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Kaneland Connection: Fresh look for Gaedel's in Elburn; Dunkin' Donuts might come soon

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ELBURN – The village soon might welcome a Dunkin’ Donuts franchise. The Eddie Gaedel Pub and Grill soon will sport a new look. And the first steps have been taken in the building of a much-discussed bridge that will provide a crossing over the Union Pacific railroad tracks that are known for causing significant delays for drivers heading through Elburn.

Tom Brennan, Elburn’s building commissioner, said the Dunkin’ Donuts would be built in the area in front of the Jewel store, which is at 800 Main St., south of Route 38, in Elburn. The Dunkin’ Donuts would be built in the grassy area just west of Route 47.

Brennan said the next step could come Nov. 5, at a planning commission meeting, with discussion of a special-use permit. Asked by trustees whether it would be a mere Dunkin’ Donuts or one with a Baskin-Robbins ice cream place attached, Brennan said the owner “has ambitions” of adding another tenant to the area, but that it at first would simply be a Dunkin’ Donuts establishment.

Eddie Gaedel, which opened earlier this year at 117 N. Main St. in Elburn, applied for a facade improvement program loan through the village. Village Board members OK’d the request for $9,000 for improvements and an additional $1,000 for architectural work. Trustees said the money has been budgeted, but it is not always used.

The establishment was represented by Rob and Myra Ottoson, who partnered with Annette and Dick Theobald, owners of Paisano’s Pizza, to open Gaedel’s in the spring.

Among the changes to Gaedel’s will be the removal of a sign that hangs outside of the building. Trustees welcomed that, saying they had heard complaints from residents. Rob Ottoson said he, too, believed the sign was a bad fit. The plan calls for painting, wall facade repair and treatment, and new exterior doors, as well as windows, shutters and awnings, exterior lighting and signage.

Ultimately, seating could be added in the front of the establishment, and also perhaps behind it.

Village President Dave Anderson praised the plan.

“I believe we would like our downtown to be unique,” he said. “And in order for it to be unique … not every storefront should look the same.”

Also, Anderson talked of work beginning on the Anderson Road bridge, a project that will extend Anderson Road south to Keslinger Road, with a bridge providing a crossing over the tracks and improved access to the village’s Metra station. Anderson said some work has begun at the south end, at Anderson and Keslinger roads. He said the plan is for the project to take “220 working days, from start to finish.”

Officials have said “the majority of the work” could be finished by late 2014, and that the road could be opened to traffic soon after that.

• Al Lagattolla is the news editor of the Kane County Chronicle. Write to him at alagattolla@shawmedia.com.

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