BY CAROL HICKS
---- — HOOPESTON — City Chef, 114 E. Main St., the city’s newest downtown restaurant, opened last week without fanfare or advertisement — and in the middle of a small crisis — to customers waiting to try the quick-serve fare offered.
Gary Wilson, originally from Rossville, said he wanted “to fill a void in Hoopeston for food” and ‘“draw attention to the downtown.”
“The downtown,” he added, “has potential. It just needs work.”
The City Chef menu offers specialty hamburgers and fries, Chicago-style hotdogs and Gyros, fried chicken sandwiches, salads, quick breakfast items and more. Hours are 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday; and 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Breakfast is served from 6-11 a.m.
Although ordering is done by the customer at the counter, there are booths, tables and chairs in which to eat, or wait for carry-outs, whichever works best for the customer.
Next year, Wilson said he plans to have additional sidewalk seating during the warmer months.
Future plans include purchasing the building and adding a larger dining area behind the present little corner cafe. Wilson would also like to open another food business in Hoopeston serving Chicago-style pizzas, Calzones and Italian dishes in the same quick-serve mode.
“I believe in Hoopeston,” Wilson said. “There is great opportunity here ... if the right steps are taken.”
Wilson also is the owner of Wilson’s Food Sales Service & Supplies located on the corner of First Avenue and West Main Street.