Longtime Elgin eatery Alexander’s to receive facelift
By Paul Sullivan For Sun-Times Media August 29, 2013 3:56PM
Updated: October 1, 2013 6:22AM
ELGIN — Since Alexander’s Restaurant opened in 1974, it has since became an Elgin landmark.
“But it’s dated now,” said owner and general manager Bob Karas.
For a remodeling facelift, Alexander’s — located along Route 31 just north of Interstate 90 — will close from Labor Day until mid-November.
“Short of bulldozing the building, everything will be new,” said Karas.
“The menu will be slightly more upscale — basically new stuff, with more fruits and sauces — but we’ll still have steaks and meatloaf. We hired Grant Werner from Colonial (restaurants) as our new chef.”
When it reopens, Alexander’s will continue to serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. The bar will expand to offer seating. Before the remodel, full liquor service was available only at the table.
“We’ll hold the prices on the new menu,” Karas said. “We’ll continue to offer good service, value and a clean environment.”
The average breakfast check at Alexander’s is $10, and lunch is $12 to $15, said Karas.
“Dinner depends on what you order,” he said.
Bob Karas graduated from Larkin High School in Elgin in 1988, then graduated from Northern Illinois University with a business degree. Like many children of business owners, he worked in the family restaurant business as a kid in such jobs as busboy.
Since joining the management team in 1993, Karas has led the expansion of the family business to include four Rookies Sports Pub and Grills (in Elgin, St. Charles, Hoffman Estates and Huntley) and four Village Squire restaurants (in West Dundee, Crystal Lake, McHenry and South Elgin).
“It’s a family business,” said Karas. “We’ve got uncles, cousins, brother-in-laws, sisters.”
In the Karas family’s nine restaurants, there are about 350 to 400 employees, he noted.
“Employees are the success of our business. Our buying power (with nine restaurants) helps, too,” he said.
Karas’ father Paul and uncle George opened Alexander’s in 1974 in an existing restaurant building located two blocks north of Interstate 90. The brothers named their new restaurant Alexander’s after Alexander the Great from Macedonia, Greece, where the Karas family hails from.