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City hears plans for new Starbucks in west Bloomington and new restaurant at Ozark House site

A Starbucks is planned for west Bloomington, along Market Street. The Bloomington Planning Commission will hear the plan at its meeting Wednesday afternoon.
City of Bloomington
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A Starbucks is planned for west Bloomington, along Market Street. The Bloomington Planning Commission will hear the plan at its meeting Wednesday afternoon.

The Bloomington Planning Commission on Wednesday will hear plans for a new Starbucks on the city’s west side and a new restaurant to take the former home of the Ozark House.

The Starbucks is planned for 1609 W. Market St. It’s expected to be a 2,200-square-foot location with a drive-through and 41 parking spaces.

The developer is asking for the city’s permission to not include a drive-through bypass lane, which is normally required, and to provide less than the required amount of perimeter parking lot landscaping.

As part of the plan, the city will consider a rezoning request for a vacant residential property nearby, at 1626 W. Locust St. The Starbucks would have access directly and only via Market Street.

Meanwhile, the Planning Commission will also consider a plan to turn the former Ozark House restaurant at 704 McGregor St. into a new restaurant. Ozark House, one of the oldest restaurants in Bloomington-Normal at the time, closed at the end of 2022.

Nick and Gwen Birky, who previously worked at Fort Jesse Café in Normal, want to open a new restaurant called Mac & The Egg at that location, according to city planning documents. It’s described as a brunch and homestyle type of restaurant with a full dinner menu.

“My wife and I strongly believe in being involved in the community. When you support your community they in turn will support you back,” Birky wrote to nearby residents.

The Bloomington Planning Commission meets at 4 p.m. Wednesday at the Bloomington Police Department’s Osborn Room.

Ryan Denham is the digital content director for WGLT.
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