“food hall” concept at 51 S. Grove Ave., Elgin

Shared Dream Kitchen set to expand LocalVore, incubation offerings


Kevin Echevarria

CEO, PKE Enterprises


Elgin, Il

Building on Shared Dream Kitchen’s ecosystem of business-building services and development opportunities, Elgin-area entrepreneur Kevin Echevarria is set to offer clients a new way to bring their food-based business dreams to reality.

Beginning in Winter 2018, clients looking to move from leasing commercial kitchen food prep space to their own restaurants will have access to a “food hall” concept at 51 S. Grove Ave., Elgin.

The 22,000-square foot, three-story location in historic downtown Elgin will include a commercial kitchen and dining room, private event and meeting space, city liquor license with a separate tap room, as well as management and business-development services for those clients.

The new location is an expansion of LocalVore, a pop-up restaurant concept first opened in 2016 at 11-13 Douglas Ave., Elgin.

Focusing on “provincial genius and cuisine,” Localvore allows clients short-term pop-up restaurant space. Localvore has also been used for classes and other short-term pop-up events.

Plans are to give up to three vendors on a rotating or shared-space basis to serve food daily while building their business acumen and loyal customers.

Those small business owners would learn the skills and gain the business experience to move into their own storefront locations — preferably in Elgin, Echevarria said.

“So many food service entrepreneurs start with good intentions and great food, but fail because they don’t know how to run a business. The Localvore concept allows them to learn how to run that business before going out on their own, helping to reduce the chances of failure,” Echevarria said.

The food service clients using Localvore built their businesses starting with Shared Dream Kitchen, a food service incubator space at 1544 Fleetwood Drive, Elgin, with satellite locations in Schaumburg and Lake in the Hills.

Shared Dream Kitchen allows those with a catering or other food-based business idea to rent a fully-outfitted commercial kitchen. A commercial, licensed kitchen is required in most states before it is legal to sell food to the public. 

The 51 S. Grove Ave. location will include a separate “tap room” designed for a 50-50 split between alcohol and non-alcoholic beverages. An existing bar in the location will be separated from the main dining room, Echevarria said. In addition, a large stage in the location will be demolished and replaced with a smaller stage for intimate performances.

The location has seen a rotation of start-up restaurants in the past several years, and there have been issues with the property owner and past tenants, Echevarria acknowledges.

“We are aware of the charges against the property owner but do not believe at this time that those issues preclude use of the building by PKE Enterprises, Shared Dream Kitchen or Localvore, or our commitment to downtown Elgin going forward,” said Echevarria.

The rental contract includes a commitment from Echevarria to purchase the building within seven years. 

“We are serious about buying the property,” Echevarria said. 

Preliminary plans are to limit hours of operation from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., with some later private event rentals. Echevarria has no plans to use the venue as a concert space or with a nightclub concept.

Echevarria said further details on uses and clients in the building will be shared as details are worked out with the city of Elgin.

For more information on Shared Dream Kitchen, Localvore, or the other sectors parent company PKE Enterprises, go to: http://pkeenterprises.com



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