'Unique, flavorful, healthy': Phoenix Flame's roasted meats coming to Rolling Meadows
A Mediterranean/Latin fusion restaurant is bringing its flame-roasted meats and other homemade specialties from Niles to Rolling Meadows.
Phoenix Flame plans to move to the Rolling Meadows Shopping Center space at 3240 Kirchoff Road left vacant by Great American Bagel.
It's a major expansion and longtime goal for owner Yanko Dimchev and his wife, Margita, who started their business as a food truck in 2016.
In Niles, they have a dozen seats, but gained success as a carryout operation when they opened at the height of the pandemic in 2020.
In Rolling Meadows, they'll have a full-service restaurant of 55 seats and a bar -- for which the city council approved a Class A2 liquor license Tuesday night.
Dimchev named his restaurant after the mythological bird that rises from the ashes, but it's also a reference to the flames that roast the meats in their kitchen. With Dimchev's Mediterranean background and his wife's Latin heritage, they created a unique restaurant concept and menu that includes Bulgogi short rib, Mediterranean sausage, pork, chicken, shrimp, Canadian salmon and Argentinian-style New York strip steak. Many of those selections are available as entrees, sandwiches, or wrapped in low-carb, gluten-free yuca tortillas for the weekly Tuesday tacos special.
"Before, the formula for success was fast, cheap and quantity," said Dimchev, who started setting tables in the restaurant business at age 9. "Now, (people are) looking for unique, flavorful and healthy."
The city council in January awarded Dimchev an incentive package to aid in build out and startup costs. Under the city's restaurant incentive program, he will receive a refund of up to $5,000 in building fees, a portion of food and beverage taxes (60% back for the first year, 40% for the second, and 20% for the third), and a facade and interior grant of up to $10,000.
The shopping center location in what has been known as Rolling Meadows' traditional downtown has visibility and car traffic on Kirchoff, and lots of parking, Dimchev said.
"This location was exactly what I was imagining it to be as a restaurant," he said.
He says he hopes to open soon after completing renovations. When it does open, the restaurant will have daily hours from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., with a special brunch menu on weekends.