GLADSTONE PARK — Elly's Pancakes will open its new location at Milwaukee and Foster avenues Thursday, after six months of delays caused by extensive renovations.
"We're really excited to open up," said Jennifer Bryson, who handles marketing for Elly's, which also has locations in Lincoln Park and several Chicago suburbs.
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, and restaurant officials announced they would open in August.
But the rehabilitation of the restaurant proved more time-consuming and costly than originally planned, thanks to a persistent sewer gas smell that plagued the restaurant when it was Finnegan's Bar and Eatery, restaurant officials said. The Irish bar replaced Blue Angel, which was known for its all-night breakfast.
To get rid of the a noxious mix of gases that can escape from an improperly constructed sewage system, Elly's was forced to gut the restaurant near Northwest Highway and Milwaukee and Foster avenues on the border between Jefferson Park and Gladstone Park.
As the wait staff scrambled Tuesday to put the finishing touches on the restaurant and the kitchen staff began prepping food, no trace of the sewer gas smell could be detected. Instead, a faint smell of fresh paint and new tables and chairs permeated the restaurant.
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.
The Jefferson Park Elly's will be the first in the chain to feature an in-house bakery as well as a specialty coffee bar, Bryson said.
The bakery will help the restaurant branch out into catering for office parties and other special events, Bryson said.
The new restaurant also features widescreen televisions in the dining area, and soccer matches will be shown on the weekends, hoping to attract some of the area's soccer fanatics during the upcoming World Cup.
"We really want to cater to the neighborhood," Bryson said.
In the evenings, the 200-seat restaurant will focus on families with a special menu for children with healthy options and special treats, such as a kid-size milkshakes.
The restaurant, which will have 35 employees, is still hiring, Bryson said.