101 W Campbell St Arlington Heights, IL 60005

Our Story

Circa 57

Where the Food Is Good, and Cars Have Fins

101 W. Campbell Street  Arlington Heights, IL Circa-57.com     (847) 392-1957

Get ready for a time warp Arlington Heights!  To a place where the food is good and 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 T-bone steak off of dad’s backyard grill on a summer night.  Tail fins were in, and Elvis was the King!  America was at the height of the baby boom, and Main Street USA was at the heart of every town.  You can picture it.  Can’t you?  A date at the Starlight Drive-in.  Waitresses on roller skates serving burgers, fries, and milkshakes, delivering them on trays that hung from the car window.  At the local gas station, full service really meant “full service” and gas was $.24 a gallon.   It’s time to experience the good life again right here in Downtown Arlington Heights.

It is our pleasure to introduce Circa 57.  A lifestyle, interactive, destination restaurant right in the heart of downtown Arlington Heights.  Taking over the former Grand Station restaurant and People’s Bank space in the Metropolis-Hagenbring Condominium Building,  Circa 57 will enhance the downtown synergy with a new and vibrant destination for eating, drinking, and entertainment.  The new Circa 57 restaurant will feature 7 unique interactive snapshots of life in the 50’s while maintaining a food first philosophy that will keep residents and out of town’ers coming back time after time.  A family friendly concept that is sure to appeal to all.

Our first phase of construction will focus on the remodeling of the Grand Station space and will encompass three of our themes – the Soda Fountain, a Classic Diner, and the vintage interior of a 1957 Bungalow House.

The former Grand Station bar will be transformed into a vintage 50’s soda fountain serving hand crafted sodas, floats, and phosphates along with ice cream specialties while the comical soda jerk’s put on their razz-ma-tazz behind the counter.  With vintage Seeburg Select-o-Matic Juke box selectors at the tables, a nickel can play you your favorite song while you sip on a cherry coke and enjoy a banana split.

In the main dining room, we will bring the classic diner back to life.  Sit at the counter or grab a booth, the Blue Plate Special is what the diner is all about.  Featuring breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as a new commuter carry-out area where you can grab a hot cup o‘ Joe and a giant home made sticky bun, old fashion doughnut, or some hearty stick to your ribs steel cut oats or Malt-O-Meal while you make your way to the train.

The last room of the Grand, formerly a private party dining room, will be converted to replicate the interior of a 1957 Bungalow House.  Mom is in the kitchen washing dishes while dad and sis watch TV.  Home cooked comfort food and dad’s back yard BBQ will make you feel warm and cozy, and if it’s time for Ed Sullivan, don’t worry, kids can even order a TV dinner so you don’t have to miss a minute.

Because of the Grand Station restaurant’s existing infrastructure, we will make full use of the kitchen, bar, server areas, and back of the house and focus efforts on the light remodeling of the dining space with our 50’s decor.  We intend to re-open this corner by early summer 2013.

The transformation of the People’s Bank Space will be more extensive (planned for first half of 2014).  A complete overhaul will transform this space into three more interactive vignettes featuring an automotive theme of the 50’s.  This side of the Circa 57 concept will feature a drive-in diner, a bar designed and built inside the service bays of a full size vintage gas station, and of course, no trip back to the 50’s would be complete without a drive-in movie theater.

Here, you can sit in a ‘57 Chevy Bel Air and have your milkshake and fries.  Stop in for a fill up at “Red’s Pump and Polish” service station.  Park at the Star Light Drive-in for a sci-fi thriller on the ultra HD 40 ft screen.  Don’t be surprised if you see Marilyn Monroe or James Dean taking orders at the table, and you just might have to kick your shoes off and join in for an impromptu dance off led by Ed Sullivan while Elvis Presley sings Jail House Rock!  Our stage area will feature live entertainment that will keep the crowd tapping their feet and singing their favorite Rock an’ Roll songs of the 50’s.

The last proposed renovation of the space will tie both sides of Circa 57 together by transforming the easement through the Hagenbring Building into a vintage scene from Main Street.  With the existing exterior brick of the original Hagenbring Building beautifully restored on one side, we will convert the rest of the easement area to include a vintage department store window dressed with vintage clothing and accessories for each season, directional “street signs” for the Metropolis Theatre, Big Shots Piano Bar, and the Metropolis Ballroom, and even a city lamp post.

We are thrilled to soon be a part of the Arlington Heights community and can’t wait to open the doors on what is sure to be an exciting enhancement to the business community.  We welcome the Village’s input, and we would be happy to answer any questions about Circa 57.


Anthony and Kimberly Priola