Da Coach is back. As in, his restaurant returns to Arlington Heights starting next week.
The Arlington Heights location of Ditka's Restaurant will open Tuesday, June 24, and be the third and largest, of the former Bears coach's Chicago area restaurants, said Paul Woodard, managing partner.
The restaurant will fill nearly 25,000 square feet of space at the Trackside off track betting facility near Arlington International Racetrack at Euclid Avenue and New Wilke Road.
With almost 150 employees hired and a liquor license approved by the village, Ditka's is ready to get up and running, Woodard said.
"We are ready and very excited," Woodard said. "We love the city of Arlington Heights."
The restaurant will host legendary coach Mike Ditka and a few hundred of his friends and supporters for a private opening event Saturday night before the steakhouse opens to the general public, he said.
The opening will be kind of a homecoming for Ditka, who operated a restaurant at Trackside in the late 1980s.
Ditka now has restaurants in Chicago and Oakbrook Terrace, as well as one each in Pennsylvania and Arizona.
Woodard said the Arlington Heights location will be the largest yet and will have space available for special events, like weddings and banquets.
The Ditka's main dining room with have 312 seats, but there is an additional Hall of Fame room available for private dining with 250 seats and a terrace with another 125 seats.
Ditka's will be open for lunch and dinner Monday through Friday, and they will open at 9 a.m. for breakfast on Saturdays and Sundays.
The menu selections will also be a little broader and a little cheaper than at other Ditka's locations, officials said. While including the traditional steaks, the menu will also have sandwiches, entree salads, tacos, burgers and pasta.
"It's not the white tablecloth steakhouse environment like our downtown location," Woodard said. "This is a bit more casual. You can get in and out without having to spend an arm and a leg."
Woodard said Ditka's restaurant group was approached by officials at the track, and they liked the idea.
"We saw an opportunity here, Arlington Heights is definitely a growing community," he said. "We're trying to hit that niche of people who don't want to battle that traffic over in Schaumburg," he said.
There will not be TVs in the main restaurant, but Ditka's will serve food at a bar directly across from the restaurant n the Trackside facility where patrons will be able to eat and watch the races.