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Oak Lawn corrals new restaurant

A new Texas Corral restaurant is opening soOak Lawn.  |  Steve Metsch!Sun-Times Media

A new Texas Corral restaurant is opening soon in Oak Lawn. | Steve Metsch!Sun-Times Media

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A little bit of Texas is coming to Oak Lawn via Indiana.

Workers are busy putting the finishing touches on a Texas Corral Grill and Saloon scheduled to open in a few of days, said Tiffany Wenrich, marketing director for the chain that’s based in Merrillville, Ind.

The site is a former Leona’s restaurant, 6616 W. 95th St., which is fast resembling something from the Old West.

“We’re a casual dining chain, ribs, chicken, steaks, fajitas, a place where you can throw the peanut shells on the floor. Kids love that,” Wenrich said.

This will be the chain’s 10th restaurant and its first in Illinois. There are two in Michigan and seven in Indiana with the closest being in Highland.

Paul Switzer founded the chain in Merrillville about 15 years ago, Wenrich said. The company is owned by the Switzer family, she said.

Oak Lawn offered “a good location,” she said.

The restaurant’s meals are “moderately priced,” she said. About 50 employees have been hired, she said.

At the restaurant’s website, lunch specials are listed at $4.99 and $5.99. There are plenty of steaks on the dinner menu along with roasted chicken and barbecue ribs meals for $12.99. You won’t go thirsty with a “Texas-sized margarita” that clocks in at 46 ounces. No price was listed.

Oak Lawn’s director of business operations, Chad Weiler, thinks the restaurant will succeed.

“Leona’s struggled with a big footprint, maybe too big for them. This will be more family oriented and I think it’s going to be a winner, a big winner,” Weiler said of Texas Corral.

Weiler is glad the chain agreed to have the name “Oak Lawn” painted on the faux water tower at the restaurant. The tower sort of resembles one seen in the old sitcom “Petticoat Junction,” he said.

“I said, ‘Come on guys, you’ve got to put Oak Lawn on the water tower. They loved the idea,” Weiler said.

Weiler was impressed when company representatives brought a scale model of what the restaurant would look like to a plan commission meeting.

“You don’t get that too much. The had the roof line, the wood, the colors. They’re at the top of their game,” Weiler said.



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