Seafood restaurant coming to Oak Park in January

Local couple bringing Surf's Up from Hillside


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By Anna Lothson

Staff Reporter

The former Pizza Palazzo restaurant is about to have new life as a seafood restaurant, as the owners of a Hillside eatery plan to move into the space at 314 Madison St. in Oak Park.

Surf's Up, a Cajun/Creole restaurant specializing in seafood and offering soul food on Sundays, is owned by Oak Park couple Denise and Eric Roy. Their specialties include lobster, shrimp, catfish, fish tacos and fried green tomatoes.

The family-style establishment will seat about 35 people and offer dine-in and carry-out options. The menu gives customers the option for meals to be made into sandwiches, tacos or full dinners.

"I'm so excited," Denise Roy said in a phone interview Thursday. "It's my community. I've got ties here."

Roy said the Hillside location opened in January, but the closure of a Menards hurt traffic in the area. She also found out that their landlord had plans to bulldoze the site, so she and her husband decided it was time to pack up and bring the business home.

Roy said the Madison Street spot didn't have a "for lease" sign, but she noticed the space was empty. She tracked down the owners of the building through the village and arranged a deal shortly after.

"I would have gone to Oak Park in the first place if I knew I could just go over there and talk to [the owner]," she said.

Apart from a chalkboard menu and surfboards adorning the walls, the design plans aren't finalized, said Roy.

The building's owner — Spiro Papageorge, who owns Papaspiros Greek Taverna on Lake Street — said he was happy to rent to the Roys. He thinks the seafood aspect is unique and will help drive traffic to the area. They were the first people to approach him about the building, which he purchased in July.

"It's going to be more colorful on Madison Street," he said. "They will bring more activity. … There is no [seafood place] around."

Email: Twitter: @AnnaLothson

Reader Comments

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denise from oak park  

Posted: February 8th, 2014 9:55 PM

unfortunately our Oak Park location will never come to be our landlords were never able to finish the build out cant open up without bathrooms etc But good news we found a great new location down the street and we deliver order online or dine in 5815 W Madison our number 773-261-7873 fresh seafood is still within reach!!

Denise from Oak Park  

Posted: October 1st, 2013 11:46 PM

Surf's Up Chicago 5815 W Madison 773-261-7873 for our complete menu fine in or take out we deliver to Oak Park

Angela from Oak Park  

Posted: July 9th, 2013 8:36 AM

Hello, I enjoyed the food at the Hillside location and I am sure I will enjoy the food at your new location. I would love to chat with the owners regarding marketing opportunities. When will you open your doors?

Henry from Oak brook  

Posted: April 2nd, 2013 1:44 PM

With the right attitude you will succeed.If I can be of service,I provide business solutions, please let me know.

Alan from Chicago  

Posted: December 2nd, 2012 12:50 AM

Congrats on the new move. My dining experience at the Hillside location was awesome, I really wish you all were in Hyde Park or Bronzeville. My advice to you all is to listen to your customers, treat each visit as if the life of your business depends on it and lastly Remember that it is impossible to please everyone.

Belinda Jackson from Chicago  

Posted: November 30th, 2012 11:53 PM

I had an opportunity to have the fried lobster and shrimp it was good

candomarty from Oak Park  

Posted: November 30th, 2012 9:29 PM

Sounds like good news to me! I'm looking forward to going there.

RLM from Oak Park  

Posted: November 30th, 2012 9:19 PM

Welcome to the neighborhood! I know many of us will welcome another business, particularly a Creole style restaurant, in the area! At least I know I will! Good luck with your venture!

Eric from Oak Park  

Posted: November 30th, 2012 2:06 PM

their... Sorry didnt proofread the last message b4 I posted...

Eric from Oak Park  

Posted: November 30th, 2012 2:00 PM

I would like to apologize to anyone who feels that there experience at Surf's Up was not a pleasant one. However, we are not veterans in the restaurant business and thus are doing our best to learn from our customers and make changes where needed. In addition, we are residents of Oak Park and taxpayers of Oak Park and have been for a number of years. I know that for every bad review we have at least two good reviews and we are continuing to listen to our customers in effort to be a staple in

SteakBurger from Oak Park  

Posted: November 30th, 2012 10:19 AM

To KDecker: please get over yourself. If you don't like the way lobsters are prepared, then don't eat them; but your Nanny-State "I know better than you" sniveling is we're trillions in debt. We need successful taxpayers here. Eat more lobster!! Yum!

Roy from Oak Park  

Posted: November 30th, 2012 9:28 AM

Thank you Wednesday Journal for the great write up we are excited about our move, our lobsters are 1 to 2oz tails that we bread and deep fry we no longer grill the tails due to shrinkage we do offer grill items from a flat top surface Facebook


Posted: November 30th, 2012 7:28 AM

Hillside food was lousy found out from Denise grill was broke but I was sold lobster and catfish as if they had grilled it when I question the taste and quility of the lobster and taste of order I was told by denise grill was really broke

nash from oak park IL>  

Posted: November 30th, 2012 7:22 AM

I hope their standards live up to their menu my exsperience in Hillside was not good I question the quality of the lobster and I ordered grill lobster and catfish later I found out from Diane the grill was broke but food was sold to me as grill

K Decker from Forest Park  

Posted: November 29th, 2012 8:13 PM

Oh Gee! How thrilled to hear that an eatery is coming to Oak Park that boils animals alive! May it last as long as a lobster's life.

OP Resident # 545 from Oak Park  

Posted: November 29th, 2012 6:27 PM

Good news, indeed! Definitely a good fit for both location and cuisine. Good seafood will be a great addition, if the price is right. The Fish Tacos had better be good, though. Best of luck, Roy's.

doug kittredge from oak park  

Posted: November 29th, 2012 6:20 PM

That is a great development. I hope they set up a website so i can get on their mailing list. After living on the east coast for years, it seems like Chicago only offers very high end or fast food seafood. I love the new opportunity to buy oak park.

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