Peoria, Ill.,
16:05 PM

OSF HealthCare to welcome two restaurants in new Ministry headquarters

MHQ Outside 10-5-21

Renovation of the new OSF HealthCare Ministry Headquarters building in downtown Peoria is nearing completion. Members of the media were invited to see construction progress on October 5.

Built in 1905, it was most recently known as the former Chase building, and in its early days housed the Block & Kuhl department store, earning it the nickname The Big White Store.

Previously owned by Caterpillar, the building, along with the Peoria Professional Building and the adjacent parking lot, were donated to OSF HealthCare in January of 2018. The National Parks Service approved plans that made the building eligible for Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits. That, coupled with State of Illinois Historic Tax Credits, allowed construction on the building to move forward, beginning in the spring of 2019 and continuing throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

The exterior of the building is being restored to look similar to how it did in the 1950s with original decorative and structural fixtures such as ornate columns and handrails being preserved inside.

In addition to the more than 500 OSF Mission Partners (employees) who will move into the building, two restaurants, which will be open to the public, will also be welcomed into the space: Great Harvest Bread Company – Bakery & Café and Saffron Social.Great Harvest is a locally owned bakery and cafe offering a wide variety of bakery goods ranging from cookies, muffins, scones and cinnamon rolls to cafe items such as soups, salads, sandwiches and paninis. It will be located off the lobby, in the area that once housed the Cat Merchandise store.

“We are excited to serve the OSF employees as well as the additional downtown Peoria businesses. Great Harvest is known for our product quality and strong customer service,” said Craig Janssen, president of Central IL Doughboys. “As we continue to grow with our third location, we are committed to serve our Central Illinois customers with quality and consistency.”

Saffron Social will be the latest restaurant offering by Travis Mohlenbrink, owner of Cracked Pepper Catering, Cayenne, Sugar, Thyme, The Warehouse on State and Industry Brewing. Housed in the former A & P site at the corner of Washington and Fulton streets, Saffron Social will be a 1950s Art Deco style restaurant and bar with many comfortable booths through and a private space for mid-size gatherings.

“The menu will be heavy on fresh shellfish and seafood, prime grade steaks and pasta. I have many exciting ideas for menu items and ways to serve them. The craft cocktail bar will focus on craft spirits and have one of if not the largest wine list in the area. This will be an exciting new space for downtown Peoria,” said Mohlenbrink.

OSF HealthCare Mission Partners will begin moving into the new headquarters building in January 2022.