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updated: 1/12/2018 4:54 PM

Pal Joey's moving out of Batavia downtown

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  • "We can't support the added strain on our budget," Pal Joey's owner John Hamel said in regards to a proposed increase in rent for the restuarant's River Street location.

    "We can't support the added strain on our budget," Pal Joey's owner John Hamel said in regards to a proposed increase in rent for the restuarant's River Street location.

  • The Italian restaurant Pal Joey's will leave its downtown Batavia home in April and move into the former Golden Corral along Randall Road, its owner says.

      The Italian restaurant Pal Joey's will leave its downtown Batavia home in April and move into the former Golden Corral along Randall Road, its owner says.
    Susan Sarkauskas | Staff Photographer

 
 

The Pal Joey's restaurant in downtown Batavia will have a new location in the spring.

Restaurant owner John Hamel confirmed Friday that he is moving the Italian eatery from 31 N. River St. and into the site of the former Golden Corral at 2030 W. Main St.

He doesn't want to do it, but said proposed increases in rent for the River Street site have made it unaffordable.

"We can't support the added strain on our budget," Hamel said. "We just can't sustain that."

He loves the location, which is along the east bank of the Fox River, but the building is more than 100 years old and has some issues, he said, including a leaky roof. And crowds on River Street are sparse during the winter.

The Golden Corral site is off busy Randall Road. It is also larger. The downtown site can seat 250 (not including a patio), while the new site can accommodate 340.

Pal Joey's is a sister to the original Pal Joey's, which opened in West Chicago in 1973. Hamel bought the business in 2001.

He opened the Batavia location in 2012. The restaurant received a $25,000 grant and a $75,000, five-year loan, from the city.

Hamel said his other River Street business, Bar Evolution, will stay put. It is in the middle of a 10-year lease with the same landlord.

Hamel stressed that the River location remains open. He intends to start remodeling the Golden Corral site in February and aims to open there in April.

His landlord could not be reached for comment Friday.

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