Montgomery Village Board members said Monday evening, Oct. 14, that they are interested in considering a proposal to locate a combination barbershop and bar in a former Sprint phone store at 2086 Orchard Road, but first need a more detailed business plan from the developer.
Derek Drew, a Yorkville resident and graduate of Oswego East High School and Illinois State University, is seeking to open the business, which would be called Adubb’s, at 2086 Orchard Road, south of Route 30 on the village’s west side.
Drew told board members that Adubb’s would be modeled after a similar successful business called the Blind Barber in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood at 941 W. Fulton Market.
Like the Blind Barber, Drew said Adubb’s would feature a small barber shop at the front of the business and a bar space offering food and drinks in the back.
Referring to the Blind Barber, Drew said the business’ barber shop is open throughout the day and features a bar area where customers can go after a haircut to enjoy drinks and relax.
“We would serve food and have mixed drinks, wine and beer,” Drew said.
In his initial business proposal submitted to the village, Drew wrote: “Similar to the idea of a co/op I will provide customers with the opportunity to purchase monthly memberships that would allow them benefits and perks. The space will be extremely open and versatile allowing for it to transform from bar, to cafe, to yoga studio, premier viewings etc. In the back, there will be video gaming machines in a private enclosed space. I expect 50% of revenue to be from food and alcohol sales while the rest is from a combination of subscription fees, weekly activities and video gaming. This space will add value to Montgomery and the surrounding community.”
Drew is seeking village approval for a liquor license and said he also is interested in obtaining a license for video gaming machines for the business.
However, village officials noted that they would have to create a new liquor license and the village currently does not have a license category that would fit Drew’s initial business plan.
Board member Steve Jungermann described Drew’s business plan as a unique concept.
“I’ve never heard of it, but I’m not against it,” Jungermann said.
Jungermann said he has also talked with Drew and he is aware of the problems the village has had with another current liquor license holder in the Orchard Road area.
When questioned by board member Theresa Sperling, Drew said that he frequently drives past the proposed Orchard Road business site and described it as a “fairly bustling area” that he believes would be a good location for the business.
Drew said he would work to make sure the business would bring value to the community.
“It is extremely important that it be a clean space and the atmosphere is safe so people can look forward to go there,” he said.
Village President Matt Brolley told Drew that board members are interested in his concept for the business and are generally supportive.
However, Brolley told Drew, “I challenge you as [you] refine your business plan that you don’t try to fit it in with any of our [existing] ordinances or do something because we are leaning one way. Propose the concept that you want to open and put all your time and effort into it, and we will see if there is a way we can make it work.
Brolley continued, “I think you understand that our goal is to promote economic development and promote nice, safe facilities in our communities. If your vision matches with our vision, I think we can work something out with a liquor license.”
Peter Wilson, an attorney for the village, asked Drew to be “as specific as possible” in drafting his business plan.
Wilson said a detailed business plan would give village attorneys a good direction in the event they have to prepare a new classification to existing village ordinances.