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Base42 brightens Green Bay Road with food, service

The spacious multi-level bar arefeatures 15 TVs watch all your favorite games as well as two new pool tables. There

The spacious multi-level bar area features 15 TVs to watch all your favorite games, as well as two new pool tables. There is seating for up to 141. |Tina Johansson/for Sun-Times Media

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Base42 Bar
& Grill

Inside Ramada Inn

200 N. Green Bay Road, Waukegan

(847) 244-2400 (ask to be transferred to the restaurant)

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If you’re looking for a place for lunch or dinner, you might want to make Base42 your home base.

Located in the former Saddle Ridge restaurant at the Ramada Inn in Waukegan, Base42 seems to hit it out of the park when it comes to food and service.

A recent grand opening, including a ribbon-cutting by Waukegan Mayor Wayne Motley, gave many their first glimpse of the place, which included a $100,000 makeover.

Though the restaurant had remained open during the extensive remodel, those coming in for the first time in a while gave plenty of “ooohs” and “ahhhs.”

“It’s open, it’s bright — it’s a modern restaurant now,” said Steven Senft, looking about the spacious bar area where guests enjoyed saucy meatballs, cheeses, and fresh fruits and vegetables. “We are very optimistic and very excited about the future.”

Senft is a principal of CRU Real Estate Group in which its subsidiary, CRU Investments LLC of Costa Mesa, Calif., purchased the hotel last December, and took over the restaurant in May. His intentions he said, are for the place to be a go-to spot for the area.

“We are looking forward to being an active part of the community,” said Senft, adding he would like to see the business sponsor local sports teams, as well as be home to their after-game gatherings.

The fresh food rivals many finer restaurants in the area. Portions are generous, the prices affordable, and specials are offered.

Signature items include burgers made with fresh beef with various toppings; as well as a tasty pork beer brat served on a quality bun with kraut and crisp peppers.

Among the dinner entrees are Miso Glazed Salmon, and filet mignon. Cool salads including Apple & Walnut and Thai Crunch, as well as soup du jour are also available. The spacious dining room, which seats 151, is cozy with warm cinnamon and sunny yellow walls. The staff is swift and attentive.

While the business gets its share of Navy traffic — most Fridays the Naval base has graduation of recruits and families stay at the hotel — Senft is hopeful to cast an even wider net of clientele.

“We’re trying to make this the Cheers of the Midwest. So when you come in, you really feel like you’re at home,” he said.

A Sunday brunch is planned to start soon. And on Tuesday nights, Base42 is to offer discounts to those in the hospitality industry.

The sports bar accommodates 141 and includes two new pool tables, 15 flat-screen TVs, a projection screen display, a DirecTV NFL package, and a thick granite top on the 21-person bar.

Senft, who was hands-on during the grand opening, was present for the Chicago Bears vs. Cincinnati Bengals game on a recent Sunday. “We did really well,” he said, adding that the bar was busy and customers were happy that the Bears won. The 12-inch and 16-inch pizzas seemed to be the food of choice this day. “People really like the pizza,” said Senft. “Some of them commented that they’re the best they’ve had.”

Indeed, the pizzas here are a must try. Base42 has several professional pizza ovens resulting in a thin and crispy crust and a topping of bubbling, golden goodness. Toppings range from smoked ham to pineapple.

Next spring, there is to be another grand opening, but this time it’s for the hotel where $750,000 worth of renovations are currently under way.

The hotel features board rooms and media rooms often utilized by local clubs and organizations. There is a sizeable grand ballroom for banquets and weddings, also.

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