CHICAGO-It will hardly become a Restaurant Row, but a block in the Austin neighborhood will get much-needed retail development in the form of a Long John Silver and A&W Root Beer restaurant at the northeast corner of Laramie Avenue and Madison Street. A block to the west, the city is fielding proposals for development of a city-owned site for a sit-down restaurant.

Bell Food Works LLC will pay the city the appraised value of $260,000 for a 17,480-sf site, which they will combine with nearly 9,000 sf it owns to the north. Shorebank is financing the $1.9-million project, which may be nearly a year away from completion largely because of added restrictions on drive-through operations.

Getting permission for a drive-through can take up to four months, says developer Wayne Bell, as long as the permit process.

One of the parcels Bell Food Works is buying from the city was once the site of a 12-unit mixed-use building, according to property records.

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