Fire may have destroyed LA Cafe, one of New Lenox's most beloved restaurants in January, but the business is eventually slated for a resurrection.
The Jan. 28 blaze started accidentally in the kitchen in the early morning hours on a Saturday. No one was hurt, but the business was forced to close.
Marc Angel, owner of the popular Mexican restaurant, LA Café, had hoped to re-open next month, but plans have been pushed back to spring 2013. Still, he's excited about the restoration work that got underway last week by Phoenix Restoration Co., 195 Industry Ave., Frankfort.
Steve Wolf, who is one of three partners at the restoration company, said he's moving full-steam ahead with the project that now encompasses the entire five-store strip along Route 30, just east of Prairie Avenue.
The challenge, he said, is not only restoring the inside of the restaurant, it's coordinating with efforts to update the five-store strip mall. "This is a fun project" that's working to enhance the Route 30 Corridor through New Lenox.
"It's nice to be doing this size of project." Hopefully it will bring business in."
The project was designed by Frankfort-based Olivieri Architects, but Phoenix just got the necessary permit approvals last week, said Wolf.
The LA Café Restaurant project is an opportunity for Phoenix to branch out from residential restoration. "This is going to be our commercial project." The whole strip mall is about 5,000 square feet. LA Café is the first part of the project.
"The inside has been gutted, he said. ""We've got it down to the foundation."
Despite the fact that the restaurant re-opening has been pushed back, Angel said he's looking forward to a grand re-opening. In the meantime, he welcomes supporters and patrons to visit his other restaurant in Mokena, 19450 La Grange Road, until the New Lenox site is open.
He reiterated earlier comments about the community of New Lenox patrons. "We're grateful for the support of New Lenox."
Read more about LA Cafe:
- 'We Will Rebuild': Fire Destroys LA Cafe in New Lenox"
- La Cafe Owner Hopes to Reopen in December
- Cafe: Lost in the Fire Debate
Read more about New Lenox business:
- Hey! Rosati's Pizza is Open
- Cuddle Me Babies Gift Shop Can Make You the Hit of the Baby Shower
- VIDEO: Car Dealer Gets a Prime Spot on Route 30
- Readers Vote 2012: Pick New Lenox's Best Businesses