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Downtown Plainfield banquet hall in jeopardy

Contract issues and renovation schedules jeopardized approval of a downtown Plainfield banquet hall again.

Operators of The Sanctuary, 24216 W. Lockport St., sought approval from trustees at the Sept. 9 Village Board meeting, but had yet to finalize their required parking arrangements or schedule fire and building inspections.

“(The delay) is being put back on us when these things haven’t been done. We’re putting the cart before the horse,” Trustee Margie Bonuchi said. 

“I’m quite bewildered we were told this was a done deal at the last meeting,” Trustee Cally Larson agreed. “Everyone wanted to see a success, but (approving) this wouldn’t be fair to any other businesses that do follow the procedure.”

Owners Mark and Nancy Clayton would operate a 200-seat banquet facility in the west half of the building. While trustees are supportive of the idea, there has been extensive discussion of its effect on parking downtown.

During events, guests would be directed to park near Larry’s Diner - one-third of a mile down the street and take shuttle buses to the banquet hall. Attorney Brian Papo told the board there is also a pending arrangement to use spaces at another local business during evening hours.

“But it was supposed to be taken care of before we vote,” Trustee Brian Wojowski said. “You’d think the contract would’ve been signed before you came before the board.”

The banquet facility had originally scheduled a wedding and a farmer’s market for late September, but Nancy Clayton told trustees other arrangements had been made for those events. The first event is now tentatively scheduled for late October, she said.

“I think (it would be) very generous saying they’re a month from completion,” Mayor Michael Collins said. “I was there (Sept. 8) and would say they’re closer to two unless they start working from 12 to 15 to 20 hours a day. There’s an overwhelming amount of work.”


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