IS THIS SCHAUMBURG’S LONGEST OPERATING RESTAURANT?

Would you agree that the oldest operating restaurant in Schaumburg has to be Ken’s Schaumburg Restaurant?  If so, it’s been operating longer than you might imagine.

Schaumburg restaurant

When the Weathersfield Commons shopping center at Schaumburg and Springinsguth Roads opened in 1963, residents were thrilled.  Local shopping was available at the Hoffman Plaza or in Roselle but there wasn’t anything close for the Weathersfield homeowner.  Not only were the Jewel and drug store a nice addition, it didn’t take long before a restaurant opened in 1965 to provide the area with a close, easy spot to eat out.

Carmen’s Colonial Restaurant opened sometime in 1965 and was in place for the Commons’ 2nd anniversary celebration that was held June 3, 4 and 5.  The Daily Herald ad of June 2, 1965 that highlights the three day celebration lists the restaurant along with Alpine Cleaners, Bobbie’s Beauty Bar, Buggy Whip Package Liquors, Jewel, Mike’s Barber Shop, Tarchi Interiors, Weathersfield Pharmacy and Weathersfield Pure Oil Service station.

Another ad for Carmen’s from June 4 of the same year mentions their specialty in Italian and American food for Dine In or Carry Out.  Their hours were varied but it appears they were open for short days on Sunday 8-1 p.m and Monday 8-2, Tuesday through Thursday from 6:30 a.m.-11 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 6:30-1 a.m.8-1 p.m.  They also delivered pizza and had Friday night specials of fish & fries as well as spaghetti.  Clearly they were trying to serve all types of crowds.

pizzaspaghettifish-chips

Less than a year later (Daily Herald April 21, 1966) they’d already shortened their hours:  Sunday 8-1 for breakfast, Monday 6:30-2 and Tuesday through Saturday 6:30-9.  Apparently the later hours weren’t necessary in a village with young families.  They’d also adjusted their menu to include a Thursday night special of fried chicken.  There was no mention of pizza delivery so it might have gone along with the later hours.

By June 1967, the restaurant at 21 Weathersfield Commons was known as The Red Rooster according to a Daily Herald  ad.  A couple more owners followed and then, around 1972 or 1973, John Georgakopoulos bought the business and renamed it the Schaumburg Restaurant.  He remodeled it in the summer of 1974 and advertised it in a July 19 issue of the Daily Herald as “The Family Restaurant.”  By this time the restaurant’s address was 44 Weathersfield Commons and they were offering breakfast, lunch and dinner from 6:00 a.m to 9 p.m., seven days a week.

In 1977 Mr. Georgakopoulos sold it to Ken Intounas who opened his version of the restaurant on January 1, 1978.  Thus began the longest period of stability.  The name remained Schaumburg Restaurant on the signs until the Weathersfield Commons shopping center was remodeled.  It then officially became known as Ken’s Schaumburg Restaurant, just as Mr. Intounas incorporated it.

breakfast foodThe same schedule was maintained with some slight alteration of the Sunday hours.  The breakfast menu was very popular at all times of the day.   After talking to Mr. Intounas, he hypothesized that 95% of his traffic was local and attributed his success to the loyal customers, his long-time employees and the simple, homemade food that he served.  Very seldom did the business close although, it was closed for two weeks in 1983 while they remodeled.  The clientele has remained so loyal that children introduce their own children to the restaurant.

A personal highlight for Mr. Intounas happened when the local NBC morning show, “First Thing in the Morning,” dropped by with its host, Bob Sirott, to exchange coffee mugs as one of the segments of the show.  This happened sometime in the early 1990s when the WMAQ show broadcast from the restaurant on that day from 6:00 to 7:00 in the morning.

In 2011, Mr. Intounas decided it was time to retire and he sold the 90-seat establishment in June of the same year.  The restaurant has remained open in the same spot and is still known as Ken’s Schaumburg Restaurant.  You can check it out at 1477 W. Schaumburg Road and eat your meal in a bit of Schaumburg history.

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library
jrozek@stdl.org

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One Response to “IS THIS SCHAUMBURG’S LONGEST OPERATING RESTAURANT?”

  1. debby miller Says:

    It’s still a great restaurant. I think it may be the only restaurant around that makes omelets from scratch. Their Greek salads are huge and masterful. Do go there!.

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