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Fox River Grove board unanimously approves Culver's plans

If Barry Himmelfarb comes to an agreement with Mr. Beefy's owner Dan Skoubis, the restaurant could be bulldozed to make way for a Culver's drive-thru in Fox River Grove.
If Barry Himmelfarb comes to an agreement with Mr. Beefy's owner Dan Skoubis, the restaurant could be bulldozed to make way for a Culver's drive-thru in Fox River Grove.

The Fox River Grove Village Board unanimously approved a petitioner’s proposal to build a Culver’s drive-thru on land that now serves as home to two neighborhood landmarks: Mr. Beefy’s and Villa Bleu Tavern & Restaurant.

Trustees voted Thursday, 6-0, to approve the plans of Barry Himmelfarb, a Culver’s franchisee now in negotiations to buy Mr. Beefy’s and Villa Bleu.

The village’s Zoning Board of Appeals approved Himmelfarb’s requests for special permits to operate a drive-thru with outdoor seating and an 8-foot sign.

Residents now are worried that the fast-food chain’s proximity to their homes will plummet property values.

“Who’s going to buy my house with a drive-thru in the backyard?” Angie Rodstrom told the Northwest Herald.

She’s been living in Fox River Grove for 50 years and can’t stand the thought of a dinnertime traffic jam unfolding behind her home.

“The kids are going to be running to Culver’s after school, and they’re going to be running through my yard,” she said.

Himmelfarb runs Culver’s restaurants in Woodstock, Hoffman Estates and Schaumburg. He said the objections to his pitch in Fox River Grove are new to him.

“I’ve never experienced displeasure [from residents],” Himmelfarb said.

At the zoning meeting Wednesday night, several residents objected to a Culver’s opening at 512-516 Route 14, a stretch plagued with traffic jams – a problem that could become worse with a dinnertime drive-thru rush.

The smell from the popular Fox River Grove gyro shop is unbearable in the summer, Rodstrom said. She fears Culver’s will make it worse.

“I’m going to be hearing all this and seeing all this and smelling all this,” Rodstrom said. “I don’t want to hear, see or smell any of it.”

If Himmelfarb acquires the properties and builds a Culver’s, the restaurant would be open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Dan Skoubis – the owner of both Mr. Beefy’s and Villa Bleu – is in negotiations with Himmelfarb. A deal has not been finalized.

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