Bookie Magee’s OTB parlor plans new Joliet location

Betting parlor plans to move into former Subaru dealership building on West Jefferson Street

Bookie Magee’s Hideaway and OTB would become the latest addition to a Jefferson Street revival, according to the company’s plans for its Joliet horse race betting parlor.

The parlor is slated to move into the former Subaru dealership at 2200 W. Jefferson St. that was vacated when Hawk Auto moved the franchise to its location on Route 59.

The off-track betting parlor now is located in a building behind the Walmart store on Jefferson Street, and the new location will provide more exposure on the heavily traveled commercial corridor.

The proposal went to the city liquor commission for a hearing on a license for the new location, which will be taken to the City Council for approval, said Economic Development Director Derek Conley.

“It’s another vacant building on Jefferson Street that’s going to be occupied, and we’re happy about that,” Conley said.

Other recent developments on Jefferson Street noted by Conley include:

• Acquisition of the closed Baker’s Square restaurant at 2211 W. Jefferson St. with plans to convert the building into a new restaurant;

• Development of the Tony’s Fresh Market store underway at the former Kmart property at Jefferson and Larkin Avenue;

• An Amigeaux restaurant with a Cajun menu going into the former Arby’s location at 2307 W. Jefferson St.;

• Pop’s Italian Beef and Sausage planned for the former Boston Fresh Market site at 1866 W. Jefferson St.;

• Demolition of the old Senor Tequila restaurant at 2219 W. Jefferson St. for what is to be a new Basinger’s Pharmacy.

The off-track betting parlor has been close to Jefferson Street for decades if not always on it.

The facility was located in the old Jefferson Square indoor mall, which was torn down when Menards bought the property and redeveloped it for its own store, the Walmart, and other businesses now on the site. The OTB opened as Bookie Magee’s in the current location in 2004 for what was then a new format with expanded seating, bar and menu.

Bob Okon

Bob Okon covers local government for The Herald-News