‘We flipped the whole script’: 15 Lakes builds on popular food truck, butcher shop with new steakhouse

By design, there are no TVs at 15 Lakes Prime Steakhouse opening this week at 919 Main St. in downtown Antioch. But a butcher’s bread and butter edible candle is another matter.

Instead, Executive Chef Duane Boslet and General Manager Steve Kahoun want the attention on premium cuts, signature sauces and countless combinations of flavors from a locally sourced menu made daily from scratch.

“We’re supplying quality. That’s what we’re focusing on,” said Boslet, who moved to Antioch in 2004, attended culinary school in Chicago and whose career evolved from family-style to include fine-dining restaurants in the city and stints as a corporate chef.

All in all, Boslet estimated this is about his 12th involvement in a food service establishment opening.

The partners already are known for the quality at 15 Lakes Butcher, 346 North Ave., and the food truck that had been based there.

The name is a reference to the number of lakes on the popular Chain 'O Lakes. Boslet described 15 Lakes Prime Steakhouse as a comfortable but not stuffy, fine-dining restaurant. There are plenty of menu choices to accommodate everyone and be different every time, he said.

But it’s not a place to grab a burger and watch sports on big screens. Is Antioch ready?

“There's already quite a buzz,” Boslet said. “There is very much a market. People want this here,” he added.

Antioch officials want “destination places,” Kahoun said, referring to the village’s investment in this venture and continued initiative to expand downtown offerings for residents and visitors.

Kahoun lives in Wheeling and grew up in the Northern suburbs. He said he has a degree in hotel/restaurant management and a family background in the restaurant industry.

  Duane Boslet, left, owner, and Steve Kahoun, general manager, are opening 15 Lakes Prime Steakhouse in downtown Antioch. The pair already have had success with 15 Lakes Butcher, nearby at 346 North Ave. John Starks/

For awhile, the pair had been considering going into business for themselves and had a specific scenario in mind: open a restaurant; follow with a butcher shop as an aspect of the steakhouse; and, make that home base for a food truck. COVID changed the plan with 15 Lakes Mobile Bistro hitting the road first in 2020.

“We flipped the whole script and started with a food truck,” Boslet explained. “Now, we feel it’s the right time to open that next phase of the operation.”

With the success of the food truck, 15 Lakes Butcher at 346 North Ave., followed in 2021. The quality of meats was well known and the butcher shop quickly established a loyal following that has multiplied.

“If I go to Jewel, I get mobbed,” said Boslet. He grew up in upstate New York and moved to Antioch because the quiet feel reminds him of his hometown.

During the past few years, Boslet has been working with the village to open a restaurant in Antioch. After checking seven potential locations, he and Kahoun chose the former Elite Embroidery store when it became available.

The partners received a $119,000 business incentive grant and the building owner got a facade improvement grant of $37,526 toward restoration of the original brick front and addition of large, sliding windows.

Boslet said those village incentives were “a big factor in our decision to continue the business here.”

Butcher shop standards, including proper raising and growing will apply at the steakhouse. Menus are printed in house and will change frequently to adapt to market fluctuations and keep offerings fresh, new and exciting, Boslet said.

The investment in business and facade improvements has attracted interest from the restaurant community, said Jim Moran, assistant village administrator.

Creating downtown as a destination for dining and entertainment has been a priority of Mayor Scott Gartner and the village board, he added.

  15 Lakes Prime Steakhouse, 919 Main St., in downtown Antioch opened this week in the former Elite Embroidery store. A village facade improvement grant was used to restore the original brick front and install large windows. John Starks/
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