While the vote was unanimous at the City Council level, reviews were mixed from Batavia Patch Facebook comments. Some folks were excited about gaining a restaurant whose Zagat's food rating is a whopping 27 out of a possible 28. Others were just tired of the city stoking downtown development with generous incentives. Still others are worried about the effect on other restaurants in town.
An article in the Kane County Chronicle said the owners, Gaetano and Wendy DiBenedetto, hope to open some time in March.
Here's what folks had to say in answer to the question: Is a loan a good idea to bring a top-quality restaurant to downtown Batavia?
- Lulu Haines-Harrison, Scott Descourouez, Nell Thelin Novak and 3 others like this.
- Sven Kersten Moravec Its not a bad idea since they have an already up and running restaurant. They have have some collateral so to say.
- Anne Overley Schaff How many Italian restaurants does batavia need? We already have 3 in downtown alone!
- Tony Thryselius How bout a bridge
- Tony Thryselius Parking
- Philip Cressler Too much fighting over that issue. Been years and they still have got it screwed up. Need to keep it So. of "in-town"!! There's a perfect spot to line up Randall & Kirk but they won't even look at it.
- Wesley H Schmidt No
- Kathy Jean I really cant speak intelligently to if its a good idea..i just know I cant affotd to go let alone pay it back
- Patti Pearson-Kotz Too many of them......cant we have something different? It will be expensive to eat there....check out the prices from their other places..... where will people park....its bad down there now ......maybe the city should use that money to build another level to the puney parking garage or build another on the corner of rt 25 and wilson
- Harley McComb Too upscale for the location. They will fold and there will be no assurance that Batavia will get it's loan repaid. Plus like others said NO PARKING available. Spend 15 minutes trying to find a space to go to Pal Joey's on Saturday night.
- Tom Fink Why duplicate existing restaurant types (Italian) and make it upscale?? Hasn't Batavia learned anything from the turnstyle effect that has previously happened on these "niche" type businesses that do not survive? Spend your TIFF money more wisely while you still have any businesses left - and remember the gaping business holes in the other sections of Batavia that seem to fall of the radar while they languish in emptiness for long long periods of time. Talk is real cheap but actions toward economic development might actually help the citizens.
- Nell Thelin Novak Finally an upscale restaurant in Batavia. Looking forward to it. The menu looks nothing like the "Italian" restaurants already in Batavia. Hopefully it will be a draw for outsiders. The menu looks fantastic.
- Scott R. Naylor Nell- Nobody asked if any of us WANTED another Italian restaurant...the question was, should the city loan the owners money to make it possible for them to open here. Anyway, I don't care if someone else wants to open another Italian restaurant here in town. We live in the great and free USA so they have every right to do that! BUT, if they want to open a restaurant they should be opening it with their own money!! If they don't have the money to do it then maybe they shouldn't do it. They are an UPSCALE restaurant with OTHER successful locations, why the hell do they need a grant and a loan from Batavia to open this location. Where is the logic here??? If it's too expensive to open a restaurant in an old building and too many upgrades/improvements are required...FIND A DIFFERENT LOCATION, don't take an offer from the city to borrow money that THEY can't even manage wisely!!! As my wife just mentioned, how about they give us and the other residents in town some money off our electric bills that they SCREWED us on or find some other INTELLIGENT use for the money. And lastly, this isn't Naperville or any upscale city on the outskirts of Chicago but I think it's great that we bring in an expensive restaurant as a destination for people that commonly eat in towns like that...an overpriced Italian eatery will do nothing for me or most people I know.
- Nathalie Mallizzio No, upscale restaurant is going to last..Batavia doesn't have that clientele.. If someone is looking for upscale they won't be looking for it in Batavia.
- Laurie Schultz Stanczak We are really thinking about "paying" a restaurant to come to Batavia? Really could think of a lot of better ways to spend tax dollars.
- Becca Blue You are all right...having dilapidated, vacant, deteriorating buildings is way better than investing in a business that has already proven to be successful in a suburb that is much like Batavia. (12 years ago-Forest Park was dive bars, a handful of antique stores and empty store fronts.)
- Steve Rakers The problem is parking.