Metro-East News

Moto plans 'upscale' Belleville store with smoothies, specialty coffee on the menu

This is an artist's rendering of the planned Moto store and restaurant at the intersection of Illinois 161 and Fullerton Road in Belleville. The store is expected to open late this year.
This is an artist's rendering of the planned Moto store and restaurant at the intersection of Illinois 161 and Fullerton Road in Belleville. The store is expected to open late this year. Provided

A planned Moto convenience store at the intersection of Illinois 161 and Fullerton Road in Belleville will have all of the usual convenience store and gas station features, but it also will have a made-to-order restaurant, in-store dining and a drive-thru window for customers to get their food orders.

Customized salads, specialty coffees, smoked meats and smoothies will be on the Moto restaurant menu.

Belleville-based FKG Oil Co., which operates a chain of 78 convenience stores with the brand names of Moto and MotoMart in six states, hopes to begin construction on the new "upscale" store in its hometown this summer or fall. It is expected to be open late this year.

This will the first Moto store to have its own full kitchen and menu, according to Rob Forsyth, president of FKG Oil. Previously, FKG Oil has teamed with McDonald’s for a store-restaurant combination, including one at the intersection of Green Mount Road and Thouvenot Lane in Shiloh.

“It’s all our own food concept,” Forsyth said of the Belleville store.

The store’s kitchen is designed “to provide fresh food” to Moto customers, according to Brian Pendleton, director of real estate for FKG Oil.

“That’s a real big trend in the industry right now,” Pendleton recently told Belleville’s Planning Commission. “We believe that this location will be successful with that food operation.”

To prepare for the new Moto restaurants, the company has built a test kitchen at its headquarters at 721 W. Main St. That kitchen is the same size as the one that will go into new Moto stores, Forsyth said.

The new Belleville store will be called Moto, which was the original name used by the company, and the MotoMart name will be phased out, Forsyth said.

The City Council on Monday night is scheduled to consider final approval of the Moto site plan, which received preliminary approval from the Planning Commission.

The 5,900-square-foot store is planned to be built on 5.46 acres at the northeast corner of Illinois 161 and Fullerton Road, which is adjacent to Belleville’s border with Swansea.

Forsyth said the store will have a car wash and 16 gas pumps. One other company store has a drive-thru window, but that Appleton, Wisconsin, service is for all store products. For now, the Belleville drive-thru will only be for food orders.

FKG Oil will close on the property after several contingencies are met, according to Forsyth. He declined to disclose the expected sales price.

Forsyth said FKG Oil expects the site to be popular because of the high volume of traffic, convenient access, limited competition nearby and its proximity to neighborhoods.

Mike Koziatek: 618-239-2502, @MikeKoziatekBND
  Comments