ALGONQUIN – After 17 years in the restaurant business, Tammy Powers recently leaped into ownership with a new downtown Algonquin eatery that she hopes will entice customers with fresh ingredients and eclectic offerings, like an “adults-only” milkshake.
Powers opened Taste This Sandwich and Coffee Bar on June 20 after spending the last three months transforming the former Café Firefly restaurant into an outdoor and indoor lunch stop.
The latest restaurant in downtown Algonquin offers deli-style sandwiches that feature Boar’s Head meat, scones, freshly brewed coffee and a host of other beverages.
“The menu is quite eclectic,” Powers said. “Fresh-quality ingredients is what we are shooting for.”
Equipped with a liquor license, Taste This Sandwich also will serve its specialty “adults-only” milkshakes, an alcoholic twist to the traditional dessert, along with homemade lemonade mixed with a shot of vodka.
Powers’ restaurant also features regular milkshakes, lemon “shake-ups,” fruit smoothies and root beer floats.
The Fox River Grove resident said she eyed downtown Algonquin for her first business because of its community and location.
Taste This Sandwich is just south of Routes 31 and 62 at 301 S. Main St.
She spent most of her professional career in restaurants, working at both corporate and small, family-owned places throughout the Chicago area. Although never an owner, Powers said she has food management experience that customers will admire.
“I put my heart into [Taste This Sandwich], and I’ve got great people working for me,” Powers said. “This is my passion.”
Powers relied on her husband, Daniel, and her father-in-law to get the property ready for a summertime opening.
The two did most of the construction and installed the bar that centers the restaurant.
Coming with a passion for motorcycles, Powers said she styled the restaurant in a modern-retro look with a subtle biker and car theme.
“It’s been a complete turn around,” Powers said of the work done at the location.
Going forward, Powers said she hopes her food and service will make Taste This Sandwich a fixture in downtown Algonquin.
“All links have to be in place to succeed as a small business,” she said.
About Taste This Sandwich and Coffee Bar
What: Opened in late June, the downtown Algonquin restaurant offers lunch and breakfast items seven days a week
Where: 301 S. Main St., Algonquin, at the former Cafe Firefly location