We have been eyeing Circa 57 since it opened. The problem is that Music Man and I are eyeing it through different lenses.
Circa 57 is a new restaurant in downtown Arlington Heights, Illinois, and includes the space at the corner of Vail and Campbell previously occupied by the Grand Station restaurant and Peoples Bank. It’s got a wonderful location!
I was intrigued by the possibilities of their food mission. Music Man wasn’t so sure — he wasn’t interested in ever going back to the food of 1957, thank you very much. I was relieved to actually see the menu. Even though it includes throwback style food, many of the offerings are updated for the more sophisticated tastes of today.
“Get ready for a time warp Arlington Heights! A place where the food is good and the cars have fins. A time when some of the simple pleasures of life meant things like sharing a milkshake at the soda fountain, the daily Blue Plate Special at the diner, a hearty home cooked meal by mom, or a Tbone steak off of dad’s backyard grill on a summer night” (source).
We wanted to go to breakfast (menu here) on Saturday morning, and figured that even a 1957 diner couldn’t do breakfast badly. I was encouraged by the attention to detail in the decor. The working jukeboxes were complete with 1957 tunes.
The meals were served on rose and aqua Fiestaware — totally appropriate.
I am a corned beef hash aficionado and ordered the Route 66 Smoked Brisket Hash. Bad choice — and I’ve rarely met a hash I didn’t like. The brisket was cut up into tiny cubes, but it was dried out and almost tasted like jerky. It probably had been sitting around for a while; it doesn’t seem as though they are very busy yet.
Music Man ordered a veggie omelette, and his was well prepared. It’s hard to go wrong with an omelette.
Owners Anthony and Kimberly Priola have taken on a huge project and plan to convert several spaces in the Metropolis Theatre building into a large themed restaurant. Each space will have a different concept, but all are under the 1957 umbrella. You can read about their plans here — it’s very exciting for downtown Arlington Heights if they make their vision a reality!
The Priolas have completed renovation of the private party room from the previous restaurant. It is a recreation of a 1957 bungalow, complete with a pink kitchen.
The coffee bar also opens at 7:00 am for commuters and they offer a grab and go breakfast. Since I’m rarely up at 7:00 am these days — I’m retired, folks! — I will have to let someone else review this aspect of the services.
I plan to go back to Circa 57 with my girlfriends and try some of the lunch items. I’d like to support this local restaurant and its creative owners.