New Upscale Restaurant to Open Near Channahon

Restaurant will serve breakfast, lunch and elaborate steak and seafood dinners.

Meals made from scratch and served to customers by a wait staff in an elegant atmosphere are not very common in the area. 

But hopefully by November 1, John Hicks hopes to have Hoof & Fin Roadhouse open so customers can come in and enjoy a home-cooked meal. He just has to wait for final inspections and complete some minor interior decorating and painting .

The restaurant, formerly Sara’s Place, is located at 3501 Channahon Rd. in Joliet. It can accommodate up to 200 customers at once and  will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner to the public. Saturdays and Sundays the restaurant will be open 24 hours.

“It (the later hours) will get the club people and those from the casinos to come in,” Hicks said.

Hicks said traditional breakfast items will be on the menu, but he wants to include speciality breakfasts as well. 

A traditional Irish breakfast, which includes Irish sausage and bacon, black pudding; a type of blood sausage; white pudding; similar to a kielbasa; eggs, tomatoes, boiled cold potatoes, Irish beans, white pepper, Irish butter and Dubliner Cheese will be a regular entree that customers can order, Hicks said. 

A Southern-style breakfast, which may include biscuits and gravy, eggs and crispy bacon, is also on the menu, Hicks said.

Elaborate dinners will feature a wide variety of fish and shrimp items. The meat entrees will highlight lamb and pork chops and steaks, Hicks said. And since there is that roadhouse, Southern feel to the restaurant, Hicks said he will include fried chicken, Carolina barbecue items and Johnny and crab cakes.

Meatloaf will be served and an occasional pasta bar will be offered, Hicks said.

“I like to do things my way,” Hicks said of the way he cooks. “I like to do different things. I want food to be fun and tasty. It has to have flair to it.”

Hicks added that he wants to introduce the customer to taste new things, but not at Chicago prices. In this economy, Hicks said he can offer his customers a meal that is affordable. 

“The first thing I want my customers is to “ooh and aah” and ask what is that,” Hicks said. “Than I want them to taste it and enjoy it.”

Blues music will be played in the background for patrons enjoyment, which will add to the Southern theme, Hicks said.

The restaurant has a banquet room that will allow for private parties and future comedy show nights, Hicks said.

Until the restaurant officially opens its doors, the kitchen is open to serve customers who come to, the bar adjoining the restaurant. Customers can eat at the bar or order their food to go. Those not wanting to leave the house can get their food delivered to them.

The current bar menu offers hungry customers burgers, sandwiches and upscale appetizers, including the Cajun Grilled E-Z Peel Shrimp; Angry Mussels, tender Prince Edward Island Mussels steamed with garlic, white wine, tomato and basil and Salt and Pepper Calamari; sweet milk dipped calamari that is tossed in pepper and sea salt, dredged in flour and fried until tender.

For 35 years Hicks has been in the culinary business; 15 years owning restaurants. He was one of the original owners and chefs at the in Channahon at Harborside Marina. In a few weeks, he is opening a Hoof & Fin Roadhouse at Springbrook Marina in Seneca. Restaurant goers will know that this originally housed Andrew’s On the River Front.

Hicks has a degree in food service and said that he will start out cooking in the new restaurants.

Editor's Note: When Hoof and Fin Roadhouse opens to the public, we will be visiting for Dining with Dawn. Want to try this new restaurant for free? Email me at dawn.aulet@patch.com and let me know.

Vanessa Holloway November 20, 2011 at 07:00 PM
Just wanted to let Patch readers that I received this from John Hicks. Just a reminder to you Vanessa that the Hoof&Fin is now open for business. We are featuring a number of daily specials. Taco Tuesday.Homemade tortilla's. Pasta Bar Wednesday. Made to order pasta buffet. And a fish fry on Friday. Rib nite starts Thursday after Thanksgiving with dollar bottles of domestic beer. Steak nite on Saturdays and fried chix and waffles on Sundays. Thanks, hope to see u and all your readers at the Hoof&Fin Roadhouse.
son of a son of a cumbers December 09, 2011 at 02:29 AM
if the Harleys in the picture are any indication of the clientle I'll be giving this place a wide berth. and who opens "upscale" in Pres Obummer's economy? you're better off catering to the recipients of food stamps- which is at an all-time high.
Debbie Fowler January 28, 2012 at 01:58 AM
Have been to Hoof and Fin on two seperate occasions, this is NOT an Upscale restaurant, food was not that great, service was horrific. Watched 8 people get up and walk out after not getting any service at all. We were sat at our table and was told by waitress that she would be right back and she never came back. Will NOT go back again.
KNikole February 14, 2012 at 09:03 PM
I've been there three times...first was OK (nothing wonderful, but certainly nothing bad), second was horrific (food), I thought we would try a third time to "make or break" it. The third time was a "charm" for sure!!!! It was disgusting. Being a "foodie" and someone that has years in the hospitality industry, I can say, I would NEVER recommend this place or anywhere in the future that he may be cooking. I think that it should be noted, that Mr. Hicks never had any financial interest in Big Fish; therefore, certainly never an owner. His food is mediocre at best. I believe that he does have skills, if he put the time and effort into it. However, his lack of commitment, organizational skills, messiness, and lack of ability to work a full 12 hours without drinking doesn't provide positive results. If he actually for once put his own money into it along with the hours of dedication a restaurant needs to survive he would "possibly" have a chance. He seems to have the ability of "gab" to convince others to provide financially for what he is unable to produce in the restaurant or in return. He seems to of "swam" away from the are of his "comfort zone" when all bridges were broken with multiple businesses and people, to a new area to implement many ideas that are "copied" from another good restaurant team.
Cedgar August 14, 2012 at 04:50 PM
I think the place is now closed. Exterior signs were taken down and no more signs in the windows.


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