New signage for Sweet Basil Café recently appeared at the former O’Charley’s building in Prairie Crossing. The location at 4241 Conestoga Dr. has been vacant since O’Charley’s closed in March 2019, although the Sangamon County circuit clerk shows that a lease was recorded on June 19, 2020.

While many restaurants are closing or cutting back, Sweet Basil Café appears to be ramping up expansion plans. The website for the family-owned restaurant lists existing locations in Skokie and Peoria in addition to restaurants “coming soon” in Springfield, Forsyth, Champaign, Riverwoods, Glen Ellyn and Rockford.

A review for the Sweet Basil Café in Peoria, which opened last year, describes it as a “Chicago-style Greek-American-owned family restaurant.” The locations serve breakfast, lunch and dinner with an expansive menu ranging from daily comfort-food specials to Greek-inspired dishes and flatbread pizzas.

Attempts to reach the owners were unsuccessful, although Sami Danko, the general manger of Sweet Basil Café in Peoria, confirmed a mid-September opening was planned for the Springfield location and referenced “plans to keep expanding throughout Illinois and even other states.”

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