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Local

Plan for St. Charles Wahlburgers gets thumbs up

Location would be first in Illinois for restaurant chain

Resident Donnie Wahlberg speaks about his family's connections to the area during a discussion of a proposed Wahlburgers restaurant in the Meijer Planned Unit Development during a May 8 meeting of the St. Charles Plan Commission.
Resident Donnie Wahlberg speaks about his family's connections to the area during a discussion of a proposed Wahlburgers restaurant in the Meijer Planned Unit Development during a May 8 meeting of the St. Charles Plan Commission.

ST. CHARLES – Wahlburgers – a restaurant made famous by the A&E reality show featuring actors Mark and Donnie Wahlberg and their brother Paul, a chef, may be coming to St. Charles if it gets approval from the City Council.

The project is part of a three-restaurant development planned for the southwest corner of Route 38 and Randall Road.

The St. Charles Plan Commission voted Tuesday in favor of the preliminary plan for the project, presented during a public hearing by developer Alrig USA.

If the City Council approves the final development plan, construction of the Wahlburgers restaurant could begin this summer.

The Wahlberg family company has restaurants in 16 states. The menu features burgers, sandwiches, salads and fries.

“We’re a rapidly expanding company, but our roots and message are all about family,” Donnie Wahlberg said during the public hearing.

St. Charles would be the first Illinois location for Wahlburgers and the company’s first restaurant to be built from the ground up. Other Wahlburgers opened in retrofitted buildings.

The full-service restaurant’s plan features a patio overlooking the existing retention pond bordered by enhanced landscaping. Wahlberg intends to incorporate St. Charles history into the restaurant’s interior theme.

“We really want to make this aesthetically beautiful,” Wahlberg said.

The Wahlbergs previously had considered Chicago as a restaurant location but decided on St. Charles instead. Wahlberg said it is an ideal place for a Wahlburgers and opening a restaurant in the city would be a great source of pride for him.

“I’ve wanted to do this from the moment I set foot in this town,” Wahlberg said. “I’m very committed to this.”

Wahlberg and his wife, Jenny McCarthy, a celebrity entertainer, bought a house in St. Charles two years ago.

Alrig is seeking tenants for the other two planned restaurants, which both would have drive-thru lanes. The three-acre site for the three structures currently is part of the Meijer store’s parking lot.

The final development plan for the restaurant development will be reviewed by the city’s Planning and Development Committee on Monday and likely will then proceed to City Council for final approval later in May or in early June, said Rita Tungare, director of community and economic development for St. Charles.

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