'A welcoming environment': After pandemic delay, new Wheeling restaurant opens to customers
A much-anticipated addition to the Wheeling Town Center dining, shopping and entertainment complex has opened its doors after a pandemic-related delay.
Meat & Potato Urban Kitchen is serving customers at 403 W. Dundee Road. The work of co-owners Ted Zatos and George Kostakis, it's a spinoff of Meat & Potato Eatery fast-casual restaurants in McHenry and Carpentersville.
"It is a very exciting and interesting time to be opening a new concept and in a new location," Zatos and Kostakis said in a joint email. "We are excited to be in the area with the beautiful new development and meeting the people of Wheeling and beyond."
Entrees include meatloaf, pot roast, oven-roasted chicken and grilled salmon. The menu also includes shareable appetizers, flatbreads, burgers and an array of loaded macaroni-and-cheese options, including ones with chili and barbecue pulled pork mixed in.
Although the dishes are more complex than those at the other Meat & Potato locations, the owners insist the atmosphere is casual and kid friendly.
"We wanted to make it a welcoming environment for dates, singles, larger groups and families," they said.
Zatos, of Bloomingdale, has more than 30 years of restaurant experience -- but it's the first such venture for Kostakis, of Mount Prospect. He came to the field from corporate human resources.
They intended to custom-build the space and open in spring 2020 -- but then the pandemic hit, and construction was delayed a year. Difficulty finding employees this year further delayed the opening, they said.
Meat & Potato is the 11th business to open in Wheeling Town Center since construction of the complex wrapped up in early 2019.
The first business also was its first restaurant: Starbucks, which opened in March 2019. Other restaurants -- including Eggsperience, City Works Eatery & Pour House and Mia's Cantina -- followed.
Only one storefront sits vacant -- a 2,500-square-foot space next to Eggsperience. Two shovel-ready building pads await tenants, too, Village Administrator Jon Sfondilis said.
Sfondilis and other Wheeling officials are thrilled to see Meat & Potato up and running.
"Not only because it adds a new and unique flavor to the options for Town Center dining, but because it is further evidence of the strength of the project in a post-pandemic-shutdown world," Sfondilis said.
Meat & Potato is open nightly from 4 to 9 p.m. The owners hope to expand to lunch service within a few weeks.
For more, visit mnpurbankitchen.com.