Our guest contributor this week is Pat Barch, the Hoffman Estates Historian.  This column originally appeared in the February 2011 issue of the Hoffman Estates Citizen, the village’s newsletter.  The column appears here, courtesy of the Village of Hoffman Estates.

“Let’s go out for a bit to eat.”  How many times did I hear that from my husband when he was getting tired of the same old meals I put together.  As new home owners in 1965, we had very little to choose from and very little money.   We did have “The Skillet” in Grant’s Department Store in the then Golf Rose Shopping Center (T.J.Maxx is there now).  The kids and I could spend several hours in Grants.  We’d usually visit the birds and fish in the pet department and then make our way to the toy department.  I never could go there without promising the kids that they could “look at the toys”.   We’d always enjoy our lunch in Grants before heading home.

As more and more people moved into Hoffman Estates in the 60s and 70s, more and more restaurants began popping up along Golf Rd.  If we wanted to eat in town, we didn’t have much choice but to frequent the restaurants on Golf Rd. that were in the town of Schaumburg.  Knowing which town you were in was quite confusing as it still is today.

Golf Rd. businesses were very convenient for a young mother like me who was stuck home without a car.  Living in the Highlands offered everything within walking distance.  We could have lunch at Lum’s that was on the north side of Golf Rd.  The Black Pearl offered really good Chinese food. They were just west of where Boston Market is today.  Barnaby’s was always one of our favorite places and they still have some of the best pizza in town.  It’s one of the few restaurants that have remained in business over all these years.  None of these restaurants were in Hoffman Estates.

When F & S was building Hoffman Estates, Schaumburg, after incorporating in 1956, began annexing everything along Golf Rd. in the hope that they could stop the growth of our new community.  Schaumburg was a farming community that feared the increase in taxes for schools, police and fire protection.  They wanted to protect their rural way of life.  So much of the checker board map of the two villages resulted from those efforts.

The north side of Higgins also belongs to Schaumburg and that’s where I remember Cal’s Roast Beef.  Their huge movable steer was out front.   The Amber Rose was right next door and they’d started out as a small grocery store but then it became a great pizza place with a bar.

There were several restaurants that you could dress up for.  My best clothes were worn to Mangam’s Beverly Lake restaurant out west on Higgins Rd.  It was owned by Mangam’s Chateau in Lisle and had wonderful steaks and grown up food.  The restaurant is gone but the building is still there, a house next to a little lake, on the north side of Higgins across from Sear’s corporate headquarters.  The lake is still known as Beverly Lake.  The other restaurant we enjoyed was Derby Street restaurant on the southeast corner of Roselle Rd. and Golf Rd.  I didn’t have to put on my best dress for a night out at Derby Street.  It was more casual.   They had good affordable food and you could order just about anything from steak to pasta.  This was the only restaurant that I’ve mentioned that was in Hoffman Estates.

I still find it hard to keep the boundaries of Golf Rd and Higgins straight in my head.  Living in the Highlands puts me in an area that is surrounded by Schaumburg and its many restaurants up and down Golf Rd. .   In 1969 my favorite restaurant was Barnaby’s.  In 2010 our family still enjoys Barnaby’s pizza.

Pat Barch
Hoffman Estates Village Historian


5 Responses to “LET’S GO OUT FOR A BITE TO EAT…”

  1. James Sislow Says:

    Did Derby Street have another name before it became Derby Street?

    • jrozek Says:

      According to the Daily Herald classified ads, the “new concept opening” Derby Street, began advertising for help in the June 19, 1983 issue. Prior to that, the business at this location was the Forest Restaurant–Hunter’s Lounge. References to this were also in the Daily Herald. It must have opened around 1978 because there are not any earlier articles or ads that discuss the restaurant. The Hunter’s Lounge was a bar that offered live entertainment and dancing and was open until 3:00.

      Jane Rozek
      Local History Librarian

  2. Patrick Crane Says:

    Before Forest restaurant-Hunter’s Lounge it was a colthing store called Robert Hall Not the Chain Robert Hall Village

  3. Robert R Allison Says:

    In the late 50’s. I was living in Carpentersville, working full time at Hills-McCanna Pump Co. Money was a bit tight, so I hired on as a part-time waiter at Mangam’s At the Lake. The $1.25 per hour wage wasn’t so good. But, on a good night, I could rake in $30 in tips. It was a coed restaurant and I teamed up with a girl, with whom I shared a table of ten, plus I had two more tables that seated four. My table service included shelling lobster tail and filleting sole at the table, along with serving dinners and drinks from the bar. For dessert, the ladies preferred Brandy Ice, which was brandied ice cream in a stemmed cocktail glass, lit up by a sugar cube soaked in alchohol. Carrying a tray of four flaming Brandy Ice to the table was very spectacular. Mangam’s was very popular with “sugar-daddies” and their young dates, as well as for jockeys from Hawthorne Race Course with their six foot show girls. Customers always wanted to be seated on the lake side of the restaurant, with its lovely view of Beverly Lake. The tips were better at those tables, too. Mother’s Day filled the place and tips improved, as well. Another big night was New Year’s Eve. At 2 a.m., when the boss locked the doors for a crew party, with the drinks on him. We all left at 5 a.m. and headed up to an all night restaurant and bar on the south-east corner of Dundee Avenue and Algonquin Road. Mangam’s had a happy crew that day! Before Hills-McCanna, I worked as a fireman on the CB&Q Railroad. That long drive into Cicero, to the Clyde Roundhouse on Ogden Avenue is what prompted me to seek local employment in Carpentersville. My last employment in the area was with Elgin Sweeper Co., as a mechanical designer. In the mid-60’s we moved to Southern California, where my gross income increased by $200 per month and I didn’t have to wear a scarlet jacket or black cummerbund.

    • jrozek Says:

      This is a wonderful, detail-filled comment that only a person intimately involved with the restaurant could know. Thank you so much for adding an insider’s view to this posting. I’ve passed it on to our Hoffman Estates Historian. She writes a column for the village which I repost on this blog. Maybe you’ll see an entire column devoted to Mangam’s…

      Jane Rozek
      Local History Librarian
      Schaumburg Township District Library

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