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Villa Nova Bar and Grill Coming in August

Business owner Kevin Parrott hopes to have his restaurant - his second, after the original Villa Nova in Mattoon - open by mid-August.

If you drive Route 71 by Route 34, you’ve probably seen the sign announcing a new eatery in the former home of Tuscany Restaurant.

It’s called Villa Nova, and according to owner Kevin Parrott, it’s an American-style bar and grill. The Oswego restaurant, at 4092 Route 71, will actually be called Villa Nova II – the original is in Mattoon, about 160 miles south, and it’s been open for about two and a half years, Parrott said.

But Parrott is actually from this area – he grew up in Joliet, he said, and would often visit Oswego. During his boyhood days, some 40 years ago, he would come to the Oswego Raceway, in the middle of what was then a small little village.

So when he was looking for a spot to open another restaurant, he turned to Oswego. And he was surprised to discover that the little village had grown to more than 30,000 people.

“They’ve really grown,” he said. “It’s amazing what they’ve done.”

Parrott also liked the building he’ll be moving into. Villa Nova, he said, will offer traditional bar and grill food, like burgers, chicken wings and chicken fingers, and steak sandwiches. The restaurant will open for lunch at 11 a.m. seven days a week, and stay open until 1 a.m. six of those days, and 2 a.m. on Saturdays.

And if he can get some willing participants, he said, he may try some karaoke, which is a big hit for him in Mattoon.

This will be Parrott’s second stab at expanding the Villa Nova brand. In 2011, he opened a second location in nearby Charleston, but closed it seven months later, due to heavy competition, according to this Daily Eastern News report.

Parrott said he’s hoping to be open by the middle of August, provided his liquor license is approved. He’s currently hiring experienced bartenders, waiters and cooks – call him in Mattoon at 217-235-7720.

Rob Macek July 23, 2012 at 05:12 PM
I hope it makes it. Having a few non-franchise restaurants is good for the village.
Ruth F July 23, 2012 at 06:25 PM
This isn't related to Villa Nova in Berwyn then? Welcome and good luck!!! Mattoon is an awesome town.. I am a EIU panther. (;
Logansdad July 23, 2012 at 07:56 PM
In the 12 years I have lived in Oswego, I have seen 4 different establishments at that location. None of them lasted very long. Personally, I'd say tear the building down and put up a Dunkin Donuts.
Kurt Bounds July 23, 2012 at 08:14 PM
That is what this town needs, another bar and grill not to mention immediately adjacent to the high school!
Illini Fan July 23, 2012 at 09:24 PM
I will try it! We love giving our business to Oswego. But secretly...or not so secretly now...I wish this building would be turned into a cool soda fountain-breakfast-burger place for all to enjoy, especially the HS kids. There is a lot of opportunity there with them grabbing coffee and breakfast in the AM (which a lot of them do) and getting meals after games and practices. Guess I am thinking of an Al's Diner in 2012.
Ruth F July 23, 2012 at 10:07 PM
Funny you should say that... I always thought it would be a great Ed Debevics.
Donna July 23, 2012 at 11:12 PM
My husband has talked about doing the 50's/sock hop thing eveytime a business closes there. If he can ever get the funds.......he would love to open it for the kids with sidewalks to the school
Jane Enviere July 24, 2012 at 12:23 AM
Totally agree, Kurt! I really dislike the idea of a bar right by a high school. Has a big ick factor for me. That said, I'm not that worried because like all before it, I highly doubt it will last. It's a lousy and unattractive location and frankly, I think it should be torn down. Bar or no bar, I have no desire to pay money to eat a meal while staring out the window at a car wash or the truck parts (or whatever it is) place next door. No fault of the gentleman opening the place up, but it's the ugliest corner in Oswego.
Illini Fan July 24, 2012 at 12:46 AM
Yes! Donna and Ruth, that's exactly what I'm talking about! Something like Ed Debevics, but a little less expensive. I do love the atmosphere there! Donna, It would be wonderful if your husband could do that. It would be great for the HS kids and those of us near 71. I do hope this new one is successful, though. (Maybe it could focus less on the bar aspect.)
TLC Carpet Floors and More, Inc. July 24, 2012 at 12:17 PM
Get over the next to the high school thing. Thats the least of our problems. Be glad someone has the guts to open a business in these times and get the town some more revenue. Lord knows the schools eat revenue.
Richard R July 24, 2012 at 06:11 PM
Seems this place will be open sooner then the firehouse pizza place that has still not opened long after its original opening date of last year was it not. Good Luck to the the owners of this i hope it works for you, more then it did for those before you.
mike ellison July 24, 2012 at 06:15 PM
I wish the new owner luck, but this is a stigmatized location that has a reputation of too many businesses failing. It would be useful to change the look of the place by changing the facade and signange to signify a new look. Unfortunately, the amateurish and cheap looking signage installed by the new owner makes it look like another under funded restaurant getting set up in this location.
Jen July 24, 2012 at 06:38 PM
Not so excited about the new place opening up. I have family and friends who live in Mattoon and I have been to that one. It's not all that...the food is mediocre and the service stinks. I would recommend going to one of the "chain" restaurants on 34 in Oswego or to Elmer's on Rt. 25...better food and much better service.
Just sayin.. July 27, 2012 at 08:20 AM
Good luck Kevin...but u dont "own" Mattoon Villa Nova or the former Charleston Villa Nova location. You are a manager for the owner...not the owner. Just sayin...lol
Logansdad August 22, 2012 at 03:02 PM
It is nearing the end of August and it doesnt look like this restaurant will open.

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