The plan to reopen a downtown Alton storefront has taken a step forward with the blessing of the Alton City Council Committee of the Whole, but the project is still nearly a year away from making significant progress. Russ Smith, who owns the Bossanova Lounge on Third Street, is hoping to turn the former Sears Automotive building at the corner of 4th and Piasa Streets into a bar & restaurant, but has run into a roadblock.
Smith says the property is being watched closely by the EPA, because he had to pull an oil tank out of the ground and clean up the site.
He plans to call the new business "Elijah P.'s Burgers and Brews," concentrating on addressing the multi-tap beer niche that he says is doing well in other markets. The Committee gave approval to a redevelopment agreement not to exceed $57,000 or 25% of the project. Also approved was the permission to allow the Miles Davis Statue to be placed at 117 W. Third Street. These issues and many more will be in front of the full City Council tomorrow night at 7:30.