Alice Banach of North Barrington had always been a rock-and-roll fan. She loved music and the related trivia. She just never expected to open a themed restaurant that would feature her family recipes.
"I kept beating professional cooks and restaurants with my barbecue," she said about competitions. "And that's when I thought, well maybe, I had something here."
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She and her husband, Terry Banach, held a grand opening last week for Rock 'N Ribs at the Village Square Shopping Center in Lake Zurich.
Terry, 56, who has a construction firm, built the restaurant after Alice, 52, used her creative background to design the eatery that opened last month. Besides a family atmosphere, the restaurant includes a charging station for eight different types of cellphones, purse hooks under the tables, and completely touch-free restrooms.
"Our combined talents really compliment each other," she said of her work with Terry.
All the recipes are cooked from fresh foods and from scratch and this summer she may introduce cross-ethnic specials, like Korean tacos, she said.
Alice, who is of Korean descent, always loved cooking and learned from her family, who immigrated here in the 1960s. She loved watching TV cooking shows, including "Galloping Gourmet" and Julie Childs, for inspiration, she said.
Terry was in the military police for the Army and studied electrical and mechanical technology. He started a small contracting business in 2012 that he operates in addition to Rock 'N Ribs. Alice graduated from the University of Illinois with a bachelor's degree in industrial design and then worked as creative director for Hefty Consumer Products, The Pampered Chef Ltd. and, more recently, at Uline in Wisconsin. She took a buyout when Uline was cutting back and seriously began focusing on cooking, she said.
The business owners lived in Hawthorn Woods and Lake Zurich before settling in North Barrington with their children Shelby, 18, and Brandon, 14. The two met on a blind date arranged by Terry's brother in 1985. They married a year later.
The idea for Rock 'N Ribs came about two years ago, Alice said, after she won for her barbecue recipe at the Willow Creek Community Church's Rib Wars, and then friends encouraged her to do something more with her recipe.
After being in corporate America for about 30 years, Alice was encouraged by her husband and took the plunge into the restaurant industry.
Now that Rock 'N Ribs has opened, the Banachs aim to give 10 percent of the restaurant's proceeds to local charities. The Lake Zurich Bears and the Lake Zurich District 95 Foundation were the first organizations they supported. They are currently supporting area lacrosse, library and educational foundations.
"We have always been givers," Alice said. "Even when we didn't have the restaurant. It was just a part of our religious perspective."
Wilkinson to retire
David S. Wilkinson, president and CEO of Strack and Van Til grocery stores said he'll retire on Aug. 5. Strack and Van Til, Ultra Foods and Towne & Country Markets have 38 stores in Illinois and Indiana. No replacement has been announced yet. Strack and Van Til is a subsidiary of Joliet-based Central Grocers, the nation's 7th largest grocery distributor. Ultra Foods has stores in Downers Grove, Lombard and Prospect Heights among others.
Wright to open SMQ
Brian Wright, executive chef of Standard Market Westmont, a chef-driven specialty food retailer, will open SMQ, its casual, open-air barbecue. SMQ is near the exit of Standard Market Westmont, under a covered patio strung with lights and equipped with a gigantic fan.
Jeff Urso has opened Beezer's Bungalow, a store that sells sunglasses, apparel, shoes and accessories in Lake Zurich. ... Kelly Haab-Tallitsch of St. Charles joins the board of directors for TriCity Family Services in Geneva. She is an attorney with Smith Amundsen LLC, ... Stefan Mühle is the new general manager at the Oak Brook Hills Resort. ... Eric Bryning has been hired as associate creative director at creative agency MacLyn in Lisle.
Attorney David B. Franks is the new chairman for the Illinois State Bar Association Traffic Laws and Courts Section Council. He is also a partner in the law firm of Franks & Rechenberg P.C. in Lake in the Hills. ... General Manager Sarah Natalie said Des Plaines-based Maxon Shooter's Supplies & Indoor Range marks its first year in business. ... Pam Kruse has joined Carol Stream-based MC2's Chicago location as global account director, where she will focus on new business development and client relations. ... Darrell B. Jackson of Naperville will join Seaway Bank and Trust Co. as president and chief executive officer starting Aug. 1.
Leon Garoufalis, president of Composites One LLC in Arlington Heights, said the company garnered the Platinum award by Great West Casualty Co. as a part of the 2013 National Safety Awards Program. This is the 12th consecutive year that Composites has been named an award recipient. ... Jeffrey A. Raday, president of McShane Construction Co. in Rosemont, said the firm will provide construction services for a new Walmart Neighborhood Market in Chicago.
Jody Jankovsky, managing partner at Black|Line Consulting in Naperville, said his firm was named to the Ingram Micro 2014 SMB 500. The annual list recognizes the top 500 fastest-growing Ingram Micro U.S. channel partners serving the small and midsize business market. The company ranked No. 400. ... Mary Bak, formerly the director of planning and economic development for Glenview, joins Kinzie Real Estate Group as a development services advisor. ... Realtor Suzanne Smith of Melrose Park has joined the sales team of Rolling Meadows-based Weichert Realtors Goodchild Homes.
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