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Tap House Grill Seeking $80,000 From Des Plaines

The owners of Tap House Grill are seeking $80,000 from the city of Des Plaines as they plan to replace the shuttered Cheeseburger in Paradise in Metropolitan Square.

The City Council unanimously expressed support for the plan which would include about $80,000 from Des Plaines' Tax Increment Financing fund. The money would be used to offset upfront costs associated with the project, city officials said.

The Tap House Grill will spend about $332,000 on the site and the owner of the Metropolitan Square will spend about $300,000.

Several citizens spoke and questioned whether the city should put up the $80,000. The speakers noted that Des Plaines had a reputation for "giveaways."

"People are always asking if the city can help fill vacancies in Metropolitan Square," 8th Ward Alderman Michael Charewicz said. "And here we have that [opportunity]."

The owners of the Tap House Grill, Scott Ward and Mark Zych, already have seven locations. They plan to open a restaurant in Palatine in October 2013. The Des Plaines location would be their ninth. City staff noted that the agreement with Tap House Grill is for 10 years and that the owners of Metropolitan Square have entered into several other long-term deals to retain other businesses.

"I'm very glad to see them coming in," Sixth Ward Alderman Mark Walsten said. "We have [new owners of Metropolitan Square] who are working diligently to come in with aggressive leasing prices to get new businesses."

World Class Capital Group acquired Metropolitan Square through foreclosure in May 2012. A spokesman for the property said that as leases have been coming up, they have been lowering the cost to be more in line with current market value.

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