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Features

Loyal patrons give Kendall County area sit-down restaurants a boost in tough times

Steve Buresh, owner of Steve Buresh's Cheesecake Store and Sandwich Shop, and his staff listen as Gov. JB Pritzker issues his stay-at-home order March 20. The business is at 1019 Station Drive in Oswego.
Steve Buresh, owner of Steve Buresh's Cheesecake Store and Sandwich Shop, and his staff listen as Gov. JB Pritzker issues his stay-at-home order March 20. The business is at 1019 Station Drive in Oswego.

Some Kendall County area sit-down restaurants have closed in the wake of Gov. JB Pritzker's shelter-in-place order, which went into effect March 21, but others are continuing to operate by offering drive-thru, curbside and other delivery options for customers during the COVID-19 coronavirus emergency.

Their loyal customers, the restaurant owners say, are helping them keep their kitchens operating.

TJ Hodges, owner of Grandma Rosie's Sweet Treats at 202 W. South Street in Plano, offered his thanks to his customers.

Hodges said he plans to keep Grandma Rosie's open through the shelter-in-place order.

"We really thought that we'd be affected negatively, but a lot of people have been coming," Hodges said. "We are keeping very busy."

The restaurant is now open seven days a week and is offering drive-thru, curbside pickup and delivery.

"I think that we do so much for organizations and everybody around here that they see that and are wanting to give back a little bit to us now during this wild time that we're in," Hodges said.

Nothing has been cut from the menu, Hodges continued, and, in fact, his distributor is coming more frequently.

"I've been going to different stores and looking for different items of ours to make sure that we stay consistent with our quality and stay consistent with the exact ingredients and exact products that we use," he said.

Steve Buresh, owner of Steve Buresh's Cheesecake Store and Sandwich Shop just west of Orchard Road at 1019 Station Drive, Oswego, also thanked his customers for their continuing support.

"My fans are the best. They have supported us from day one, and I know they will continue to," he said. "Even fans that have moved out of state have sent well wishes and bought gift cards to help."

Buresh said business at the shop on the village's west side has been steady with drive-thru orders, but the revenue isn't the same as if his dining room were open and full.

"We had some staff leave to just shelter at home," Buresh said. "The remaining staff is just ready for this to be over. We miss talking to our regular customers."

Buresh said he has a plan to keep his Oswego location and Plainfield open, even if it requires selling his car.

"I've been through a lot in 10 years running this business, and I'm not going anywhere without a fight," he said.

Buresh noted that he has made some slight changes to his menu, eliminating some slower selling items.

"We really are focusing on items that make the shop money, so we can continue to pay staff and bills," he explained.

The store is still taking delivery on the needed food items, Buresh said, but have substituted a few items that aren't available.

Art "Gonzo" Garza, owner of Gonzo's Rock & Roll Pizzeria at 9. N. Main St. in Sandwich, reported that in addition to his regular customers, local businesses have been reaching out to support each other over the past few weeks.

"This big community is awesome, sharing the support and love," he said.

Garza noted that a competitor contacted him recently to offer any help that he might need, and Garza said he offered the same in return.

"We're all in this together," he said.

Already offering delivery and carry-out, Garza said that the pizzeria has seen steady business with what he described as skyrocketing numbers.

"We've been busy, regardless," he said.

Garza also has made slight changes to his menu, but the menu remains for the most part the same, he said.

Garza thanked his customers and employees for their support and understanding.

"It's been huge," Garza said. "Customers going out of their way to help support us, therefore my crew and myself, we're trying to return that gratitude and give them the best service we possibly can. We're very grateful for the community to come together."

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