Monday saw the opening of Algonquin's newest business, The Thirsty Whale in Algonquin Commons. The enterprise fits Algonquin Community Development Director Russ Farnum's thesis that local entrepreneurs will lead the area's recovery. Huntley's Niko Kanakaris and Lake in the Hill's Frank Prokos are the restaurant's partners.
"Sure I'm local," said Kanakaris for whom the Thirsty Whale marks his fourth current restaurant. "I graduated from Algonquin high school. I've been here 22 years."
The Thirsty Whale is located in the former location of the Red Star Tavern which shut its doors last year. The Red Star was part of a small national chain featuring "upscale comfort food" that expanded rapidly, hit some rough spots and finally imploded.
"We're a sports bar and restaurant with reasonable prices," said Kanakaris trying to figure out how much to charge for a Jagerbomb. That's kind of a New Age Boilermaker with bitters and caffeine. "Which glass are we using?"
Monday wasn't the Thirsty Whale's grand opening, just its opening. "We'll have a Grand Opening," said Prokos. "We just don't know when yet."
The Thirsty whale is next to Connie's Pizza across from Cheeseburger in Paradise.