Sidetracks Bar and Grill

Sidetracks Bar and Grill will be moving down the Strip in 2017.

CARBONDALE — A well-known bar in Carbondale will be moving down the street from its location on The Strip in the next couple of years.

Sidetracks Bar and Grill has agreed with the city of Carbondale to enter into a tax increment financing agreement to make improvements on the old Gatsby’s building at 610 S. Illinois Ave., Interim City Manager Gary Williams said Wednesday.

Williams said the city will provide some assistance to help facilitate the move, and in return, Sidetracks owner John Alexander will move from the location sooner.

The property in which Sidetracks is located is owned by Canadian National Railway. The bar has a lease agreement with the railroad company through September 2019. Williams said the railroad has assured the city it will not renew that lease and that Alexander is aware of that.

Williams said the railroad has given the city a purchase price on the land so the city can obtain the property.

“We would own everything else up and down both sides of the railroad,” he said. “We are going to provide John assistance to move earlier because he knows he is going to have to move anyway.”

Williams said Alexander has agreed to vacate the current Sidetracks property at the end of May 2017, more than two years earlier than the lease agreement ends.

He said the bar owner plans to open for business in the Gatsby’s building in July and will operate both locations until the current building closes. 

The value for the city in helping Sidetracks move is the fact it will own the property near 101 W. College St. and it can complete its parking project that would add about 40 new parking spots downtown.

“There is a great deal of value to us in added public parking,” Williams said.

The city would tear down the current bar. The parking behind the businesses on South Illinois would extend from Reema's Indian Cuisine to West College Street, and then crossing the street all the way down to the Amtrak parking lot. 

The city will attempt to finalize the TIF agreement Tuesday at its regularly scheduled council meeting.

The meeting starts at 7 p.m. at the Carbondale Civic Center.

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on twitter: @zd2000



Dustin Duncan is a reporter for The Southern Illinoisan covering Carbondale.

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