SYCAMORE — Work to transform the building at 1950 DeKalb Ave. in Sycamore into a Texas Roadhouse restaurant is now underway.
Sycamore Mayor Ken Mundy is pleased that building renovation has begun, with a planned June opening of the steakhouse. Johnny's Charhouse, the former tenant in the space, closed in May after 15 years there.
"We're excited they've chosen to locate one of their fine restaurants in our community," Mundy said. "Normally, they like to build their own, but we're happy they chose to work with [building owner] John Pappas and the city of Sycamore."
Mundy said there was discussion with Texas Roadhouse about incentives, but construction is moving forward without city assistance.
The Louisville, Ky.-based steakhouse chain has more than 400 locations in 48 states, with 12 Illinois locations, including Rockford, Naperville and Joliet. Another is scheduled to open in Crystal Lake in February, according to the company's website.
Although he said he wasn't at liberty to discuss specifics of the lease agreement, Mike Carpenter, real estate broker for RVG Milner Carpenter, said Texas Roadhouse has signed a 10-year lease.
"Deals are all predicated on the length of the term, strength of the tenant and tenant improvement terms," Carpenter said. "The landlord was pleased and Texas Roadhouse was pleased with the site."
Carpenter said the renovations would transform the space to give it the prototypical look of a Texas Roadhouse. He said the company liked the site because of the visibility on DeKalb Avenue (Route 23), the quality of the building itself, the abundance of parking with more than 160 spaces and Pappas' willingness to negotiate.
"The building already has a lot of the typical improvements restaurateurs look for in regard to sewer, water and electrical service," Carpenter said.
"We just need the community to support them once they're open, just like all of our businesses," Mundy said.
Pappas said a construction crew has been working inside the building for the past few days.
"They are ready to rock and roll," he said. "And this is very positive for the entire county."
Calls to the Texas Roadhouse headquarters were not returned on Monday.