Older building in Oak Park to become restaurant

Posted at 5:43 PM, Feb 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-26 17:43:53-05

An iconic building is being revived into something new. The old WWJ transmitter building used to "dish out" music and news, but now it will serve up something different.

This building has been vacant for more than 20 years.

"This is a really important building and I'm honored to be able to repurpose it, said Curt Catallo.

He is one of the owners of a restaurant group know to make unique building transformations like Vinsetta Garage in Berkley, which used to be an auto body shop and is now a poplar place to grab a bite to eat.

The group is taking the old WWJ transmitter building in Oak Park and turning it into a comfort food spot!

He said, "This is an example of us using a restaurant to build an important icon back into something vibrant.

The new restaurant will seat 100 diners and have its own parking lot in the back, along with outdoor seating.

"We think it will be awesome to have a DJ booth in here and doing podcasts instead of broadcasting through the tower."

The building sits on 8 Mile and city officials hope reviving it will revive the street.

Erik Tungate, the Oak Park City Manager, explained, "This has been a really derogatorily based street for a long time. We hope this protect along with the city's efforts will transform this narrative about the street."

It was built in 1936 - designed by Albert Kahn for the Scripps family.

The project is being called 8MK - even though the restaurant doesn't have a name yet. It is expected to take at least 18 months to open.