Cuatro Amigos Venue could open as early as July in DeKalb

New banquet space for events catering at 240 E. Lincoln Highway in DeKalb, issued liquor license

Cuatro Amigos Venue is seen May 16, 2024 at 240 E. Lincoln Highway in DeKalb.

DeKALB – The owners behind El Jimador Mexican Grill in downtown DeKalb are moving forward with plans to reimagine the space that once housed the Lincoln Inn as a new banquet establishment dubbed, Cuatro Amigos Venue, 240 E. Lincoln Highway.

DeKalb city leaders recently granted a liquor license to help make plans for the space a reality. The catering business could open as early as July.

Ryan Gifford, one of the owners of El Jimador and Cuatro Amigos Venue, acknowledged that development of the space was delayed, in part, because he and his partners considered other options.

“We had a restaurant that had shown some interest and things didn’t come together,” Gifford said.

The original plan for the building, however, was to set up a banquet venue with space for parties and other celebratory occasions.

Gifford said he and his partners don’t want the space to sit vacant any longer.

“We’re falling back to our original plan to use that space for banquets, for parties,” Gifford said. “We can do it with a cheap room fee. So we applied for our liquor license so we can have beer on tap and everything brought in there.”

But Gifford stressed that their long-term intention is to get another restaurant to fill the space in the future.

“Ultimately, the best use for the space would be a six or seven day-a-week open restaurant … serving [at] a minimum lunch and dinner,” he said. “If that opportunity comes up, we would not stymie DeKalb from that for our own banquet business. But that being said, currently that opportunity, that team has not approached us.”

The owners behind El Jimador have invested between $50,000 and $75,000 into renovating the space, to date. In April 2023, the city awarded project leaders $25,000 in aid to assist with paying for lighting and exterior renovations to the building.

Gifford said he wants to make sure the public knows that they’re open to hearing about business endeavors and talking with people about what the space makes sense for.

He said he and his partners ultimately want the building to be put to the best possible use that makes sense for the city.

The venue is expected to start catering events beginning as early as July 1.

Gifford said he and his partners hope to put the space to use for the entire back half of 2024.

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