An old-fashioned-style pizzeria is the latest recipient of a business incentive grant from the city of Crystal Lake.
The Crystal Lake City Council on Tuesday night approved a $10,000 New Retailer Job Creation and Investment Matching Grant for Greek's Pizzeria, a franchise restaurant specializing in gourmet pizzas, calzones, butter breadsticks, and gyros.
Archie Soulidis plans to open the pizzeria at 6000 Northwest Hwy. (Route 14) next to Best Buy. The 2,432-square-foot retail space is the former site of Wild Orchid Thai Bistro, which closed last year when the owner retired.
Soulidis said he will use the grant money to buy furniture, fixtures and equipment. He estimates spending a total of $31,000 on refrigerators, kitchen equipment and food-preparation equipment, and the city's grant will help offset some of the start-up expenses.
Looking to locate within Crystal Lake, Soulidis said he worked closely with city staffers to find the right location for his restaurant, the first of its kind in Illinois. Greek's Pizzeria started in 1969, and the company has 14 locations in Indiana.
"It took a year-and-a-half to find a location," Soulidas said.
Soulidas has already created a Greek's Pizzeria Facebook page in anticipation of opening the restaurant in the city. He plans to hire four full-time and seven part-time employees.
Crystal Lake created the grant program in November 2011 to lure new or expanding businesses to vacant retail space within the city. The grants are awarded to businesses that make improvements to existing retail spaces and offer employment opportunities.