Riley's Sports Bar & Grill owner improves view in downtown Janesville

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Marcia Nelesen
Wednesday, October 9, 2013

JANESVILLE--Even the owner of the downtown building at Milwaukee and Franklin streets agrees the building's east brick wall for years has been 90 feet of badness.

Kevin Riley, owner of Riley's Sports Bar & Grill, 209 W. Milwaukee St., bought the structure in April 2012. The building formerly housed Weirdo's tavern, and the east wall was an unbroken expanse of brick exposed when the adjacent building was razed.

Riley is adding eight windows on the east wall—four on the bottom and four on the top—and covering the brick with a stucco-like finish. The finish will help seal the wall.

He already has remodeled the interior.

“My name's on the side, so the building needs to look in top shape,” Riley said.

The 5-foot, commercial–grade windows cost about $20,000. Installation required the addition of steel beams.

The city has long hoped the wall would be improved, said Gale Price of the planning department.

“Kevin has a real vision for that property,” Price said. “He wants this building to look like something and not just be a scourge of the downtown.”

The corner lot between Riley's and Franklin Street is a city-owned parking lot. The council allowed Riley an easement to install the windows.

Said Riley: “We want to make it look nice, help the downtown look nice.”

Riley also owns the nearby Riley's On The Green golf shop at 219 W. Milwaukee St.

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