Red Robin restaurant to venture into Blo-No

Red Robin and Tartan Realty of Chicago are finalizing a lease to bring the restaurant to Bloomington-Normal.

The restaurant will be located at the southwest corner of Veterans Parkway and College Avenue, just north of Wild Berries.

Red Robin is best known for their popularity with the younger crowd, laidback and casual atmosphere, and their signature gourmet burgers.

The chain restaurant also serves appetizers, soups, salads, wraps and sandwiches, entrees and desserts, including the “Mountain High Mudd Pie.”

Currently, the closest Red Robin to Bloomington-Normal is located in East Peoria, about 30 miles away.

Work on the restaurant is set to begin in May. Other properties are in planning for the area, but would have to be approved by the city before any paperwork is finalized.

Normal officials and Tartan Realty’s Doug Reichl, who has the buildings around the intersection under contract, are currently working together on a long term redevelopment plan.

“We have been working with the developer to try to ensure a variety of purposes for the buildings in that area, mostly restaurants,” Mark Peterson, Normal city manager, said.

The location is  vital for the city due to the traffic passing through the intersection of Veterans Parkway and College Avenue.

The value of the property is high due to its high commercial appeal and prime location. Normal officials want to match the value of the property with an attractive design.

“We want a coordinated aesthetic theme and a similar theme of design for all the buildings, so it looks like they were all planned together. And we definitely want an upscale look which would be complementary to the shops at College Hills next door,” Peterson said.

This upscale look would include extensive landscaping, coordinated lighting and signage and high design.

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