Parkview Food & Pub, better known as the Parkview Inn, in Bloomington, Illinois, may reopen by summer after a fire in October virtually destroyed the historic establishment.
Owner Rich McCormick told the Bloomington Panatagraph he’s taking the opportunity with the rebuilding process to make some changes so its customers will face Miller Park across the street.
“All I want to do is turn the building so it faces the park instead of the alley,” said McCormick, who also owns Redbird Catering. ”Our beer garden right now faces the alley. I want to put it in front so it faces the park, so you see the park instead of the alley and the dumpster.
To make room for a different configuration for the all-new eatery, McCormick plans to demolish what was left of the restaurant. He also plans to tear down a former small engine repair shop next door that his parents owned since 1997, and which was primarily used for storage, to make a bigger restaurant parking lot.
Once demolition agreements are approved, the rebuilding will begin. McCormick told the newspaper he hopes to reopen by June or July.
A fire in the exhaust hood caused $300,000 in damage last fall.
The Parkview sits on a 1930 to 1940 alignment of Route 66 at 1003 S. Morris Ave. The McLean County Museum of History said the restaurant has been there since 1928. The Parkview also reportedly was Bloomington’s oldest restaurant that remained on the same site.
(Excerpted image of the Parkview Food & Pub in September 2011 via Google Street View)