Perry’s restaurant gets big makeover
Perry's Pizza and Ribs owner Nick Straub (second from left) is joined by workers David Nunez, Tom Perry and Joseph Giovanni as the Park Ridge restaurant undergoes a major remodeling project. | Jennifer Johnson~Sun-Times Media
NAME: Perry’s Pizza and Ribs
SPECIALTY: Pizza, ribs, sandwiches
ADDRESS: 711 W. Devon Ave., Park Ridge
Updated: November 20, 2012 11:46AM
PARK RIDGE — Perry’s Pizza and Ribs owner Nick Straub wants to make his Park Ridge restaurant a place where customers unwind — and unplug.
“Everyone wants to stay connected these days with their phones and be constantly aware of what’s going on,” Straub said. “I think that the opposite should be true. I think people need to get disconnected more often so they can enjoy themselves, their life and their free time.”
With that in mind, Straub launched a major renovation project at the 45-year-old South Park institution, aiming for a new look and a new atmosphere. Along with new floors, walls, tables and chairs, Straub
will unveil a new full-service bar called “The 12.” The concept of time will be the theme of the bar, which, according to Straub, will feature cuckoo clocks and antique timepieces as part of the decor. The owner also hopes to have a mural created, a kind of tribute to his late great-uncle who drove a beer wagon in Austria.
“Part of the mural will have the beer wagon on there, and part of it will be countryside,” Straub said. “I’m thinking of getting back to simpler days where people had more time on their hands to enjoy each other, conversation and music.”
In February, Straub plans to add some new items to Perry’s menu. He also hopes to make his restaurant the go-to spot for live, acoustic music and “professional” karaoke nights.
“I think music is one of the best stress relievers around,” said Straub, a singer and musician.
Straub’s involvement in the restaurant’s renovation has been hands-on, from serving as general contractor to working on carpentry and plumbing projects. He was similarly involved in previous projects to update the establishment.
“So far, this project is going smoother than any of the others,” Straub said as workers sawed and drilled in what had been Perry’s dining room.
Straub, a Rolling Meadows resident who grew up in Park Ridge, bought Perry’s 33 years ago at age 22 with a partner, but his career in the restaurant business began as a teenager when he worked as a busboy. He later made restaurant management the focus of his schooling.
“The number one thing for surviving a long time in business is having good help and treating them well,” Straub said. “Nothing will drive you more crazy than being overwhelmed by your business and having your business dictate the terms to you instead of you managing the business.”
Straub added that he sets high standards for his food as well.
“I’ve always tried to strive for the best possible food quality I can serve,” he said. “I would never serve anything that doesn’t meet my standards, and my standards are pretty high.”
Perry’s was open for carryout orders during the renovation. The remodeled dining room is expected to open this month.