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Have some 'wow' with your Whopper in St. Charles
By Amy E. Williams | Daily Herald Columnist

A new Burger King prototype restaurant is scheduled to open today, June 23, at 959 S. Randall Road in St. Charles.


Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

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Published: 6/23/2010 12:00 AM

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When you step into the new St. Charles Burger King along Randall Road you'll experience a blast from the past, mixed with a modern fast food dining experience.

The restaurant, which is set to open at 5 a.m. today, June 23, at 959 S. Randall Road, will replace the old Burger King at Route 38 and Randall.

However, remnants of the old spot remain. There is artwork on the wall, showing the old restaurant, as well a watercolor of the very first Burger King, which opened in 1954 in Miami.

You'll also find remnants of the area's past, with photographs of old sports teams and other treasures. There also is artwork from local photographer Brian DeWolf, showing famous landmarks in St. Charles and Geneva such as the Hotel Baker.

"You'll see sort of a salute to the history of Burger King, Burger King in this area, and the two towns we're between, St. Charles and Geneva," said Bruno Hilgart, director of operations and marketing for Gill Management, which is opening the restaurant.

Beyond the glimpses of the past though, you'll get plenty of today and the future of restaurants, he said.

The menu board is digital, with televisions featuring rotating messages and product shots.

There also are three 42-inch flat screen televisions in the dining room, one tuned to sports, one tuned to news and one with children's programming.

During special events, Hilgart said, all three can be tuned to something like the Super Bowl, with the speakers piping the event throughout the restaurant.

"We've got a lot of modernness into the restaurant," he said. "We took the typical dining room and invested twice as much into the dining room to give it more of a modern feel and to enhance the experience.

"We understand that guests today expect more and more from businesses," Hilgart said. "We think we've done a good job here delivering on a lot of fronts."

Even the bathrooms, he said, are modern, with seat covers, toilet paper covers and high-powered hand dryers, which help keep them cleaner.

Hilgart said they've tried to be as green, and energy-conscious as possible with the new restaurant.

The lights turn on themselves when it gets dark enough, and turn off when it's light enough.

And the famous broiler for Burger King burgers now runs on 110 volt power, instead of 220 volt, which reduces the energy necessary to cook the food, he said.

They also have the latest in drive-through technology, hoping to make the 24-hour operation run smoothly and efficiently for the customer.

The outside too, is modern, he said, with colored concrete and new landscaping.

"We really tried to make it maintenance free and beautiful," he said.

"We had a lot of comments from people saying it looks great," he said. "We're excited for people to come see the new BK."

Orange Julius: It was a staple at the mall when I was growing up.

There was always an Orange Julius around at the nearest food court.

But now the restaurant, which offers fruity drinks, can be found in many more locations.

The newest spot is along Randall Road in Elgin, where it is combined with the new Dairy Queen restaurant, just north of I-90.

• Amy Williams' column covers all the news of business along the Randall Road corridor from Batavia to Crystal Lake. Contact her at or (847) 894-5036.