ST. CHARLES – Living in St. Charles has been a dream come true for actor, singer and restaurateur Donnie Wahlberg and his wife, actress and television/radio host Jenny McCarthy.
"Both of us have really grown up in the entertainment business and traveled the world, lived in big cities and traveled in and out of big cities," Wahlberg said. "I think that in doing that for so long, we always kind of dreamed of that sort of – I don't want to sound corny – but fairy tale life, where you just live in a small town and your kids can go out and play and walk around the neighborhood. We found that here. She had lived in Geneva for a little while before we started dating. When we started dating, we took frequent trips here. And we'd stay in the Hotel Baker or in Geneva. We just fell in love with the place. When I saw how much our kids loved it too and how many friends they made, I decided just to surprise her and buy a house. So that's what I did."
Wahlberg and McCarthy were married at the Hotel Baker in St. Charles in 2014 and the second season of the A&E docu-series "Donnie Loves Jenny" showed the couple's move from New York City to St. Charles in 2015.
On Friday, Wahlberg broke ground on his signature Wahlburgers restaurant, which will be built at the southwest corner of Route 38 and Randall Road in St. Charles near the Meijer store. The chain has locations across the country.
Wahlburgers is a casual dining burger restaurant and bar owned by chef Paul Wahlberg in partnership with his brothers Donnie and Mark.
McCarthy will be launching her cocktail drink, Blondies, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. April 5 at Blue Goose Market, 300 S. 2nd St. in downtown St. Charles. The event will mark the Chicagoland launch of the drink.
Donnie Wahlberg said they are happy to be spending so much time in St. Charles.
"There's really no place better for us," he said. "We just feel at home. We felt welcomed here from the first time we both set foot here."
Wahlberg also is a member of the band New Kids on the Block and stars in the television show "Blue Bloods." He has spent some of his time in St. Charles writing songs.
"I don't know if I'm going to write a song about St. Charles, but I've written a few songs in St. Charles," he said. "In fact, I think I wrote most of the song 'Boys In The Band' in St. Charles."
The song, which New Kids on the Block recently released, pays tribute to the history of boy bands.
Wahlberg said he plans to spend plenty of time at the new restaurant when it opens later this year or early next year.
"I live four minutes away," he said. "I plan on being there as much as possible. What we've learned in the restaurant business is that it needs attention. It's not a business where you can leave it to other people to supervise everything and don't pay attention to it. My brother, Paul, is very meticulous about all the locations. And I plan on being the same way. I plan on being here as much as possible, helping out when needed, meeting people, saying hello to customers and doing whatever needs to be done to give it the best shot to succeed. Because that's what restaurants require."