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Hinsdale, Illinois |

Published July 5, 2012                                                     

New restaurant, other businesses cancel out loss of Gap locations

Restaurant slated for Gateway Square and Verizon opening help offset loss of Gap stores

By Pamela Lannom

   Hinsdale’s downtown has two new vacancies, but the health of the central business district continues to be strong, according to Tim Scott, the village’s economic development director.
   The Gap and Gap Kids closed last week as part of a corporate strategy to focus on high-volume stores at malls and urban locations, Scott said. Almost 200 stores are being closed nationwide.
   “Certainly we appreciate their presence here and I think consumers did, and national brands interspersed among our big collection of independents makes for a nice complementary mix,” Scott said.
   The same individual owns both Washington Street buildings and has hired a large brokerage firm to find new tenants.
   “One of our challenge will be the size of the spaces,” Scott said. “People want less, and these are fairly good size spaces.”
   But as two stores close, other new businesses are planning to open.
   Among the most anticipated is Peter Burdi’s latest eatery, slated to open later this year in the former Lily Pulitzer space on First Street.
   Cine, a shortened version of the Spanish word “cinema,” pays homage to the restaurant’s location and its cuisine.
   “We went along with the theme of being a movie theater,” Burdi said Tuesday. “This place will be almost like a scene, in a sense, and fun.”
   The taqueria menu will feature different kinds of tacos and mainstream Mexican items. Chef Rosalia Barron will bring her 12 years of experience working with Rick Bayless to the new restaurant.
   “She’s worked with me prior at Nabuki, but her specialty is Latin cuisine. She’s traveled with Rick Bayless in Mexico,” Burdi said.
   The menu for the 160-seat restaurant could evolve.
   “We’re gong to do mainstream and we’re going to let the clientele dictate what they want,” he said. “If it becomes more upscale, it will be more upscale. If our clients want beans and rice and burritos, that’s what we’ll give them. We’ll cater to the clientele. That’s what we’ve always tried to do.”
   Cine also will feature a private dining room and large outdoor seating area.
   Demolition has been completed and the building permit is ready for pickup.
   “We should start construction this coming Monday,” Burdi said. “Signage and things like that, we’re working on as we speak.”
   Burdi is shooting for an October or early November opening.
   “If we don’t get it open by Nov. 1, it will be March,” he said.
   Burdi said he’s anxious to open this third establishment in town and thanked customers for supporting Nabuki and Il Poggiolo.
   “I want to thank the people of Hinsdale and the surrounding areas, because they’ve really supported us,” he said. “We give a good product and good atmosphere and good service, and that’s what we keep trying to do.”
   Another restaurant, Fox’s Pizza, is also due to open later this year at Gateway Square. Amazing Gracies, a children’s clothing store, recently opened at Gateway Square.
   Core Power Yoga is now open at 34 S. Vine St., and School of Rock at 116 S. Washington St. celebrated its grand opening this spring.
   Scott said an artisinal coffee roaster is looking at the former Garden Collection space on Village Place, and Jack’s Salon, above Einstein’s at the corner of First and Washington Streets, will become Salon by David and William.
   “As numbers go, we’re equal to or ahead of where we were,” Scott said.
   Some changes also might be in the works for Todd Naccarato’s building at First and Garfield Avenue.
   “We’re exploring opportunities for the building’s future and for potential reconstruction,” Scott said.
   Hinsdale continues to have a relatively healthy downtown, in Scott’s opinion.
   “I spend some time on a pretty regular basis in comparable towns,” he said. “On balance, Hinsdale is doing quite well.
   “That does not mean there is not a lot of room for improvement, because there is always room for improvement. It doesn’t mean that individual stores wouldn’t like to see more and more traffic and business, because certainly that’s something everyone would like to see,” he added. |
   “In terms of relative health, looking at occupancy and tenant mix and sales tax revenue, I would say, in terms of comparable towns, we’re doing pretty well on balance.”




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