Sweet Shack 2.0 looks to expand

Steven Barnum , News editor

A new coffee shop may soon occupy the space at 314 North Lafayette St. in Macomb.

If the city council will allow it, Tracey DeBold would like to bring another food option to the table beginning in March. DeBold, who is the owner of “The Sweet Shack 2.0” across from Chandler Park, has been in talks with the city to open up another location. The city of Macomb paid off the property in August 2018 after purchasing it five years prior. City Administrator Dean Torreson explains that the business is viable.

“The only alteration that the city would have to make is to take out the plantings on the north side of the building, and then pour concrete there,” Torreson said. “We’re talking a little bit of concrete, maybe a couple of yards.” The concrete would help create a drive-thru for the business, which DeBold plans on naming Bold Brew House. This location would offer coffee, which DeBold says they would roast themselves, along with bagels and breakfast sandwiches.

“We’d like some indoor seating so if someone wants to walk in they can do so,” De- Bold said. “We’d also like some outside seating so they can enjoy their coffee outside, too. But there are no major changes that need to be done.”

The lease has been month to month since last summer, but the city is considering locking into a two-year agreement with DeBold at $300 per month. DeBold said that the health department inspected the property last week and that there were no reported issues. Aside from hooking up equipment, installing countertops and pouring concrete, which Torreson estimates would cost $200, Bold Brew House could be coming soon.

While the business has not yet been finalized, Mayor Mike Inman called its potential existence a “very nice addition to the downtown.”

In other news, the council is considering to renovate and sell part of the building located at 133 W. Jackson St.

The 20,000-square-feet building could undergo reconstruction this spring. Trotter General Contracting would take on the project, which is expected to take up to 12 months to complete. Macomb purchased the west half of the property in 2017 for $2,500, which Torreson believes was a good decision.

“The reason that the city acquired the building on a tax sale was to keep it from falling in the hands of a private speculator who would just sit on it and try to make a few bucks on it,” Torreson said. “We felt that it was best to be placed in the city’s hands where we can try to get something done with it.”

While the building is made up of thick, brick walls and a solid structure, Torreson explains that it needs significant repair. The first order of business would be to reconstruct the roof to prevent further deterioration.

“Looking at it from the street you would think it’s a complete mess, but the bones of the structure are solid,” Torreson said, “but it’s the kind of building where if the city doesn’t participate financially then nothing will ever get done with it.”

When it comes to cost, Torreson says that the city may put $200,000 of the money into the project. Payments would be spread out during a 15-month period depending on how quickly the project was completed. If achieved, the building will serve as an office space. The city will decide if it’s worth investing in the project, which will also include the removal of a parking spot to accommodate for semi-truck traffic.

Before moving into executive session, Mayor Inman informed the public of the city’s plan to prepare for the frigid and record-setting low temperatures that hit Illinois on Wednesday. Warming centers were available in the Macomb Public Library and the YMCA of McDonough County.