Serving up an ace: Sand volleyball scores at bars across the suburbs
Though the popular Island Lake restaurant 3D Sideouts might be well-known for its extensive volleyball offerings, owner Jerry De Laurentis says that the sport wasn't always a part of the restaurant's features.
"Originally the place was a bowling alley in 1960 that my dad, my grandfather and my uncle built," De Laurentis said. "I worked there for a couple of years out of college."
The restaurant remained focused on bowling for more than 30 years, but expanded into beach volleyball after noticing a change in customer preferences.
"In 1993 we put in volleyball to offset the summer because bowling was so weak in the summer," De Laurentis said. "So we put in the volleyball courts by the bar."
De Laurentis said that the addition was a quick hit.
"It kind of took off from there," De Laurentis said. "It started with two courts. And then, in 1998, we added two more courts and locker rooms."
Sideouts, which currently has five full courts, offers adult volleyball leagues Tuesdays through Fridays and Sundays. The restaurant hosts tournaments and open play on Saturdays.
"On Monday nights all the courts are used by Sky High, which is the youth volleyball program," De Laurentis said.
With more than 60 years in bowling and nearly 30 years in volleyball, De Laurentis said it was fortunate that the restaurant remained a family business for so long.
"It's a long time to stay in the same family," De Laurentis said.
Looking for restaurants where cold drinks and hot food are never too far away from a volleyball court? Here are some options in the suburbs.
4018 Roberts Road, Island Lake, (847) 526-7174, 3dsideouts.com/
From bowling to baggo to live music to a multilevel patio and deck to a full bar and menu, 3D Sideouts offers just about everything. The venue hosts summer volleyball leagues and tournaments, which are based on skill level, from recreational to intermediate to cash competitive. Sideouts also boasts an expansive list of craft beers and offers daily specials, such as the $8 ultimate chili bowl.
Sideouts offers five sand volleyball courts, plus bowling, food and drinks at the Island Lake venue.
- Courtesy of Sideouts
Crossroads Restaurant & Bar
1021 Route 83, Mundelein, (847) 949-9009, crossroadsofivanhoe.com/
Registration is open for Crossroads' summer volleyball leagues, with the first league beginning Monday, May 16. There are different leagues for experienced and beginner-level teams that run Mondays through Thursdays. Private parties can also take advantage of a full-service bar and access to the volleyball courts. Morning ballers and early birds alike can take advantage of Crossroads' comprehensive breakfast menu and daily breakfast specials.
Downers Sand Club Sports Bar & Grill
1211 Butterfield Road, Suite B, Downers Grove, (708) 497-9689, downerssandclub.com/
The club is offering summer indoor sand volleyball leagues Sundays through Thursdays, June 5 through Aug. 25. If you get hungry, there's a limited menu and daily drink specials, including $2 High Life on Sundays, $3 domestic beer on Mondays, $4 craft beer and tequila well shots on Tuesdays, $4 imports and Bay Breezes on Wednesdays, $4 ciders and well drinks on Thursdays, and $6 mimosas on Fridays and Saturdays.
36309 N. Route 41, Gurnee, (847) 244-8300, fatmansgurnee.com/
Registration for Fatmans' summer volleyball season closes Wednesday, May 18, with the season ending Sept. 23. There are women's, men's and coed leagues offering recreational, intermediate and competition levels Monday through Friday and Sunday. Whether you go to play or cheer on your friends, take advantage of daily specials such as $10 16-inch pizzas on Mondays, $13.95 all-you-can-eat tacos on Tuesdays, $13 rotisserie chicken on Wednesdays, $8 beef nachos on Thursdays, all-you-can-eat fish fry on Fridays, and $20 bottomless mimosas from 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays.
Sideouts in Island Lake offers five sand volleyball courts that are open during the warmer months.
- Courtesy of Sideouts
1200 W. Hawthorne Lane, West Chicago, (630) 293-6700, hawthornesbackyard.com/
Sand volleyball leagues are just one of the many activities at this outdoor West Chicago hot spot, which also hosts bags, Wiffle ball and giant lawn pong. Register now for summer volleyball tournaments on Sundays, July 10 and 24, Aug. 21, Sept. 11 and Oct. 9. The venue also offers daily drink specials, live music on the patio on Sundays, free bar bingo at 7 p.m. Tuesdays and team trivia at 8 p.m. Wednesdays.
Jesse Oaks Food & Drink
18490 W. Old Gages Lake Road, Gages Lake, (847) 223-2575, jesseoaks.com/
A popular Gages Lake haunt, Jesse Oaks maintains indoor and outdoor volleyball options for year-round play. Take advantage of daily specials such as $1 taco Tuesdays or 65-cent wing Wednesdays before or after a game. The restaurant offers live music, too. Coming up Saturday, June 4, is the Beverage In Hand Volleyball Tournament, with games starting at noon. The rules state that players must have a yard glass with liquid in hand while playing. Register online; it's $200 per team.
85 Executive Drive, Aurora, (630) 978-2088, piazzaaurora.com/
Sand volleyball is a mainstay at The PIAZZA in Aurora. Mondays and Thursdays are competitive play days, while the three courts are reserved for recreational use the rest of the week. League play happens over three sessions, which are running now through Oct. 14. Don't miss the daily dine-in food and drink specials, which include everything from $4 Fireball shots on Mondays to half-priced burgers on Wednesdays. Plus, there's live music on the weekends, darts, shuffleboard and a beer garden.