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Aurora Celebrates the Opening of Three New Downtown Restaurants – Chicago Tribune

Aurora recently hosted events to celebrate the opening of three new downtown restaurants.

City officials gathered to celebrate the openings of Alice’s Corner, Kathryn’s Place and Craft Urban Aurora.

Alice’s Corner is the city’s first Bolivian restaurant, owned by Alice and Oscar Butron.

The Butrons have operated a food truck at local farmers’ markets for the past decade, but recently opened their own restaurant on New York Street, just east of River Street.

Fitness expert Quinton Thompson already owns QT3 Fitness Center in downtown Aurora and has opened his new companion business next door. Kathryn’s Place is a juice bar serving fresh juices, acai bowls and protein shakes. It is named in honor of Thompson’s mother, who recently lost her battle with breast cancer.

Restaurateur Bernie Laskowski opened Craft Urban Aurora last weekend, expanding his popular Geneva brand. The two-story restaurant rehabilitated a long-vacant building downtown, with an outdoor terrace, menu of American fare, and craft cocktails.

Kathryn’s Place and Craft Urban have both been in the works for a long time and their plans have been cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic. Both received help from the city to complete rehab and open up.

Both locations are directly across from each on a key downtown Downer Place and Stolp Avenue intersection.

Thompson received a total of $46,000 from the city to complete Kathryn’s Place and keep it running.

Laskowski purchased the building for Craft Urban in 2019 and entered into a redevelopment deal with the city. Originally, the deal was a $600,000 loan to be repaid by the restaurant over the next 10 years.

But things came to a halt during the pandemic in 2020, and Laskowski had to spend money just to keep his restaurant in Geneva afloat.

In November 2021, the city agreed to award Laskowski an additional $350,000, which the city received from federal funds. The city also gave Laskowski 15 years instead of 10 to pay off the original loan.

Due to rising costs, the project almost doubled from what it was originally supposed to be, to around $1.9 million.

Laskowski had a soft opening for his restaurant a few weeks ago, but the restaurant is now fully open.

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Richard Dement

The author Richard Dement