Archive for the ‘Restaurants, taverns, etc.’ Category


January 29, 2017


In the new biopic The Founder, there is a mention of Ray Kroc opening his first McDonald’s restaurants in the Chicago area.  One of the restaurants is the first one at 400 Lee Street in Des Plaines. This original location opened in April 1955 and the building has since been torn down and rebuilt.  But the movie also mentions other locations in Waukegan–and Schaumburg!

Curious about this connection, a patron emailed me about the beginnings of McDonald’s in Schaumburg Township, wondering if we were, in fact, one of the first locations in the Chicagoland area.

After doing a bit of research, I discovered that there were others in the area that opened earlier–Arlington Heights, Elk Grove Village and Wheeling–to name a few.  The first one in Schaumburg Township was the location on Golf Road, just east of the intersection with Higgins.  This restaurant held its grand opening on Saturday, October 17, 1970 (15 years after the Des Plaines location) when they opened to the public at 10 a.m.

Ronald McDonald was there in person to greet kids from 10 to noon and handed out free gifts.  Their ad from the October 16, 1970 Daily Herald mentions their “piping-hot 100% pure-beef hamburgers, golden brown french fries… and triple-thick chocolate, vanilla and strawberry shakes.”  A photo from the October 22 paper says that the grand opening drew over 4000 people!

Facing Golf Road, the facade and interior of the building were in the latest style of the day which had been developed in 1968 by the corporate office.  Having moved from the outdoor restaurant trend with the golden arches, the Schaumburg location featured a brick building with big windows and a mansard roof.  As noted in the comments below, there was also an interior playground that was used as a space for countless birthday parties.  The McDonald’s sign on Golf Road maintained the golden arches–just as they do today.

As one of the commenters noted, the original building was torn down about around 2002 and the replacement building was not only smaller but was resituated on the lot to accomodate for the heavy drive thru traffic.  The location had a great 46-year run but, unfortunately, closed in 2016 after a new store opened in the Golf Rose Center in Hoffman Estates.



Many other locations exist in Schaumburg Township:

  • Barrington Square Mall on Higgins in Hoffman Estates
  • 2580 W. Golf Road near the intersection with Barrington Road in Hoffman Estates
  • 1070 Roselle Road in the Golf Rose Center in Hoffman Estates
  • 550 S. Roselle Road in the Farmgate Shopping Center in Schaumburg
  • 2545 Schaumburg Road in the Scharrington Square Shopping Center in Schaumburg
  • 720 E. Higgins Road at Plum Grove Road in Schaumburg
  • Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg
  • 775 E. Algonquin Road in Schaumburg between Harper College and Motorola
  • 955 E. Golf Road in Schaumburg (This is another brand new store as of 2016.)
  • 633 Meacham Road at Biesterfield in Strawberry Hill Plaza in Elk Grove Village
  • 7455 Barrington Road at Irving Park in Hanover Park

mcdonalds-uniformSo many of us worked for McDonald’s in the 1970’s wearing those polyester uniforms with the perky hats, frying hamburgers for a Big Mac, frying eggs in a six-sectioned egg ring for Egg McMuffins and actually mixing and whipping the shakes in a triple-head milkshake maker.  And let’s not forget making change in our heads at the cash register!  What are your memories of the McDonald’s in Schaumburg Township?  Did you work there?  Do you know when they opened?  What were your uniforms like?  Please feel free to share your thoughts!

Also, enjoy this story by Dann Gire of the Daily Herald as he discusses the appearance of the Schaumburg and other Chicagoland McDonald’s in The Founder. 


Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

The article, “The Browning of McDonald’s,” was gratefully used in the description of the first McDonald’s in Schaumburg.



January 15, 2017

It seems a bit of a fried chicken craze hit Schaumburg Township in the early 1970’s.  Kentucky Fried Chicken had already paved the way in Hoffman Estates in the late 1960s when they opened a brand new restaurant at Higgins and Roselle Roads.   In 1970 Ray and Geri Herringer opened a Chicken Unlimited franchise at 10 N. Roselle Road.  [Daily Herald, April 26, 1971]  This was followed by another Chicken Unlimited franchise that opened in July 1972 and Brown’s Chicken decided to join the competition with a restaurant at 620 S. Roselle Road in September.

In the July 12, 1972 issue of the Daily Herald, an ad invited the public to the grand opening of Chicken Unlimited’s Schaumburg stores at 805 W. Higgins Road and at 10 N. Roselle Road. The Higgins Road store was at the intersection of Higgins and Golf and the Roselle Road store was in this small strip mall that was on the northwest side of the intersection of Schaumburg and Roselle Roads.


When they came to town they brought not only “the world’s best fried chicken” but fish & chips, giant Whamburgers, fried shrimp and hot apple puffs.  Yum!  And, to celebrate the opening of the stores, they offered a “Get Acquainted Coupon” that featured 12 pieces of light, crispy chicken, french fries, cole slaw, hot rolls and honey.  All for the low price of $3.99.  Certainly enough to feed a family of five or six!

The Herringers also offered a package deal for catering purposes.  It was called “Parties Unlimited” and featured a package of chicken, salad, rolls, plates, knives and forks.

Yet another ad from a November 1973 mailer stated that the stores were open 7 days a week, beginning at 11 a.m.  It also featured this coupon for a fast way to save a buck.


Unfortunately, though, Chicken Unlimited did not last long. On March 30, 1976, the franchise filed for bankruptcy and it was around this time that the restaurants shut down in Schaumburg.  The last time there was an appearance in the Daily Herald for one of the Schaumburg locations was in 1976, although ads for the Palatine and Elk Grove locations appeared into the later 70’s.

Maybe one of our readers worked at one of the restaurants or remembers when they closed?  If you can clue us in, it would be most appreciated!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library


December 11, 2016

Question markOne of the readers of this blog posed a question this week, asking about a restaurant that was on Algonquin Road in Schaumburg in the late 1970s.

He was a young Motorola interviewee at the time and his future boss took him to a family type of restaurant on Algonquin Road that was between Meacham and Route 53.  It was on the north side of Algonquin and, to the best of his recall, was between Lancer’s at 1450 E. Algonquin and the Frankly Yours West Hot Dog stand at 1580 E. Algonquin.

I looked in the 1982 phone book that was donated to our library and is the closest we have to that time period.  I tracked all of the restaurants in the yellow pages and the only ones that came up were Lancer’s, La Margarita at 1626 E. Algonquin and Magas at 1941 E. Algonquin.  We can pretty much discount all of these since one has been mentioned, another is a Mexican restaurant and the other is on the wrong side of the road.

The reader suspects it was possibly near today’s Wendy’s, if not actually on that site.  Wendy’s address is 1530 E. Algonquin which is pretty darned close.

What are we missing?  If you have a possible answer, please put in a comment or send me a quick email.  I’ll be happy to post an answer!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library


April 10, 2016

Our guest contributor this week is Pat Barch, the Hoffman Estates Historian.  This column originally appeared in the March 2016 issue of the Hoffman Estates Citizen, the village’s newsletter.  The column appears here, courtesy of the Village of Hoffman Estates.

There were so many fun things to do for children growing up in Hoffman Estates in the early years of the village.

With so much construction going on in the neighborhoods, starting in 1955 and continuing into the 70’s, there were always those wonderful piles of dirt the seemed to draw the kids like magnets.  But our early town had so many fun places to go to.

During the cold days of winter everyone could go ice skating on their local pond.  Some had warming houses to help take the frost from their frozen feet.  If you had enough guys, you could get a hockey game going.  With enough snow on the ground, you could head over to Fleetwing Farm on Central Rd. and go tubing with your friends.

Hoffman LanesHoffman Lanes bowling alley was a busy place for both adults and children.  The adult bowling leagues were filled with moms & dads who enjoyed the competition & the opportunity to meet others.   Saturday afternoons found the kids really getting into their own bowling competitions.

When the Thunderbird Movie Theater opened in the Golf Rose Shopping Center in the early 60’s, the kids headed to the Sunday matinees and gave their parents a few hours of peace and quiet.  Snyder Drugs was right next door to the theater and a great place to buy your candy.

A favorite eating place that the kids really enjoyed was Ground Round on Golf Rd.  Where else could you eat all those peanuts and not get scolded for throwing the shells on the floor?  The burgers were awesome as I remember.  Lum’s Hot Dogs on Golf Rd. was another great place.  Everyone liked the idea that the dogs were steamed in beer.  They tasted great.

In the 70s the hang out that Hoffman High kids liked was Barrington Square.  You could see a dollar movie at the Barrington Square Movie Theater, stop in for a slice of pizza at Garabaldi’s Restaurant and check out the latest albums at Flip Side.  Lines would form outside Flip Side for tickets to the hottest concerts.  A great hang out for the Conant kids was Hippo’s Hot Dogs on Higgins and Plum Grove Roads. They had the best Chicago style hot dog around. Hippos

Fireside_ArenaFireside Roller Rink on Roselle & Higgins, the world’s largest indoor rink, was one of the most popular places in town.  The local schools always had skating parties throughout the year. You never missed one.  They were a blast.

As the kids grew older, they were treated to more great entertainment at the Poplar Creek Music Theater.  In the 80s the 20,000 seat open air theater offered great performances by the most popular entertainers of the day.  Located at Route 59 and the Tollway, the theater is fondly remembered by everyone who enjoyed the music under the stars.

It is all gone except Garabaldi’s Restaraunt.  It’s fun to remember those days.  What do you remember?

Pat Barch
Hoffman Estates Village Historian


October 4, 2015


Champps 1


What happens when a Green Bay Packer starts a Mexican restaurant chain and it eventually grows to 210 locations?  The answer:  one of those locations finds its way to Schaumburg.

In 1975 former Packers great, Max McGee, started the restaurant chain, Chi Chi’s, in Richfield, Minnesota with restaurateur, Marno McDermott.  The popularity of the eatery grew to the point that the chain decided to open a spot at 955 E. Golf Road in Schaumburg in 1984.  [Classified ads began appearing in the Daily Herald in the summer of 1984 advertising for help wanted.  This is also the first year Chi-Chi’s is listed in the local phone book.]

The building, as I recall, was a light tan stucco and served up standard Mexican fare of enchiladas, tacos and chimichangas.  They had banquet facilities and offered carry-out service.  Unfortunately, the restaurant that advertised itself in the 1986 phone book as “When You Feel A Little Mexican,” closed three years later in 1987.

The building and the spot did not languish for long.  By November of the same year, an Italian chain by the name of Grisanti’s had remodeled and opened in the same building.  According to a review in the December 18, 1987 issue of the Daily Herald, “the exterior has been totally redone with a Mediterranean accent.”  The interior had a “an airy main room” that was terraced “with canopies and plants in large terra-cotta pots.”

It was a popular spot for many years with the highlights being the salad that was tossed tableside with fresh ground Romano cheese and the “warm, soft loaf of Tuscan bread brushed with garlic butter.”  They served lunch and dinner every day as well as a brunch on Sunday.  It was reasonably priced and endured a nine year run, closing in late 1996.

The following year, on November 17, 1997, Champps’ Restaurant & Bar opened in the newly renovated building that featured additional outdoor seating.  [Daily Herald; November 5, 1997]  They were part of the Champps Entertainment chain based in Minneapolis that caught the early curve of sports-themed restaurants and bars.  Champps 2

This restaurant too proved to be a hit, serving up a varied American-style menu and providing plenty of large screen TVs for lots of sports viewing.  They lasted for nearly 18 years and recently closed their doors.

The building was scheduled to be demolished in August 2015 to prepare the site for another restaurant.  This time it’s a brand new McDonalds.  So, get ready for a new place to stop in or drive thru for your Big Mac and fries because this spot was obviously destined for restaurants!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library



April 5, 2015

Just as the band Cheap Trick was getting its start in nearby Rockford in 1973, the B. Ginnings nightclub of Schaumburg came along to give them a stage.  Opening in 1974, B. Ginnings was begun by Danny Seraphine, the drummer for the band Chicago.  This wonderful photo, passed on to me by blog reader, Larry Rowan, shows the sign for Woodfield Commons.  If you’re wondering where the nightclub was, just put yourself in the Secretary of State’s Drivers License facility on Golf Road.  You’d be standing in the middle of it.B ginnings

Other nightclubs have also had their heyday in Schaumburg Township.  Some had dancing, some had live music and some were just a great place to spend a weekend night to see and be seen. Confetti could be found at 1850 E. Golf Road, adjacent to the Hyatt Hotel.They offered a complimentary dinner buffet, Ladies Night, had a dress code and stipulated that you had to be 21 with proper ID.

There was Studebaker’s which could also be found in Woodfield Commons.   It had a good-sized dance floor with music that leaned towards classic rock and roll.  It was opened by Walter Payton and a group of investors who followed on the heels of that success with another venture–Thirty Fours.  This bar opened in 1988 and closed in 1995 at the same location as Confetti.  It was very popular and had a great dance floor too.  After the closure in 1995 it reopened as Phroggs and had the same amenities as Confetti except that it was necessary to be 23 to enter.  A later incarnation was called the Living Room.  Hot location, wouldn’t you say?

Of course, there was also the Snuggery on Algonquin Road which was a huge hit during the 1980s and into the 1990s.  Further east on Algonquin, near Rte. 53 was La Margarita.  They were known for their Mexican food but became a nightclub in the evening and were open until 4 a.m.   There was also the Bamboo Room on Golf Road between Roselle and Plum Grove.  It closed in 2007 and became Heat.

Maybe you can remember others that were your hot spots?  Or that came earlier in the 1970s?  Please share any I’ve missed.  And, if you’re interested in a nice history of B. Ginnings, check it out here.

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library



August 10, 2014

Our guest contributor this week is Pat Barch, the Hoffman Estates Historian.  This column originally appeared in the June 2014 issue of the Hoffman Estates Citizen, the village’s newsletter.  The column appears here, courtesy of the Village of Hoffman Estates.

With the closing of Burger King on Higgins and Roselle Rd, I’m reminded of so many of the restaurants we’ve had in our downtown area in the vicinity of Higgins, Roselle and Golf.  Please help with some you may remember by e-mailing me the places you ate at. Burger King

You’ll have to forgive me if I also include some places in Schaumburg, in the Higgins, Roselle & Golf  part of town we seem to be half in  Schaumburg and half in Hoffman Estates.  Some time you’re not sure what town you’re in.

As I look at my list I realize how many are gone.  Do you remember Derby Street on the southeast corner of Golf and Roselle Rd.  How about Cals Roast Beef on Higgins Rd. just west of Spring Mill Rd. They used to have a huge steer out in front.  It later became Arby’s.  Who remembers The Ground Round? That location has seen many different restaurants. At one time we had Naugles.  It had really good Mexican food.  That same location had a really nice restaurant called Spring Garden.  It had every kind of food you could think of from breakfasts to dinners and ice cream sundaes and sodas.  Do you know what’s there now?  It’s the Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant on the west side of Roselle just north of the Walgreens at Roselle and Higgins.  I think the first one was Ground Round followed by the others.

Another location was originally a small grocery store but became the Amber-Rose Inn, later to become Caesar’s Pizza, one of the best loved pizzas in Schaumburg and Hoffman Estates.  It was torn down and the most recent building is a doctors building (on the north side of Higgins Rd. just east of the intersection of Higgins and Golf).  You’ll find Dunkin Dounuts and a drive up coffee shop in this area.  That’s Schaumburg territory.

Other fun places to eat that are now gone were up and down Golf Rd.  I’m sure you haven’t forgotten Barnaby’s nor Dover Straits.  They’re some of the most recent to go.  These have been long gone.  Do you remember any of them?  Lums with hot dogs steamed in beer, Steak and Shake that became Entenmanns Bakery (that’s gone too), the Black Pearl, Arthur Treacher’s Fish & Chips or Baker’s Square.Matchbook 8

If you’ve lived here a long time and grew up with these restaurants, you’ll probably remember Hippo’s.  It was located in Schaumburg at Plum Grove Rd and Higgins.  It was here for many years but we have a McDonalds on that spot now.  Before Hippo’s built their restaurant, they started out as a hot dog wagon or truck at the Shell station that was located at the intersection of Higgins and Route 53 when there was a 4 way stop, no traffic lights, no Woodfield either.

One thing for sure, we never had a hard time finding a place to eat.

I hope you’re planning on coming to our Museum program on Sept. 27th from 1 till 2:30 pm in the village hall.  We’re calling it “Growing Up in Hoffman Estates or What I didn’t tell my Mom”.  We want to hear all the naughty things you did as a kid in Hoffman Estates during the 50s, 60s, 70s and more recently. Bring a friend who was your cohort.   We’ll have birthday cake for our 55th anniversary and share lots of good stories, ones that will curl you mother’s hair.   E-mail me at if you can come.

Pat Barch
Hoffman Estates Village Historian




July 20, 2014


Woodfield Mall has never had a formal food court.   In the early 1970s, though, there was a restaurant that came mighty close to the real thing.  It was called International Park and was owned under the auspices of International Cafes Inc.

As a result of a bit of give and take in the comments on the Woodfield Mall Opening Day posting, a couple of posters provided us with additional information.  Kassie said that stepping into the International Park restaurant on the lower level next to the ice skating rink gave you many dining choices.  A Coney Island section enticed you with a selection of hot dogs and cotton candy.  There was a hamburger grill, a counter for Chinese food, another area for standard American fare and yet another spot that gave you the chance to indulge in Italian favorites.

Peggy said the restaurant was owned by Don Linn.  Both women are former employees and, between the two of them, mentioned that he owned other stores at the mall including The Alley, Luv Is and Rags to Riches.  Cindy, who also worked for Mr. Linn, said he owned a candle store next to the The Alley called Light My Fire.  She said that as an employee in the early 70’s, they were required to work The Alley, Luv Is and Light My Fire on a rotational basis.

The chef was Joe Trocolli and he was in charge of the kitchen.  The restaurant opened in August or September 1971 and, according to their ad in the Daily Herald, International Park was their “new concept operation.”

Peggy also shared these photos with us from the International Park.  The first shows a group of employees relaxing after a long shift at the restaurant.  Clearly, red and white striped shirts and aprons were part of the uniform.

This is a scan of her pay stub.  She was paid $1.70 an hour and managed to get 34.75 hours during the pay period.  This was in January so the mall was doing well during the long winter months.  image (2)The store endured until late 1976 or into 1977.  The last mention I could find was in a November 1976 classified ad looking for new employees.  Maybe someone else can contribute more information to the story of this early food court-styled restaurant at Woodfield Mall?

Many thanks to Peggy and Kassie for sharing their memories and photos from their days of working at International Park.  Contributions such as theirs make this blog fun and valuable to the Schaumburg Township memory bank.

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library



July 13, 2014

Back in April, I posted some photos of matchbooks from restaurants of Schaumburg Township’s past.  Soon another frequent blog reader passed on some of the matchbooks he had in his collection.  You can see them below.

I’m not familiar with Perry’s and I had no idea there was a Connie’s or a Jake’s in Schaumburg Township.  And Lucky’s and John’s Garage?  Well, they were favorites for families visiting Woodfield.  Sante’s and Spring Cove were very traditional family restaurants.  Does anyone remember the similarly-styled, similarly-named Spring Garden on Roselle Road? Lastly, there was Hippo’s, the restaurant that strikes a cord with everyone.

Good things CAN come in small packages.

Matchbooks 1

Matchbooks 2

My thanks to Jay Campbell for passing on the matchbooks!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian




May 4, 2014

For a while now the oldest, operating restaurant in Schaumburg Township had been staring at me every day.  It just never occurred to me that a chain restaurant could be the oldest, although I should have known given its location.  It was part of Hoffman Plaza, our first suburban strip mall at the intersection of Higgins, Golf and Roselle.  It was Burger King, home of the Whopper.  And now it’s gone.Burger King

Surprisingly,  the restaurant began operation in early 1964.  The actual date is not certain but a mention is made in the March 26, 1964 issue of The Herald under the column Hoffman Birthdays.  The guests of a certain birthday were “trying out a ‘whopper’ at the new Burger King March 21…All agreed that it was a swell place to have a party.”

The current owner told me that this was store #134 in the Burger King chain.  Considering the franchise started operations under the Burger King name ten years before in 1954 in Miami, FL, it’s actually pretty amazing that the Hoffman Estates store achieved this status.  In 1964 the villages of Schaumburg and Hoffman Estates were just getting their legs underneath them.  But the population was starting to boom and someone was sharp enough to see the eventual profits that could be made in such a central location.July 9 1964

To get an idea of what the store looked like in the beginning and what they had to offer, I’ve included some of the ads that appeared in The Herald.  You’ll notice that their address was 50 Hoffman Estates Plaza at Higgins and Roselle Roads.  Hamburgers were a bargain at .19 and giant Whoppers at .39.  You could even mix it up and have a fish sandwich for the price of a whopper if you felt like it.  Soft drinks ran from .10 to .15 and shakes from .19 to .29.  What a great deal!

One of the ads also mentions their air-conditioned and heated patio with its big picnic tables.  After talking to a young lady who worked there at her first job in 1968, she said that the basic building configuration has always been the same.  Rather than the fixed tables that were there most recently, picnic tables must have been scattered around the inside area.

August 20 1964 According to the owner, the building needed another remodeling and the configuration for getting into and out of the parking lot had affected the sales.  As a result, it was decided to close the business.  The last day was  March 24, 2014.  It’s always sad to see a restaurant close but when it’s the oldest, a part of history goes with it.

Here’s a question though–can you name the locations of all of the Burger Kings that have existed in Schaumburg Township?

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library