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updated: 8/24/2014 12:21 AM

Roadwork testing Dave's patience

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  • Top Table will be opening soon in the location formerly occupied by restaurants Erik & Me and Sage Bistro along the Fox River near downtown St. Charles.

      Top Table will be opening soon in the location formerly occupied by restaurants Erik & Me and Sage Bistro along the Fox River near downtown St. Charles.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • The Kautz Road overpass looking westbound on Route 38 near the West Chicago/Geneva border is one lane in each direction.

      The Kautz Road overpass looking westbound on Route 38 near the West Chicago/Geneva border is one lane in each direction.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer


Based on my calculations, and information from the city of Geneva and the Kane County Transportation Department, it might take a long time to drive to West Chicago from my home on the west side of Geneva.

How long is anyone's guess. That would be determined by how many drivers would be brave enough to be on Fabyan Parkway or Roosevelt Road (Route 38) construction areas at the same time.

My ballpark guess? Let's say 45 to 50 minutes. Under normal driving conditions, even at busier times, it should be about a 15- to 20-minute ride at the most. Thankfully, I rarely need to make that commute.

In what amounts to an untimely barrage, the county is working on Fabyan Parkway from Kirk Road east to the Kane/DuPage line at the same time the long-term bridge project on Route 38 at Kautz Road has entered a new phase. Geneva officials are saying to stay clear of the area.

Drivers can now cross that bridge over the train tracks, though heavy work still continues and Route 38 is down to one lane in each direction. At rush hour, that equates to "ugly."

One of the alternate routes that officials suggest is Fabyan Parkway. Oops, did we mention that one is under construction, too?

He was Snappy: Colonial Ice Cream mogul Tom Anderson sent a note to say he was on the first crew that worked at Snappy Snack, a little hamburger joint that Colonial ran at Main and 11th streets in St. Charles in the 1950s and '60s.

I mentioned the place a few weeks ago when commenting how important the Dean Street neighborhood has been to St. Charles for so many years.

Anderson said the burgers were only 16 cents, not the 19 cents that I mentioned. Crunching his numbers, he pointed out that is 15.7 percent less.

Patrons could purchase seven burgers for $1, Anderson said, and two burgers and a "giant malt" cost 39 cents. French fries sold for 10 cents.

In the mornings, Snappy Snack customers could get a dozen fresh doughnuts for 59 cents and, when on a special, for 49 cents, Anderson said.

"The 10-stool restaurant was successful because parking was still on the two lanes of Route 64," Anderson said. "Truckers could stop and eat."

By 1959, Colonial Ice Cream also operated Snappy Snacks in Geneva, West Chicago and Sycamore, he added.

Restaurant revival: We are seeing a possible restaurant revival in St. Charles after so many years of watching many favorite spots close.

After two Greek restaurants, Dimitri's and the Odyssey, came and went at 3755 E. Main St., a breakfast and lunch place called Mother's Pancake House will operate there.

Also, the signs are up at a new restaurant called Top Table that will fill the location formerly occupied by Erik & Me and then Sage Bistro at 1 Illinois St.

Both of these new restaurants were targeting August openings and, as of last week, appeared very close to opening.

In addition, Karla McCleary, administrative assistant in the city's economic development department, tells me one of my favorite Italian beef joints is moving into the area. Buona Beef is scheduled to build on the former Deck Yard location at 2425 W. Main St.

The Deck Yard is being cleared out, and it's a pretty sizable chunk of real estate, so it will be interesting to see what type of building Buona puts in place.

We've mentioned before that Dunkin' Donuts will fill at least part of the former Goody's location at 2057 Lincoln Highway on the west side of St. Charles.

So things are shaping up a bit. Now, if a good place could reopen at the Rex's Cork 'n Fork location on East Main, that would be nice.

Will try Geneva: Mike Dixon was disappointed to find out that as many as 300 people were not able to get into the packed St. Charles Library meeting room to hear his recent presentation about his three years in Ukraine as a Peace Corps volunteer.

The St. Charles architect will make a presentation at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the larger Geneva Public Library community room. Plus, he's scheduling a date for the Batavia Public Library in January.

At the Geneva presentation, Dixon will bring a "Petition of Hope for Ukraine" for people to sign in a showing of friendship toward the country he had to flee when unrest with Russia became too dangerous.

Rebuild that mansion: It would be a fitting salute to John Farnsworth if the people who have been trying to get his Civil War mansion rebuilt in Langum Park in St. Charles were able to do so.

They've been holding onto the limestone that made up this Civil War colonel's mansion since it was knocked down, much to the chagrin of city officials, to make way for a housing development in the early 1990s. In addition to knocking down Farnsworth's mansion, developers also leveled the nearby former Valley Lutheran High School from atop its perch overlooking Geneva Road (Route 31). Prior to that, the school was home to numerous Catholic girls in the area who attended Mount St. Mary.

Either way, Farnsworth and his 8th Illinois Cavalry Regiment, which camped near Langum Park, is part of the city's history.

Now, the Camp Kane Heritage Foundation is looking to recreate the camp and the mansion in Langum Park.

City officials appear to be behind the cause at the moment, and longtime Alderman Jim Martin, who was dead set against knocking down the historic structures in the first place, has a chance to see this make-good put into motion.

Golf tomorrow anyone?: Geneva Community Chest golf outing organizers said they were still taking signups for the fundraiser at Eagle Brook Country Club, which has a 12:30 p.m. Monday shotgun start.

Call Steve Lillie at (630) 232-6696 or Dean Kilburg at (630) 208-1682 if you want to play.

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