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Mooyah Burger seeks grant to open in Crystal Lake

CRYSTAL LAKE – Mooyah Burger, a Texas-based build-a-burger chain, plans to open a restaurant along Route 14 in Crystal Lake.

Mooyah Burger, which aims to have 80 locations by the end of the year, claims to offer customers more than one million ways to build burgers, hand-cut French fries and hand-crafted milkshakes made with real ice cream. Hand-cutting and preparing the chain's fries is a 24-hour, six-step process, according to its website.

The company uses fresh, never-frozen beef and bakes fresh buns daily. Its menu also has sweet potato fries, turkey burgers, black bean veggie burgers and kid-friendly and gluten-free options.

The area franchisee, Crystal Lake Limited Partnership, is seeking up to $10,000 in matching grant funds through the city of Crystal Lake's New Retailer Job Creation and Investment program. The Crystal Lake City Council is expected to consider the partnership's grant request at a meeting at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 100 W. Woodstock St., Crystal Lake.

The restaurant would be built in a vacant outlot space at 6500 Route 14 in the Crystal Lake Plaza shopping center. Crystal Lake Plaza, owned by Glen Ellyn-based Madison Corporate Group, is home to Joseph's Marketplace and a variety of other retail and restaurant tenants.

Representing Crystal Lake Limited Partnership, Tom Eilers Jr., of Madison Corporate Group, bought the Mooyah Burger franchise area rights specifically to fill the vacant spot, according to city documents.

Mooyah Burger locations have a national average of $1.6 million in annual sales and the franchisee plans to spend about $45,000 on new furniture, fixtures and equipment. It plans to hire 22 full-time employees, according to city documents.

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