In the restaurant business, and particularly in this economy, 10 years is a milestone worth celebrating. For a neighborhood bar, it means you might just have the loyalty it takes to be a local institution for years down the road.
Joe Daniel's in Palos Heights will celebrate all that it means to turn 10 on Saturday as the neighborhood pub and eatery invites guests to a free barbecue and bags tournament at the pub’s location at 12218 S. Harlem Ave.
“It will all be free of charge and there won't be a cover to see the live music later that night at 8 o'clock,” said manager Lynda Hansen, who has been with Joe Daniels for eight of the eatery’s 10 years.
Hansen said that great food and a loyal customer base are what have kept Joe Daniel's around, particularly through the tougher times of recent years.
“We have a lot of regulars here, but a lot of them were new faces not too long ago,” she said. “It's a nice atmosphere here—it's not really a bar until later at night.”
Hansen said that around 9:30 or 10 p.m., Joe Daniel's draws a younger crowd for sporting events and to play games, but it's also a popular place to grab an affordable lunch or dinner.
Joe Daniel's is a local Bears den, too, with a free halftime buffet for fans who can make it there by the start of the second quarter.
Hansen said that favorites at the pub include thin-crust pizza, the buffalo chicken sandwich and burgers, but she said a new menu will be released soon.
“We haven't updated the menu in a while, and this will have some more variety, some healthier choices and also some more affordable choices,” she said.
She also said that when it comes to affordability, customers who come by before 3 p.m. can get the sandwich special with a soda for $5.99.
In between questions from Patch, Hansen got up to take orders and pour drinks, including for a group of men at the end of the bar.
“I know every one of them by name. They are some of the regulars and great guys,” Hansen said when she returned.
John Kirby and John Baier were quick to return the compliment.
“I've been coming here since a week after the place opened,” said Baier, of Palos Park. “There is friendship and good food—I'll definitely be here on Saturday (for the anniversary celebration).”
Kirby, from Palos Heights, agreed.
“This is a true neighborhood pub. You feel comfortable and surrounded by friends and great staff,” he said.