HUNTLEY – After years of planning, work to bring a new barbecue restaurant to the downtown square will begin this month, with a new BBQ King Smokehouse restaurant expected to open in March or April.
BBQ King, an award-winning Woodstock barbecue restaurant, will be the largest tenant in a new building at 11708 Coral St. Two other 1,500-square-foot retail businesses will be included in the development.
BBQ King Smokehouse owner Jason Szmurlo said he knows which retailers will be in the building, but he is keeping that under wraps for now.
A village-owned house, known as the Kelley House, formerly stood on the lot, but it had fallen into disrepair. The village approved a bid of $24,281 in February to demolish the house and clear the site.
The village approved the redevelopment agreement on Aug. 10.
Szmurlo said he was familiar with the area and recently moved to Crystal Lake.
“A few years ago we were approached by the economic development director, and it put the idea in our heads,” he said. “[Huntley is] a great town and is one of the fastest-growing towns in the area. We just ran with it.”
The restaurant won first place the past two years at Ribfest Chicago for the “Best Ribs Juried by our Celebrity Judges” category.
The restaurant will be about 4,700 square feet on the first floor and 2,940 square feet on the second floor, according to village documents. The second floor will be used for overflow dining and have a private party room, Szmurlo said. The restaurant also will feature an outdoor patio.
The other two retail spaces will have ground floor uses only.
Village Manager Dave Johnson said the development is part of a project to revitalize Huntley’s downtown area. The village began planning in 2010.
“At this point, there hasn’t been a building [downtown] that hasn’t been in touch for improvements,” he said. “We see BBQ King as being a complement to the existing businesses down there, and hopefully a draw for not only his restaurant but for the other businesses downtown.”