When I first moved to Algonquin about eight years ago, I was drawn to the charm of the historic downtown area. I love the small shops, proximity to the river, and of course, the restaurants. In just eight years, I’ve seen the downtown dining options fluctuate greatly. We still have old favorites like and , but several other restaurants have come and gone.
I visited downtown Algonquin one recent evening to check out a couple of the newer restaurants I hadn’t yet visited. I started with the , which has been open for about four months. It’s a small, simple restaurant with bright-green walls and tables, booths and a classic diner-style counter.
The chips and salsa were delicious, and the five-dollar burritos are gigantic. I asked our waiter, Juan Rodriguez, why his family opened the restaurant, and he replied “I honestly still don’t really know.” He said his parents one day just had the idea to open a restaurant and then made it happen. Here’s hoping they succeed.
After dinner, I went to Creekside Tap, formerly Bulkwinkle’s. The new bar has been open for about a year now, and every time I drive through the area, it piques my interest. In the spirit of trying new things, I went in. Creekside is one of those small, loveable bars that attracts diehard locals and curious passersby alike.
The atmosphere was mellow and relaxing, though the bartender told me that karaoke can bring in a crowd. If you’re a Creekside newcomer, make sure you ask for a shot of “creek water.” You have my word that it’s not actually water from the creek, and that it tastes pretty good.
Other local additions to downtown Algonquin include late-night stop and the fun and thriving . is also under relatively new ownership and a perfect place for a date or to grab a drink with a friend.
Walking through downtown Algonquin reminds me that the landscape is always changing, sometimes for the better and other times to our dismay. In either case, we adapt to the changes, say goodbye to old favorites and occasionally find new favorite haunts.
Before the winter weather makes walking outside more of a burden than a delight, you might want to revisit our historic downtown. Whether you drive through every day or rarely pass by, whether you’ve lived in Algonquin for three or 43 years, there’s always a new experience to be had. Besides, you never know what’s going to change next.
Be happy, be healthy, Algonquin!