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Kopper Kitchen Site Will be Vacant No More

A brand new, revamped family restaurant is slated to take its place.

A brand new restaurant is going into the old Kopper Kitchen building at 601 W. St. Charles Road.

CSP Investment Inc. is asking the Elmhurst City Council to consider granting a liquor license to Kitchen Eatery so patrons will be able to order beer and wine tableside.

Kitchen Eatery will be open from 6:30 a.m. through midnight weekdays, possibly later on weekends, according to a memo provided to aldermen. The menu will offer breakfast, lunch and dinner options all day.

The location, on the northwest corner of St. Charles Road and Route 83, one of the busiest intersections in DuPage County, had been home to Kopper Kitchen for 40 years. For a time before it closed down, it was operating 24 hours a day. Kopper Kitchen also served liquor.

The restaurant closed in early 2011. At that time, a representative of the Elmhurst Chamber of Commerce told Elmhurst Patch the owner had died and the family was unsure about its future. But other media reports disputed that claim, stating there had been a family feud followed by an eviction.

The new owners are investing $500,000 into the development of the restaurant, which will include a major remodel both inside and out. The plan is for a "modern family restaurant with a nostalgic, retro feel." Annual sales projections are $1.5 million.

According to information provided to the City Council, President of CSP Investment, Chris Conglis, has 18 years of management experience and owned and operated a family style restaurant for eight years.

Vice President John Pappas has 15 years of restaurant ownership and management experience, along with 25 years of real estate brokerage experience. And Tom Samatas, secretary-treasurer of CSP, owns and operates two successful corporations related to the food industry.

The menu offerings at Kitchen Eatery are similar in nature to those at Kopper Kitchen but seem to have some added touches.

"Our menu will excite the palate, please the eye and remain affordable," Pappas wrote in the memo.

Menu items will include:

Breakfast—Eggs, omelets, skillets, benedicts and egg sandwiches; assorted types of french toast and pancakes, including caramel banana, honey cakes and nutella cakes; waffles with fruit, or ham and cheese mixed into the batter; berry, veggie, cobbler and bananas foster crepes; healthy choices like yogurt, oatmeal and fruit; and meat and potato side dishes.

Lunch—Signature sandwiches and wraps, like grilled roast beef with balsamic onion jelly, roasted turkey with pecan cream cheese and grilled lemon thyme chicken on artisan bread, to name a few; classic sandwiches and wraps, like traditional turkey, BLT club, reuben and tuna; a variety of salads.

Dinner—Baked macaroni and cheese, chicken pot pie, chicken and gravy with biscuits, meatloaf, fried chicken, grilled skirt steak, tilapia, seared ahi tuna and assorted desserts, including homemade pie.

Kitchen Eatery also will offer a kids' menu and some "Late Night Extras."

The liquor license request is headed to the Public Affairs and Safety Committee, which will make a recommendation for the full City Council. Aldermen will vote on whether to approve the liquor license at a future meeting.

The restaurant's tentative ground-breaking and opening date were not immediately available.

Lawrence Gunther September 17, 2012 at 07:49 AM
Samatas has owned the property this whole time, correct?
Karen Chadra (Editor) September 17, 2012 at 08:08 AM
I believe so, but I will have to get that confirmed at the City Council meeting Monday.
Jim R September 17, 2012 at 12:43 PM
Will be nice to have another restaurant there. It has a good location and the closing of the Kopper Kitchen was a loss. Sounds like the new restaurant has a good selection of foods.
Elm Forest September 17, 2012 at 01:30 PM
I am pretty sure this is the same family. One wonders if they ended the family problems to reopen and decided they needed to rework it into a grand opening of some other restaurant? They are just changing half of the name of the place or one word and the food menu is similar so kind of makes you wonder? People wouldn't be too enthusiastic to come back to the same Kopper Kitchen so they had to spin it? But come on, don't you think the public will not be too accepting of that? My thoughts are this isn't enough of a change. The new/old owners should knock the building down and rebuild something that wouldn't seem and feel like a couple of houses that had been joined together to make one building. You know an appropriate building to bring in over 2 million $ a year or possibly double the owners' projections. There was a rehab done on the building not that many years ago and like Steven's on the north side it seemed to be money down the rats' hole. Don't spend good money fixing up an old floor plan!!!!! Anyone who has been a patron of the Kopper Kitchen will not see any real difference after a few times there. If you build a new building that would Wow people and have a new flow they could do much more business. Businesses in less populated areas of the country do rehabs and that's good enough because that is all people expect. It's not that way in this neck of the woods. Kitchen Eatery may sound kind of new but it has too much of the old plate of goods on the table.
Karen Chadra (Editor) September 17, 2012 at 03:05 PM
Hi No Joke - Thanks for your comments. One point I wanted to make is that I have no reason to believe that the same family is operating the restaurant. The original family that operated Kopper Kitchen rented the building from Tom Samatas, who said last year in a TribLocal article that he was looking for new renters, but wanted to keep a family-type restaurant. He took the original family to court for nonpayment of rent and got them evicted. http://triblocal.com/elmhurst/2011/03/15/kopper-kitchen-closes/ I will get more information at the City Council meeting.
Gigi September 17, 2012 at 04:22 PM
My family and I went to Kopper Kitchen many times in the past, as my parents enjoyed their unpretentious fare. However, getting in and out of the parking lot was another story entirely. Perhaps that could also be taken into consideration for the new place?
Karen Chadra (Editor) September 17, 2012 at 04:29 PM
Good point! Tricky corner there.
Sharon Stancel September 17, 2012 at 09:34 PM
Who cares who owns it, as long as the food is good, and it was before, and the prices are affordable it will be fine. The corner needs to be freshened up and not another hamburger place. People got in and out before, they will do it again. I look forward to the opening and wish the owners well. Sharon
NOREEN QUINN AUKST September 17, 2012 at 10:02 PM
Ditto Sharon. I,too, look forward to the opening. I always enjoyed Kopper Kitchen and I wish all the best to the new owners. I cannot wait for it to open.
Sandy Zinkler September 17, 2012 at 10:21 PM
Me too, Sharon! You're right on the money. I'm also excited for MARIANO'S!
Lawrence Gunther September 17, 2012 at 10:24 PM
My point in bringing up the owner of the property was not to pass any sort of judgment. I just wanted to make sure I was understanding the most recent article with the two additional links from previous articles. I was one of many ppl who received a laundry list of what needed to be updated in the building to have it re-opened...I am glad he stuck with his property and wants to try something new.
Gigi September 17, 2012 at 11:33 PM
Hmm. In my opinion, when you are courting the public, you don't have the luxury of saying 'who cares' to legitimate concerns, among them safe access to your business. If you are fully ambulatory, and a good driver, I am happy for you, but not everyone is. I've seen some near misses on that corner as restaurant patrons inch out into active traffic and then, inexplicably, halt, forcing traffic in all directions to come to an awkward stop. It seems some re-configuration could take place to make the exits safer and the restaurant more inviting as a dining option.
Karen Chadra (Editor) September 18, 2012 at 01:26 AM
Here's an update on this story. The same person owns the property, the restaurant operators are not the same people who operated Kopper Kitchen, and there is no indication yet as to when they plan to open.
Mike Conner September 21, 2012 at 01:34 AM
Everyone the button line is its jobs for the community by people who are locals who are putting there money back in to the community .Mr Samatas is born and raised in Elmhurst
Pete October 02, 2012 at 04:22 PM
Hope they include ice cream creations on the menu. Always enjoy having a place to sit down to enjoy a sundae or banana split.
chris kaluzny October 05, 2012 at 01:38 AM
kopper kitchen was great & we are looking forward to the ktchen eatery... it will be like going home again... chris & elane
Erik Bloecks November 17, 2012 at 09:56 PM
It is good to know what is going on with that corner. I drive past there every day commuting to work. Duirng my short time living in Elmurst back in 1999 I ate there a couple of times.

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