Family-style restaurant opens in downtown Clarendon Hills
Business owner Shane Johnson (right) and chef Dan Polak were ready to greet guests at The Hills Cafe & Pizza, which in downtown Clarendon Hills. | Chuck Fieldman—Sun-Times Media
Food for thought
Name: The Hills Cafe & Pizza
Address: 34 S. Prospect Ave.
Business hours: 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday; 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday; 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday; closed Monday
Updated: January 28, 2013 6:17AM
CLARENDON HILLS — Better late than never.
And while never is when some Clarendon Hills residents probably believed a planned family-style restaurant would open in the village’s downtown, The Hills Café & Pizza opened its doors to the general public Dec. 22.
Longtime Clarendon Hills resident Shane Johnson was hoping to open up the restaurant about a year ago and was planning to call it Lindy’s. The idea was to have the village’s first family-style restaurant in the downtown area since Town Kitchen closed about 6-7 years ago.
Johnson said a string of problems encountered while trying to get ready to open for business resulted in several delays. He was both excited and nervous a few days before the Dec. 22 opening.
“I know a lot of people have been waiting, and from what I’ve been hearing lately, they’re still excited about us opening up,” Johnson said. “Especially with the economy the way it’s been, the concept is value. We’re offering quality food, and many different items, and making it a good value for people.”
Patrons will be able to order breakfast, lunch and dinner, along with pizza, which fared very well in taste testing by some Walker School students. The menu also includes pasta, broasted chicken, burgers salads and home-made Italian beef. The most-recent addition to the menu was pork loin, which was added because many people requested it, Johnson said.
“We also offer an off-menu daily special,” he said. “We’ll have something different every day that’s not on the menu. It’s a good way to test things to see if people like them. And we have a family-recipe cinnamon roll for breakfast.”
Johnson said gluten-free items are available, including pizza.
“We really want to have something for just about everyone,” he said. “Comfort foods are important to a lot of people, and having some health choices also is important.”
Johnson said four chefs would handle the cooking.
“They have about 100 years of experience between them,” he said.
Table service from the wait staff will be offered during breakfast. For lunch and dinner, customers will place orders at a counter, and the food will be brought out to them.
“I’m excited about all of our food,” Johnson said. “I really think breakfast will be big for us because nobody else in town is doing that.”
Those wanting breakfast-menu items at other times can request them, Johnson said.
“We’ll try to make whatever someone wants,” he said. “We’re offering quality with our food and service.”