Phil Vettel | Chicago Tribune | August 21, 2017
Fred’s Mobil Station, which served Winnetka motorists for decades, is about to become a filling station of another sort.
Joe Krouse, Robert LaPata and Fred Gale, the owners of Ten Mile House restaurant in Evanston, are putting the finishing touches to Fred’s Garage (574 Green Bay Road, Winnetka), aiming for a mid-September opening.
“Fred (LaPata) was really bummed,” Krouse joked. “He thought we were naming it after him.”
The partners have expanded the original building, which has been gutted. When finished, the restaurant will be “an homage to the service station,” sporting two working garage doors (for open-air dining) and a large outdoor space that mimics the look of a gas-station canopy.
by Emily Spectre, Daily North Shore • August 10, 2016
Plans are in the works for a new restaurant located at 574 Green Bay Road in Winnetka, formerly the home of Fred’s Mobil service station.
The developer and owner of the property, Alfred Stepan, told DailyNorthShore.com on August 10 that he has entered into 10-year lease agreement with the operators of Ten Mile House, a popular restaurant in Evanston. Stepan is a managing director at SVN, a commercial real estate firm in Chicago.
“We are very excited about the project,” Stepan said. “They are great operators. We struck a lease deal over a period of a few months,” he added. The new restaurant will be family friendly and feature American cuisine, he said.
Robert LaPata, one of the restaurant operators, said the new restaurant will not be the same as Ten Mile House, but will have the same feel, including “a crisp, clean family friendly yet sophisticated-enough-for-adults atmosphere,” he said. LaPata expressed his enthusiasm about the project. “We’re excited at the opportunity. We think it will be a great addition not only to Winnetka, but the entire North Shore dining scene,” he said.
Stepan purchased the property last March and immediately removed the underground tanks. He plans to adaptively re-use the existing building, which will be extensively renovated by LG Construction and include a 900-square-foot addition. The outside cladding will be removed and recovered with stucco and stained reclaimed wood material.
The plans include a large outdoor patio with seating, extensive landscaping and hardscape improvements. Stepan said he hopes to break ground by early to mid-September and complete construction by early December. He estimated the restaurant would open by late spring 2017.
“It’s a great property. A signature property of the downtown and it’s going to be beautiful when we are done,” Stepan said.
According to Brian Norkus, assistant director of community development for the village, the project is fully compliant with zoning and does not require any special zoning approval. Norkus said the village approval process is essentially complete, with a few minor exceptions for the tenants. “We’re hoping to see a ground breaking very soon,” Norkus wrote in an email to DailyNorthShore on August 10.
The village is also enthusiastic about plans for a restaurant in this location ,which they hope will become a dining destination. “We think that the work will fit exceptionally well with other nearby businesses, bringing more patrons north on Chestnut Street,” Norkus said.