WEST ROGERS PARK — Bob Adams, owner of Relish American Street Food, has opened his counter-service eatery in a portion of the neighborhood "devoid" of many food choices, he said Wednesday.
"As I drove around, I realized there was nothing in this area," he said of his new restaurant at 7210 N. California Ave. "It's virtually devoid" of options.
At Relish, he hopes to change all that — and it seems to be working.
"We've had people come in and say, 'Oh, thank god there's a place to get a taco, a hot dog or a hamburger."
Adams serves up a small menu of simple burgers, Chicago-style hot dogs, Polish sausages, chicken wings, tacos and hand-cut fries.
"I've always been a passionate home-cook," said Adams, who recently finished classes at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts.
That passion, and 25 years experience in the manufacturing business, spurred the 56-year-old California native to open shop.
Despite his first restaurant only being a few weeks old, Adams said he had "bigger ambitions for the Relish brand," which included opening a series of "gastrobars" — not "gastropubs," he says — on the North Side.
He said "pubs" were too reminiscent of England, yet "bars" are all-American.
"We're trying to do everything local," he said of his products, which include never-frozen meat from the nearby butcher shop. "It's all about small business. Small business is what keeps the country alive and really is the American Dream."
A ribbon-cutting ceremony with Ald. Debra Silverstein (50th) is scheduled at the restaurant at 5:30 p.m. Thursday. Adams will offer free samples and 20 percent off burgers and dogs.
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