Local cafe expanding to former Magpie location

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- Six months after a fire destroys one downtown Rockford building, the futures of buildings next door are becoming clearer.

"This is home, but now we just have a secondary home," says Sister's Cafe owner Latreece Nealon.

Nealon is excited for the future of Sister's Cafe. The west side staple plans to open a second location on South Main Street in Rockford in the old Magpie building.

"Downtown Rockford, with them expanding... the new hotels. It could use something like Sister's," says Nealon.

The new owners plan to open this spring.

However, the owner of the cafe that was in business at that location before the fire says she isn't sure how opening will be possible

"It's kind of par for the course for how this whole thing has played out," says Caltagerone.

Magpie owner Stephanie Caltagerone wanted to stay at that current location. She says her contract was in violation when the original landlords decided they were not going to rebuild.

"Every single thing that we own is in this building. I've been wanting my belongings out of there for a really long time," says Caltagerone.

Caltagerone says a combination of electric issues and building code violations from the Hanley building fire still need to be settled before anyone should occupy this space next door.

"Somehow, someway, all of those violations have been resolved. I don't know how that happens. Apparently the requirements can change," says Caltagerone.

Either way, a bright future for one local business is opening up a lot of questions for another.

"We're not gonna give up. We're still gonna go forward with our new location," says Caltagerone.

"Hopefully Rockford will be just as excited as we are," says Nealon.

The new Sister's Cafe location is expected to have the same diner feel, but with more space.

The legal battle between the city, Magpie, and building landlords is still in progress.