Category Archives: Uncategorized

Lazy Dog is not a dog

What do you get when you allow dogs to eat at your restaurant? You get a lot of people bringing their dogs and sitting outside on their enclosed patio. You get a menu for the dog and a water bowl. Great concept for those people who consider their dogs to be their kids and cannot seem to go anywhere without them.

It is also a great concept for a restaurant that serves damn good food. From the bacon candy to the deviled eggs. From the grilled cheese sandwiches with sweet potato tater tots to the bowls of chicken, beef or tofu and a choice of three different sauces over rice, they have figured it out. Their burgers are awesome. Actually everything I have tried so far has been really good.

While they have had to limit the number of seats due to the pandemic, they have figured out how to work with it. You walk in, give them your name and cell phone number and go sit outside (or in your car) for a text. No standing around in the lobby area or bar anymore. Got to do that social distancing thing.

They have a very extensive bar and the bartenders are very friendly and will not be shy to recommend something to go with your meal. They also make a mean margarita according to a few people I talked to last time I was at the bar.

They do have take out and curbside service so if you are not ready to mingle with other people yet, you can always go that route.

For a national chain, they feel like a local place.

Heritage Square
436 S. State Route 59
Naperville IL 60540


Applebee’s, TGI Fridays, and Chili’s are trying to claw their way out of a restaurant death trap

(Business Insider)
The casual dining industry is in hot water.

2016 was the worst year for the restaurant industry since the recession, according to data from industry tracker TDn2K. The year saw a 2.4% drop in same-store sales — the biggest decline in more than five years.

The weakest link in the industry was casual dining, which was the bottom performer in all but two months of the year. And, some of the biggest names in the casual dining business are feeling the negative effects.

Ruby Tuesday is in search of a new CEO and in the process of selling 95 restaurants amidst falling sales. Bloomin’ Brands, the parent company of casual dining chains including Outback Steakhouse and Carrabba’s Grill, announced plans in February to close 43 locations after a “challenging” 2016. Buffalo Wild Wings — where same-store sales fell 2.4% in 2016 — is engaged in a power struggle with activist investor Marcato Capital. Stocks of Chili’s parent company, Brinker International, reached their lowest price in almost four years in late January after the company missed analysts’ predictions and cut full-year guidance.

“It’s tough to find one [chain] that’s doing alright,” Wedbush analyst Colin Radke told Business Insider.

Casual dining’s pit of despair

applebee's casual dining

The casual dining industry’s slump is rooted in new competitors better suited to meet customers’ changing tastes.

“In terms of casual dining, a lot of it kind of comes down to the brands that are just kind of dated,” Radke said.

Increasingly, customers — especially younger customers — are craving convenience, coming in the form of trendy and inexpensive fast-casual chains like Chipotle and Shake Shack.

The fast-casual industry grew by 550% from 1999 to 2014, The Washington Post reported. By 2020, the fast-casual market in the US is expected to reach $66.9 billion, according to the market-research company Technavio.

“They have more of a healthy perception, there are quicker service times,” Radke said. “The healthiness and the speed of service — that’s been taking market share from casual dining.”

The decline of the shopping mall has also hurt casual dining chains, many of which have a large proportion of locations in or near suburban malls and depend on traffic from hungry shoppers. TGI Fridays CEO John Antioco, for example, told Business Insider that the chain’s decision to open more locations in the suburbs seven to eight years ago contributed to the brand’s current struggles and sales slump.

Lower grocery prices are convincing more customers to eat at home instead of spending more to eat at casual dining chains. Going out to eat, diners’ options seem almost limitless, with CEOs worrying that the country is “over-retailed,” creating too much competition in the restaurant industry for chains to succeed. Plus, when customers are willing to spend a little more to sit down for a meal, they’re gravitating towards independent restaurants.

“When you think about the options people have today for food — prepared food whether it’s a restaurant or the high-end supermarket that’s ever increasing its selection, or it’s meals being shipped to your door from online services — our goal has to be to create an experience in the restaurants that makes Fridays being worth going to,” Antioco said.

The search for an escape route


River View Cafe

Take a ride down to the river in Montgomery, along Route 25 and you will find a replacement for the long closed Omega Restaurant that was on Rt 59. With a menu that spans more than ten pages of items from breakfast (served all day), lunch and dinner, you will find something for everyone at any time of the day.

If you like eggs, there are two pages of omelettes and skillets that are sure to satisfy your appetite. Pancakes, crepes and french toast? You can choose from over a half dozen of each. There are pages of different sandwiches, salads, burgers which make it hard to choose what to eat for lunch or dinner. And that still doesn’t include the Italian, Chinese, seafood, Mexican, Greek dishes that are also available.

Also, don’t miss the desserts. Their cream pies (chocolate, coconut, lemon, blueberry, butterscotch and more are amazing and they are only $2.75 a slice.

This place is the go to place when you don’t know what you want to eat because with so many options will easily find something to satisfy your appetite at very reasonable prices.