Old Chicago Restaurant Review


Jackson Bruns, Reviewer

     Old Chicago is a bar food business based out of Bolingbrook, Illinois. Founded in 1976, the chain was built from the ideals of 1920’s Chicago, making customers feel at ease so they leave knowing where they are coming the next time they eat out. The Old Chicago company says that their restaurant is “A place where the neighborhood gathers. Conversations pick up right where they left off last time… not matter how much time has passed.” Old Chigaco is a national brand with hundreds of locations in 39 states as well as the District of Columbia. The business has partnered with many restaurants including, “Big River,” “Logans Roadhouse,” “Rock Bottom,” and “Chop House and Brewery.” After eating at a location in Hays, Kansas, I have evaluated their service, food, and interior. Overall I really enjoyed their business and would be willing to eat there again.

     The first step into the small brick building at 383 West Morpar enveloped me with warmth as a classic restaurant feeling covered the room. TV’s airing Sunday night football hung on almost every wall, and in the spaces that were not covered by enormous TV’s were picture-framed areas of Kansas. The restaurant was very neat and welcoming, there were barely any scraps of food lying around and the air was fresh as smoking was not permitted on the premises. The restaurant seemed applicable for any age or family, and guests have the option to make reservations, walk-in for a 10-20 minute wait, dine in, or choose curbside pickup or no-contact delivery. Old Chicago’s menu ranges in price from $1- $20, and the business is fairly easy to get in touch with as well, all you have to do is look at their website where all their information is posted.

     Shortly after we were seated in very soft booths, we were greeted with quick service. Our teenage server was very polite and kind as we quickly scanned the menu for drinks. The lengthy menu overwhelmed me, and because I am not 21, I decided to just have water. The menu mainly consisted of classic American food that you would normally see at a bar. After our server left, I noticed the larger circular bar that stood right by us, bottles of alcohol hanging from pins in the ceiling as if they were about to fall and cause a great mess. Bottles and glasses ready to be used for the next customer were lined up, all very clean.

     Just as quick as we had been asked for our drink order, they arrived. Shortly after being served our drinks, we were asked if we wanted an appetizer. We ordered the Sicilian Pepperoni Pizza Rolls, which were like miniature pizzas with crust in the shape of a donut and the pizza ingredients concealed in the center. They were delicious. I was barely able to take my fingers off of this starter dish, and hardly had enough room for my actual meal as I felt like I had already consumed my main course. We also ordered cheesy garlic bread which were orderly fashioned and seemed to have no major difference from any other breadsticks I’ve had in the past. For my main course, I ordered the individual “craft your own pizza” with Tavern Thin crust, red onions, black olives, and sliced pepperoni. When the food came out, my stomach forgot it was already full and started to grumble at the first smell of the steaming pizza. The pizza tasted okay, and I decided to go for my second bite even though everything was too hot. I really enjoyed the top of the pizza near the crust as there was less cheese and the pizza was easier to eat. Overall I really enjoyed their food, service and decorations, and the ability to choose different food options over dozens of different dishes.

     Although the restaurant seemed perfect, there were a few negative factors I found personally disappointing such as the faint music barely audible under the crowd cheering for the Sunday night football games. And as great as the appetizers were, I did not enjoy my pizza as much as I wanted to. My pizza looked odd as there was 75% of the cheese on half my pizza where on the other half of my pizza there was barely any cheese at all. Also, the entire pizza was covered in onions which meant that my pizza mainly tasted like onions. And the massive amount of onions seemed to be uncooked so they felt like slimy eyeballs and tasted raw. Even our server noticed the state of my pizza, apologized and explained that the cooks in the kitchen were highschoolers and were messing around. She offered to have my pizza remade; however, I had already consumed the majority of it and felt obligated to decline her offer.

     In the end, I believe that there are a bunch of improvements that this restaurant can make, and I believe that they can be easily changed. I would rate this business a 3.5 out of 5 stars. The restaurant had decent food, and I thought that the overall experience was enjoyable. I would definitely suggest Old Chigaco as a place to stop when someone is looking for a quick bite – they have very kind staff and an overall welcoming environment.