Proposed Batavia restaurant requesting financial assistance

BATAVIA – Aldermen today will consider a request for financial assistance from the owners of a new Italian fusion restaurant proposed in the former location of The Rhino Room in downtown Batavia.

Gaetano Di Benedetto, who owns Gaetano’s in Forest Park, wants to open a second, smaller version of the restaurant at 15 E. Wilson St., Batavia, which formerly housed The Rhino Room.

The Di Benedettos are requesting financial support from the city in the form of a tax increment financing district grant and a low-interest loan.

According to a memo from Batavia economic development consultant Chris Aiston, it will cost more than $220,000 to convert the building into a full-service restaurant, including kitchen equipment purchase and installation, interior decorating and the installation of a fire suppression system.

A proposed redevelopment agreement calls for the Di Benedettos to receive a $25,000 TIF grant from the city along with a $75,000, 60-month loan. The loan will carry an annual interest rate of 2.75 percent.

Plans are for the restaurant to open March 1.