RANTOUL — A late December fire at a Rantoul restaurant has prompted remodeling work there sooner than planned.
Burger King, 720 W. Champaign Ave., sustained an estimated $100,000 damage from a fire that started in the charbroiler grill. The flames went up inside the unit and sent flames onto the roof.
Richard Andrzejczyk, operator and vice president of Group 2029, which owns the restaurant, said a 2021 remodeling was originally planned.
“However, obviously with the fire that we had in the hood system, we decided to take advantage of the down time,” Andrzejczyk said. “It will be brought up to Burger King standards called Burger King Tomorrow.”
A new facade and awning will be added. The business will be fitted with a double drive-thru. It currently has a single one. The interior will be remodeled as well with a new bathroom and dining room and an updated kitchen.
“We will have the newest broiler possible,” Andrzejczyk said. Customers “will be able to see the flame broiling. It will be the first or one of the first of that type in the country.”
The Rantoul restaurant was built 13 years ago as a prototype and was the second build of that type in the country. It will again become state of the art.
“You might be able to see two or three (of the same architecture) across the country, but we are on the cutting edge again,” he said.
Andrzejczyk said he is excited about the added opportunity from the planned 2021 opening of the Rantoul sports complex, also in west Rantoul, which is expected to drive future economic development and boost current sales.
Andrzejczyk said the restaurant’s sales volume has been good.
“We have a general manager (Sol Fields) who has been in the Rantoul location now for eight years,” Andrzejczyk said. “He has grown the sales every year he has been there. We’re happy to be part of Rantoul.”
Danville-based Group 2029 started with three restaurants 16 years ago, and with acquisitions and new builds now owns 24.