The co-owner of a new Pekin family restaurant strives to treat customers with respect and make them feel at home while they experience what he says is good food and good service.
Pekin American Grill, located at 3200 Court St. in Pekin, opened on Tuesday. It is the third restaurant of the Dzambazi family, which has been in the restaurant business for 15 years. Immigrants from Macedonia with a restaurant in Aledo, Illinois, for a year and one in Muscatine, Iowa, for five years, the family’s decision to open a new diner in Pekin was two-fold.
“We saw an opportunity,” said Tony Dzambazi, co-owner of Pekin American Grill. “We thought (Pekin) needed another restaurant, especially on Court Street on this side of the town, and we also have some family in this area, so we wanted to be closer to them, as well.”
The Dzambazis’ two previous businesses served food similar to the Pekin American Grill’s menu, which Dzambazi described as “kind of like a Denny’s.”
“Everything will be fresh,” he said.
They will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, with breakfast served all day. For breakfast, people can expect dishes like omelet skillets, pancakes and waffles; for lunch, there will be sandwiches, horseshoes, and fried chicken; and for dinner, liver and onions, chopped steak and chicken strips. There will be a number of homemade, special dishes served throughout the week like prime rib, meatloaf, goulash, roast chicken, and various soups, such as chicken and dumplings, chicken and rice and chicken noodle soup. Once a week, there will be a special that you would see in Europe. These special, European dishes have yet to be worked out.
The idea of the Pekin American Grill was formulated at the beginning of last year, the Court Street property being purchased in May 2017. It took a lot of remodeling to transform the former car lot into a restaurant, Dzambazi said. Construction started in August and took about four months. One of the many changes was an addition to the back of the building.
Treating customers with respect and making them feel at home was part of the Dzambazis’ previous restaurants, and that will carry over to the Pekin American Grill.
“That’s just, I guess, the kind of people my family are,” Tony Dzambazi said. “We like to be very welcoming and friendly to everyone.”
Pekin American Grill will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sundays and Mondays. For more information about the Pekin American Grill or for takeout or carryout orders, call 309-346-3331.
Dzambazi doesn’t know if his family will open anymore restaurants in the central Illinois area in the future.
“For now,” he said, “we’ll focus just on here to make sure we take care of everyone.”