A Plainfield-area business is branching out.
The owners of the popular McBrides Pub & Grille, 7162 W. Caton Farm Rd., plan to take over the recently closed City of Champions Sports Bar & Grill in Joliet.
Dubbed McBride's on 52, the new business should open in early December at 2727 W. Jefferson St. But first, some extensive renovations will be done to the 7,000-square-foot building, co-owner Tracy Stary said.
The Joliet bar won't be vacant for long. City of Champions' last business day was Sunday, and the new lease will be finalized in the coming week, Stary said.
In addition to remodeling work, Stary and husband Brent need to obtain a new liquor license from the city as well as a permit for live entertainment and possibly one that will allow them to stay open until 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.
City of Champions owner Marsha Filipello has run the business at that location for 14 years, initially as America's Kitchen and later as City of Champions.
Jim Murphy, the city of Joliet's deputy liquor commissioner, said she simply had grown tired of the business. Real estate listings seeking a new lessee started appearing in June 2012.
City of Champions' worst days were probably in August 2008, when 20-year-old Melissa Lech, a Plainfield Central graduate, was served alcohol despite being underage and was later killed in a hit-and-run accident while walking along McDonough Street. The bar was prohibited from selling alcohol for seven days as a punishment by the city.
However, several people were remembering happier days on the business' Facebook page Monday.
"So many great memories on BOTH sides of the bar with family and friends," Joanna wrote. "I wouldn't have the wonderful family that I have had it not been for this place...it's where I met (my husband) six years ago and where we got engaged."
"Definitely some great times and memories there!" Brian G. wrote.
Stary said they would be carrying over many of the customer favorites from McBride's -- especially the burgers -- but that McBride's on 52 would have more of an Irish pub flavor, particularly on the menu.
She said they would also be introducing a line of craft beers that she hopes will also set them apart from other pubs in Joliet.