Elgin >Bars & Clubs > The Walnut Speak Easy
214 Walnut Avenue, Elgin, IL | Directions 6012342.029089 -88.283537
Fri-Sat: 11am-2am, Sun: 11am-11pm, Mon-Thu: 11am-1am
Nice Place. Food inconsistent. – We were excited to visit Walnut Speak Easy. We found the place to be warm and inviting. Service was great. The place looked great.
We ordered five items. Two of the five were really great. The other three were in the "not so good" category. We were there during their "First Tuesday of the Month Greek Night". So the mediocre quality might have been accounted to the kitchen needing to handle to many items. The Greek Items might have been prepared awhile before hand so that might account for the issues with those items. Items on their regular menu might be much tastier.
Items we had......
--Stuffed Greek Grape Leaves - quite delicious and sauce was very nice. ***
--Chicken Salad - very good as well. ***
--Chili - too spicy and had some odd flavors. Others might find it tasty. Everyone at our table did not. -
--Sauteed Greek Shrimp - Rubbery and no flavor. Tasted like it had been cooked awhile ago and left to warm.
--Lamb - Overcooked
Overall, the place is very nice. And I hope that they are able to make a go of the place. But they may need to limit the menu to fewer items that they know are going to be prepared well.
downtown bar right here in Elgin – My first impression of walking in was, WOW what a beautiful place. This bar is an up-scale downtown sports bar. I thought i would be paying downtown prices but it's the same, even cheaper than other neighborhood bars i' ve been to. The staff was great, sat at the bar to watch the blackhawks and everyone was friendly and smiling. The owner was more than friendly and gave us a tour and told us about the renovation and pointed out the walnut bar i was sitting at, which is beautiful. For lunch I had the best turkey club salad ever!! The chef presented it beautifully. It had sliced avocado, tomatoes, scallions, bacon and real turkey, not that deli turkey most restaurants use. The portion was huge, it was so good all my friends tried it and we finished it. I actually found a place that serves excellent food. Props to the owner and chef! Thanks for giving me a new spot!
The chef and staff are geniuses – Props to Alex and company for sticking their neck out in what many outsiders consider to be a bit of a sketchy river town. Lived here since '83 in questionable neighborhoods myself so can attest to the "sketchiness". It is however what it is, and that is a good city that like all of us has a history. Alex and crew, by investing in the neighborhood, now the neighborhood within the SWAN boundaries which I other good people call home, have helped stabilize it further. Enough preach, now opinion; of which everyone has.
Food is off the hook good and reasonably priced. I've even taken pictures of my plates before eating their contents as generally they are works of art. Five Stars, nice job.
Floor wait staff, couldn't be nicer and any more hard working. My feet and back hurt just watching them. Five+ stars, please leave them 30% cause the food is so reasonably priced (see above).
Bar staff, Shelly O, where did they get her (asked and answered rhetorically)? Grace is the best single word. Epitomizes professionalism. Others are not as good, some downright rude or just plain unaware. Additionally, on bust nights there just ain't enough of them to go around. Recently a busy Monday evening saw myself and female companion be forced to leave and go elsewhere to get a drink, and I'm somewhat of a very patient regular. Balance equals maybe a three.
Alex, while brave for supporting the area with a shitload of likely personal money (thanks Alex), in my opinion needs to check his personal balances. Being a100% Hungarian myself, I am painfully aware of what being pure anything does to an individual as far as person to person interactions and skills. Sometimes good, sometimes, well in my case (as when dealing with an uncooperative attorney or ex-wife, Attila shows his ugly face but that's another story) not so good. The above mentioned exit due to lack of timely service, while patiently waiting for such, and my leaving a note @ the bar indicating I would settle up the tab at a less busy time in the future resulted in a somewhat rude phone call from Alex asking me to settle up soon. This was not the first such experience or unsetling interaction between myself and the man. I have also seen other less than comforting actions, either by Alex directly or at his hand thru his manager. Those actions are, in my opinion, inconsistent with a bar of this stature. More consistent with the back woods bars in my native land of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. a beautiful but sometimes dangerous place where sometimes knives are pulled on large drunk men to move them outta a persons way. In a nice way that is, just getting a point across, just like this review.
Remember, not easy to rile up, I'm patient as a vulture. Which is the motivation for this review. Been gathering respectful opinions for some time now, and the phone message axed it. Alex gets a one.
the best place in Elgin – The interior is priceless! The woodwork is beautiful, the booths and tables are comfortable, the bar is wide open. Even the bathrooms are something to see!
The burgers are great, the steak nachos are great and others in the group loved the fish fry and ruben. Highly recommended for family dinners or friends to chill.
There are plenty of beers to choose from, including a good number of drafts including Negra Modelo!!
Great NEW style, atmosphere and eats/drinks – This bar used to be a really scary place. I in fact never even went into the old establishment because of the sketchy interior and clientele. Since the new owners took over, The Walnut Speakeasy has been frequented by many of my friends and family, including myself. Great burgers, and other bar food, excellent atmosphere and really great place for sports watching. The bands on Sat nights have also been excellent.
The spot – You may find a great band in this local bar. I was there one night and saw this band Triple Trouble they were great! ****
bartenders – Rhonda is the best bartender ever! always nice, gets to know her customers,and always has a smile on! We want to see more of Rhonda in the checkered flag!
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