Long-delayed Batavia restaurant now weeks away from opening
By Linda Girardi For The Beacon-News October 24, 2012 10:18AM
Golden Corral franchise owner Sam Gibson of Plainfield fields calls while handling the logistics of outfitting the interior of his new restaurant at the corner of Main Street and Randall Road in Batavia. The store has sat vacant since the fall of 2008 while in foreclosure from the original property owner. | Submitted
Updated: November 27, 2012 10:37AM
BATAVIA — Batavians eagerly waiting for the Golden Corral to finally open will soon see the day.
Golden Corral franchise owner Sam Gibson on Tuesday was at his restaurant at the southwest corner of Main Street and Randall Road as the first delivery of kitchen equipment arrived from Raleigh, N.C.
“By Monday it will look like a Golden Corral,” said Gibson, of Plainfield.
While Gibson opened a Golden Corral in Schererville, Ind., in 2006 with success, it has been a long road for him to get to this day in Batavia.
Construction for the 10,330-square-foot building in Batavia began in the spring of 2008 for the buffet steakhouse and grill franchise and Gibson was ready to lease it. But the Tucson, Ariz., developer went bankrupt and the property was held in foreclosure.
Gibson said he could not buy the property until the owner was finally willing to sign-off and he could obtain clear title of the property and liens from contractors were paid.
Gibson said he also had to seek financing elsewhere when his original bank was taken over by the FDIC — further delaying interior work and equipping and furnishing the restaurant.
He said representatives from CapitalSource Bank of Los Angeles, Calif., came to Batavia to meet with him and he just got the financing to buy the property.
The restaurant building has been an empty shell since fall of 2008, and Mayor Jeff Schielke said residents were regularly asking him when the doors would open.
Gibson said he has been waiting three weeks for NICOR to submit the paperwork to get the necessary permit from Kane County to install the gas meter. The property is newly landscaped and equipped with an automatic sprinkler system.
Gibson’s operating partner Mark Schmeling relocated from Anchorage, Alaska, to help open and run the store. Schmeling said they have already hired 40 people and the goal is to have 140 to 150 new hires. The restaurant will open around mid-November.
“We just have to get the gas company here,” Gibson said.