BLACKBERRY TOWNSHIP – The new owners of Fisherman’s Inn said they are bustling and hustling to get the new banquet venue ready for its first wedding April 12.
“The weather is slowing us down a little bit,” said Mark Southern of Big Rock Township, who with his wife, Patricia, bought the local landmark in 2012. “We are just a couple of days from unveiling our new entrance, a stone silo.”
The iconic restaurant and banquet hall on 17 acres at 43W901 Main Street Road, just west of Route 47 near Elburn, closed in December 2009, after 40 years. The Southerns have done remodeling and upgrading of the facilities, he said.
“All our contractors are out every day,” Southern said. “It is 90 percent complete.”
The new addition is a 21/2-story silo entrance with a curved staircase and elevator to be in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, he said.
The silo is framed steel with quarry stones cut into 2-inch and 3-inch pieces as the veneer overlay, and drywall on the inside, he said.
The silo entrance leads into the lobby for the downstairs banquet hall.
The stairs or elevator go upstairs, where two other banquet halls are located, he said.
The elevator has a glass back, so anyone going up can see the Fisherman’s Inn grounds, Southern said.
“We have a lot of different contractors, a good team going,” Southern said. “We are in the finishing stages.”
True to his business plan, Southern said the facility will first be open only for private parties, such as weddings and receptions.
“Now we are interviewing and just getting a pool of servers and kitchen help together,” he said. “We have a liquor license approved. We got a chef hired and a general manager and an accountant.”
At some point, Fisherman’s Inn will be open to the general public for special events, but Southern said they are not ready for that yet.
“There has been a lot of interest, but we ask people to be patient until we get a little bit further and start having experience with events,” Southern said. “We want to make sure everything is right, that everyone has a great experience.”