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updated: 2/22/2018 11:35 AM

Corfu in St. Charles not going anywhere, owner says

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  • Ari Golegos is the owner of Corfu restaurant in St. Charles. Contrary to rumor, the restaurant has no plans to close.

      Ari Golegos is the owner of Corfu restaurant in St. Charles. Contrary to rumor, the restaurant has no plans to close.
    Brian Hill | Staff Photographer


It was like one of any number of things seen on Facebook that didn't seem plausible. Maybe some semblance of truth, but it lacked some details.

That was the case when an item about one of our favorite "comfort food" restaurants -- Corfu on the east side of St. Charles -- was said to be floundering. The pitch was to go support this place before it went kaput.

The post on Facebook then disappeared before yet another popped up about a struggling Corfu.

Owner Ari Golegos admitted his restaurant is facing a slow period because of the weather, but the place has been around since 1980 and is not going anywhere anytime soon.

"I read the comments on Facebook and there were some good and some bad, as there always is," Golegos said. "I have no idea what triggered the original post either."

Anytime a restaurant patron is disgruntled about a menu change -- either price or some change in quality -- Facebook is there to let them say something. That's not always a bad thing, but it often leaves readers to embellish on something that might not be entirely true to begin with.

Golegos, like many other business owners, is looking for warmer weather to spark things soon. But he certainly didn't sound concerned about the restaurant potentially flatlining.

In addition to the competition from a million more restaurants opening since 1980, Corfu is unique in that it has also been a go-to place for so many longtime residents. It loses business when those folks go on to meet their makers or move to warmer climates.

My late mother-in-law is one who placed Corfu at the top of her list, especially when it had chicken stir-fry at a special price. Plus, this place is pretty generous with its portions, so she could eat chicken stir-fry for a couple of days.

Newspaper columnist Joan Arteberry Zavitz, who passed away a few weeks ago, was another who enjoyed Corfu over the years and former Mayor Fred Norris, who has been known to venture into Corfu often, doesn't live in St. Charles year-round any longer.

One of my former bosses made Corfu a regular breakfast stop for years, but he has since moved to California.

The late Jimmy Kacheres, a cagey downtown business owner, was always a cheerleader for Corfu, in part because he owned the building on East Main Street and Greek businessmen have each others' backs. His family still owns it, Golegos said.

"That was Jimmy," Golegos said when recalling how Kacheres would make the rounds or call media outlets to remind them that some young Greek businessmen were hard at work at Corfu.

Ultimately, it's just been a comfortable place to dine for good food while not worrying about the damages to your pocketbook.

Jimmy Kacheres might have blown a fuse in seeing something on Facebook about his beloved Corfu facing potential problems.

But it is certainly good news for loyal followers that Golegos is aware of what is being said, can address what really does need fixing, and keep a restaurant with plenty of history and tradition chugging along.

For film lovers:

The organizers of this event work so hard, you forget that they took a year off last year to sort of catch their breath and regroup.

But the Geneva Film Festival is back, this year "celebrating the art of independent film" for the 10th year on March 9 and 10.

The film festival has been staged in various locations throughout the city over the years, but this year it is somewhat centrally located in that both venues -- Penrose Brewing and Playhouse 38 -- are on Stevens Street in Geneva.

The full schedule of films and accompanying events is available on the festival website at

This event is called a festival for a reason. There's a little something of everything to spark attendees' interests.

Has to close shop:

Chef James Roth has cooked up a lot of wonderful treats for area pets over the past few years, but he has to close his James from the Kitchen store at 309 W. State St. in Geneva on March 31.

Roth posted on the store's Facebook site that he has to take care of his wife, who is fighting a rare form of cancer. That fight has taken its toll on both of them, he said.

"My goal is to reopen in the Tri-Cities in the future," Roth said in his post. Until that time, he is encouraging customers to shop online through the store's website.

Customers also can still reach them at (630) 486-2574.

Let's eat fish:

It's that time of year again, when this good Catholic boy is on the hunt for a Friday night fish fry. Or at least a good fish sandwich.

I've shared my research on this in the past, and like anything else related to food, everyone has likes and dislikes.

For my money, the Lenten season goes quite well at home with fish bought from a market or store. And a few churches in the area offer a Friday night fish fry, including St. Peter in Geneva doing it for the second year now.

Went out and about, the fish and chips at Claddagh Irish Pub in Geneva is off the charts. And for a good fish sandwich at a quick-serve joint, I almost always find the fish filet at McDonald's to be tasty and Culver's has an excellent one as well. But my favorite is the cod sandwich at Wendy's.

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