Coffee shop requests city loan from McHenry

Owners seeking $34K to open new business

McHENRY – Two women want a city loan to open a coffee shop on North Green Street.

To cover the cost of remodeling the 1208 N. Green St. building and purchase the equipment, furniture and fixtures, Lisa Brand and Christine Kernes are requesting a $34,000 loan from the city.

The McHenry City Council will consider the loan as well as a temporary use permit for a tattoo parlor on West Main Street at its meeting Monday evening.

If approved, the Hidden Pearl Cafe would be the most recent beneficiary of the city’s revolving loan program, which is designed to provide low-interest loans to qualified existing and prospective businesses to help them create jobs and expand the city’s sales and property tax base, according to council documents.

Under the agreement, the interest rate on the five-year loan would equal the prime rate, which is currently 3.25 percent. If the business closes before the loan is paid, the owner still would be responsible for paying it off.

The Finance and Personnel Committee unanimously recommended approving the application at its last meeting.

Brand, who has training as a barista, plans on opening the cafe in mid-October. It would offer coffee, tea, baked goods and breakfast items, according to the application and committee minutes. The business would create six jobs.

Brand and Kernes did not return calls for comment.

The council approved a $75,000 loan to Buddyz Chicago Pizzeria in March 2010, which was paid off when the business was sold this year, the documents said. Epic Cycle and Fitness was issued a $25,000 loan in November 2011.

The revolving loan fund currently has $86,000 available.

The council also will vote on whether to issue a temporary use permit to John Bolger, who plans to open a tattoo parlor and antique lamp store called Lunchbox Tattoo at 3932 W. Main St., where Epic Cycle and Fitness used to be, according to council documents.

The permit would allow Bolger to open his business while he seeks a permanent variance from the Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council.

The council also approved temporary use permits – and subsequently permanent variances – for two other tattoo parlors that opened in the
last year, the first tattoo parlors in the city.

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