NORMAL — Brian Landstrom is excited to bring a new kind of pancake to Normal.
"We're really famous for the apple pancake and the dutch baby, which are these German-battered pancakes that are oven-baked and come out all fluffy," he said of The Original Pancake House. "(The dutch baby) is served with lemon, powdered sugar and butter, and the apple pancake is loaded with cinnamon, sugar and apples. It's just awesome. Those are our staples."
Landstrom, a Carlock resident and co-owner with Andy Rice of Normal, said he's excited to offer a "made from scratch" breakfast including pancakes, biscuits and gravy and fresh-squeezed orange juice at 115 S. Veterans Parkway, Suite A, after the restaurant opens Feb. 19.
"I grew up loving breakfast food and always wanted to do a breakfast place," said Landstrom. "I went to a place in Pontiac growing up (Mary's Homestyle Restaurant) that really inspired me. I worked there from the time I was 14 years old until I was 27."
The new eatery will seat 120 in its main dining room, 30 in a private room and 60 on an outdoor patio. Landstrom said he hopes to someday enclose the patio so it can be used year-round.
Hours will be 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays and 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Even though the restaurant will be open in the afternoon, said Landstrom, it will not offer lunch items, but focus on doing breakfast well, charging about $10 per person.
The business will employ about 50, some part-time. Landstrom said he hopes to have as many full-time employees as possible to maintain continuity and keep good talent.
Other nearby Original Pancake Houses are in Champaign and Chicagoland.
The eatery is part of a three-unit development next to the Shoppes at College Hills. Tartan Realty Group owns the space, and spent $450,000 to build out, according to a building permit filed with the town of Normal.
The space next door will be used by CoreLife Eatery, a national chain of healthy-living restaurants that has locations in Champaign and Peoria. That's still in the midst of a $276,000 build-out, according to a town permit.
"Everything is from scratch. It’s all raw, nothing processed," said Clay Baxter, a partner in the location and Bloomington-Normal resident.
That includes the restaurant's signature bowls: green bowls, which start with a salad; grain bowls, which start with ingredients like rice and quinoa; and broth bowls, which start with broth from bones or vegetables.
Baxter said the location should employ about 40, including some part-time, after it opens in mid-May.
The third space in the building remains vacant.
"We are still searching for a tenant for the (third) space but have been talking to a couple who are interested," said Chris George, a leasing agent with Tartan. "No one that I can mention at this time."