Arcade Cafe owners get loan for expansion

PAXTON — The city council has agreed to lend Nahum and Silvia Rodriguez, who run the Arcade Cafe & Pancake House, $37,500 through the city's revolving-loan fund.

The loan will help them buy the vacant building directly north of the cafe. Silvia Rodriguez said the low-interest loan would allow them to double the size of the cafe at 132 N. Market St. by expanding it into about 2,500 square feet of retail space at 138 N. Market St., which until June had housed Sav-Mor Pharmacy.

The couple has already secured a $20,000 loan from First National Bank. The city will hold the second mortgage on both buildings. City Attorney Bob Martensen said the Sav-Mor building's appraisal equals both loans. The terms of the city loan include payback in about 7.5 years at 3 percent interest and a requirement that 2.5 additional jobs must be created or retained within 24 months.

The city's revolving-loan fund, which has a balance of $645,000, typically is used to create or retain local jobs, granting businesses up to $15,000 per job created or retained. The Arcade is the longest-operating restaurant in Paxton, although it has had various owners over the decades.

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