The 13th La Grange Restaurant Week runs Feb. 22 to March 3

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Soon, cheesecake addicts can get three slices for the price of two, at least as long as the 2024 La Grange Restaurant Week runs.

Chad’s Cheesecake, located at 15 W. Harris Avenue in the heart of downtown La Grange, is the presenting sponsor for this year’s Restaurant Week, and is doing its part to entice diners into La Grange’s restaurant scene, offering two slices for the price of one, a discounted annual membership, and 10 % off a whole cheesecake or party platter.

Chad’s sits in the space once occupied by Aracely’s Bakery, and when it closed in 2021, Chad and Becky Newell took over the space and immediately began refurbishing it.

“I was hired as the new La Grange Farmers Market manager from the La Grange Business Association,” Becky said, “and I was at an LGBA meeting speaking to the director and she was talking about needing a sponsor for the Restaurant Week. And, I thought it was a wonderful way to get our name out there to the La Grange community, which I am a big part of.”

Restaurant Week — an LGBA event — runs from Feb. 22 to March 3, with Chad’s not only being the presenting sponsor, but a new participant.

This year’s event is the thirteenth edition of what has become a winter tradition in La Grange, and an end to the usual post-holiday slow period. Visitors to the downtown area can take advantage of dining specials from 27 different establishments.

While many familiar eateries in La Grange return, such as Palmer Place, GP Italiano, and Kama Bistro, several establishments are new to the celebration.

In addition to Chad’s, new this year are WOOW Sushi, MAK’s House, and Marco’s Kitchen, the recent winner of the DiRona Award of Excellence Honor as one of the Distinguished Restaurants of North America.

Although most of this year’s participants are in the downtown business district, some, like Brother’s Mexican Grill, 1014 S. La Grange Road, provide an incentive to get out of the business district of what has become one of the busier downtown areas of suburban Cook County.

Becky Newell talked about how she and her husband Chad wound up in the business of making premium cheesecakes.

“Chad always made cheesecake, he had a really good recipe, and he made it for a lot of family and friends for years,” she said. “He started back in 1998, and my Dad always loved his cheesecake.”

When Becky’s father got sick and passed away in 2016, they discovered an old Facebook post of his talking about an upcoming party, in which he urged them “don’t forget the cheesecake … it’s the best.”

“That became our tagline,” she said.

In honor of her father, Becky originally decided to sell cheesecake out of Maison jars, working out of their home, and donating $1 out of every sale to the Lung Cancer Alliance.

The Newells continued that tradition of giving to this day, donating all proceeds to the Alliance on her Dad’s birthday and the day he died.

“It became really popular, and then I started selling to a couple restaurants and then I went into grocery stores … and we just grew and it became popular,” Becky said.

LGBA Executive Director Cathy Domanico talked about the importance of Restaurant Week to the downtown area.

“La Grange has emerged into a dining destination,” she said. “People will be able to sample unique menus from Marco’s Kitchen, Kama Bistro, the Elm, Steak and Vine, and more,” she said.

She went on to praise Marco’s Kitchen’s recent award, stressing that Marco Conte and his staff did “a brilliant job during COVID,” noting that it opened in April 2020, when the uncertainty of the pandemic was at its height.

Domanico made a point of urging patrons to get an after-dinner slice of cheesecake at Chad’s.

A complete list of participating restaurants and their specials can be found on the website of the La Grange Business Association lgba.com.

Hank Beckman is a freelance reporter for Pioneer Press.



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