will be a nice spot,” he said.Tags: bars, Empire by Ballydoyle, food