In Chicago, a shuttered iconic restaurant could serve as the perfect location for a new dispensary.
As cannabis earns legal status across the country, a myriad of businesses are now possible options for dispensaries. And what’s more weedy and trippy than a restaurant that looks like a jungle? According to Block Club Chicago, a shuttered Rainforest Cafe could be transformed into a pot shop this summer.
Per the report, the building in question closed August 2020 after 23 years of business. The new dispensary would be located in the old 22,000-square-foot building, providing the business with a lot of room for medicinal and recreational products.
The building is known for its distinctive decoration. Like most Rainforest Cafes, the establishment is cavernous with a wilderness theme. The outside of the building is known for its depictions of greenery, mushrooms, trees and the like, which would be replaced with something more appropriate for a new business, that signals customers of what’s going on inside, even though that seems like a missed opportunity.
“It’s much more tasteful and much more soothing than the garish stuff that’s out there now,” said Michael Riordan, president of the River North Neighbors Association, which is the neighborhood where the restaurant is located. “Everything seemed to be reasonable, and so there’s no need to not move them to another level and see what the larger community has to say about it.” If everything goes according to plan, the new dispensary could be approved by early May.
These types of news are becoming increasingly common. A couple of months ago, an old Family Video store was also offered up for a dispensary location in Ohio. Dispensaries need spacious layouts, establishments that can be difficult to fill by new businesses. Dispensaries have an added interest, not only because their new and novel, but also because it’s weed.