GOING, GOING… THE OLDEST RESTAURANT IN SCHAUMBURG TOWNSHIP

If you’re looking for a tasty, thin crust pizza served in a rustic decor that is a step out of the 1970s, look no further than Barnaby’s on Golf Road.  But, you’d better hurry.  One of the longest-running restaurants in Schaumburg Township is scheduled to close by the end of January.  Restaurants come and go but this one had staying power.

The Schaumburg store was part of an Illinois/Indiana chain begun in the late 1960s by Angelo Geocaris who owned Geocaris & Company, a large Schlitz beer distributorship.  The first restaurants to open were in Des Plaines, South Bend, Waukegan, Oakbrook, Niles and on Touhy, Taylor and Diversey in Chicago.  By early 1970 the following stores were under construction:  Calumet City, Addison, Downers Grove, Park Forest, Countryside, Arlington Heights, Oaklawn Northbrook, DeKalb, Hammond and Schaumburg.  More came along and you can find them all listed here.

According to an ad in the February 2, 1970 issue of the Chicago Tribune, the restaurants possessed an “informal old English pub atmosphere” with “fast self service and no tipping.   It was “a come as you are kind of place”  where there was no need to “hush up the children, and where food is for the whole family–root beer and kiddiebaskets–steak sandwiches–fish and chips–1/2 pound pubburgers broiled before their very eyes–and great pizzas–fast self-service and no tipping.”  There were also”fresh baked roast beef sandwiches, one quarter pound of thin sliced beef, dipped in hot au jus and served on a delicious sesame bun with fresh french fries and fresh cole slaw.”  Of course there were also large pitchers of beer (presumably Schlitz and its sister beer, Old Milwaukee, were certainly on tap) along with “soft lights and good music.”

Mr. Geocaris continued his ownership of the restaurants through the late 1970s when he began selling off the locations one by one.  When he had some difficulty selling the Schaumburg store, he made a proposal to Mr. and Mrs. George Limperis, two of his employees.  If they bought the restaurant and had a difficult time, he would buy it back and find a different buyer.  A month and a half later, on January 1, 1980, they finalized the deal.

Mr. and Mrs. Limperis ran the popular eatery for 32 years, serving multiple generations of families, providing an easy gathering place for local sports teams after games and being the go-to place for their thin crust pizza.  But all good things come to an end and, in 2011 the couple decided to sell their store to the Ziegler dealership next door.  When this store closes the only Barnaby’s left will be those in Des Plaines, Niles, Northbrook, Arlington Heights, South Bend, Misawauka and Tallahassee, FL.

The interesting question is, which Schaumburg Township restaurant becomes the oldest?  I know I have some guesses but what are yours?

This posting was written with the assistance of the Chicago Tribune, the Daily Herald and the Glencoe News.

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7 Responses to “GOING, GOING… THE OLDEST RESTAURANT IN SCHAUMBURG TOWNSHIP”

  1. Bob Dohn Says:

    I would think the Schaumburg Inn Restaurant at Schaumburg & Springingsguth Rds. would have to be a contender for the title of oldest Schaumburg Twp restaurant.

  2. Charles & Gloria Vassmer Says:

    I & my family have gone to Barnabee’s since it opened and it has always been the best thin crust pizza in the Hoff Ests, Schaumburg area. We will miss it

    Best to you from Charles, Gloria Vassmer and dozens of family scattered far & wide. cgvassmer@netscape.com in St Germain, Wisconsin 54558

  3. Betty Helsper Says:

    Barnaby’s was always our favorite place for pizza. Perhaps some of this stems from the fact that our son, Danny Helsper, had his first job there. He wanted to take flying lessons and we told him he had to work for the money!! He actually didn’t like making pizza but he stuck it out for a couple of years and became a pilot!! His boss would always tell the kids working there that they had to produce a “quality pizza!” They did!! I am sorry to hear that the Schaumburg restaurant is closing. Betty Helsper

  4. Marilyn R. Lind Says:

    There was a restaurant south on Roselle Road, south of Schaumburg Rd = on the west side of the street. It was a white clapboard building. They served fried chicken and other stuff. I’m sure it was the oldest because Mary Lou Reynolds told me about it.
    She remembered it during WW2. We ate there after we moved to H.E. in 1961. If you wanted pizza you went to Roselle – to the Pizza Cottage.

    • jrozek Says:

      I think the restaurant you’re speaking of is the Old Settler’s Inn. There was a writeup on that earlier in the year, compliments of the Roselle History Museum. You can read it here. https://ourlocalhistory.wordpress.com/2011/12/11/old-settlers-inn/

      I’m sorry if this was confusing. I was actually referring to Barnaby’s being the oldest restaurant in existence in Schaumburg Township up until very recently. Which restaurant has taken that crown now that Barnaby’s is closed?

      Jane Rozek
      Local History Librarian

  5. Linda Shannon Says:

    This is a great blog. Thanks for keeping this going.

  6. Laura A Says:

    Ho Luck across the street is pretty darn old too!

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