Sweet Basil Café opened on Nov. 1 in the former OCharleys building in Prairie Crossing. The location at 4241 Conestoga Dr. in Springfield had been vacant since OCharleys closed in March 2019.
Despite the fact that additional mitigations took effect on Sunday, ending indoor dining and bar service for Region 3, which includes Springfield, Sweet Basil Café opened for indoor dining as well as takeout. Last Thursday, Mayor Jim Langfelder stated that he would not immediately enforce the state mandate. He has called an emergency city council meeting for Nov. 4 to discuss the recent state order from Gov. JB Pritzker.
While many restaurants are closing or cutting back, Sweet Basil Café is ramping up expansion plans. The website for the family-owned restaurant lists existing locations in Skokie, Riverwoods and Peoria in addition to restaurants coming soon in Forsyth, Champaign, Glen Ellyn and Rockford.
A review for the Sweet Basil Café in Peoria, which opened last year, describes it as a Chicago-style Greek-American-owned family restaurant. The locations serve breakfast, lunch and dinner with an expansive menu ranging from daily comfort-food specials to Greek-inspired dishes and flatbread pizzas.
District manager Sami Danko told SBJ in August the owners had plans to keep expanding throughout Illinois and even other states.