ST. CHARLES TOWNSHIP – Closed since February 2012, the former Al Capone’s Hideaway and Steakhouse property is to be bought by the owners of Alley 64 in St. Charles and The Dam Bar and Grill in Geneva.
Jeremy Casiello said he, his brother and sister, all co-owners of the two other establishments, now also will own the former gangster-themed eatery at 35W337 Riverside Drive, St. Charles Township, near Valley View, after a closing scheduled Friday morning.
Casiello said he would not disclose what they are paying for the property but that the family plans to invest $500,000 to upgrade it, make it fully handicapped accessible and add an outdoor seating deck, so patrons can eat and see the river.
“We are going to take possession of it tomorrow and decide what we want to do with it,” Casiello said. “We’re probably going to call it The Hideaway 64, keeping it in line with Alley 64.”
Casiello said they decided to buy it after touring the property two months ago during an open house.
“We walked in there and fell in love with the place,” Casiello said.
The restaurant closed suddenly in 2012 and the property was in foreclosure. The Casiello partners are buying it from First State Bank of St. Charles.
The Hideaway was open for 38 years, leading customers from Route 25 along the Fox River by faded signs to the 1920-built speakeasy reportedly built by Chicago’s most famous gangster.
Located on the river, getting to the restaurant required drivers to go up and down hills and hairpin turns in a circuitous route that ended at a steakhouse steeped in bootleg history – right down to original Depression Era-glass windows, blurry with age.
The previous owners, Bill Brooks, and his son of the same name, used menus riddled with bullet holes, blood spatters and black-and-white photos of Capone and his Tommy gun – Thompson submachine gun.
Entrees included Teresa “Mama” Capone sirloin butt steak and Frank Nitti pork chops, and its wait staff took on gangster nicknames and wore black shirts, ties and fedoras.
Its steak dinners included a basket of garlic rolls with olive oil for dipping and baked potatoes with nearly a whole stick of butter.
Casiello said they likely would maintain the Al Capone gangster theme, but it would be a more affordable, family-friendly restaurant with a bar. He said another plus is that the property is unincorporated, which will allow them to offer video gaming.
“St. Charles and Geneva opted out [of allowing video gambling], and that hurts us a lot,” Casiello said. “A lot of people are coming here and leaving for South Elgin, and North Aurora, leaving our establishments.”
He said the family likely would host a grand opening celebration early next year, depending on the winter construction schedule, and eventually would be hiring 30 to 40 employees.
“We are just excited to get in there,” Casiello said. “It’s a landmark in this community that definitely needed to be reopened.”