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Common Grounds owner plans to move business across street in DeKalb

April 12, 2018

DeKALB – Jeff Foster, owner of Common Grounds coffee shop – which has remained closed after its building was declared condemned Friday – might not have to move very far to get his business back up and running.

Notes left on the front window and door of his business Wednesday said he plans to reopen soon in the former Thai Pavilion location at 131 E. Lincoln Highway. Foster said this is the easiest transition to preserve his business.

“We were really underspaced, and I had talked to my landlord [before the condemnation] about expanding,” Foster said.

Foster added that he signed a three-year lease with the property’s landlord Tuesday and was given assurances by the city that the site was up to code.

Before the Common Grounds property was condemned, Foster said he began the process to renew his lease at 150 E. Lincoln Highway, but after explaining the situation to owner Billy Valos, he was able to move forward with leasing the new property.

In addition to having a bigger kitchen, which he might not be able to use to its full capacity, Foster said one benefit to the larger location will be an accessible back door.

Valos said Tuesday that he is not sure whether he will make the fixes on his building, which could cost about $100,000. The condemnation has kept both Common Grounds and Lord Stanley’s Annex closed since Friday.

The condemnation on Lord Stanley’s Bar and World Famous Pizza was lifted Tuesday.

Foster said he would like to at least do a soft open at the new building in May, but he is going to need a lot of help to clean up the new location.

“I look forward to serving a lot more food items, but this will be a big step for us,” Foster said.

Residents wishing to help with relocation efforts can call 815-570-3379 or email commongroundsdekalb@gmail.com.