Four former Egg Harbor managers take over Rise and Dine Pancake Cafe in Wheeling
Four former managers for a popular local breakfast chain have banded together looking make a mark on Wheeling's Restaurant Row on Milwaukee Avenue.
Saying they recognize the need to balance retaining popular menu items while introducing new dishes, the former Egg Harbor Cafe leaders are using their roughly 80 years of combined industry knowledge at Rise n Dine Pancake Cafe.
They inherited a loyal clientele after purchasing the business at 102 S. Milwaukee Ave., just south of Dundee Road, over the summer.
"We actually looked at a lot of places before we landed on this one," said Buffalo Grove resident Carol Arriola, who worked her way to regional manager for Egg Harbors in Arlington Heights, Schaumburg, Wheaton and Lake Forest. "Ultimately, the reason why we chose this one is because of the feeling we got when we came in. It was very warm."
Interior upgrades have been made, such as a repainted dining area and bathroom renovations. Arriola said other work will include a new awning and sign.
On the menu side, Ivan Arriola, who met his wife through their Egg Harbor jobs, said the new owners made sure to keep the gyros and feta omelette and other favorites.
However, they are using their creativity in planning to soon debut new selections, including a carnitas skillet made with two eggs any style, marinated pork, tomatoes, onions, jalapenos and cheese.
"That's just something completely different from what they had in the past," Ivan Arriola said. "It's something new that's trendy and upbeat."
Rise n Dine customer Rayner Rehberger said he got to know Ivan Arriola at the Egg Harbor in Glenview and decided to follow him to Wheeling.
"It's beautiful," Rehberger said of the restaurant. "That's why we're here."
Gary Dudkowski and Ismael Andres, both of Geneva, are the other former Egg Harbor managers who formed the partnership with the Arriolas to buy Rise n Dine.
Dudkowski said the foursome learned how to treat customers and employees with respect and a positive attitude while at Egg Harbor and want to do the same in their own place. He was regional manager for Egg Harbor's Hinsdale and Geneva locations.
"All we needed was a building," Dudkowski said, "because we believe in if you give great service and serve great food, it doesn't really matter how much competition you have, because you'll build a loyal base and those people will still come."