couriernews
SHARP 
Weather Updates

St. Charles cooks up discount week to showcase top eateries

A new bar recently constructed Szechwan Restaurant St. Charles overlooks First Street Plazwhere neighboring restaurants include Neos McNally's Wild Monk.

A new bar recently constructed at Szechwan Restaurant in St. Charles overlooks First Street Plaza, where neighboring restaurants include Neos, McNally's and Wild Monk. More than 20 local eateries will offer a bargain price during Restaurant Week in St. Charles Feb. 18-22. Szechwan's renovations took 11 months to complete and also included a new deck and elevator. | PHOTO BY ROMI HERRON / FOR SUN-TIMES MEDIA

storyidforme: 44543540
tmspicid: 16518469
fileheaderid: 7428871

Restaurants Participating in next week’s discount promotion

The Beehive Tavern & Grille

Chili’s

Colonial Cafe & Ice Cream

Copper Fox Restaurant

E & S Fish Company

El Puente Restaurant

The Filling Station Pub & Grill

Francesca’s by the River

Gabby’s Kitchen

Gino’s East Pizza

Harvest Restaurant at Pheasant Run Resort

Isacco Kitchen

Jambalaya Restaurant at Pheasant Run Resort

McNally’s Traditional Irish Pub

Nuova Italia Ristorante

The Office Dining & Spirits

Poblano Pepper Grill

Pub 222

Rookies

Rox City Grill

The Spotted Fox Ale House

St. Charles Place Steak House

Sushi Yama

Szechwan Restaurant

Taste of Himalayas

Town House Cafe

Wok N Fire.

The city government’s website offers the full list of participating restaurants plus their locations and hours of operation at www.stcharlesil.gov/restaurant-week.

Article Extras
Story Image

Updated: March 18, 2013 6:15AM



ST. CHARLES — It will be the third time around for an annual promotion led by the City of St. Charles — one that is geared toward giving the community’s restaurants an economic boost.

Set for the week after Valentine’s Day, which is traditionally a popular occasion for dining out, St. Charles Restaurant Week this year will be Monday, Feb. 18 through Friday, Feb. 22 at more than two dozen local eateries.

“Restaurant Week has always been sometime in late February,” said Michael Mertes, economic development coordinator for the City of St. Charles. “It is typically a slower time of year for restaurants and we want to make sure to draw attention to them.”

With a coupon offered through direct-mail efforts and a print advertising campaign, the city government hopes to draw residents and out-of-towners to the restaurant scene with 25 percent off their total bill at participating restaurants. The coupon can be used continually throughout the promotional period, so patrons don’t have to limit their choice to just one establishment.

“The goal of Restaurant Week is to promote the city as a whole as a great destination,” Mertes said. “It’s also that we have so many great eateries in our community. We want to draw people from all over, not just the Fox Valley, to come see what St. Charles is all about.”

Add and subtract

With a couple of new food and beverage options slated for 2013, the past year’s closures included Pi Pizza, on the corner of Main Street and Riverside Avenue, just across the street from City Hall, and Bistro One West, formerly nestled along the Fox River.

At First Street Plaza, Wild Monk opened about six months ago, Mertes said, and Szechwan Restaurant’s new deck was constructed last year on the opposite side of the plaza.

Nancy Chen, owner of Szechwan Restaurant, was honored Jan. 26 with the St. Charles Chamber of Commerce Community Development Award for her renovation efforts at the restaurant, which she has owned for 25 years. In addition to the deck, improvements include an elevator and an expanded bar.

Chen said she is looking forward to Restaurant Week and deferred interview questions to her daughter, Kathleen Benson, a Chicago resident who is not currently working at the restaurant. Chen said the lengthy remodeling process was tough but a wise investment.

“The restaurant was closed for almost 11 months during the renovations but it’s a lot nicer than before,” said Benson. “The old bar was near the front desk and served the purposes of the restaurant, but it’s been replaced with a full-service bar, and some of our elderly clients really like the elevator.”

Mertes said Bigby Coffee and Forever Yogurt are set to open in the spaces beneath Szechwan Restaurant in late winter or early spring.

He said that for restaurants with a history of success, it’s consistent quality that has been key.

“It’s the quality of the food. (Restaurants) create a certain expectation, and by meeting that, it helps create repeat business,” he said. “The greatest advertising your business can get is word of mouth.”

Other events

Lynne Schwartz, executive director of the Downtown St. Charles Partnership, said cross-promotional efforts with local businesses are also successful. In 2012, Downtown St. Charles Partnership held Jazz Weekend, during which “several downtown restaurants featured jazz music one weekend,” wrote Schwartz in an email. “Jeans & A Cute Top Shop even got involved, having a strolling fashion show at one of the participating restaurants.”

The Partnership plans to hold the second annual Jazz Weekend Thursday, Sept. 26 through Sunday, Sept. 29. Participating restaurants in next week’s discount promotion are:

The Beehive Tavern & Grille

Chili’s

Colonial Cafe & Ice Cream

Copper Fox Restaurant

E & S Fish Company

El Puente Restaurant

The Filling Station Pub & Grill

Francesca’s by the River

Gabby’s Kitchen

Gino’s East Pizza

Harvest Restaurant at Pheasant Run Resort

Isacco Kitchen

Jambalaya Restaurant at Pheasant Run Resort

McNally’s Traditional Irish Pub

Nuova Italia Ristorante

The Office Dining & Spirits

Poblano Pepper Grill

Pub 222

Rookies

Rox City Grill

The Spotted Fox Ale House

St. Charles Place Steak House

Sushi Yama

Szechwan Restaurant

Taste of Himalayas

Town House Cafe

Wok N Fire.

The city government’s website offers the full list of participating restaurants plus their locations and hours of operation at www.stcharlesil.gov/restaurant-week.



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.