Letter to the Editor: Riverview Restaurant Continues To Survive Despite Challenges

As Algonquin grew and the economy crashed, the restaurant is trying to keep its doors open for its employees and loyal customers.

To the editor:
I have worked for The Riverview for nearly two decades now.  In my early years, at the original location across from Port Edward, we were accustomed to lines of people waiting on Thursday nights for our Prime Rib, Friday nights for our fish fry and Saturday nights for our Beef Ribs.  We were always involved in and very crowded during the Founders Days Celebrations, primarily due to our loyal customers and our central downtown location. 

As the town grew and the traffic became nightmarish, the village decided to tear down our building and install a turn lane to ease traffic congestion.  Not only did we voice our objections over this but so did our customers.  Being the building was the first hotel in McHenry County, one would have thought that it was a historical landmark that should have never been demolished.  That was not the case and many years later, as one is stalled in traffic near the old Riverview building, it would make one wonder if the turn lane actually helped to alleviate the congestion.
We are a family at the Riverview and several of us have worked there for over 15 years. Our General Manager has held his position since the business was bought over 20 years ago.  As Algonquin grew and the economy crashed, we  struggle to keep our doors open; not only for our employees but for our loyal customers as well.  Recently our focus has been on giving back to the community.   The Riverview helps to support the ALITH Food Pantry, The Fox Valley Children's Organization, the Northern Illinois Center for Autism and local residents in need by holding fundraisers like Meat Raffles and donating food for a benefit dinner, etc.
We watch as restaurants are closing their doors around us and it is a great concern for us. Since the time the state and the village decided to tear down our building, we have lost business, mainly because of where we had to locate but also with the explosion of growth on Randall road; it is very difficult for a small restaurant to compete with the chain restaurants.  We are not owned by a corporation, but by a husband and wife and the loyal staff who have sacrificed so much to keep the Riverview open for business.
We would like to thank the customers who have stayed with us during our move from the original location, to our temporary delivery/carryout location, to our home now at 1320 S. Main Street and invite anyone who has not visited the Riverview to "give us a try."

Amy Schneider-Starzyk

Matt Shedor November 02, 2011 at 12:00 PM
the Riverview got the shaft from Algonquin... they still have the best pizza anywhere in the area.
Dorothy Kotscha November 02, 2011 at 01:42 PM
My husband & I are pretty new in town, but we love the Riverview. It's nice that they're open late since my husband tends to work late/get out of class late. The food's tasty & the staff is super friendly. It's the kind of place that feels like you're going to someone's house for dinner. I really do hope that they stick around.
Amy Wesol November 02, 2011 at 08:39 PM
I agree, best pizza in the area and we will continue to order from Riverview just as we have for the last 10 years! We all need to support this great local business !!!!
Savannah Ziegelbauer November 03, 2011 at 12:03 AM
Hi Amy, thank you for your concern. The headline is not mean to suggest that the restaurant is closing. I chose it because of your sentence: "As Algonquin grew and the economy crashed, we struggle to keep our doors open; not only for our employees but for our loyal customers as well." I will most certainly change it for you. I dont want you to feel like you have the wrong impression. Please feel free to email me or call me in the future. Thank you.
Algonquin resident November 04, 2011 at 04:43 AM
The Riverview should have been designated as a historical landmark no doubt. However, thanks to the name of progress (installment of a turning lane) that end was to no avail. The entire staff and customers have contributed to our community immensely by; stimulating the economy, charity work and by helping keep many fellow Algonquin residents with families employed. The Riverview has impacted many people in a positive light throughout the years and certainly deserves more accolades than, being thought of today as just another restaurant in Algonquin or for some being remembered as a place that should have been designated as a landmark (the old location of the Riverview). “It is not just another restaurant in Algonquin,” or a watering hole for locals to mingle; it is a family oriented full-service restaurant that adds to the value of our community.


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