Coyote Canyon

Coyote Canyon has not offered dining since mid March but now a potential new occupant is said to be exploring the site.

The Coyote Canyon restaurant along Illinois Route 50 near Armour Road in Bradley had been one of the area’s most popular dining locations until the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic struck.

Ownership of the all-you-can-eat, buffet-style, self-serve establishment, however, realized in the world of the new normal and the sudden hyper-sensitivity to any sort of contamination — real or imagined — there would be no way this business could be successfully operated.

After being closed in March due to the onset of the pandemic, owner/operator Jim Johanak announced in June he would not re-open the restaurant at 1350 Locke Drive, after 18 years in business.

One person’s misfortune though could be another’s opportunity.

Jeff Bennett, of McColly Bennett Commercial Real Estate and an Economic Alliance of Kankakee County board member, said this past week the site is now under consideration from a restaurant group.

The unnamed company is completing a variety of studies to determine what upgrades would be needed to operate in this location. Bennett, sighting a confidentiality agreement, offered no hints. He only noted there would be a drive-thru.

While the community will now likely start a wild guessing game as to the identity of the restaurant, we will have to wait on further details. Stay tuned.

While the harsh economic times of 2020 are well chronicled, not all news was bad, especially locally.

Tim Nugent, president and CEO of the Economic Alliance of Kankakee County, noted at the organization’s first meeting of the year this past week, there were several major business happenings in 2020.

He said major capital investment within the county totaled $120 million.

To name just a few of the companies who made significant investments in property and/or capital improvements he pointed to Urban Farmer, McKesson, Spikeball, OAK Orthopedics, Aldi and Classic Cinema.

He also combined the years of 2015-2020 and noted more than $2 billion has been invested within Kankakee County’s borders.

While times were certainly challenging this past year, the region’s arrow is definitely point upward.

The county’s home market also is moving in the direction of solid investment.

According to year-over-year sales figures of 2020 vs. 2019, Kankakee County’s closed sales price was up 24 percent.

“That’s a big number,” Nugent said.

He further noted that the median sales price for Kankakee County homes was up 27.5 percent, year over year.

Tina Franklin, executive officer for the Kankakee, Iroquois and Ford Association of Realtors, said when comparing the average single-family house sale in Kankakee County in December 2019 va. December 2020, the closing sale grew from $142,510 to $164,900.

Concerning the median sales price, the sale’s figures rose from $125,000 to $164,900.

Not surprising, the number of days on the market declined. In December 2019, the average property was on the market 107 days before it sold. In December 2020, it was 60.

The median sales price in the county increased by 27.5 percent, meaning half of the properties sold last year were under that figure and half of them were over that figure.

The Daily Journal’s Lee Provost writes about local business rumors, comings and going and other notes of interest. Anyone with information to share should contact Provost at or 815-937-3364.

Lee Provost, an award-winning reporter, has been writing local news stories for The Daily Journal since 1988. He is a lifelong resident of the region. Provost can be reached at