Pinckneyville provides money for Grecian Steakhouse rebuild - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Pinckneyville provides money for Grecian Steakhouse rebuild

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PINCKNEYVILLE, Ill. -- Pinckneyville Mayor Robert Spencer remembers being with the owners of the Grecian Steakhouse the night it burned down in December of last year.

"It was devastating. It really was," Spencer said.

The owners were near the end of a remodeling process when they lost everything.

Economic Development Coordinator Carrie Gilliam said the city also felt a loss.

"Whenever the building burned down, the next month, the city immediately saw a hit in our sales tax," Gilliam said.

Now the city wants to help bring the steakhouse back. The city council approved a plan to fund a portion of the owners' rebuild, using TIF funds, sales tax revenue and money from a USDA loan with five-percent interest.

"We're using everything we have in our economic toolbox to be able to assist them with the rebuild," Gilliam said. "They have been here for 27 years and we want to keep them for many, many more years."

Spencer believes its his duty to make sure Pinckneyville does what it can to attract and keep businesses.

"You look at what you have and you try to keep what you have, and then you bring in new energy into town," Spencer said. "So this is something we really needed."

Gilliam said the city will help the owners as they progress through the rebuild, giving out money whenever certain milestones are reached.

She believes it's worth the investment.

"Their (business) is not only a restaurant, it's a destination," Gilliam said. "There are people who come from all over just to come to Pinckneyville to eat, and a lot of places don't have that. So the fact that we've lost that destination... I have no qualms with saying I feel great about assisting them with this program."

The owners are out of town dealing with a death in the family.

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