The Dock At Inwood Announces New Location: It's Outside Joliet

February 23, 2024 0 By JohnValbyNation

JOLIET, IL — After five incredibly successful years of owning The Dock At Inwood, Rick and Julie Trafton are reopening their new bar and sit-down restaurant outside of Joliet. On Thursday, Rick Trafton told Joliet Patch’s editor that The Dock On Front Street will be opening later this fall in his hometown of Mokena.

Trafton and his brother, Mike, previously ran The Dock at Inwood at 3000 West Jefferson St. in Joliet at the Joliet Park District’s Inwood Athletic Club property.

The Dock at Inwood’s five-year lease expired on Dec. 31, and the Traftons were unable to come to an agreement with the Joliet Park District Board.

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Trafton said The Dock On Front Street will be located at 11116 Front St., inside a historic downtown Mokena building that dates back to the 1800s. An extensive renovation will get underway in the coming days and the project will probably last six to eight months, he estimated.

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“We just signed a lease. It’s a historic building that was built in the 1800s, and we’re hoping to start construction soon. It’s probably a six to eight month renovation. It’s a total gut, but when it’s done, we feel it’s going to be second to none.”

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On Thursday, Rick Trafton had nothing but wonderful things to say about The Dock at Inwood’s five-year run in Joliet on the city’s west side. In addition to retiring from the Joliet Police Department, where his brother, Mike, served as chief of police, Rick Trafton has been involved in the ownership of The Charleston, which was in New Lenox from 2007 until 2014, and Dock Rotz, which opened in Minooka in 2013 and Rick’s former business partner continues to run it.

“We had a great run in Joliet, and we’re so thankful for all of the support we got from the Joliet community,” Rick Trafton remarked in Thursday’s interview. “We didn’t come to an agreement with the Joliet Park District on the lease, however, we’re super excited that an opportunity came up in the town I was born and raised in, Mokena. Julie and I will be the sole operators and we still have a ton of contacts and family in the area. We know there is a need in Mokena for more sit-down restaurants.”

Rick Trafton said that even though The Dock On Front Street won’t open its new sit-down restaurant and bar until October, The Dock still plans to operate its three Chartered Flight trucks for this summer. The margarita Chartered Flight trucks typically travel within an hour’s radius of the Joliet and Will County region to provide food and drinks for bachelor parties, birthdays, anniversaries, corporate outings and more.

The Dock features a whopping 25 different flavors of its homemade margaritas. In Joliet, The Dock at Inwood had sold 517,069 as of Dec. 16.

As for the future of the former Dock at Inwood property, Joliet Patch previously broke the news that Cemeno’s Pizza, one of the Chicago region’s most beloved pizza restaurants, will be expanding and adding a second location in Joliet, taking over the Inwood site vacated by the Dock. Cemeno’s has not announced a formal grand opening date, so far.

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