Plenty of opinions on favorite places

  • Folks grab an outdoor seat Friday at Town House Books and Cafe on Second Avenue in St. Charles.

    Folks grab an outdoor seat Friday at Town House Books and Cafe on Second Avenue in St. Charles. Rick West | Staff Photographer

Updated 9/12/2015 6:24 PM

In hindsight, maybe I shouldn't have asked readers about their favorite parts of town, or where they spend the most time, and also about their favorite places to simply sit and rest or read.

Excellent answers rolled in.


So, let's share the favorite parts of town this week and go with the favorite resting spots next week.

Some of these may cause you to say, "Hey, we do that all of the time." Or it might give you an idea for a combination of fun places you haven't tried.

I asked about which part of town you find yourself hanging out at the most. It could be a particular block or two, or a combination of two places on the same night.

One reader was quick to point to Century Corners in St. Charles, saying Town House Books and Cafe is a regular stop for his family or as a place to take out-of-town guests.

Another spends plenty of time on Third Street in Geneva, especially since discovering the thin crust pizza at Rascals Tavern and Grill, which recently moved into the location vacated by Gratto Italian Tapas.

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Going to The Office for food and drinks before a show at the Arcada Theatre was mentioned by a couple of readers, as was hanging out on River Street in Batavia, where some love both Pal Joey's and Gaetano's Restaurant.

For those who have a sweet tooth, especially after an Italian meal, some are suggesting Chianti's for dinner and stopping at the All Chocolate Kitchen along Third Street in Geneva for some sweets makes for an enjoyable night.

The best part of this information? There are literally hundreds of other combinations of places we can visit for a good time.

A big Beam change

Donna Steele is ready to leave her beloved Steel Beam Theatre in downtown St. Charles for a new adventure, possibly in Portland, Oregon, in the coming months.

"I have always wanted to be an actress, so that's what I am going to try to do," said Steele, now the "former" executive and artistic director the next two months. She knows she is leaving the theater, entering its 15th season, in good hands with Marge Uhlarik-Boller.


Evidence was on display during a recent special preview of "Good People," running through Oct. 4. Uhlarik-Boller directed this dramatic, tense and, yes, humorous play about how certain choices and decisions made as teens can shape lives forever.

A good play always sticks in your mind for days, and the various layers of character interaction in this staging did just that. Steele saw this play at Steppenwolf in Chicago two years ago and knew it would be a perfect fit for the St. Charles theater.

It was a special night indeed to gather at Abby's Breakfast and Lunch for cocktails and food before the show. Lots of people are catching on that this place provides excellent food, but let me add this:

The Reuben sandwiches were wonderful, but the strawberry cheesecake just about knocked us out of our chairs it was so good. My wife, who rarely partakes of the dessert portion of any meal, is still talking about it.

Those Wasco ladies

It was helpful the Wasco Ladies Aid Society did the math for me on a note they sent about a project to benefit restoration of Corron Farm. When you touch on local history, you want to make sure the numbers are correct.

First, let me confess. I had never heard of this particular ladies society, but lo and behold, it has been around since 1890. That's 125 years.

The ladies have been making a quilt to sell at the Corron Farm Prairie Fest, being held from 1 to 5 p.m. Sept. 26 at the 180-year-old historic farm.

We've spent a fair amount of time over the years at the Corron Farm, visiting with our friend Dave Corron and the various holiday gatherings he hosted before his family's property became an official historic site.

Anyone who hasn't had a chance to check out this farm should do so. It takes you back to yesteryear, that's for sure.

As for the ladies, their society was originally formed to serve the Wasco Baptist Church and community residents. In other words, they haven't lost sight of that mission over all of these years.

With the Bears

Many Bears fans may not be quite as passionate this year, as it appears the team again may be doomed to a significant level of mediocrity.

Lauren Screeden, a St. Charles North and Indiana University graduate, won't have that luxury. She'll be working for the Bears as a sideline reporter and co-host of "Inside the Bears," a show that appears at 6 p.m. Saturday on Channel 50 and 10:35 p.m. Sundays on Channel 32.

Screeden comes to the Bears after working as a weekend sports anchor for a TV station in Rockford. She also co-hosted "Sports Connection," a half-hour weekly show highlighting area prep athletes.

Uplifting posts

It was a nice change of pace to see in recent Facebook posts that a regular customer at the Geneva Starbucks off Bent Tree purchased a $50 gift card for the employees to use to pay for any police officer stopping in for coffee. When other customers heard about this, they chipped in as well.

So, the police have a bit of a coffee fund operating there.

Police have been getting all sorts of mixed messages lately, and the tragedy in Fox Lake was sad beyond belief, but this message was pretty clear. We appreciate the difficulty of their jobs and want them to know it.

Catches our eye

Sculptor Guy Bellaver of St. Charles had an interesting vision in mind when he created "reflections" to stand in the Volunteer Plaza near the St. Charles Municipal Center to reflect the volunteer spirit of Max and Doris Hunt.

We've stopped to admire this 12-foot tall sculpture three or four times already, and it's only been in the plaza since mid-August. That's what you call "eye-catching."

Any time you see an event taking place at "reflections," it's worth it to stop by simply to see the sculpture.

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