GLADSTONE PARK — Diners will have to wait until 2014 to swap pints for flapjacks at a new pancake house planned for Milwaukee and Foster avenues.
In May, signs went up in the windows of the shuttered Finnegan's Bar and Eatery at 5310 N. Milwaukee Ave. announcing the arrival of Elly's Pancakes, which also has locations in Lincoln Park and several Chicago suburbs.
Although the restaurant had hoped to be open no later than August, the rehabilitation of the restaurant proved more time-consuming and costly than originally planned, said Penelope Magouliotis, an assistant manager.
"We're gutting things out," Magouliotis said, adding that the restaurant should open in January. "We want to do things the right way."
Finnegan's took over the space near Foster Avenue, Northwest Highway and Milwaukee, near the the Kennedy Expressway, from the Blue Angel, which was known for its round-the-clock breakfast menu.
But both restaurants were known for reeking of sewer gas — a noxious mix of gases that can escape from an improperly constructed sewage system.
"We really had to start from scratch" to get rid of the unappetizing smell, Magouliotis said.
The restaurant's owners weren't aware of the problem when they bought the building, although after the signs went up several people called to tell them about the sewer gas problem, Magouliotis said.
"Sometimes, you don't always know what you are getting into," Magouliotis said. "We definitely fell into a couple of things we didn't expect."
Despite the delay, Magouliotis said the pancake house chain would not drop its plans to open a new restaurant there.
"We love the location," Magouliotis said. "We wish we could open today."
Elly's menu features oven-baked pancakes, omelets, waffles covered with powdered sugar, blintzes and crepes as well as freshly-squeezed juices. Burgers and sandwiches are also available.