Culver's franchisee eyes Mr. Beefy's, Villa Bleu sites in Fox River Grove

Public hearing set to discuss plans for drive-thru

The family behind Culver’s restaurants in Woodstock, Hoffman Estates and Schaumburg wants to acquire two Fox River Grove landmarks: Mr. Beefy’s and Villa Bleu Tavern & Restaurant.

A notice of public hearing has popped up outside the village’s favorite hot dog haunt at 512 Route 14.

Set for 7 p.m. Dec. 19 at Village Hall, 305 Illinois St., the meeting is to discuss a “special use for a drive-thru food service, and an outdoor dining area, a variance for a box/cabinet sign with an electric message display board.”

The notice lists the petitioner as Barry Himmelfarb, a Culver’s franchisee who has operated restaurants in Woodstock and Schaumburg. In 2016, his daughter, Cobi Himmelfarb, opened a Culver’s in Hoffman Estates.

The Himmelfarbs could not be reached for comment.

Fox River Grove Village President Robert Nunamaker said Dan Skoubis – the owner of both Mr. Beefy’s and Villa Bleu, 516 Route 14 – is in negotiations with Barry Himmelfarb.

Nunamaker said Skoubis signed a contract with Himmelfarb to fork over the properties, but there still are several hurdles in place. Himmelfarb must receive zoning approvals.

Reached by telephone, Skoubis confirmed that he is in negotiations.

“We’re not 100 percent sure,” Skoubis said. “I cannot tell you whether it’s going to be sold or not. We’re negotiating. That’s where we stand.”

Skoubis has owned and operated Villa Bleu since 1987.

He said he won’t know if a deal is finalized until March or April.

Culver’s is a growing, Wisconsin-based chain specializing in butterburgers, fresh frozen custard and cheese curds. The chain operates restaurants in Woodstock, McHenry, Carpentersville, Huntley, Island Lake, Crystal Lake and Harvard.