Are You Hungry?
Potbelly opens today, Tuesday, at 11 a.m., with Smashburger soon to follow next week.
The lights are on and brand new businesses are opening their doors on the southeast corner of Route 83 and St. Charles Road.
Potbelly Sandwich Shop is hosting its grand opening today, Tuesday, Nov. 15, after a preview opening to the business community was held on Monday. General Manager Jamie Lupo said from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. today, visitors can enjoy entertainment from a local keyboard player along with their lunch.
Featuring local musicians is a trademark of the restaurant,and Elmhurst has a lot of local talent, said Lupo, who has worked for Potbelly for four years.
"I'm putting ads out for people to come in and try out," she said. "We're definitely looking for local people, rather than pulling from other towns."
Potbelly is also known for its community involvement, she said.
"We do lot of donations of free sandwiches to local organizations," she said. "We also do fund-raising. We will give 25 percent of our sales back to an organization that creates sales during a time period of their choice."
Potbelly also brings in decor that reflects the community. Lots of Elmhurst pictures blend in with the authentic potbelly stove, vintage sign and logo, and pickle submarine—all in keeping with the company's "antiques store" ambiance.
But that's not what brings people in; it's the specialty, toasted sandwiches.
The Wreck is a sandwich with turkey, ham, roast beef, salami and swiss cheese.
"If you had to name our most popular sandwich, it would be a Wreck," Lupo said.
Add a bowl of soup, a salad, chips, cole slaw or macaroni salad and there's no way to leave hungry. Also popular are the hand-dipped shakes and fresh-baked cookies.
The shop opens every day at 11 a.m. and closes at 9 p.m. Delivery is offered from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday.
"I feel like people have been waiting for us," Lupo said. "We're all about the neighborhood sandwich shop."
Well, That's a Funny Name
Also opening up at St. Charles and Route 83 is Smashburger. The company's 10th restaurant in the Chicago area will open to the public next Wednesday, Nov. 22.
“We’ve had overwhelming support from Illinois’ burger lovers,” said Smashburger CEO and Chairman David Prokupek. “We know the residents of Elmhurst will embrace our 10th location as their new favorite place for lunch and dinner.”
The secret is in the smash.
"Smashed-to-order" burgers are made from fresh beef that's smashed and seared on a 400 degree flat grill to seal in the juices. They are served on either a multigrain, spicy chipotle, egg or pretzel bun, and topped with any number of not-your-everyday accoutrements.
Favorites include the spicy baja, with pepper jack cheese, guacamole, lettuce, tomato, onion, jalapeños and spicy chipotle mayo, or the barbecue bacon and cheddar with haystack onions. Diners can create their own masterpiece with a variety of sauces and toppings that range from sweet to spicy, and these can dress up a grilled or crispy chicken sandwich, as well.
Of course the All-American with cheese keeps it simple, with ketchup, mustard, onion and pickle, and the Windy City burger and Chicago-style hot dogs are favorites with the locals. Haagen-Dazs shakes, salads and sides like fried pickles, sweet potato smashfries and flash-fried asparagus, carrots and green beans are items you won't find everywhere else.
“We worked hard to give Chicagoans truly different and Chicago-specific tastes on our menu,” said Tom Ryan, Smashburger founder and chief concept officer. “Guests have been excited about these menu items and we look forward to bringing (them) to Elmhurst.”
Smashburger hours will be 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
Check This Out
Total Hockey was the first business to open at the new St. Charles and Route 83 development earlier this month. The Elmhurst location is its fifth in Illinois, and there are four stores each in Minneapolis and St. Louis.
The store offers everything for the ice hockey player, including skates and sticks, jerseys, helmets, attire, hockey games, goals, and all kinds of cool accessories and gift items. The store also has a comprehensive web site, where items can be purchased for delivery.
With all the hockey players in town, and 10 ice rinks in the Chicago area, this store already has been busy.
Hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.