CRYSTAL LAKE – A fixture of Crystal Lake’s downtown restaurant and bar scene was given the nod to take over the restaurant at the new wakeboarding park at Three Oaks Recreation Area.
The City Council voted Tuesday evening, 6-0, to approve an agreement allowing Duke’s Alehouse and Kitchen to operate the restaurant at The Quarry Cable Park & Grille, which opened last year.
Called “Duke’s on the Water,” the restaurant will feature burgers, sandwiches, salads and other comfort foods, said Duke’s owner Zak Dolezal, who was approached by the wakeboard park’s owners about taking over the restaurant operations.
“They came to me and specifically wanted us in there. I was flattered,” Dolezal said.
Like the menu at the alehouse’s 110 N. Main St. location, the Three Oaks location will source its ingredients from local and sustainable producers and maintain the same “ecological business standards.”
“That’s super important to us, and we’re going to maintain this philosophy,” Dolezal said.
Duke’s on the Water is expected to open in early May. City Council members approved the agreement without discussion as part of the consent agenda.
The wakeboarding park, named in honor of the former quarry that the city repurposed, is located in and around Three Oaks’ smaller, 32-acre North Lake. It has two basic courses and one advanced one in which wakeboarders move along a cable system suspended in the air instead of being pulled by boats. The building’s lower level includes a restaurant with outdoor seating that served burgers, wraps and similar fare.
While Duke’s Alehouse is renowned for its extensive craft beer selection, the park’s owners still will be in charge of serving alcohol. The park has a redundant admittance system in place to prevent people who have been drinking from wakeboarding.
The park building also can be used to host events and parties, which Duke’s will cater.
Under terms of the agreement, Duke’s will pay the wakeboard park a monthly rent of $3,500 during the operating months of May through October, 5 percent of which will go to the city, according to city records. The city also will get 5 percent of all gross revenues generated by Duke’s food and beverage sales.