Steve Boyer knew that wine just wasn't enough.
Though he had the successful Village Vintner Winery along Randall Road in Carpentersville for years, he always knew there were people that wanted more.
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"People would come in to taste wine and then go somewhere else to eat, or they would come in without their spouse, because their spouse didn't drink wine," Boyer said.
"I was just always saying that wine alone isn't enough to get people in there. If we expand, we can increase sales."
So, Boyer decided to take the next step.
This month, he opened the Village Vintner Winery and Brewery along Randall Road in Algonquin.
The business, at 2380 Esplanade Drive, just south of Algonquin Commons and behind the old Borders Books, not only serves wine and beer, but it also is a full-service lunch and dinner restaurant.
"It's totally different," Boyer said of the new restaurant, compared with the Village Vintner, which he shut down.
The restaurant, which Steve Boyer runs with his brother, Bob Boyer, is only the second in Illinois to have a combined brewery and winery license, Boyer said.
Inside, they are brewing eight of their own beers, and making their own wine.
Boyer said at his old spot he started experimenting with brewing his own small batches of beer. He would let his customers sample it, and the feedback was good.
Now, he's brewing on a much bigger scale.
So far, they are serving three of the new beers, and will expand as the weeks go by.
They also serve other craft beers on tap and in a bottle, along with their 40-plus wines, Boyer said.
Much of their food is cooked inside of a full wood-burning oven, which they've installed in the middle of the restaurant.
In the oven, they create thin crust pizzas, ribs, fire roasted Brie, a western mac and cheese with fire roasted brisket, and much more, Boyer said.
"We've only been open a couple of days and people have just been screaming about how great the food is," Boyer said. "It's good and reasonable, and that's what we wanted to provide for the community.
"I guess everybody has been waiting for us. They've wanted something like this, because we've been packed since we opened," he said.
To reach the Village Vintner Winery and Brewery, call (847) 658-4900. Visit the website at thevillagevintner.com.
Arthur is coming: Childhood book character favorite Arthur Read is coming to Geneva this month.
He'll be visiting the pajama story time at the Barnes and Noble at Geneva Commons on Friday, June 8.
He'll be there at 7 p.m., and will be available for hugs from his fans, and pictures, too.
Kids also will get to hear some of their favorite Arthur stories, as the folks at Barnes and Noble read his tales aloud.
The event is free and open to all Arthur lovers.
The store is at 102 Commons Drive.
For information, call (630) 262-8568.
Amy Williams' column covers all the news of business along the Randall Road corridor from South Elgin to Batavia. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (847) 894-5036.