Mix morning star has restaurant on tap

Kathy Hart and Billy Baruth

Kathy Hart and Billy Baruth

The female half of radio’s most popular morning team is about to become the Chicago area’s latest celebrity restaurateur.

Kathy Hart, co-host of the top-rated “Eric & Kathy Show” with Eric Ferguson on WTMX FM 101.9, confirmed plans to open a restaurant and music venue with her husband in Highwood.

Hart and husband Billy Baruth have an agreement to buy the former Bertucci’s Italian Steak House at 246 Green Bay Road in the far north suburb. The site, which has been vacant since last September, would be redesigned as a restaurant on the first floor and a mezzanine for live music on the second floor.

The couple appeared before the Highwood City Council to seek approval for their plans.

No name has been announced for the establishment, but Hart disputed a Chicago Tribune report Monday that it would include Hart and Baruth’s own names or initials.

Hart, who married Baruth in 2013, is in her 19th year on the Hubbard Radio hot adult-contemporary station, where she and Ferguson command a market-leading share of ratings and revenue for the Mix.