Eight years ago the owner of Casa Royale Banquets in Des Plaines opened Club Casa Cafe as a place to host casual affairs he wouldn't do at his other property.
Located inside the Des Plaines Golf Center, Club Casa has expanded its draw from golfers and parties to bring in many locals who have become regulars.
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Club Casa Cafe353 N. River Road, Des Plaines, (847) 298-5100, clubcasacafe.com
Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday
Motif: The small space is divided into a bar area and more formal dining room. The four TVs around the bars are typically tuned to sports, especially golf games, and Chicago team pennants hang near the kitchen. Tables with high seats surround the wooden bar, and the dining room features tablecloth-covered tables and dark wood chairs. The patio, which includes plenty of plastic tables and chairs and dangling star-shaped lights, can be sealed off for use in cold weather.
Crowd: About half of Club Casa's customers are golfers. The rest of the crowd is made up of families, older groups and solo drinkers hanging out at the bar. The spot is especially busy late Thursday, when golf leagues tend to visit. Big sporting events can also draw crowds of fans to the bar.
Service: Our server was young and inexperienced. He seemed very unsure of himself and wasn't able to give relevant advice on the menu, though he did check with more veteran employees to get information on items we had questions about.
Liquid consumption: The bar's small draft list features 312, Stella Artois and Blue Moon. Drink specials include $4 Blue Moon pints Thursdays and $4 Stella pints Saturdays. Friday's $5 margaritas are an especially good deal since the cocktails are excellently mixed, getting the blend of tequila and sour and sweet flavors just right.
Food: Club Casa serves up all-you-can-eat beer-battered Atlantic cod for $9.75 every Friday. The fish fry brings in crowds that fill up the restaurant and the deck in all seasons. The baby back ribs and half-pound Angus burgers are also big draws, especially when you can get $6 burgers Tuesday and a $15 full slab Thursdays. The $7.95 weekday lunch special is also very popular. Barbecue fans looking for something smaller can enjoy the pulled pork sandwich, where the smoked meat is covered in tangy sauce and served on a pretzel bun.
The menu was redone about six months ago, adding great new options like the fajita wrap, which is packed with chicken, sautéed onions and peppers and served with salsa on the side if you want to add a bit of spice. Both sandwiches come with homemade chips which are thin, crisp and lightly salted, though for $1 you can upgrade to onion rings, chips and salsa or seasoned fries.
Parking: There are plenty of free spots in the parking lot Club Casa shares with the Des Plaines Golf Center.
Overall: Club Casa offers a great place to eat whether you're looking for a bite before or after hitting the green or just want to dine and drink while watching the pros play.