As the owner of a third-generation family business, Jimmy Panagakis understands the importance of adaptability in the restaurant industry.
That's what fueled his partners at Dining Out Enterprises to spend the last year researching a new fast-casual Mediterranean concept. And it's why the Arlington Heights-based group is now launching that type of establishment at its former West Dundee hot dog joint on Route 31.
Kabob Kitchen, which is expected to open in mid-March at 551 S. Eighth St., will serve kebab dinners, gyros, wood-roasted chicken and fresh salads, among other Mediterranean cuisine, said working partner Dina Cardaras, Panagakis' daughter. The site operated for eight years as Maxwell's Hot Dogs before closing about a month ago.
"We were doing good before, but not as good as we wanted to be," Panagakis said. "We always change our restaurants. We always come up with new concepts because sometimes after a few years, things change."
The West Dundee location is one of eight suburban restaurants operating under Dining Out Enterprises. The group's first establishment, Dunton House, opened in 1969 in Arlington Heights, Cardaras said. It now operates under different owners.
Other locations include La Tasca in Arlington Heights; Draft Picks in Mount Prospect and Naperville; Johnny's Kitchen & Tap in Glenview; and Jimmy's Charhouse in Libertyville, Elgin and Naperville.
"We're extremely proud of our restaurants," Cardaras said. "We just saw a need for this new concept, and we thought (West Dundee) would be the greatest location to start it off."
Kabob Kitchen aims to provide the community with a unique menu that includes all fresh, handmade items, she said. The restaurant will offer carryout, catering and drive-through services. Online ordering and delivery options may be available in the future.
The Mediterranean concept could eventually be expanded to other locations, Panagakis said, "but first we want to give 100 percent here."
Kabob Kitchen is expected to open at 11 a.m. daily. It will close at 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.