The Details: Terry Kaufman, Owner of Elm Street Grill | In Business: 4 Years
Hours: Monday-Saturday 11:00am-1:00am | Location: 113 E. Elm St. Argenta, IL | Phone: 217.795.2295 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tell us about your business…
For a great lunch with family, friends and co-workers, or a night out, stop by the Elm Street Grill for delicious appetizers, sandwiches, salads and daily/weekly specials. We are conveniently located off of Route 48. Great food made with fresh, quality ingredients at reasonable prices, friendly service, and a fun yet relaxed atmosphere are what we are all about. Perfect for a quiet lunch or dinner, meeting with friends, or having a celebration. Set in a historical 1887 structure, so you can enjoy the ambiance of high tin ceilings, beautiful hardwood floors, and the original 1887 facade. We have tables and booths, or feel free to sit outside on the patio or at the bar. We offer weekly specials, and carryout is available.
What did you do?
I bought a bar to turn into a restaurant. I wanted to provide the service in the town I grew up in.
What makes your business unique/special?
We brought a restaurant and bar back to Argenta, when there hadn’t been one for a while. And we’ve even started doing delivery, now that we offer pizza.
What item on your menu do you just LOVE and think everyone needs?
I’m a fan of the buffalo chicken wrap. We started doing fresh pizza – we do the dough, the sauce ourselves, and use all fresh ingredients. Our meat combo and our buffalo pizza are really popular.
In what way have you gone above/beyond in the past for a customer?
We use the term “guest,” because we like everyone to feel welcome, to give them a warm feeling when they come in. We’ve done a couple benefits for the son of a friend who’s going through some tough times. We almost raised $18,000 to send this kid to Panama to get stem cell treatment. Those benefits, it’s nice to see the community come together. That’s as rewarding if not more rewarding to see the looks on their faces and know you’ve touched them.
What is the coolest thing you’ve ever had a client do for you?
The attendance when we have events, to see the people support, just because it’s you. The simple fact of getting a compliment and knowing they mean it.
What tool/equipment/or other vendor could you not imagine doing business without?
I’ve got some really good people working for me. I’ve got some people overworked because it’s so hard to find good people. My girlfriend, Heather Staffer, manages the bar for me when she can. My staff is my best tool.
What other local business do you just LOVE? Why?
My local food suppliers – that’s what makes it happen. MJ Kellner Food Service is a family-owned food distribution company. Hoelting Produce, they’re people who make it very easy to go to work every day. Skeff Distributing and Budweiser are another big part of the operation.
I love that some of our other favorite small businesses like Skeff are working together to make the whole small business community amazing around here! Check out our feature of Skeff Distributing HERE.
Tell us about YOU
I was working as a server at Texas Roadhouse working for Dave Hess and taking some classes. I loved it. I was approached by him to do management. I worked there 10 years, then for my good friend Todd Mason at The Beach House for four years. Then I ran Lincoln Lounge for about a year. I bought the bar after that.
WHY did you choose to do what you do?
Food is so vital; it’s connects to a lot of people. From the single mom or dad to the older widowed grandmother or the older man who can’t cook. It’s cool to provide a service for the village I grew up in – not only are they customers but I know them. That’s where it’s rewarding for me.
When did you know you wanted to go into this business?
From the time I started working at Roadhouse – I liked doing the service side right from the start.
What are you passionate about outside of your business?
I’m passionate about being a good father, boyfriend and son. My parents live on a good amount of land. My son is a freshman in college and I need to be around to lend a hand and knowledge to him. And if we can sneak away to a ballgame, all the better.
Describe your PERFECT day…
I’d wake up, have some breakfast, jump in the car and go to Jamaica or somewhere like that.
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See our other past small business features to connect with more businesses in our area:
- Styles & Smiles
- Decatur Coin & Jewelry
- Skeff Distributing
- Mint Salon
- Black Iron Coffee
- Shop On Main
- Jenner Ag
- Millie & Bo’s Pet Barkery
- Soundcheck Music
- The Secret Garden
- The Perfect Pair
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