In February, Winberie’s Restaurant & Bar celebrated its thirty-fifth birthday at the corner of Oak Park Avenue and Lake Street in Oak Park. While much has changed in the village and in the restaurant world in the past three and a half decades, Winberie’s success rests on following the same formula it has for years: offering an elevated menu of American comfort food and a variety of wines, beers and cocktails all in a welcoming atmosphere.
Manager David Roberts has been with Winberie’s for thirty years and says one thing that keeps the restaurant going strong is the clientele. “Because we’ve been here so long, we like to tout ourselves as a generational restaurant.”
He notes it is not uncommon to have long-time diners now bringing in their grandchildren for meals. In addition to family groups, Winberie’s has long been a destination restaurant in Oak Park for tour groups visiting the Frank Lloyd Wright Home & Studio, and the restaurant’s location close to the Green Line makes it an easy stop on any tourist’s walking tour of the village.
During the day, Winberie’s is Oak Park’s premier location for business lunches, and at night, the crowd ranges from couples on dates sharing a nice bottle of wine to families celebrating a night out. A favorite for all ages is the all-you-can-eat Sunday brunch, which has been a part of Winberie’s experience for thirty-five years.
Roberts remarks there is something for everyone on the menu, which is not tied to just one genre of food, and that the chef changes seasonal offerings twice a year. “We keep our core menu items the same and change up four to eight items to reflect in-season dishes.”
The restaurant also works hard to meet the dietary needs of all of its clients. For years, Winberie’s has offered gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan menus.
Winberie’s boasts an extensive wine list with more than fifty bottles of award-winning wines on the menu and offers a wider variety of beers, including many craft beers. Daily specials with wines, beers or cocktails are available throughout the week.
At the end of the day, Roberts points out that Winberie’s connection to the community is key to its longevity. “We have always given back to the community through charitable donations, sponsoring sports teams and giving holiday gift cards to the teachers, staff and administrators at the local schools. If you’re in the community this long, you need to give back, not just take.”
Winberie’s Restaurant & Bar is located at 151 North Oak Park Avenue and is open seven days a week. As the warmer weather arrives, Winberie’s will open its outdoor dining space, complete with retractable awning and outdoor music.