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Cary's Kojak’s restaurant looks to expand in new location in the village

Owner wants to add ice cream bar, alcohol sales, video gaming

CARY – A popular Cary restaurant is looking to move within the village and double its seating. 

Kojak’s owner Carrie Schuppe came before the Cary Committee of the Whole and Village Board on Tuesday asking for a loan from the village to help with the move, a liquor license and approval for a video gaming license. 

Kojak’s – which Schuppe described as a fast, casual dining restaurant featuring food such as gyros, Italian beef sandwiches, burgers, chicken and deep-fried Oreos – has been in the village for about 25 years. Schuppe said she bought the business almost five years ago. 

Schuppe said the business has outgrown its spot at 130 Route 14 and will be moving to 700 Route 14, near Jewel-Osco. The new space will allow Kojak’s to double its seating capacity from 24 to 55 seats, according to village documents. 

“We just want to create a more relaxing atmosphere, one that invites families, one that invites people to come in and want to stay more than just a few minutes to get their food down,” Schuppe said. 

More than $300,000 worth of improvements will go into the new space, according to village documents. Village trustees directed staff to draft a resolution for approval of use of the village’s revolving loan fund. 

Under the resolution, Kojak’s would receive a $75,000 loan with a seven-year term and 2.27 percent interest rate, according to village documents. 

Some of the reasons for the move include the aging building and need for more parking, Schuppe said. 

At the meeting, Schuppe went over her business plan on changes coming to Kojak’s with the move, including adding alcohol sales and an ice cream bar, staying open seven days a week, adding video gaming machines, adding online ordering, increasing the focus on catering and adding more fresh foods and family-sized dinners. 

“We are being very careful to keep Kojak’s the same in many aspects,” Schuppe said. “To completely change who we are could be very detrimental to our core customers – we understand that. So upon our move, we will not increase prices.”

Schuppe said she hopes to open in the new place by July.

Trustee Ellen McAlpine said she was happy to see a Cary business fill a space that had been vacant for about 10 years.

“To be able to fill that space and generate revenue for the village, in addition to helping you build your business, I commend you on what was a well-thought out and presented business plan that you gave to all of us,” McAlpine said to Schuppe.

Cary trustees unanimously approved the issuance of a Class J liquor license to Kojak’s.

The license would allow for alcohol sales for consumption both on and off the premises associated with the carryout service, according to village documents.

Schuppe said the focus for alcohol sales would be on craft beers.

Trustees also approved issuing a video gaming license for the establishment. Kojak’s intends to add five terminals in an area set off from the dining room, Schuppe said in village documents.

Trustee Rick Dudek voted no and said he has never approved of video gaming in Cary, and Trustee Jim Cosler abstained from voting. Trustee David Chapman was absent. 

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