A restaurant serving Georgian food is coming to a Wheeling shopping center.
Pirosmani Georgian Food Art is planned for the Dunhurst Plaza at 849 W. Dundee Road. The owners envision opening in two or three months, after an interior renovation.
The previous tenant in the 1,500-square-foot space was Dundee Hot Dogs & More. It closed in December 2019, Village Manager Jon Sfondilis said.
The new restaurant will serve Georgian delicacies such as dumplings, eggplant with walnuts, and beef and chicken kebabs, village documents indicate. Vegetarian dishes also will be on the menu.
“It’s very tasty,” partner Bidzina Bregadze of Riverwoods said of Georgian cuisine during Monday’s village board meeting. “It’s very healthy food.”
Bregadze said Georgian restaurants are fairly new to the U.S. and the Chicago area. They’re more commonly found in New York City, he said.
Pirosmani Georgian Food Art partner David Namgalauri, also of Riverwoods, participated in the discussion, too.
Afterward, the board awarded the restaurateurs a $29,144 municipal grant to pay for a variety of site improvements, including kitchen, electric and plumbing upgrades. A new walk-in cooler, new flooring, new cabinets and a new exterior wall sign are among the planned improvements.
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All the work is expected to cost about $71,637, documents indicate.
The grant money will come from Wheeling’s Restaurant and Retail Build-Out Assistance Grant Program, which helps local business owners pay for such improvements.
Business owners or property owners are reimbursed for up to half a project’s cost.
Grants of up to $150,000 each are available to improve sit-down restaurant facilities, while $50,000 grants will be available for other types of businesses.
The grant program focuses on commercial buildings within Wheeling’s tax increment financing districts. Typically called TIF districts, the zones help raise money for public improvements.
Property tax revenue generated by a property’s increasing value or new development goes into a special fund that pays for construction efforts and other projects.
Before voting to award the grant, Trustee Jim Ruffatto complained about the condition of the Dunhurst Plaza. The board’s attorney, Jim Ferolo, advised the panel to enforce local codes if there are issues there.