Hardee's, Potbelly to open new Joliet restaurants

Karen Sorensen | 4/30/2015, 1:04 p.m.
The Hardee's would be on Jefferson Street, near Stryker Avenue, and the Potbelly on Plainfield Road, just west of the ...
Hardee's has announced plans to open a new Joliet restaurant on Jefferson Street, just east of Stryker Avenue.

Plans are in the works for a new Hardee's restaurant on Jefferson Street and a Potbelly Sandwich Shop on Plainfield Road.

Developers for both restaurants will go before the Joliet City Council's Public Service Committee Monday to seek approval for drive-through window permits, city planner Jim Torri said.

The Hardee's is to be located on vacant property near Jefferson Street, near Stryker Avenue and just east of the Bank of America branch.

It will be the first Hardee's in Joliet since the chain closed down its suburban restaurants in the late 1990s. The company has been making a return to this area, having opened stores in Plainfield and Bolingbrook in the last couple of years.

The site is zoned properly for a fast-food restaurant and requires just the drive-through window permit before construction can begin, Torri said. Given the developer's desire to get on the soonest meeting agenda, he anticipates work will begin quickly and the restaurant open by sometime later this summer or early fall, he said.

Plans for the Potbelly restaurant -- the second for Joliet -- may take a bit longer because houses on the property at Plainfield Road and Garden Street must be demolished, Torri said.

However, the developer has already obtained the necessary city variances for needed parking changes and it's zoned properly for a fast-food restaurant.

The project is part of a larger commercial development called Millennium Square, which received concept plan approval from the city several years ago but was not built due to the recession.

Torri said he believes there will be more projects announced for the site, which is located between the strip mall anchored by Denny's restaurant and the Dick's Sporting Goods/DSW Shoes development, which is under construction. No plans, however, have been submitted.

Developer Vertical Construction Management has not given the city a timetable for the restaurant, but also asked to be on the soonest possible meeting schedule so plans could proceed quickly, Torri said.

If the drive-through windows receive committee approval, they will still need a final OK from the city council.

Contact Karen Sorensen at Karen@TheTimesWeekly.com.