Latreece Nealon says her restaurant, Sister's Cafe, is a cozy place to enjoy good food in Rockford. But now, she's ready to expand and cook up some dishes in downtown Rockford.
"This is home, now we'll have a secondary home," says Nealon. "I feel like it'll be something great for Rockford, it's something that they don't have."
Nealon is taking over Magpie's previous location on North Main Street. A spot that's sat vacant since the Hanley building fire wreaked major damage to the structure and legal battles ensued between Magpie's owner and the new owner of the site, Urban Equities Property, which also owned the Hanley building.
"We will be for sure leasing, there's still a lot of legal stuff going on with them, but that has nothing to do with me. Hopefully by the spring everything be good to go."
Nealon says she's basically in a holding pattern while Magpie's and Urban Equities hash out their differences. But she's hoping to be up and running by next spring.
"Everything is ready to rock and roll pretty much. Just a few things we want to remodel and get it just the home feeling. Just a little more to our taste."
Sisters Cafe's announcement comes just one week after the city closed on the future Amerock Hotel. Something other downtown businesses says is a good sign of what's to come.
"As a local business owner I'm sad it's not going to be Magpie but of course excited that more things are happening on the west side of downtown," says Blue Line Owner Mike Idzikowski. "I'm a firm believer that the more that's in the neighborhood the better it is for everybody."
Meanwhile the owner of Magpie says there's still a lot to be hashed out before anyone can move in to her spot.
Owner Stephanie Caltagerone tells 13 News she found out Sister's Cafe is moving in to her previous location just yesterday.
She says Magpie is moving in to a new downtown building, which will be announced soon. But her stuff is inside its old location.
"First and foremost in my mind is removing all my Magpie property from there. Every single thing that we own is in this building, including a hood I still make payments on every month. I've been wanting my belongings out of there for a very long time," Caltagerone says.
13 News reached out to the lawyer representing Urban Equities. He says his client has made many efforts to communicate with Magpies over the previous months, but has not heard back.