Rookies All-American Pub & Grill
After graduating from Northern Illinois University, Bob Karas decided he would open his first Rookies All-American Pub & Grill, achieving a lifelong dream of owning a sports bar. Rookies’ St. Charles is the first of seven locations and part of 15 (soon 16) restaurants in the Karas Group.
“It felt natural to meld my passion for sports and restaurants into my career,” he says.
In the early years, he and co-owner Mike Maridis faced competition from local sports bar franchise Bud’s, now closed. The two concocted the $1 burger and hot dog special to separate themselves. It was really well received, Karas notes. “People couldn’t believe the deal.”
On the other end of the $1 burger is the $1 million plus renovation at Rookies’ St. Charles location.
“With nice establishments popping up all over town, our business did go down quite a bit,” Karas recalls. “We were able to buy the building in 2019, which led us to be able to invest more money in the space, which was sorely needed.
“We completely gutted the dining areas, bar & bathrooms. We removed the low ceilings, which made a huge impact, added exposed ductwork, and all new audio/video. New decor, new lighting, new tables, chairs and booths…..We also added a nice patio with an outdoor bar, tvs, stage for live music, pergola, and fire features. We added new masonry on the building, did parking lot repairs, all new sidewalks. There wasn’t much we didn’t do,” Karas explained.
“People love the new look and business is popping. We are proud to be in St Charles and one of the first business people see when coming down Route 64 from the Randall corridor. We hope to be here for a long time.”
Old Republic Kitchen + Bar
Old Republic is an upbeat indoor/outdoor hub with classic American eats, beer & cocktails, plus live music & TV sports located on the west side of Elgin on Randall Road and Rt. 20. The OR continues the tradition from The Village Squire, Rookies Sports Pub, and Alexander’s Cafe of family friendly establishments in the Fox Valley Area. The kitchen is American-focused and features specialties from all over the country – including award winning burgers, thin and crispy pizza, smoked meats, fresh fish (including lake superior walleye), prime steaks & legendary drinks! Another Good Place to Be!
- Voted Best Hamburger Three Years in a Row Since 2020. 2020, 2021, 2022 – Daily Herald
- Voted Best Beer Garden Three Years in a Row Since 2020. 2020, 2021, 2022 – Daily Herald
- Voted Best Outdoor Eatery Three Years in a Row Since 2020. 2020, 2021, 2022 – Daily Herald
155 S. Randall Rd.
Elgin, IL 60123
The Beginning: The Village Squire Restaurants
The Karas restaurant legacy began in 1974 with The Village Squire in Dundee. Bob Karas’
father, Paul, opened the English pub-style restaurant with his brother, George. Today, the original, founding eatery is the flagship of the company. The brick and wood interior creates a comfortable atmosphere, and you can’t go wrong with any of the burgers, sandwiches, pizzas or pastas (and free “bobcorn,” of course). Many of the dishes feature a Greek flair, including the
popular gyros. At the South Elgin location, Chef “NY” Mike has been “instrumental” in the success of the restaurant, Karas says, who thinks of the popular chef like a brother.
The Village Squires also have a full bar available perfect for hanging out for dinner or watching sports on flat screen TV’s.
Locations in Crystal Lake, Dundee, McHenry and South Elgin.
Alexander’s was named after our great hero, Alexander The Great, from Macedonia, Northern Greece, where we are from.
Alexander’s serves breakfast & lunch with a menu that features eggceptional specialties, breakfast combos, omelettes, skillets, benedicts, pancakes & french toast, waffles & crepes, burgers & sandwiches, paninis & wraps, healthy meals, fresh salads, juices, eye opening cocktails, various coffee & tea creations and hot chocolate.
St. Charles Location – 1725 N. State Street, St. Charles, IL 60174′ Elgin Location – 1650 W. Main Street, Elgin, IL 60123