Clock is ticking on finalizing plans for Caddyshack theme restaurant in Wilmette

The future of the planned Murray Brothers Caddyshack theme restaurant in Wilmette is uncertain as village officials say they haven’t received any updated plans for the site as the deadline for a special use permit approaches.

In March, the the town council approved a special use permit plan for the third Caddyshack themed restaurant at 200 Skokie Boulevard. The restaurant would pay homage to the 1980 film in which Wilmette native Bill Murray played eccentric outfielder Carl Spackler. The idea was that the restaurant would open in the old house in Bakers Square, which closed suddenly in 2019.

However, after receiving the special use permit, village officials say the developers have made no progress on the application.

“We received, and the Appearance Review Commission approved, architectural plans several months ago. We have not received any building plans, which is the next step in the approval process,” Village Manager Michael Braiman wrote in an email.

Now the clock is ticking for developers.

“The 180-day permit application deadline would expire on Sunday, September 4, so they would have to submit a permit to us by Friday, September 2,” Braiman said.

Marcus Cook, the vice president of SVN Chicago Commercial, which represents developers and owners, had no comment.

Braiman wrote that he didn’t want to speculate on the factors that led to the current situation, but he didn’t rule out many of the same issues facing the entire hotel industry.

“Increasing and volatile construction costs, supply chain and lack of available workers, especially for restaurants, are real challenges facing Wilmette (and regional) restaurants,” he wrote.

Joe Reynolds, an assistant professor at the DePaul University School of Hospitality Leadership, looks at the restaurant industry as a whole and discusses the issues facing the industry.

“We’re starting to see the food supply chain issues ease a bit, but as far as inflation goes, if I were an entrepreneur I wouldn’t open a restaurant right now, I’d wait a few months to allow for inflation. level,” he said.

He added that owners may have to make some adjustments in the future for employees to work in restaurants.

“Restaurants are now realizing that, unlike pre-COVID times, they need to update their benefits package, whether that be pay or increased incentives to lure employees back into the industry or into the industry. It’s about recruiting and retaining,” she said.

Braiman left the door open for other restaurant ideas if Caddyshack’s proposal doesn’t materialize.

“Of course, we are disappointed that the project has not yet moved forward and hope it will, but we understand that not all projects we approve end up being built for various reasons outside of the Village’s control,” Braiman wrote. “We are confident that if Caddyshack does not move forward, this site is an attractive development opportunity and we intend to be patient to ensure use that is valued by the community.”

Braiman said the town would know in early September if the project would go ahead.

There are two other Murray Brothers Caddyshack restaurants, one in Rosemont and the other in St. Augustine, FL.

Meanwhile, on July 31, vandals caused approximately $5,000 worth of damage to the building, including destroying windows, chairs, light bulbs and televisions, according to Wilmette police.

That same day, the Westmoreland Golf Club in the 2600 block of Old Glenview Road was robbed, leading to charges against a 19-year-old Wilmette man and two minors. Police believe these same individuals, along with at least one other minor, were involved in the Bakers Square break-in, but no additional charges are anticipated.

“The victim is seeking restitution rather than charging,” Wilmette Police Sgt. Landon Girard.

Cook also chose not to comment on the vandalism.

Daniel I. Dorfman is a freelance reporter for Pioneer Press.

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