For the last two months, owners of some of Elgin's most popular dining and drinking venues have been meeting in order plan the downtown neighborhood's sixth annual pub-crawl.
On Saturday, Sept. 25, 10 Elgin establishments are participating in the crawl, which will benefit Senior Services Association, Inc. and the John E. McCue Memorial Scholarship Fund.
Elgin Pub Crawl
The Elgin Pub Crawl, a fundraiser for Senior Services Associates and the John E. McCue Scholarship Fund, begins at 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 25 in downtown Elgin.
For details, visit downtownelgin.com or call (847) 488-1456.
Participating venues include:
• The AfterSet, 158 Symphony Way
• Douglas Street Sports Bar and Grill, 231 Douglas Ave.
• The Hangout Bar and Grill, (formerly Mad Maggie's), 51 S. Grove Ave.
• Gasthaus, 15 N. Grove Ave.
• Elgin Public House, 219 E. Chicago St.
• La Puesta Del Sol, 165 E. Highland Ave.
• Martini Room, 161 E. Chicago St.
• Medusa's, 209 E. Chicago St.
• Red Bar Winery, 74 S. Grove Ave.
• Villa Verone Ristorante Italiano, 13 Douglas Ave.
This year's event has a slightly different twist, according to Lou Gramm of the Elgin Public House.
"There's no formal time you have to be anywhere," Gramm said. "It's an open invitation; there are no tickets to buy to get into the pub-crawl."
Until Saturday, raffle tickets to benefit Senior Services and the McCue Fund will be sold at the venues and Senior Services offices at 101 South Grove. The scholarship fund winner will take home $250, and the SSA is giving an iPad in exchange for the winning ticket. The raffle tickets are $5 apiece and can be bought ahead of time at the all of the venues and the Senior Services offices.
Although tickets are not needed, participants will be handed a passport at the beginning of the crawl and each of the venues will stamp them. Those who turn in a passport with six or more stamps can enter a drawing for more prizes provided by sponsors Budweiser and City Beverages. No purchase is necessary to receive a stamped passport.
Participating venues are offering specials just for the event, according to Gramm, "Every restaurant will have special drinks and food," Gramm said.
Organizers are aware a night of drinking and partying may render more than a few people unable to safely drive themselves home.
"The owner of A-1 Cabs is willing to bring coupons to each location participating in The Pub Crawl," said Ursula Borodzinski of The Martini Room. "A-1 is offering $1 off fares of $8 and under, and $2 off fares over $8."
Coupons will be available at every venue.
Organizers hope that the event will introduce some locals to Elgin's downtown district businesses, some of which have been struggling to remain afloat. The now-completed construction on Chicago Street was nearly a fatal blow, according to Borodzinski.
"It had a huge impact," she said. "You couldn't walk, you couldn't drive, for three years."
Now in the midst of Highland Avenue construction, the district looks forward to a newly refreshed downtown, hoping the upgrades will increase foot traffic. It seems to be working thus far, according to Borodzinski.
"I've seen new faces, new people and not only from Elgin, but Hoffman Estates, Bartlett and Algonquin; even St Charles," she said.
The pub-crawl is a fun way to visit the area and see what's new, according to Borodzinski.
"We want people to come and see what we have in downtown Elgin," she said. "We have not only new restaurants and bars but other businesses as well.
"It's worth coming
to see what we have in downtown Elgin. Take a walk and find out."