To the Editor:
Two and a half years ago, my wife, Megan, and I, like the rest of the world, were sitting in limbo. As furloughed hospitality professionals, we were uncertain of the future of our industry – the only industry either of us had ever known.
For a few years, we had been working on opening our own concept closer to our home in the Fox River Valley. But in that moment, everything changed. We had no idea if restaurants would survive in general, let alone if we could open a new one.
So we spent time enjoying our community with family and friends, supporting local spots trying to stay afloat with to-go business. It was here that we began the journey of building The Graceful Ordinary.
Our goal from the beginning was to be a part of a community, not just as a business that benefits from the place that it is in, but one that gives right back. St. Charles was always the place we wanted to be – a place that supports one another in ways most communities don’t. Everyone here truly cares about the past, present and future of our home.
When we found the opportunity to transform the former bank building, which had been vacant for years, into a vibrant, warm and exciting dining experience that could last for years to come, we jumped on it. The building has been a staple of the downtown for more than five decades, so we wanted to revitalize it while keeping it recognizable. There were some who hesitated when they saw our plans for changing a part of the downtown that they knew and loved. But from the start, we were committed to recognizing the significance of the places that preceded us while carving out a new experience for our neighbors. We embraced positive change together as a community and created something really special because of it.
Change is hard for everyone. Whether it’s sending your kid off to school for the first time, switching careers or making room for a new restaurant. But if Megan and I have learned anything over the past year, it’s that the community who cared enough to thoughtfully and productively challenge plans for change in their beloved downtown would end up becoming our most fervent supporters. And the main drivers in helping our region retain its one-of-a-kind charm while presenting something new that remains unique and special.
We’re overwhelmed with the warm welcome we’ve received and how the city has embraced us. It’s this support that’s helped us bring our vision to life with you all, and we’re excited by the possibilities as we continue to grow together.
Owner, The Graceful Ordinary