By Leah Sander
WARSAW — Those craving the taste of Chicago can now find it in Warsaw.
Danny’s Chicago Beef opened Thursday, July 1, at the former Long John Silver’s building at 2601 E. Center St.
Danny Signore is the owner, and it’s not his first restaurant: he also operates the Barbee Hotel and Danny’s Sports Bar.
Unlike the other businesses, Danny’s Chicago Beef is liquor-free, said Signore.
Customers will find Chicago dogs, or Chicago-style hot dogs with mustard, relish, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, pickles and peppers. There are also Italian beef sandwiches, hamburgers, tenderloins, french fries, onion rings and cheese fries among other choices.
“Our beef is black Angus,” noted Signore. “Our hot dogs are all beef and our roast beef is choice cut, so we’re using good product, fresh.”
He said he plans to add pizza this fall. He also will open the restaurant’s drive-thru in the future.
The Chicago theme of the restaurant reflects Signore’s background. He originally hails from Blue Island, Ill., a Chicago suburb.
He’s been in the area part-time for at least 20 years and full-time for the past seven.
Opening Danny’s Chicago Beef was a family endeavor.
“I did it with my son (Danny Signore Jr.) to see if that was something he wants to do,” said Signore. Also involved is Signore’s daughter Mia Signore, who’s helping out this summer before heading back to college in the fall.
Signore has nine employees currently and is hoping to add more to his staff.
Finding employees at first was difficult, said Signore.
“We would find people to train and then because we were a little slow in … opening and then you know they wanted to move on and get a job that they were ready to start right away,” he said. “We were paying for training but it was only a couple days a week, so then you would hire two and lose one.”
Now that the restaurant’s open, Signore said he hopes it adds a sense of variety in the restaurant scene.
He sees the new restaurant to be an option different than what’s found at the restaurant chains in the area.
He’s open to modifying the restaurant’s menu based on customers’ suggestions.
Signore said he might not establish regular hours until after the July 4 weekend. When he does, he plans for the restaurant to be open about 11:30 a.m. to 8 or 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday.