Some boarded windows at Sweet Basil are not cause for concern about renovations, which are taking considerably longer than expected following an April fire.
“They’re just doing a lot of heavy-duty things,” says Charli Singh, who owns the restaurant at 2424 N. Woodlawn. “That’s why it’s taking a little bit longer.”
“A bit” is a bit of an understatement. At one point, Singh thought the restaurant would reopen in August. Then, he planned November.
“We thought we were just remodeling, and it was going to take a couple of months or so.”
Instead, there were a number of changes to bring the restaurant up to code, such as adding ADA-compliant bathrooms.
Singh says the landlord wanted to make a number of improvements, too, so now there’s remodeling outside the business as well as inside. Singh is also making some additions.
“We will have a patio for the first time,” he says.
It’ll seat about 20.
Inside, Singh says, “We will have a full-service bar now rather than a small one.”
Thanks to insurance on both the business and the building, Singh says he’s “mostly” covered, but the extra time renovations are taking will hurt.
“At the end here I’m probably not covered.”
Singh expects to take possession of the building in January and reopen sometime in February – ideally by Valentine’s Day but possibly as late as the end of the month.
The long wait hopefully will be worth it for Singh.
“It better be, because I need a job.”