MORRISON – Things are looking fresh and new along West Lincolnway, and it has nothing to do with the road construction that was completed last year.
Adam Dzeladini bought the former Red Apple restaurant site and has transformed it, inside and out, to make way for the new Family Chef Restaurant.
As local residents and visitors alike check out the eatery, they’re pleasantly surprised by what they discover.
“I like it,” said Morrison resident Cynthia Weisel, who was enjoying lunch with a friend. "It’s a big improvement from the restaurant that was here before."
Weisel said she planned to return to Family Chef.
“The atmosphere is more relaxing,” she said, adding that the service was good, too.
That was the reaction Dzeladini hoped for when he decided to completely renovate the facility and replace all kitchen appliances with new ones.
“The whole thing on the inside was gutted out – the insulation, drywall, floor tiles, ceiling tiles – you name it, we did it."
After hearing Weisel’s reaction, he knows the 5 months of intensive labor were worth it. He said he was very pleased with his reception in Morrison.
“The crowds have been very good, and I enjoy being out front with the people,” he said. “They make me feel very welcome in this community.
"And not everyone is just from Morrison. We’ve got a lot of people from Sterling, Rock Falls and Clinton coming here every day, too.”
Of course, Dzeladini’s background in the restaurant industry has provided him with the knowledge to get off to a successful start. He and his brother, Resul “Ray” Dzeladini, began working in a restaurant when they were in high school. After graduation, they opened a restaurant together in Monroe Center.
“We figured, If we can do this for someone else, why can’t we do this for us?” he said.
After successfully working together for a decade, they branched out on their own to support their families. Dzeladini got married last year, and will now be able to work with his wife, Sanela.
He chose to move to Morrison because he has always liked the restaurant’s location on U.S. Route 30. For years, he had asked the previous owners to sell it to him.
“I kept asking them, ‘When, when, when?’ and then finally one day, it just happened,” he explained.
The sale was completed a year ago in January, and he spent the next 5 months renovating the building.
The menu features a wide variety of American fare. Senior and children’s menus ensure that everyone finds something to eat in a portion that’s perfectly sized.
The Swedish pancakes, eggs Benedict, and combination platters have been especially popular at breakfast. And patrons are not limited to enjoying them just in the morning, as breakfast is served all day at Family Chef.
“If somebody missed their breakfast, they can always eat it here,” Dzeladini said.
Top-selling dinners include the ribs, fried chicken, chicken-fried steak, and liver and onions. A variety of sandwiches, soups and sandwiches are available as well.
“We have a good variety available,” Dzeladini said.
Family Chef also offers daily specials.
“I want to give people a choice when they come in,” he said.
As a bonus, the restaurant offers an all-you-can-eat special on weekdays. On Mondays, it’s spaghetti. Tuesday’s special is fried cod. Those specials are available at both lunch and dinner.
Family Chef Restaurant
701 W. Lincolnway
Hours: 6 a.m.-9 p.m. daily
Credit cards accepted
No alcohol served