New eats: 9 restaurants that debuted this summer in the suburbs

  • Anthony Chiaro of St. Charles delivers food to a table at Alter Brewing Co. Brewery + Kitchen in St. Charles.

    Anthony Chiaro of St. Charles delivers food to a table at Alter Brewing Co. Brewery + Kitchen in St. Charles. Rick West | Staff Photographer

  • First Draft restaurant and brewery opened in July at 250 Center St. in Grayslake.

      First Draft restaurant and brewery opened in July at 250 Center St. in Grayslake. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Las Monarcas Mexican Restaurant opened in Libertyville in June, and specializes in cuisine from Charo, a municipality in the Mexican state of Michoacán.

    Las Monarcas Mexican Restaurant opened in Libertyville in June, and specializes in cuisine from Charo, a municipality in the Mexican state of Michoacán. Courtesy of Las Monarcas Mexican Restaurant

  • First Draft restaurant and brewery opened in July in Grayslake.

      First Draft restaurant and brewery opened in July in Grayslake. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • People enjoy the patio at First Draft restaurant and brewery, which opened in July in Grayslake.

      People enjoy the patio at First Draft restaurant and brewery, which opened in July in Grayslake. John Starks | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 8/13/2020 2:43 PM

Opening a new restaurant has always been a risky business proposition, even in the best of times. And the last few months have been anything but the best of times.

Still, a number of new suburban eateries debuted this summer despite the pandemic. Here's a sampling of new spots and what they are dishing out:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Tom Bystol, owner of First Draft restaurant and brewery, poses in the new bar in Grayslake.
  Tom Bystol, owner of First Draft restaurant and brewery, poses in the new bar in Grayslake. - John Starks | Staff Photographer
First Draft Grayslake

250 Center St., Grayslake, (224) 541-4445 or its page on facebook.com

Opened in: July

Cuisine: Gastropub with 60 beers on tap.

Diners can be seated on the restaurant patio and rooftop deck. Indoor seating is available at reduced capacity.

Reservations are requested. Takeout is not available at this time.

Busboy Liam Normal disinfects surfaces at First Draft restaurant and brewery, which opened in July in Grayslake.
  Busboy Liam Normal disinfects surfaces at First Draft restaurant and brewery, which opened in July in Grayslake. - John Starks | Staff Photographer
Mora On The River

43 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora, (630) 660-3519 or moraontheriver.com

Opened in: June

Cuisine: Asian Fusion, sushi, American and Italian

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Outdoor patio dining is available, and work continues on its planned dining areas on the rooftop and in the basement. Mora On The River also kicked off Sunday Brunch this month and hosts special ticketed dining events such as All-You-Can-Eat-Ramen on select Wednesdays. The Aurora spot follows other Mora locations in Plainfield, Bolingbrook and Oak Park.

Syrup

2555 W. Bunker Hill, Algonquin, eatatsyrup.com

Opened in: July

Cuisine: Housed in what was formerly the Colonial Cafe, Syrup is described by its owners as "an upscale, modern farmhouse-meets-luxe breakfast and lunch destination." The menu heralds "made from scratch syrups."

Outdoor dining is available along with takeout and dine-in options.

Honey Berry Pancakes and Cafe

2708 N. Sutton Road, Hoffman Estates, (847) 619-0333 or honeyberrycafe.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Opened in: July

Cuisine: Pancakes are obviously a title specialty in this breakfast and lunch restaurant.

Outdoor dining is available along with takeout and dine-in options. Hoffman Estates is the latest location in the chain with outposts in Chicago, Warrenville and Lombard.

Las Monarcas Mexican Restaurant opened in Libertyville in June, and specializes in cuisine from Charo, a municipality in the Mexican state of Michoacán.
Las Monarcas Mexican Restaurant opened in Libertyville in June, and specializes in cuisine from Charo, a municipality in the Mexican state of Michoacán. - Courtesy of Las Monarcas Mexican Restaurant
Las Monarcas Mexican Restaurant

159 N. Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville, (224) 513-5079 or lasmonarcasmexres.com

Opened in: June

Cuisine: The menu is inspired by Charo, a municipality in the Mexican state of Michoacán, and migrating monarch butterflies inspired the restaurant's name. Handmade tortillas, tacos, tortas, gorditas, burritos and more are on the menu.

Indoor dining is available as are delivery and takeout options.

Hale Street Cantina

109 N. Hale St., Wheaton, (331) 716-7141 or halestreetcantina.com

Opened in: June

Cuisine: Mexican American fare and specialty cocktails. Hale Street Cantina is the latest road-named restaurant from the folks behind Jackson Avenue Pub in Naperville, Main Street Pub in Glen Ellyn and Main Street Pub in St. Charles.

Limited indoor and outdoor dining is available.

Wahlburgers

825 S. Randall Road, St. Charles, (331) 235-5200 or wahlburgers.com/stcharles

Opened in: July

Cuisine: Burgers, chicken sandwiches and more are on the menu for this chain restaurant with celebrity ties to Hollywood stars Donnie and Mark Wahlberg. The new St. Charles location features online ordering, delivery, takeout and curbside pickup.

Obscurity Brewing

113 N. North St., Elburn, (630) 320-2255 or drinkobscurity.com

Opened in: July

Cuisine: Beer and barbecue bar food are the specialties, and barbecued meat can even be added to the salads. Outdoor seating and takeout options are available.

Bartender Jack Wilbur poured a couple of beers at Alter Brewing Co. Brewery + Kitchen in St. Charles when indoor dining was allowed.
Bartender Jack Wilbur poured a couple of beers at Alter Brewing Co. Brewery + Kitchen in St. Charles when indoor dining was allowed. - Rick West | Staff Photographer
Alter Brewing Co. Brewery + Kitchen

12 S. First St., St. Charles, (331) 901-5949 or alterbrewing.com

Opened in: May

Cuisine: Brew pub that specializes in craft beer and a full menu of entrees, sandwiches and more. There are "Growler and Crowler" specials on select Wednesdays.

Patio and limited indoor seating is available, though reservations are not being taken at this time. The St. Charles Brewery + Kitchen joins the established Alter Brewing Co. Taproom location in Downers Grove.

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