Kooker's to move from Barrington to Lake Zurich

  • Kooker's is moving from Barrington after operating in the village for 28 years.

      Kooker's is moving from Barrington after operating in the village for 28 years. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

Updated 4/19/2018 8:10 AM

After operating in Barrington for about 28 years, Kooker's restaurant is moving to Lake Zurich.

About five years ago, Karen Swidergal and her husband, Jerry, took over the eatery, now operating at 301 W. Northwest Hwy. They said they run concession stands at Paulus and Staple parks in Lake Zurich and see more opportunity in the nearby community.


"We think Lake Zurich is a good fit," Karen said. Kooker's, expected to open by June 1, will operate at 620 E. Route 22 in the former Tasty Freeze location near 7-Eleven.

The casual dining establishment is best known for burgers, Italian beef sandwiches, gyros and milkshakes, she said. "We do things the old-fashioned way," she said. The burgers come from a butcher -- Orchard Prime Meats in Lake Zurich -- and fresh cut fries and homemade chili and soups are highlights, Karen said.

She added that the nearby industrial park and lack of competition in the area were draws to Lake Zurich. Ric's hot dog and hamburger establishment operated in the same Lake Zurich strip mall before it closed suddenly in March after 22 years.

Village leaders are thrilled with the new eatery. "We're excited about gaining yet another new eating destination for the Lake Zurich area," said Assistant Village Manager Kyle Kordell.

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"Oakwood Commons is a heavily trafficked destination during the daily lunch rush, serving the thousands of employees in the Lake Zurich industrial park. Kooker's will do well at the location they've chosen," he added.

Meanwhile, Karen said they will feature daily specials. For example, Tuesdays they offer a half-pound burger with fries for $6. The new establishment will provide carry out and seating for about a dozen customers.

Karen and her husband, who live in North Barrington, said they were in the trucking industry before taking over Kooker's. "My husband always wanted a burger place," Karen said.

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