Irish pub, high-end gas station in works for Elgin

Wednesday afternoon’s Elgin Liquor Commission meeting gave a glimpse of two businesses that should be open in the city within the next year or so — an Irish pub and a state-of-the-art gas station along Randall Road that intends to sell beer and wine.

The liquor commission approved a restaurant-level liquor license for McGruber’s, 1350 E. Chicago St. on the eastern edge of Elgin.

“This will be a nice edition to the area,” Councilwoman/liquor commissioner Tish Powell said.

The pub will be in an L-shaped strip mall and will have seating for 75 people, owner/operator Jim McGrath said. McGrath said the eatery will have an Irish sports bar theme with darts, beanbag games, “lots of lunches, a fish fry on Fridays and a steak fry on Saturdays.”

While there is a Bennigan’s along Route 31 near Interstate 90, the closest actual Irish bar to Elgin is McNally’s in St. Charles.

The name is not a pop culture reference to a “Saturday Night Live” character or movie based on such which would be “MacGruber,” a parody of the ’80s action-adventure show “MacGyver.” Rather, McGrath said it refers to a nickname he has had from college days.

McGrath’s establishment will be allowed to stay open until midnight weekdays and until 1 a.m. on weekends.

The entire city council serves as the liquor commission, and moving along the license was approved 5-1, with Robert Gilliam absent and John Prigge casting the nay vote.

Prigge objected because he would like to see a level of license set up for new places by which they would have to close earlier and earn the right to stay open later. He also had concerns about how close it would be to a nearby subdivision. Still, he said he would patronize the McGruber’s.

McGrath said he hopes to have the pub open by mid-May.

Source: Mike Danahey,


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