Economic Development Consultant Chris Aiston says the proposed Gaetano’s, which would be owned and operated by Batavia residents Gaetano and Wendy DiBenedetto, is worth the investment.
Staff recommended the ordinance for a tax increment financing district agreement after considering the DiBenedettos' finances, the success of the existing Gaetano’s in Forest Park and "the potential positive impact the proposed restaurant will have on the immediate area and on downtown Batavia’s business community generally."
The City Council Committee of the Whole agenda calls for discussion at its 6:30 p.m. Tuesday meeting and a vote at the full City Council meeting at 7:30 p.m.
Under the agreement, the city would provide the developer a TIF grant in the amount of $25,000 and a loan in the amount of $75,000. The loan would carry an annual interest rate of 2.75 percent and term of five years.
The costs of starting a new restaurant in an older building are significant.
"In creating a full service kitchen, the developer must purchase and install certain equipment required in the preparation of the planned menu items. It is estimated that the total cost for all planned improvements, including equipment purchase and installation, will exceed $220,000," Aiston said in his report.
- Upgrades and modifications to building plumbing, natural gas and electrical facilities;
- Interior decorating;
- Kitchen equipment purchase and installation (including refrigerators, freezers, ovens, and ranges);
- Multiple, independent oven venting systems; and
- Ansul fire suppression system purchase and installation.
An article in the Daily Herald says Gaetano’s would be the fifth Italian restaurant in downtown Batavia.
Gaetano’s is a Italian fusion tapas restaurant founded by Executive Chef Gaetano Di Benedetto, who hails from "the lush coastal town of Bagheria, located just outside of Palermo, Sicily," according to the Gaetano's website.
The Forest Park Gaetano's was rated the second-best Italian restaurant in the Chicago area by Zagat in October 2013.
- Forest Park Patch: Yelp's Top 10 Italian Restaurants in Oak Park, Forest Park: Do You Agree?