Owners of a former gas station and garage on downtown Court Street in Pekin plan to convert it into an Irish pub and beer garden, and would like some city help.
Thomas West and Dori Edwards have told city staff they envision both a mid-day eatery for downtown office workers and professionals and an after-work neighborhood gathering spot for their West Dublin Irish Pub at 507 Court.
They’re investing $250,000 in their project, which could be completed by St. Patrick’s Day.
West and Edwards on Monday will ask the City Council to defray some of that cost with a $12,500 grant from the city’s Downtown Tax-Increment Finance District (TIF) Facade Program fund and $25,000 more from its TIF Commercial Retail Forgivable Loan fund.
They note in their request that the city has already invested $150,000 over recent years to stabilize the one-story brick structure that they bought in September.
The business will be a medium-sized, casual local pub that will feature a glass-enclosed beer garden fronting Court, West and Edwards said. Its fare will include “a vast selection of handcrafted beers” and an “impressive wine selection,” as well as authentic Irish and traditional pub food and daily specials.
Local band and acoustic guitar performances will entertain customers on weekends and some evenings, they said.
While “competition is fierce” in the downtown-area tavern market, their new pub “may actually induce more customers to travel to the downtown area for dining and entertainment, creating synergy and making Downtown Pekin a destination,” West and Edwards said in their request for the TIF funds.
The council on Monday also will be asked to approve its portion of a contract with Oberlander Electric Co. to replace and upgrade runway lighting at Pekin Municipal Airport.
The city would pay about $33,540 of the overall $670,760 cost for the project, which is part of the Airport Improvement Program approved by the Illinois Department of Transportation’s Division of Aeronautics. It focuses on replacing the current runway lights with more efficient LED lighting.
Oberlander submitted the lowest of four bids for the work.
A related contract for construction engineering at the airport, if approved, would require the city to pay $6,151 of its total $123,028 cost. That contract is slated to be awarded to Hanson Professional Services Inc.
Follow Michael Smothers at Twitter.com/msmotherspekin