South Elgin's Stanley's Restaurant expanding to West Dundee
Eight years since opening a restaurant in his hometown of South Elgin, Scott Stanley is expanding his business into another Fox Valley community where his roots run deep.
West Dundee is the village where Stanley's ancestors settled when they moved from Germany to the U.S. in the early 1900s. It's where Stanley lived for the first year of his life and where he can recall visiting his grandparents during his childhood.
And this fall, it'll be home to his second dining establishment: Stanley's Restaurant and Tavern.
"I feel very comfortable there," Stanley said. "I feel like I'm in my hometown. It's very welcoming."
Stanley started eyeing the former Bootleggers Kitchen and Pub building at 629 S. Eighth St. about two years ago, not long after the Prohibition-themed restaurant ceased operations.
At the time, the recently renovated site was in the midst of being sold to investors, property owner Tom Roeser said. When they failed, he said, he had to go through a roughly two-year foreclosure process to get the building back.
"During the foreclosure fight, I looked at who could be a good operator," Roeser said. "Scott won the right to do that."
Other than some fresh paint and updated decor, Stanley isn't planning to make major modifications to the building. The site gives off a different vibe than his industrial-looking South Elgin establishment -- called Stanley's Restaurant and Ale House -- and likely won't have space for pool tables and other bar games.
"It's more restaurant than bar," he said, "whereas South Elgin is more bar than restaurant."
Still, Stanley promised the West Dundee tavern will have the same menu, service standards and rotating craft beer selection. Food options include appetizers, burgers, quesadillas, sandwiches, pizza, chicken and other entrees.
Stanley hopes to open in late October after obtaining a liquor license and training employees. He eventually plans to add a few video gambling machine, he said, and down the road, he could even purchase the property.
"I'm not just investing in the building, I'm investing in West Dundee," Stanley said. "We want to be there for the long term."