Here’s five businesses opening in Springfield in 2023

The new year – 2023 – is here. While we can only hope that what’s to come is peaceful and prosperous, we have some idea about what’s to come to Springfield in 2023 from a business sense.

To the newest links in the Grab-a-Java and Scooter’s coffee chains to the long-awaited opening of Raising Cane’s, here’s a look at five businesses slated to open this year:

Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers

Lease: 3100 West White Oaks Drive

Background: As Chick-Fil-A has perfected the chicken sandwich shop, Raising Cane’s has perfected the chicken strip store.

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The chicken chain announced in April that it would open a store in Springfield at the former location of Casa Real across from Panera Bread at the corner of Wabash Avenue and West White Oaks Drive.

The location in question was home to Ginger Asian Bistro, Maverick Family Steakhouse and Bonanza Family Restaurant before Casa Real moved in, making the west-side spot something of a revolving door, particularly in recent years.

While 2023 had always been the target for the Dallas-based chain, construction was moved up for the new restaurant thanks to an early approval of a construction permit by the city of Springfield. Some consideration was given to a Christmas opening for the store, but the holiday has come and gone without Raising Cane’s serving their hand-dipped, hand-breaded chicken fingers in the Capital City.

Still, plenty of progress has been made on the site, with construction nearly complete. No official opening date has been set for the store, which will feature a double drive-thru similar to that of the now-closed Rally’s location on South Grand Avenue West.


Lease: 300 Chatham Road

Background: Grab-a-Java has become a Springfield institution since it opened its first store on Sixth Street in 1996. Best known for their high-quality specialty drinks and thought-provoking artwork outside the buildings, the drive-through coffee chain announced their fourth store this summer, this one along Chatham Road.

Bill Legge, the store’s owner, wanted a location convenient for people commuting to work, and with Starbucks and Dunkin’ in the same area of ​​the city, he’s confident that they’ll continue to stand out.

“We’re a small business, (we) try to take good care of our people — both customers and employees,” Legge said in June. “From the employees’ standpoint, we operate just like a family and I think that the locally-owned small business coffee shops make a better cup.”


Lease: 1901 W. Monroe St.

Background: One can walk from Starbucks’ current location on 2003 W. Monroe St. to its soon-to-be new location in the Fairhills Mall Shopping Center.

The coffee behemoth is currently building a new, full-service store at Fairhills to replace the old store, which opened in 2005 in the footprint of a longstanding Taco Bell.

Even with the moving of the store, tree enthusiasts can rest assured that the “Taco Oak” will remain at the former location – pending approval by whoever the new owner is.

Scooter’s Coffee

Lease: 1740 Wabash Ave.

Background: Scooter’s has made significant inroads to Illinois over the past year, with Taylorville and Springfield being among the cities to receive a new drive-through coffee shop from the Omaha-based chain.

Next year, Scooter’s will double down on Springfield with a new west-side location in the Chatham Square shopping center along Wabash. The company received approval for the new store in December, with a spring opening date being targeted.

Aunt Lou’s Soul Food

Lease: 524 E. Monroe St.

Background: Corey Dickerson’s tribute to his grandmother is slated to open next spring in the former home of Cafe Brio and Vele in the Ferguson Building downtown.

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Details are vague about what Dickerson is planning to bring with him to the new location, but he wants to do something new with soul food that will compare with Cafe Brio’s experimentation with Mexican cuisine.

“It’s going to always be the down-home, southern taste, but we’re bringing a modern twist,” Dickerson told Natalie Morris in November.

Before serving customers, a great deal of renovation work will be done, with kitchen equipment returning to the interior and bringing in a new fire alarm system.

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