Good morning, troops. It's Friday, Sept. 21.
It's one day before the first day of autumn, which begins shortly before 9 p.m. Saturday. Sometime before winter arrives in December, an announcement is likely regarding the fate of a closed, longtime restaurant and bar in Downtown Peoria.
Did we mention the place is subterranean, too? Almost perfect for hibernation. And libations.
What once was Richard's on Main is going to be something else, apparently. But the new business at 311 Main St., which closed in March, is going to be a restaurant and bar, according to the attorney who represents the trust that owns the building.
"It'll be similar to what was there before," Tom Leiter told Nick in the Morning. "We want to kind of re-energize that, get it going again. It's a nice, interesting, unique facility. We want to preserve it for that purpose."
Richard's served the purpose of good late-night grub more than competently for years. "Steaks Til 4AM" beckoned the iconic sign at the top of the Richard's staircase along Main Street.
But in recent years, the after-midnight trade along Main Street wasn't what it was in its 1990s heyday. Richard's had been for sale for years before it closed. That brought an end to about 28 years of eating and drinking in that basement; Donnelly's was Richard's predecessor there.
The renovation and construction of what will be OSF HealthCare's new headquarters, located around the corner on Adams Street, helped provide the impetus for a restaurant revival, according to Leiter.
"At one time, we had a very nice blast of rehab activity," he said about Downtown. "In recent years, it's kind of fallen off again. We need to kind of revive that."
The new restaurant is to cater to the lunch and dinner crowd, according to Leiter. No word if it will be open as late (or as early) as Richard's was.
"It's almost operable right now," Leiter said. "It has furniture in it and so forth. But as we got into some of the mechanicals and some of the structural things, we really needed to dig into it and get it redone.
"It's a little tired. It needs some help."
Leiter didn't provide much information regarding a possible operator, other than to say it probably will be someone local who is in the restaurant business.
The new restaurant also is to emphasize the building's history, Leiter said. That history's most obvious feature is the mural that was located on a wall next to the Richard's bar.
"Nymphs and Satyr" is a Peoria Historical Society possession. Legend states famed prohibitionist Carrie Nation attempted to attack it with an ax a century ago, when the mural was in place at another Peoria tavern.
Nation's aim wasn't true, fortunately. Leiter hopes this aim is truer.
"We want ... to get some more activity on Main Street," he said. "Our goal is to keep the downtown humming here."
As for the song heard on the way to work, we're not saying we heard it during one of our 3 a.m. (or later) escapades at Richard's back in the day. But we're not saying we didn't hear it, either.