DeKALB – It’s been a whirlwind of days for the Balli family who announced their restaurant, Eduardo’s, would be closing after 40 years and a sea of patrons, regulars and friends, has followed. However, they have plans for the building.
In 2020, the Balli family will pursue obtaining tax increment financing funds through the city to overhaul the top floor of Eduardo’s, 214 E. Lincoln Highway, and turn the 5,300-square-foot space into four upscale apartments.
Their other spot, Rosita’s Mexican Restaurant, 642 E. Lincoln Highway, will remain open for business, and some Eduardo’s fan favorites will be moved over to Rosita’s menu so people still can get their margarita fixes, said Jim and Rosa Balli, co-owners of the family business.
“There are people that are looking for something that is in good shape, and some people are willing to pay for it,” Rosa Balli said Thursday.
She said she’s already talked with city officials about it and she’ll head to the City Council meeting Jan. 13 to present the plan, which could then go for a vote at a later date.
The plan is to have four apartments, she said: One with one bedroom, and the other three two bedrooms, with a washer and dryer and other amenities included. The upstairs space once was used by Northern Illinois University students and as an art studio, she said.
A week ago, the owners announced Eduardo’s was closing its doors after almost four decades in the business. JimBalli was emotional Thursday as he expressed gratitude at the outpouring of support the community has shown the Balli family since the announcement.
“It’s been unbelievable,” he said, describing how past employees have reached out to offer additional help as the business enters its final days and tries to keep up with the rush of diners eager to get their last chance at experiencing the place.
“Thank you from the bottom of our hearts,” Rosa Balli said. “We could never have done this without the community. The support, it’s overwhelming.”
The family plans to take a step back and focus on family, although Jim Balli will help Rosita’s with the transition. Next year will bring more construction to the downtown area, which they said works hand-in-hand with their plans for the apartments.
As far as Eduardo’s restaurant, the whole building is for sale, but Rosa Balli said they welcome tenants interested in leasing the impending vacant space for other means. The building was listed for sale by the owners in December 2018.
The restaurant at 214 E. Lincoln Highway is two stories tall, more than 7,000 square feet, and was listed for $875,000.
Source: The Daily Chronicle