Biz Buzz Monday: Galena eatery serves up homestyle food in new location

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Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from the tri-state area. In addition to this development from Galena Ill., we will share other news in Tuesday’s edition.

GALENA, Ill. — A well-established eatery in northwestern Illinois has moved to a new location in the hopes of widening its customer base.

Charlie’s Place, which since 2006 has served up breakfast staples including waffles, skillets and egg dishes — along with lunch items like cheeseburgers and other sandwiches — has moved from its former location in downtown Hanover to a new spot on Galena’s historic Main Street.

Owners Nia and Charlie Ahmedi, of Hanover, opened the new location at 200 N. Main St. in Galena on Nov. 9 and have quickly gained a following among their new patrons. The primary reason they moved the restaurant 15 miles up the road was to expand their customer base and serve new clientele.

“We enjoy interacting with people from the area, and they do come from Hanover, but not as often,” Charlie said. “We enjoy meeting more people, because there are more people here.”

Those new (and well-established) customers are greeted with a new interior designed by professionals from the Quad Cities, Nia said. The restaurant features a homestyle feel with some “upper-class” accents mixed in.

The new space is not larger than the former Charlie’s Place location and provides seating for around 80 hungry customers. However, the move did give the Ahmedis inspiration to modify their menu to include new toppings for their waffles and French toast, including an eggs benedict-style entrée Charlie particularly praised.

“We serve comfort food,” Charlie said. “Our main focus is fresh ingredients, and we do not complicate things.”

That sort of food service runs in Charlie’s heritage. Originally from the Quad Cities, he followed in the footsteps of his family that has operated similar restaurants since the 1980s. Their first foray in northwestern Illinois was when they opened their previous location in Hanover in 2006.

Now 17 years later, the Ahmedis believe their move to Galena has so far paid off. The added foot traffic from Galena’s bustling downtown district has kept them busy.

“We love the friendliness (in Galena),” Nia said. “We love seeing people out and about; there are a lot of good things here.”

The business is open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. More information, including a menu, can be found on its Facebook page.