Dishin’ Up Weekend Fun

McDonald’s offers up inexpensive family outings

Courier News
Janelle Walker, Staff Writer
May 28, 2005

SOUTH ELGIN — With two small children of his own, David Bear knows what its like to look for an affordable family activity on the weekend.
Although there are options aplenty for families in the Fox Valley and suburban Chicago, many can cost a family of four $100 or more just to find something to do on a balmy Friday night.

So Bear, president of Bearco Management, which operates nine McDonald’s restaurants in the northern Fox Valley area, found a way to provide inexpensive weekend entertainment for families.

On Friday nights, families can head to the newest McDonald’s, 453 Reddington Drive, to check out hot rods on cruise night.

On Saturday nights, local bands and musicians will play inside the restaurant.

There is no charge for either, other than any food parents may choose to buy.

“We are trying to become a family venue on Randall Road,” Bear said during the first live music night last week. A local cover band was playing music from the 1950s through the ’90s.

“There are a lot of young families here, with all the growth in South Elgin,” Bear said. “We are just trying to do a family-friendly event.”
The new McDonald’s is a venue unto itself.

The decor and aesthetics of the South Elgin location isn’t that of a typical fast-food store.

Countertops there are marble-covered, the wood is dark cherry and the dining room features a huge see-through glass projection TV. That TV serves as a backdrop for the live music.

Outside, the building’s design echoes the original Des Plaines McDonald’s. Huge double doors open to the outdoor seating. Chairs are freestanding, not bolted to the ground.

The restaurant also offers table service. Once an order is placed, customers sit down and their food is brought to them.

For young parents looking to get out of the house on the weekends, Bear thinks he has a good idea going.

“We are filling that niche,” Bear said.

Tonight, the live music will be provided by resident Lisa Tyndall, winner of February’s South Elgin Village Idol contest.

Tyndall also will be playing at South Elgin’s Riverfest Express in August.

Cruise nights are organized by Double K Productions, which hosts cruise nights in St. Charles and West Chicago, as well.

According to the Double K Web site, all classic cars are welcome at cruise nights.