Corner Grind officially bought by Illinois Crafted


Photo By Olivia King

Obscurity Brewing and Craft Mead is located in downtown Elburn. The restaurant specializes in beer, barbecue and craft mead.

     At the end of July 2022, Illinois Crafted bought Corner Grind. The official announcement was made on Oct. 2, 2022, on multiple social media platforms. 

     Corner Grind, located on Main St. in Elburn, has been a local meeting spot for friends and family since 2014. They have a variety of breakfast and lunch foods, along with a wide range of iced and hot coffees, teas and smoothies. Many customers make this a stop in their everyday routines and even have an order set in stone for their next visit, and developing this family feel is what attracts the majority of their business. Illinois Crafted, the group that bought Corner Grind, is best known for its diverse establishments such as Obscurity Brewing, Lodi Tap House and Soul Loco. 

     Corner Grind’s general manager, Brittney Stout, explained that this is a great opportunity to “grow and be better, [and it will be] a good thing because we are getting more structure.”

     Both businesses are excited to work with each other and are very open-minded about their future together. They hope that these changes will benefit the customers and attract a larger crowd.

     Brandon Harris, one of the managing partners of Obscurity Brewing, explained his group’s idea of buying a new business and what the point of it is.

     “[The] dynamic is great to add a wider breadth of things we can offer to the community through those businesses,” Harris said.

     With Illinois Crafted being a larger corporation than Corner Grind, one concern that has been brought up is the potential loss of customer business and the family feel that has been created there.

     However, Stout was quick to knock this idea down.

     “If anything it’s going to make us have a stronger family feel because we are all working together,” Stout said. 

     Stout also added that none of the employees are changing.

     Another concern customers have is whether or not the menu will change. Many people love the original menu items and hope that they will continue to be available. Harris explained that they are well aware of this, and therefore decided they did not need to change much. The same goes for many of Corner Grind’s former ways. 

     “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it,” Harris said. “We love the business model over there, so there’s no need to overhaul it. We’ll just make little tweaks where we can.”

     Stout also said, “All the top sellers are always going to stay the same.” Any of the changes that are made to Corner Grind are specifically made to enhance the customers’ experience, such as a new point-of-sale system allowing things such as DoorDash and Grubhub.

     With this new facelift Corner Grind will be taking on, both Stout and Harris were in overall agreement that this was sure to bring in more business attraction. With this belief, the overall emolument is likely to increase as the business flow does. 

     Taking this into account, the question regarding employees’ wages arose. At this point, Luke Goucher, another managing partner of the Obscurity Brewing establishment, said that they “have always been mildly aggressive” in terms of staying ahead of the Illinois minimum wage. 

     They believe that their employees should be “committed and serious” to maximize their efficiency. They went on to explain that the previous owners of Corner Grind, Ann and Tony Cobb, were of the same opinion, so not much had to change in that department. 

     Although Corner Grind may now have a new ownership group, many of the things that customers loved about them are staying the same.

     This change in owners is just another expansion to Corner Grind. The main hope for this is that more growth and success will be the result, and both parties are confident that this will happen.