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 firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know.