From chicken to corn dogs, ramen to bubble tea, Rolling Meadows officials this week revealed some fast-food restaurants in various stages of permitting and the construction process that will help fill job openings in malls across the city.
“[There is]a lot of activity to get new restaurants in places in the city,” Alderman Kevin O’Brien said during a report on some new businesses during Tuesday’s city council meeting.
According to O’Brien, a member of the city’s Economic Development Commission, and Martha Corner, a city business advocate who acts as a link to local businesses, new restaurants are set to replace those that closed in recent years:
• Kong Dog, which offers a menu of 10 unique toppings of sweet and savory corn dogs, has a lease on 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 introduced permits for renovations. Bigby’s, a handcrafted beer bar, closed in 2021 amid the pandemic, after nearly seven years in business.
• Chicago Ramen Lab is set to replace the previous Pizza & More restaurant at 2222 W. Algonquin Road. The Japanese noodle dish operator is renovating the space and already has a sign installed in the front.
• Just two doors away in the same mall, Ding Tea – featuring popular bubble tea drinks that originated in Taiwan in the 1980s – opens at 2226 W. Algonquin Road.
• Sorry Mum, serving Central Asian cuisine and possibly dishes brought by the owners from native Kazakhstan, it is proposed that you take over the vacant restaurant building located at 5153 New Wilke Road. The space had been Pepe’s for years and then housed Sabroso Authentic Mexican Restaurant for less than a year until it closed during the pandemic.
• bb.q Chicken, a fried chicken chain founded in Korea in 1995 and expanded to America in 2014, completes interior updates at a former PPG paint shop at 2180 Plum Grove Road.
• The owner of a sports bar is looking forward to moving to a former Tokyo Asian restaurant located at 1655 Algonquin Street. City officials have met with the owner about what is needed to get city approvals, but so far no paperwork has been submitted.
• There was a proposal for a Mexican restaurant to move to the former Great American Bagel at 3240 Kirchoff Road, but this is no longer on the table.
Restaurant updates from city officials came as the council gave final approvals Tuesday for a new restaurant announced last month. Raising Cane’s – a national fast-service chain known for its staple of chicken fingers, curly fries, coleslaw and Texas toast – will be built on the closed Buona Beef site at 1420 Golf Road, which closed in 2020 during the pandemic.
Corner said restaurant opening schedules vary, as business owners navigate the city’s building permit process.