Thursday, June 07, 2012

4th of July Parade Grand Marshals Announced


The City of Elgin's 4th of July Parade - Presented by Sherman Health and the 4th of July Parade Committee announced today its 2012 Parade Grand Marshals will be the Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois.

To celebrate their centennial anniversary, the Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois CEO, Vicki Wright, will serve as the official ambassador She will ride in a beautiful powder blue Cadillac, courtesy of Elgin resident Richard Bennett, and will be joined by an Elgin area high school student who will be receiving her Gold Award - the highest award a Girl Scout can earn for achievement in community service. Following right behind the Grand Marshal vehicle will be the Girl Scouts Color Guard and dozens of scouts of all ages.

“The 4th of July Parade Committee is privileged to have these wonderful young ladies representing Elgin as our ambassadors for the 2012 Parade,” said DNA Promotions Coordinator Jason Pawlowski.

Girl Scouts Founder, Juliette Gordon Low, organized the first Girl Scout troop on March 12, 1912 in Savannah, Georgia. Since then, for 100 years, Girl Scouts has been building girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. Today, there are 3.2 million Girl Scouts. More than 59 million American women enjoyed Girl Scouting during their childhood and that number continues to grow as Girl Scouts continues to inspire, challenge, and empower girls everywhere.

The 2012 City of Elgin 4th of July Parade – Presented by Sherman Health steps off Wednesday, July 4 at 9AM at Slade and Douglas Avenues and ending at Highland and Douglas Avenues. The theme of this year’s parade is “Red, White and Food” – a celebration of Elgin’s great tastes and unique flavors.

Nearly 100 parade units are expected to participate in this summertime tradition, which typically draws more than 15,000 spectators annually to downtown Elgin.

The 2012 City of Elgin 4th of July Parade is presented by Sherman Health. Additional parade sponsors include Alexian Brothers Health System, Armida & Joe Dominguez, BMO Harris Bank, Danny's Pizza, Elgin Community College, Lamp Incorporated, Payday Loan Store, Provena Saint Joseph Hospital, Psychosis Haunted House, Spring Hill Gymnastics, Waste Management and Woody Buick.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Downtown Elgin Harvest Market Kicks Off 12th Season

The Downtown Neighborhood Association is excited to kick off its 12th season of the Downtown Elgin Harvest Market – Presented by Alexian Brothers Health System this Thursday, June 7 with brand new market hours from 4-8PM. Located prominently in downtown Elgin at 200 N. Grove Avenue, our weekly outdoor market will run for eighteen consecutive weeks every Thursday thru October 4.

Opening day at the Downtown Elgin Harvest Market will consist of:

• Free Alexian Brothers and Davey Tree Tote Bags for customers
• More than 20 vendors with fresh vegetables, breads, olives, spices, honey, fresh cut flowers, t-shirts, artwork and concessions
NEW! Weekly Kids Row run by community partners. Kids can partake in fun, on-site activities and also have a chance to win prizes by trying a new vegetable each week and showing a recently checked out Gail Borden Public Library book to one our Kid’s Row Harvest Market volunteers. This promotion is held in conjunction with the Gail Borden Public Library’s summer reading program “Reading is So Delicious”.
NEW! Weekly cooking demonstrations with Chef Quincy Owens. Each week Chef Quincy, a personal chef and Elgin Community College graduate, will show market patrons how to take available products at the market and transform them into a great meal or snack for your family.
• Weekly live entertainment with DJ Greg from Fun Time Music spinning music.
• The Elgin Fire Department will also be on hand weekly with their trucks and various fire fighting and rescue equipment. This is the public’s opportunity to meet and mingle with their local firefighters and become familiar with the tools of their trade.
• Interactive, informational community and sponsor booths focusing on wellness, environment, sustainability, and the community.

Thanks to a grant from the Fit for Kids program, customers will be able to use their EBT/Link cards as well as credit cards at the market information booth to purchase tokens for buying products at the market.

For more details about weekly events, live entertainment and attractions at the 2012 Downtown Elgin Harvest Market, visit www.ElginHarvestMarket.com

The Downtown Elgin Harvest Market is presented by Alexian Brothers Health System and is sponsored by Davey Tree, Waste Management, Armida & Joe Dominguez, Chiro One, Salon Couture and Simple Balance Holistic Center. The City of Elgin is a Downtown Elgin Harvest Market partner.

For more information on the Downtown Elgin Harvest Market or how to get involved, please contact Harvest Market manager Jennifer Benson at 847-488-1456 or via email at elginharvestmarket@gmail.com.

Friday, April 06, 2012

2012 Downtown Madness Champion Crowned


After four intense rounds of voting that saw a record-setting 6,000 votes cast for 16 sweet Elgin eateries, the public has spoken and the Downtown Neighborhood Association of Elgin is proud to announce that the winner of Downtown Madness 2012 is Danny's Pizza (302-D S. McLean Boulevard) Sausage and Pepperoni Pizza.

A trophy presentation was held Thursday, April 4 at Elgin Public House, the downtown Elgin representative in the Downtown vs. Crosstown final round, with representatives from both establishments present. With over 1,800 votes cast in the Championship Round of voting in the DNA's award-winning, month-long, social media-driven restaurant promotion, Danny's Pizza narrowly defeated Elgin Public House by 96 votes.

The DNA would like to offer sincere thanks to our 16 Downtown Madness 2012 participants and recognize their signature dishes:

Al's Cafe (43 DuPage Court) Roasted Salmon Mediterranean
Big Apple Bagels (561 N. McLean Blvd) Big Apple Club
Buckingham's Steakhouse (250 S. Grove Avenue inside Grand Victoria Casino) Grand Tomahawk
Colonial Cafe (600 S. McLean Blvd) Ultimate Grilled Mac and Cheese Melt
Danny's Pizza (302 S. McLean Blvd) Sausage and Pepperoni Pizza
Elgin Public House (219 E. Chicago Street) Turkey Avocado BLT
Herb's Bakery (1020 Larkin Avenue) German Pretzel Roll
In the Neighborhood Deli (185 Edison Street) Garlic Dijon Chicken Sandwich
Nick's Pizza (990 S. Randall Road) Nick's Special
Paul's Family Restaurant (1300 Lawrence Avenue) Apple Bacon Cheddar Sandwich
Prairie Rock Grill (127 S. Grove Avenue) Prairie Rock Cuban
Prime BurgerHouse (250 S. Grove Avenue) Drunken Bull Burger
Ravenheart Coffee (176 E. Chicago Street) Macadamia Nut White Mocha
The Walnut Speakeasy (214 Walnut Avenue) Ribs
Toom Toom Thai Restaurant (23 S. Grove Avenue) Nam Tok
Villa Verone (13 Douglas Avenue) Gamberi e Cappesante Scampi

The DNA also thanks the Daily Herald and WRMN-AM 1410 for your generosity as Downtown Madness Media Sponsors.

Click here to view the Downtown Madness "One Shining Moment" Trophy Presentation YouTube video >>>

Monday, April 02, 2012

Downtown Madness Score Central Evening Update - April 2

The Road to the Downtown Madness Championship ends here and only you and your team of voting friends, family, colleagues and co-workers can determine the winner.

Before we put Downtown Madness to bed for good for 2012, let's give you one LAST update before the final buzzer sounds tonight at Midnight. The voting pace is really heating up between these two Elgin rivals and the ebb and flow continues yet again...

Here are the Downtown Madness voting results thru Monday, April 2 at 9:00PM:

Elgin Public House Turkey Avocado BLT leads Danny's Pizza Sausage and Pepperoni Pizza by 33.

There's just nothing like Downtown Madness! Lace up those shoes! Get out on the floor! There's still time for one last big dance and you've got destiny on your side! Pull for your favorite team and CHOOSE THE CHAMPION NOW!

Final Round voting concludes TONIGHT at 11:59PM!

Voting totals and e-mail addresses will be officially tabulated, audited and verified on Tuesday. The winner of Downtown Madness will then be announced Wednesday, April 4 in our Downtown Neighborhood News Top 10 eblast. If you do not currently receive the DNN, visit www.DowntownElgin.com to subscribe today!

Last chance to pick up your Elgin "Eat 16" punch card at any participating Downtown Madness venue. Visit all 16 establishments and receive punches for trying each "signature dish" in the bracket. Collect all 16 punches to claim your Downtown Madness t-shirt and a chance to score even bigger prizes - including gift certificates and other great prizes! To qualify, return your completed punch card ticket to DNA, 2 Douglas Avenue, Elgin, IL 60120 by no later than April 4.

Downtown Madness Score Central Afternoon Update - April 2

T-minus 8 hours to go in the penultimate round of voting in Downtown Madness. Supporters for both teams are laying it all on the line just for the sweet taste of victory and their One Shining Moment in Elgin's Big Dance.

Here are the Downtown Madness voting results thru Monday, April 2 at 4:00PM:

Danny's Pizza Sausage and Pepperoni Pizza leads Elgin Public House Turkey Avocado BLT by 28.

Let New Orleans have it's little basketball scrimmage tonight. The Wildcats and Jayhawks have nothing on our two Madness powerhouses. After the game wraps, gather up your team of friends, family and colleagues, log on to www.DowntownElgin.com and pull for your favorite Elgin eatery! CHOOSE THE CHAMPION NOW!

Final Round voting concludes TONIGHT at 11:59PM!

Don't forget to pick up your Elgin "Eat 16" punch card at any participating Downtown Madness venue. Visit all 16 establishments and receive punches for trying each "signature dish" in the bracket. Collect all 16 punches to claim your Downtown Madness t-shirt and a chance to score even bigger prizes - including gift certificates and other great prizes! To qualify, return your completed punch card ticket to DNA, 2 Douglas Avenue, Elgin, IL 60120 by no later than April 4.

Downtown Madness Score Central Morning Update - April 2

And then there were two: the defending champs and the battle-tested pizzeria. One downtown Elgin eatery and their Turkey Avocado BLT and one crosstown eatery with their Sausage and Pepperoni Pizza. Who walks away the title? It all comes down to one thing: YOUR VOTES!

Here are the Downtown Madness voting results thru Monday, April 2 at 11:00AM:

Danny's Pizza Sausage and Pepperoni Pizza leads Elgin Public House Turkey Avocado BLT by 112.

There's less than 13 hours of Madness left to go and it's anyone's game at this point! Show your team spirit by rockin' the vote! CHOOSE THE CHAMPION NOW!

Final Round voting concludes TODAY at 11:59PM!

Don't forget to pick up your Elgin "Eat 16" punch card at any participating Downtown Madness venue. Visit all 16 establishments and receive punches for trying each "signature dish" in the bracket. Collect all 16 punches to claim your Downtown Madness t-shirt and a chance to score even bigger prizes - including gift certificates and other great prizes! To qualify, return your completed punch card ticket to DNA, 2 Douglas Avenue, Elgin, IL 60120 by no later than April 4.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Downtown Madness Score Central Update - April 1

The calendar may say April 1 but there's no fooling our Downtown Madness voters - the Madness is in full fledge! The second half of the Downtown Madness Championship Round of voting is just getting started and we have yet another change atop our back-and-forth leaderboard.

Here are the Downtown Madness voting results thru Sunday, April 1 at 11:00AM:

Danny's Pizza Sausage and Pepperoni Pizza leads Elgin Public House Turkey Avocado BLT by 13.

The shot clock is winding down! Join the Madness NOW! Don't fumble away your chance to help your team claim the title! Get in the game and help determine the winner in the battle for Elgin epicurean bragging rights. CHOOSE THE CHAMPION NOW!

Final Round voting concludes Monday, April 2 at 11:59PM!

Don't forget to pick up your Elgin "Eat 16" punch card at any participating Downtown Madness venue. Visit all 16 establishments and receive punches for trying each "signature dish" in the bracket. Collect all 16 punches to claim your Downtown Madness t-shirt and a chance to score even bigger prizes - including gift certificates and other great prizes! To qualify, return your completed punch card ticket to DNA, 2 Douglas Avenue, Elgin, IL 60120 by no later than April 4.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Downtown Madness Score Central Update - March 31

We're a little more than midway through the opening half of the Downtown Madness Championship Round of voting and it's anyone's ballgame at this point.

Here are the Downtown Madness voting results thru Saturday, March 31 at 12:30PM:

Elgin Public House Turkey Avocado BLT leads Danny's Pizza Sausage and Pepperoni Pizza by 71

This is Elgin's Big Dance! If you haven't joined the Madness yet, what are you waiting for? Time is running out to vote! Help determine the winner in the battle for Elgin epicurean bragging rights. CHOOSE THE CHAMPION NOW!

Final Round voting concludes Monday, April 2 at 11:59PM!

If you haven't picked up your Elgin "Eat 16" punch card at any participating Downtown Madness venue, you need to get in the game! Visit all 16 establishments and receive punches for trying each "signature dish" in the bracket. Collect all 16 punches to claim your Downtown Madness t-shirt and a chance to score even bigger prizes - including gift certificates and other great prizes! To qualify, return your completed punch card ticket to DNA, 2 Douglas Avenue, Elgin, IL 60120 by no later than April 4.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Downtown Madness Score Central Update - March 30

And...we're off and running in the Championship Round of Downtown Madness. Our Downtown and Crosstown finalists have been trading leads back and forth throughout the early goings of Round 4.

Here are the Downtown Madness voting results thru Friday, March 30 at 5:30PM:

Elgin Public House Turkey Avocado BLT leads Danny's Pizza Sausage and Pepperoni Pizza by 9

This should be a barn burner! If you haven't joined the Madness yet, NOW IS THE TIME! Help determine the winner in the battle for Elgin epicurean bragging rights. CHOOSE THE CHAMPION NOW!

Final Round voting concludes Monday, April 2 at 11:59PM!

If you haven't picked up your Elgin "Eat 16" punch card at any participating Downtown Madness venue, you need to get in the game! Visit all 16 establishments and receive punches for trying each "signature dish" in the bracket. Collect all 16 punches to claim your Downtown Madness t-shirt and a chance to score even bigger prizes - including gift certificates and other great prizes! To qualify, return your completed punch card ticket to DNA, 2 Douglas Avenue, Elgin, IL 60120 by no later than April 4.

Downtown Madness Championship Round Voting Underway

The Final Round of Downtown Madness, the Downtown Neighborhood Association of Elgin's award-winning, month-long, social media-driven restaurant promotion, is underway.

It's the final countdown and after another record-breaking round of voting, Madness voters have whittled the field to two terrific Downtown Madness finalists:

Elgin Public House (219 E. Chicago Street) Turkey Avocado BLT versus Danny's Pizza (302-D S. McLean Boulevard) Sausage and Pepperoni Pizza.

Both establishments will square off in the Championship Round of voting taking place now thru Monday, April 2 at 11:59PM.

We invite you to cast your vote for your favorite dish at http://www.downtownelgin.com. Only one vote per person, per valid e-mail address, per round. Duplicate or incomplete ballots will not be counted.

You can also support your favorite Downtown Madness "teams" by encouraging friends, family members, co-workers and colleagues to get out and rock the vote for your faves! Copy, paste and share the following Round 4 "short form" voting link: http://conta.cc/HxSa5Y. The more voters on your team's bench, the better their shot of taking the title!

Bust the brackets, crown the champion and Join the Madness one last time!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Downtown Construction Update Meeting on April 10


Downtown Elgin stakeholders and interested residents are invited to attend an update meeting regarding construction projects happening in and around downtown in 2012. The meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 10, 6:30 to 8:30PM at the Centre of Elgin, 100 Symphony Way in downtown Elgin.

Representatives from each project's management team will be on hand to provide project overviews, including construction schedules, detour routes and other important information. The projects to be covered are:

• Riverside Drive Promenade - James McDonough, IHC Construction & Tim King, Hitchcock Design Group
• Downtown Streetscape Phase V - Brian Fairwood, TranSystems
• Kimball Street Bridge Resurfacing - Joe Evers, City of Elgin
• Elgin Artspace Lofts - John Shales, Shales McNutt Construction
• Other projects happening around the downtown - Joe Evers, City of Elgin

Please RSVP ONLINE, call (847) 488-1456 or email downtownelgin@gmail.com.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Downtown Madness ElgiN.I.T. Online Pep Rally


While we take a little break from Downtown Madness before the Championship Round of voting begins, we are inviting back our other 14 Downtown Madness participants to compete for your votes in a fun and fancy-free "best-of-the-rest" online pep rally dubbed the Elgin National Invitational Tournament or the ElgiN.I.T. (can you tell we just can't get enough March Madness references?)

You are invited to cast your vote for your favorite Elgin bar or eatery in the ElgiN.I.T. and if your spot is not listed you can "write-in" your Elgin fave. Voting in the ElgiN.I.T. closes Thursday, March 30 at 10AM. The winning ElgiN.I.T. eatery will receive a waived entry fee ($100 value) into this year's City of Elgin's 4th of July Parade which tips off on Wednesday, July 4 at 9AM.

In addition to the ElgiN.I.T. voting, we encourage you to post Yelp! reviews of your winning dining experiences at our Downtown Madness eateries or share photos of you at your favorite Madness establishment or with one of your favorite signature dishes. You can upload them to our Photobucket page on the ElgiN.I.T. form.

It's your team's second chance to JOIN THE MADNESS! Show your team spirit for all of your favorite eateries because our Elgin teams have great taste!

< < < RALLY FOR YOUR TEAM NOW IN THE ELGIN.I.T. > > >

Downtown Madness Championship Round Match-Up Announced


It's the Final Countdown! Another record-breaking round of votes have been tallied and validated and at long last we have whittled the field to our final two Downtown Madness Championship Round finalists, who will square off in a battle for Elgin epicurean pride beginning Friday, March 30 at Noon. Before we look forward, lets take one last look back at two monstrous match-ups from Round 3 of Downtown Madness:

DOWNTOWN:

Elgin Public House (219 E. Chicago Street) Turkey Avocado BLT defeats Prime BurgerHouse (250 S. Grove Avenue inside Grand Victoria Casino) Drunken Bull Burger by 74

CROSSTOWN:

Danny's Pizza (302 S. McLean Boulevard) Sausage and Pepperoni Pizza defeats Paul's Family Restaurant (1300 Lawrence Avenue) Apple Bacon Cheddar Burger by 213

That means that your Championship Round match-up will pit Elgin Public House Turkey Avocado BLT representing downtown Elgin against Danny's Pizza Sausage and Pepperoni Pizza representing crosstown Elgin.

Final Round voting tips Friday, March 30 at Noon thru Monday, April 2 at 11:59PM at www.DowntownElgin.com. All voters from our previous three rounds of Downtown Madness will receive the online voting form via e-mail this Friday.

Congratulations and good luck to both of our finalists. This should be one battle for the ages!

And before the Madness resumes, be sure to show your support for all your Elgin "teams" at the ElgiN.I.T. Online Pep Rally taking place all this week and leading up to the Downtown Madness Championship Round of voting. It's a fun way to show your team spirit for your favorite Elgin eateries and establishments. For more details about the ElgiN.I.T., CLICK HERE!

Downtown Madness Score Central Update - March 26

Downtown Madness: Downtown vs. Crosstown is Elgin's Big Dance and if you haven't slipped on your dancing shoes and joined the Madness, what are you waiting for? The shot clock is ticking down on Round 3.

Here are the Downtown Madness voting results thru Monday, March 26 at 10:30AM:

DOWNTOWN-

Elgin Public House Turkey Avocado BLT leads Prime BurgerHouse Drunken Bull Burger by 74

CROSSTOWN-

Danny's Pizza Sausage and Pepperoni Pizza leads Paul's Family Restaurant Apple Cheddar Bacon Sandwich by 181

The pressure is on and your teams are counting on you to come through in the clutch. Only you have the power to determine which two teams represent Downtown and Crosstown in the battle for Elgin epicurean pride! Get in the game and VOTE NOW!

Round 3 voting concludes TODAY at 5PM!

Time is also running out to pick up your Elgin "Eat 16" punch card at any participating Downtown Madness venue. Visit all 16 and receive punches for trying each "signature dish" in the bracket. Collect all 16 punches to claim your Downtown Madness t-shirt and a chance to score even bigger prizes - including gift certificates to each participating establishment and other great prizes! To qualify, return your completed punch card ticket to DNA, 2 Douglas Avenue, Elgin, IL 60120 by April 4.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Downtown Madness Score Central Update - March 25

Downtown Madness Round 3 is in the early going of the second half and as expected with these Final Four teams squaring off against one another, things are tightening up!

Here are the Downtown Madness voting results thru Sunday, March 25 at 11:00AM:

DOWNTOWN-

Prime BurgerHouse Drunken Bull Burger leads Elgin Public House Turkey Avocado BLT by 6

CROSSTOWN-

Danny's Pizza Sausage and Pepperoni Pizza leads Paul's Family Restaurant Apple Cheddar Bacon Sandwich by 109

Time is running out! If you haven't joined the Madness yet, NOW IS THE TIME! Help determine who will face-off in the battle for Elgin bragging rights next week. VOTE NOW!

Round 3 voting concludes Monday, March 26 at 5PM!

Time is also running out to pick up your Elgin "Eat 16" punch card at any participating Downtown Madness venue. Visit all 16 and receive punches for trying each "signature dish" in the bracket. Collect all 16 punches to claim your Downtown Madness t-shirt and a chance to score even bigger prizes - including gift certificates to each participating establishment and other great prizes! To qualify, return your completed punch card ticket to DNA, 2 Douglas Avenue, Elgin, IL 60120 by April 4.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Downtown Madness Score Central Update - March 24

We are approaching halftime in the Third Round of Downtown Madness voting. Our two Final Four match-ups have been ultra competitive thus far but its time for someone to step up and will their team onto victory...and that person is you (and your vote).

Here are the Downtown Madness voting results thru Saturday, March 24 at 11:00AM:

DOWNTOWN-

Prime BurgerHouse Drunken Bull Burger leads Elgin Public House Turkey Avocado BLT by 52

CROSSTOWN-

Danny's Pizza Sausage and Pepperoni Pizza leads Paul's Family Restaurant Apple Cheddar Bacon Sandwich by 137

If you haven't joined the Madness yet, NOW IS THE TIME! Help determine who will face-off in the battle for Elgin bragging rights next week. VOTE NOW!

Round 3 voting concludes Monday, March 26 at 5PM!

Time is also running out to pick up your Elgin "Eat 16" punch card at any participating Downtown Madness venue. Visit all 16 and receive punches for trying each "signature dish" in the bracket. Collect all 16 punches to claim your Downtown Madness t-shirt and a chance to score even bigger prizes - including gift certificates to each participating establishment and other great prizes! To qualify, return your completed punch card ticket to DNA, 2 Douglas Avenue, Elgin, IL 60120 by April 4.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Downtown Madness Score Central Update - March 23

Four delicious dishes remain and only one can be crowned Downtown Madness champion in 2012. We're in the very early stages of our two Final Four match-ups in Round 3 but it's never too soon for an update on the Madness.

Here are the Downtown Madness voting results thru Friday, March 23 at 5:00PM:

DOWNTOWN-

Prime BurgerHouse Drunken Bull Burger leads Elgin Public House Turkey Avocado BLT by 62

CROSSTOWN-

Danny's Pizza Sausage and Pepperoni Pizza leads Paul's Family Restaurant Apple Cheddar Bacon Sandwich by 38

If you haven't joined the Madness yet, NOW IS THE TIME! Help determine who will face-off in the battle for Elgin bragging rights next week. VOTE NOW!

Round 3 voting concludes Monday, March 26 at 5PM!

Time is also running out to pick up your Elgin "Eat 16" punch card at any participating Downtown Madness venue. Visit all 16 and receive punches for trying each "signature dish" in the bracket. Collect all 16 punches to claim your Downtown Madness t-shirt and a chance to score even bigger prizes - including gift certificates to each participating establishment and other great prizes! To qualify, return your completed punch card ticket to DNA, 2 Douglas Avenue, Elgin, IL 60120 by April 4.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Open for Business

DNA to Host Open House for Eight Downtown Businesses

On Thursday, April 5, from 4 to 6:30PM, the Downtown Neighborhood Association will host an open house for seven new businesses that have opened in downtown Elgin since the start of the year, and one that will be relocating to a new space in downtown. Together the businesses represent a healthy mix of retail boutiques, restaurants and professional services.

DNA and city officials will conduct a progressive series of ribbon-cutting ceremonies at each of the eight businesses. The schedule is as follows:

4:00PM
Elgin Knit Works – 17 N Grove

4:30PM
Fat Cat Custom Guitars & Repair Shop – 59 Douglas
Fat Cat Music Lessons – 63 Douglas
Charles Fast Foods – 57 Douglas

5:00PM
Robert Mikulski & Co., PC – 23 Douglas
Elgin Home Care – 16 Douglas

5:30PM
A&R Global Logistics – 164 E Chicago
Spacetaste Gallery – 215 E Chicago (new location)

6:00PM
Prairie Rock Grill – 127 S Grove

Guests may attend the scheduled ribbon cuttings or visit any of the participating businesses during the open house period from 4 to 6:30PM. Each business will provide refreshments and giveaways. Guests are encouraged to tweet while at the event using Twitter hashtag #DTOpenHouse. This event is free and open to the public, however RSVPs are requested. Please RSVP to DNA at (847) 488-1456 or downtownelgin@gmail.com.

Downtown Madness Round 3 Match-Ups Revealed

You thought Round 1 was exciting? Nearly 1,200 voters made their voices heard (and all without a single annoying robocall from our candidates) in our back-and-forth, Round 2 of Downtown Madness. No rest for the weary though as Round 3 is just around the corner. Before we turn the page to the next round, let's review the game film as well as the final results of last week's Second Round of voting in Downtown Madness: Downtown vs. Crosstown:

DOWNTOWN-

Elgin Public House (219 E. Chicago Street) Turkey Avocado BLT defeats Buckinghams Steakhouse (250 S. Grove Avenue inside Grand Victoria Casino) Grand Tomahawk by 41

Prime BurgerHouse (250 S. Grove Avenue inside Grand Victoria Casino) Drunken Bull Burger defeats Ravenheart Coffee (176 E. Chicago Street) Macadamia Nut White Mocha by 177

CROSSTOWN-

Danny's Pizza (302-D S. McLean Blvd) Sausage and Pepperoni Pizza defeats Herb's Bakery (1020 Larkin Avenue) German Pretzel Roll by 137

Paul's Family Restaurant (1300 Lawrence Avenue) Apple Bacon Cheddar Sandwich defeats Nick's Pizza and Pub (990 S. Randall Road) Nick's Special by 241

That means your Downtown Madness Final Four match-ups in Round 3 are as follows:

DOWNTOWN-

Elgin Public House Turkey Avocado BLT vs. Prime BurgerHouse Drunken Bull Burger

CROSSTOWN-

Danny's Pizza Sausage and Pepperoni Pizza vs. Paul's Family Restaurant Apple Bacon Cheddar Sandwich

Voting for Round 3 tips Friday, March 23 at Noon thru Monday, March 26 at 5PM. Online voting forms will be available at DowntownElgin.com, on the DNA Facebook page at Facebook.com/DowntownElgin, DNA Twitter page at Twitter.com/DowntownElgin and will be e-mailed to all participating Rounds 1 and 2 voters and Downtown Neighborhood News Top 10 weekly eblast subscribers. To subscribe to the DNN Top 10 eblast, click here!

Time's running out to pick up your Elgin "Eat 16" punch card ticket at any of the 16 participating Downtown Madness venues and receive punches for trying each of the competing signature dishes. Collect all 16 required punches and return your completed punch card ticket to the DNA, 2 Douglas Avenue, Elgin, IL 60120, by April 4 to score a Downtown Madness t-shirt and your chance to win other great prizes.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Downtown Madness Score Central Update - March 19

The calendar says today is the last official day of winter but the forecast calls for an avalanche of last second votes...and lots and lots of Madness!

Here are the Downtown Madness voting results thru Monday, March 19 at 10:30AM:

DOWNTOWN-

Elgin Public House Turkey Avocado BLT leads Buckinghams Steakhouse Grand Tomahawk by 41

Prime Burgerhouse Drunken Bull Burger leads Ravenheart Coffee Macadamia Nut White Mocha by 108

CROSSTOWN-

Danny's Pizza Sausage and Pepperoni Pizza leads Herb's Bakery German Pretzel Roll by 72

Paul's Family Restaurant Apple Cheddar Bacon Sandwich leads Nick's Pizza and Pub Nick's Special by 102

The shot clock is winding down on Round 2. Time to heave up some shots from DOWNTOWN (or crosstown - its all good). Work some last second magic for your team and VOTE NOW!

Round 2 voting concludes TODAY at 5PM!

Time is also running out to pick up your Elgin "Eat 16" punch card at any participating Downtown Madness venue. Visit all 16 and receive punches for trying each "signature dish" in the bracket. Collect all 16 punches to claim your Downtown Madness t-shirt and a chance to score even bigger prizes - including gift certificates to each participating establishment and other great prizes! To qualify, return your completed punch card ticket to DNA, 2 Douglas Avenue, Elgin, IL 60120 by April 4.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Downtown Madness Score Central Update - March 18

We're just past the halfway point of Round 2 of Downtown Madness. It's been a back-and-forth affair thus far but there's still plenty of time left on the game clock.

Here are the Downtown Madness voting results thru Saturday, March 18 at 11AM:

DOWNTOWN-

Buckinghams Steakhouse Grand Tomahawk leads Elgin Public House Turkey Avocado BLT by 52

Prime Burgerhouse Drunken Bull Burger leads Ravenheart Coffee Macadamia Nut White Mocha by 129

CROSSTOWN-

Danny's Pizza Sausage and Pepperoni Pizza leads Herb's Bakery German Pretzel Roll by 86

Paul's Family Restaurant Apple Cheddar Bacon Sandwich leads Nick's Pizza and Pub Nick's Special by 71

Keep the Madness going for your favorite Elite "Ate" teams. Run the three man (or woman) weave by telling three friends to get off the bench and VOTE NOW!

Round 2 voting concludes Monday, March 19 at 5PM.

Don't forget to pick up your Elgin "Eat 16" punch card at any participating Downtown Madness venue. Visit all 16 and receive punches for trying each "signature dish" in the bracket. Collect all 16 punches to claim your Downtown Madness t-shirt and a chance to score even bigger prizes - including gift certificates to each participating establishment and other great prizes! To qualify, return your completed punch card ticket to DNA, 2 Douglas Avenue, Elgin, IL 60120 by April 4.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Downtown Madness Score Central Update - March 17

Happy St. Patrick's Day Downtown Madness peeps! Thus far in the early portions of Round 2, some of our Elite "Ate" group of Elgin eateries are on their way to finding a Pot 'o Gold at the end of their Madness rainbows. And like that other big dance going on right now, some of our Madness "underdogs" are pulling a Lehigh or Norfolk State - seemingly with the Luck 'o the Irish on their sides.

Here are the Downtown Madness voting results thru Saturday, March 17 at 10AM:

DOWNTOWN-

Buckinghams Steakhouse Grand Tomahawk leads Elgin Public House Turkey Avocado BLT by 15

Prime Burgerhouse Drunken Bull Burger leads Ravenheart Coffee Macadamia Nut White Mocha by 119

CROSSTOWN-

Herb's Bakery German Pretzel Roll leads Danny's Pizza Sausage and Pepperoni Pizza by 36

Paul's Family Restaurant Apple Cheddar Bacon Sandwich leads Nick's Pizza and Pub Nick's Special by 86

If you want to keep your teams dancing a fine Irish jig into Round 3, don't just kiss the Blarney stone. GET OUT AND ROCK THE VOTE! Gather up all your favorite lads and lasses and vote Vote VOTE NOW!

Round 2 voting concludes Monday, March 19 at 5PM.

Don't forget to pick up your Elgin "Eat 16" punch card at any participating Downtown Madness venue. Visit all 16 and receive punches for trying each "signature dish" in the bracket. Collect all 16 punches to claim your Downtown Madness t-shirt and a chance to score even bigger prizes - including gift certificates to each participating establishment and other great prizes! To qualify, return your completed punch card ticket to DNA, 2 Douglas Avenue, Elgin, IL 60120 by April 4.

Slainte!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Downtown Madness Round 2 Match-Ups Announced

After a record-setting Opening Round of voting, our Downtown Madness voters have spoken loudly and proudly and we are now ready to advance to Round 2. But before we move forward, let's look back at the final results of last week's Opening Round of voting in Downtown Madness: Downtown vs. Crosstown:

DOWNTOWN-

Elgin Public House (219 E. Chicago Street) Turkey Avocado BLT defeats Toom Toom Thai Restaurant (23 S. Grove Avenue) Nam Tok by 213

Buckinghams Steakhouse (250 S. Grove Avenue inside Grand Victoria Casino) Grand Tomahawk defeats Villa Verone Ristorante Italiano (13 Douglas Avenue) Gamberi e Cappesante Scampi by 157

Ravenheart Coffee (176 E. Chicago Street) Macadamia Nut White Mocha defeats Prairie Rock Grill (127 S. Grove Avenue) Prairie Rock Cuban by 139

Prime BurgerHouse (250 S. Grove Avenue inside Grand Victoria Casino) Drunken Bull Burger defeats Al's Cafe (43 DuPage Court) Roasted Salmon Mediterranean by 123

CROSSTOWN-

Herb's Bakery (1020 Larkin Avenue) German Pretzel Roll defeats In the Neighborhood Deli (185 Edison Avenue) Garlic Dijon Chicken Sandwich by 57

Danny's Pizza (302-D S. McLean Blvd) Sausage and Pepperoni Pizza defeats The Walnut Speakeasy (214 Walnut Avenue) Ribs by 47

Paul's Family Restaurant (1300 Lawrence Avenue) Apple Bacon Cheddar Sandwich defeats Colonial Cafe (600 S. McLean Blvd) Ultimate Grilled Mac and Cheese Melt by 199

Nick's Pizza and Pub (990 S. Randall Road) Nick's Special defeats Big Apple Bagels (561 N. McLean Blvd) Big Apple Club by 105

Your Elgin Elite "Ate" match-ups in Round 2 are as follows:

DOWNTOWN-

Elgin Public House Turkey Avocado BLT vs. Buckinghams Steakhouse Grand Tomahawk

Ravenheart Coffee Macadamia Nut White Mocha vs. Prime Burgerhouse Drunken Bull Burger

CROSSTOWN-

Herb's Bakery German Pretzel Roll vs. Danny's Pizza Sausage and Pepperoni Pizza

Paul's Family Restaurant Apple Bacon Cheddar Sandwich vs. Nick's Pizza and Pub Nick's Special

Voting for Round 2 tips Friday, March 16 at Noon thru Monday, March 19 at 5PM. Online voting forms will be available at DowntownElgin.com, on the DNA Facebook page at Facebook.com/DowntownElgin, DNA Twitter page at Twitter.com/DowntownElgin and will be e-mailed to all participating Round 1 voters and Downtown Neighborhood News Top 10 weekly eblast subscribers. To subscribe to the DNN Top 10 eblast, click here!

Don't forget now thru April 4, Downtown Madness participants can punch your "big dance" ticket and win big with our new partner punch card promotion: Elgin "Eat 16".

Pick up your Elgin "Eat 16" punch card ticket at the DNA office at 2 Douglas Avenue in downtown Elgin or at any participating venue and receive punches for trying each of the 16 Downtown Madness signature dishes. Collect all 16 required punches and return your completed punch card ticket to the DNA, 2 Douglas Avenue, Elgin, IL 60120, to score a Downtown Madness t-shirt and your chance to win other great prizes.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Downtown Madness Score Central Update - March 12

It's now or never time! The shot clock is winding down on the Opening Round of Downtown Madness 2012: Downtown vs. Crosstown. Does your team have one last good run in them to finish out strong?

Here are the Downtown Madness voting results thru Monday, March 12 at 10:30AM (actual voting totals will be released after Round 1 is completed on Monday, March 12 at 5PM):

DOWNTOWN:

Elgin Public House Turkey Avocado BLT leads Toom Toom Thai Restaurant Nam Tok

Buckinghams Steakhouse Grand Tomahawk leads Villa Verone Gamberi e Casspesante Scampi

Ravenheart Coffee Macadamia Nut White Mocha leads Prairie Rock Bar and Grill Prairie Rock Cuban

Prime Burgerhouse Drunken Bull Burger leads Al's Cafe Roasted Salmon Mediterranean

CROSSTOWN:

Herb's Bakery German Pretzel Roll leads In the Neighborhood Deli Garlic Dijon Chicken Sandwich

Danny's Pizza Sausage and Pepperoni Pizza leads The Walnut Speakeasy Ribs

Paul's Family Restaurant Apple Bacon Cheddar Sandwich leads Colonial Cafe Ultimate Grilled Mac and Cheese Melt

Nick's Pizza and Pub Nick's Special leads Big Apple Bagels Big Apple Club

If you have not done so already NOW IS THE TIME TO VOTE! This is where legends are made and champions are born! If you want to see your teams continue dancing into the second round, lace up the sneakers, get off the bench and VOTE NOW!

Round 1 voting concludes TODAY at 5PM.

As we speak, there are a couple of Opening Round match-ups that are extremely tight (separated by less than 30 votes each). Though unprecedented, in the event of a tie in any of the Round 1 match-ups, we will go to OVERTIME! If that should become necessary, we will make an announcement tonight at 5:30PM. We will then launch a new Round 1 OVERTIME Voting Form (for the tied competitors only) beginning tonight at 7PM and reopen the voting (meaning everyone who has voted previously can vote again). Round 1 OVERTIME voting would close Wednesday morning at 10AM. Stay tuned!

Time is also running out to take the Downtown Madness Pick 'Em Challenge. Correctly predict the winners of ALL 15 Downtown Madness match-ups round-by-round for your shot at $100 in Downtown Elgin Gift Certificates. Download your Pick 'Em Challenge brackets at www.DowntownElgin.com and submit your picks to DNA, 2 Douglas Avenue, Elgin, IL 60120 by Tuesday, March 13.

And don't forget to pick up your Elgin "Eat 16" punch card at any participating Downtown Madness venue. Visit all 16 and receive punches for trying each "signature dish" in the bracket. Collect all 16 punches to claim your Downtown Madness t-shirt and a chance to score even bigger prizes - including gift certificates to each participating establishment and other great prizes! To qualify, return your completed punch card ticket to DNA, 2 Douglas Avenue, Elgin, IL 60120 by April 4.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Downtown Madness Score Central Update - March 11

Hope you remembered to set your clocks ahead because time is running out on the Opening Round of Downtown Madness 2012: Downtown vs. Crosstown. Time to separate the contenders from the pretenders and see if Cinderella has one more dance left in those glass slippers.

Here are the Downtown Madness voting results thru Sunday, March 11 at 11AM (actual voting totals will be released after Round 1 is completed on Monday, March 12 at 5PM):

DOWNTOWN:

Elgin Public House Turkey Avocado BLT leads Toom Toom Thai Restaurant Nam Tok

Buckinghams Steakhouse Grand Tomahawk leads Villa Verone Gamberi e Casspesante Scampi

Ravenheart Coffee Macadamia Nut White Mocha leads Prairie Rock Bar and Grill Prairie Rock Cuban

Prime Burgerhouse Drunken Bull Burger leads Al's Cafe Roasted Salmon Mediterranean

CROSSTOWN:

Herb's Bakery German Pretzel Roll leads In the Neighborhood Deli Garlic Dijon Chicken Sandwich

Danny's Pizza Sausage and Pepperoni Pizza leads The Walnut Speakeasy Ribs

Paul's Family Restaurant Apple Bacon Cheddar Sandwich leads Colonial Cafe Ultimate Grilled Mac and Cheese Melt

Nick's Pizza and Pub Nick's Special leads Big Apple Bagels Big Apple Club

It's now or never time people! If you want to see your teams continue dancing in the second round, you need to pull together and garner voting support for your favorite Elgin eateries! THEY NEED YOUR CLUTCH VOTING SUPPORT! Get off the bench and VOTE NOW!

Round 1 voting concludes Monday, March 12 at 5PM.

Our next Downtown Madness Score Central Update will be Monday, March 12 at 11AM.

Time is also running out to take the Downtown Madness Pick 'Em Challenge. Correctly predict the winners of ALL 15 Downtown Madness match-ups round-by-round for your shot at $100 in Downtown Elgin Gift Certificates. Download your Pick 'Em Challenge brackets at www.DowntownElgin.com and submit your picks to DNA, 2 Douglas Avenue, Elgin, IL 60120 by Tuesday, March 13.

And don't forget to pick up your Elgin "Eat 16" punch card at any participating Downtown Madness venue. Visit all 16 and receive punches for trying each "signature dish" in the bracket. Collect all 16 punches to claim your Downtown Madness t-shirt and a chance to score even bigger prizes - including gift certificates to each participating establishment and other great prizes! To qualify, return your completed punch card ticket to DNA, 2 Douglas Avenue, Elgin, IL 60120 by April 4.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Downtown Madness Score Central Update - March 10

It's halftime of the Opening Round of Downtown Madness 2012: Downtown vs. Crosstown. Time for some teams to make a few critical halftime adjustments and come out strong in the second half.

Here are the Downtown Madness voting results thru Saturday, March 10 at 11AM (actual voting totals will be released after Round 1 is completed on Monday, March 12 at 5PM):

DOWNTOWN:

Elgin Public House Turkey Avocado BLT leads Toom Toom Thai Restaurant Nam Tok

Buckinghams Steakhouse Grand Tomahawk leads Villa Verone Gamberi e Casspesante Scampi

Ravenheart Coffee Macadamia Nut White Mocha leads Prairie Rock Bar and Grill Prairie Rock Cuban

Prime Burgerhouse Drunken Bull Burger leads Al's Cafe Roasted Salmon Mediterranean

CROSSTOWN:

Herb's Bakery German Pretzel Roll leads In the Neighborhood Deli Garlic Dijon Chicken Sandwich

Walnut Speakeasy Ribs leads Danny's Pizza Sausage and Pepperoni Pizza

Paul's Family Restaurant Apple Bacon Cheddar Sandwich leads Colonial Cafe Ultimate Grilled Mac and Cheese Melt

Nick's Pizza and Pub Nick's Special leads Big Apple Bagels Big Apple Club

It's gut check time people! Time to bust the brackets and get behind your Elgin alma mater! If you want to see your teams advance to the second round, tell everyone to get in the game and VOTE NOW!

Round 1 voting concludes Monday, March 12 at 5PM.

Our next Downtown Madness Score Central Update will be Sunday, March 11 at 1PM.

Be sure to take the Downtown Madness Pick 'Em Challenge this weekend. Correctly predict the winners of ALL 15 Downtown Madness match-ups round-by-round for your shot at $100 in Downtown Elgin Gift Certificates. Download your Pick 'Em Challenge brackets at www.DowntownElgin.com and submit your picks to DNA, 2 Douglas Avenue, Elgin, IL 60120 by Tuesday, March 13.

And don't forget to pick up your Elgin "Eat 16" punch card at any participating Downtown Madness venue. Visit all 16 and receive punches for trying each "signature dish" in the bracket. Collect all 16 punches to claim your Downtown Madness t-shirt and a chance to score even bigger prizes - including gift certificates to each participating establishment and other great prizes! To qualify, return your completed punch card ticket to DNA, 2 Douglas Avenue, Elgin, IL 60120 by April 4.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Downtown Madness Score Central Update - March 9

We're nearly through the halfway point of the Opening Round of Downtown Madness 2012: Downtown vs. Crosstown. The first half competition has been intense across the board. Many teams have had strong performances thus far and get your glass dancing slippers ready because Cinderella stories are taking shape!

Here are the results thru Friday, March 9 at 4PM (actual voting totals will be released after Round 1 is completed on Monday, March 12 at 5PM):

DOWNTOWN:

Elgin Public House Turkey Avocado BLT leads Toom Toom Thai Restaurant Nam Tok

Buckinghams Steakhouse Grand Tomahawk leads Villa Verone Gamberi e Casspesante Scampi

Ravenheart Coffee Macadamia Nut White Mocha leads Prairie Rock Grill Prairie Rock Cuban

Prime Burgerhouse Drunken Bull Burger leads Als Cafe Roasted Salmon Mediterranean

CROSSTOWN:

Herb's Bakery German Pretzel Roll leads In the Neighborhood Deli Garlic Dijon Chicken Sandwich

Danny's Pizza Sausage & Pepperoni Pizza leads Walnut Speakeasy Ribs

Paul's Family Restaurant Apple Bacon Cheddar Sandwich leads Colonial Cafe Ultimate Grilled Mac & Cheese Melt

Nick's Pizza Nick's Special leads Big Apple Bagels Big Apple Club

This is where the rubber meets the road folks!

If your favorite team is trailing, time to rally the support from friends and family (and their friends and family) to get out and rock the vote.

If your team is leading, don't let off the gas now as no lead is safe in this Big Dance. Empty the bench by telling 10 friends to vote for your team now...and then tell each of them to tell 10 more friends to vote as well!

Bust the brackets and support your favorite Elgin eateries! Round 1 voting concludes Monday, March 12 at 5PM.

Our next Downtown Madness Score Central Update will be Saturday, March 10 at 12PM.

Be sure to take the Downtown Madness Pick 'Em Challenge this weekend. Correctly predict the winners of ALL 15 Downtown Madness match-ups round-by-round for your shot at $100 in Downtown Elgin Gift Certificates. Download your Pick 'Em Challenge brackets at http://www.DowntownElgin.com and submit your picks to DNA by Tuesday, March 13.

And don't forget to pick up your Elgin "Eat 16" punch card at any participating Downtown Madness venue. Visit all 16 and receive punches for trying each "signature dish" in the bracket. Collect all 16 punches to claim your Downtown Madness t-shirt and a chance to score even bigger prizes - including gift certificates to each participating establishment and other great prizes! To qualify, return your completed punch card ticket to DNA by April 4.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Downtown Madness 2012: Downtown vs. Crosstown

Downtown Madness, the Downtown Neighborhood Association of Elgin's award-winning, social media driven restaurant promotion tips off Wednesday, March 7. This year's encore edition pits eight downtown Elgin eateries and their signature dishes against eight of their "crosstown" rivals' in an epicurean battle for Elgin bragging rights, where the public's votes determine the winners round-by-round until a champion is crowned.

The brackets for this year's field of 16 sweet Elgin dishes are set. Here are the opening round match-ups:

DOWNTOWN

Elgin Public House (219 E. Chicago Street) Turkey Avocado BLT vs.
Toom Toom Thai Restaurant (23 S. Grove Avenue) Nam Tok

Villa Verone (13 Douglas Avenue) Gamberi e Cappesante Scampi vs.
Buckingham's Steakhouse (250 S. Grove Avenue inside Grand Victoria Casino) Grand Tomahawk

Prairie Rock Grill (127 S. Grove Avenue) Prairie Rock Cuban vs.
Ravenheart Coffee (176 E. Chicago Street) Macadamia Nut White Mocha

Prime BurgerHouse (250 S. Grove Avenue) Drunken Bull Burger vs.
Al's Cafe (43 DuPage Court) Roasted Salmon Mediterranean

CROSSTOWN

In the Neighborhood Deli (185 Edison Street) Garlic Dijon Chicken Sandwich vs.
Herb's Bakery (1020 Larkin Avenue) German Pretzel Roll

The Walnut Speakeasy (214 Walnut Avenue) Ribs vs.
Danny's Pizza (302 S. McLean Blvd) Sausage and Pepperoni Pizza

Paul's Family Restaurant (1300 Lawrence Avenue) Apple Bacon Cheddar Sandwich vs.
Colonial Cafe (600 S. McLean Blvd) Ultimate Grilled Mac and Cheese Melt

Nick's Pizza & Pub (990 S. Randall Road) Nick's Special vs.
Big Apple Bagels (561 N. McLean Blvd) Big Apple Club

Voters choose their favorites in each of the eight opening round match-ups via the Downtown Madness online voting form, which can be found at http://www.DowntownElgin.com beginning Wednesday, March 7 at Noon. All voters must provide a first and last name and a valid e-mail address. LIMIT ONE ballot per person, per round.

Opening Round voting closes on Monday, March 12 at 5PM. Voters can follow the results with daily updates via Downtown Madness Score Central updates on the DNA Blog at http://downtownelgin.blogspot.com.

The establishments receiving the higher vote totals in each match-up advance to Round 2, which takes place from Friday, March 16 at Noon thru Monday, March 19 at 5PM. Third round voting occurs Friday, March 23 at Noon thru Monday, March 26 at 5PM. The winners of both the Downtown bracket and Crosstown bracket face-off against one another in the Championship Round which takes place between Friday, March 30 at Noon and Monday, April 2 at 11:59PM.

ELGIN "EAT 16" PUNCH CARD PROMOTION

While Downtown Madness voters can pick the winners, they can also punch their "big dance" ticket and to eat, play and win big with a new Downtown Madness punch card promotion known as the Elgin "Eat 16". Thru April 4, individuals can pick up their Elgin "Eat 16" punch card ticket at the DNA office, 2 Douglas Avenue in downtown Elgin, or at any participating venue and receive punches for trying each of the Downtown Madness signature dishes. After collecting all 16 required punches, participants can return their completed punch card ticket to the DNA to score a Downtown Madness t-shirt. They will also be entered into a drawing for a chance to win other great prizes.

DOWNTOWN MADNESS PICK 'EM CHALLENGE

Participants can also take a winning shot at $100 in Downtown Elgin Gift Certificates with the Downtown Madness Pick 'Em Challenge. Participants who Download the Downtown Madness Pick 'Em Brackets and correctly predict the winners of ALL 15 match-ups can score big. Pick 'Em Challenge brackets must be completed and received by the DNA no later than Tuesday, March 13. Submissions can be mailed to DNA, 2 Douglas Ave, Elgin, IL 60120, faxed to (847) 488-1449 or e-mailed to downtownelgin@gmail.com.

In addition to being awarded the Downtown Madness traveling trophy for 2012, the winning establishment will also receive a free "Blue" Level Sponsorship in the City of Elgin's 2012 Fourth of July Parade.

Links to the Downtown Madness online voting form are also available via the DNA's Facebook page at http://www.Facebook.com/DowntownElgin or by signing up for their Downtown Neighborhood News Top 10 e-blast. Participating establishments will also have links to the voting form through their individual web sites and social media pages.

During last year's promotion, Elgin Public House's Pulled Pork Sandwich captured the Downtown Madness hardware after holding off Bangkok House and Shanghai Restaurant's Pa-Naeng in a hotly contested Championship Round of voting.

This past October, Downtown Madness was honored with a Lt. Governor's Award for Main Street Revitalization Promotion at the Illinois Main Street Conference and Awards Dinner in Galesburg, Illinois.

Friday, March 02, 2012

Downtown Madness Selection Show Tips Off on Tuesday

The Madness returns this March - only this time the “steaks” will be raised and the field will be even hungrier!

Downtown Madness, the Downtown Neighborhood Association of Elgin's award-winning, restaurant & bar social media promotion returns for an encore performance as... this year eight downtown venues face-off against eight crosstown rivals!

The brackets for this year's field of 16 sweet Elgin eateries will be released on Tuesday, March 6 on a special Downtown Madness Selection Show on WRMN-AM 1410 from 9-10AM and at the DNA website at www.DowntownElgin.com on Wednesday, March 7.

Punch your ticket to Elgin's "big dance" and win big with our new Downtown Madness promotion: the Elgin "Eat 16".

Starting March 7, pick up your "Eat 16" punch card ticket at any of the 16 participating establishments, visit each venue and receive punches for trying each signature dish/drink. Collect all 16 punches to score a Downtown Madness t-shirt and your chance to win other great prizes!

Help your favorite "teams" bust the brackets by casting your votes and telling family and friends to join your team with their votes!

Whether you're pulling for downtown or crosstown, this year's Downtown Madness is a battle for Elgin epicurean pride!
 
Opening round voting tips Wednesday, March 7 at 5PM! Join the Madness!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Downtown Madness Returns with new Elgin "Eat 16" Promotion

The Madness returns this March - only this time the “steaks” will be raised and the field will be even hungrier!

Downtown Madness, the Downtown Neighborhood Association of Elgin’s award-winning restaurant and bar promotion tips off Wednesday, March 7. This epicurean and decidedly Elgin slant on the NCAA’s March Madness basketball tournament pits the signature dishes or drinks from 16 local establishments against one another in a month-long, social media driven, bracket tournament, where the voting public determines the winners of each match up, round-by-round until a champion is crowned on April 4.

This year’s encore edition will expand its scope to include all Elgin restaurants and bars - not just downtown Elgin ones - as we pit eight downtown eateries and pubs against eight of their crosstown rivals. We call this 2012 version of our "Big Dance" Downtown Madness: Downtown vs. Crosstown.
Bust the brackets by casting your votes and supporting your favorite teams...downtown OR crosstown!
Additionally, Downtown Madness participants can also punch their dance ticket and win big with our new complementary promotion: Elgin "Eat 16".

Starting in March, guests can pick up their "Eat 16" punch card ticket at the DNA, 2 Douglas Avenue, or at any of the 16 participating establishments. Visit each venue during the length of the promotion and receive special punches for trying each signature dish/drink. Collect all 16 required punches to score a Downtown Madness t-shirt and take your shot at some great prizes!

With Downtown Madness you can eat, drink, play and win!

Interested Elgin restaurants or bars should contact Jason Pawlowski at 847-488-1456 or e-mail jpawlowski@elginil.org. Participation deadline is Friday, March 2.

Monday, February 20, 2012

PK's Reopens Doors for Vintage Open House

On Friday, February 24 from 5-10PM and Saturday, February 25 from 10AM-5PM, PK's Antiques, 19 Douglas Avenue in the basement of Keeney's Sporting Goods, will reopen its doors to the public one more time for PK's Vintage Open House - an exclusive vintage shopping experience.

The public is invited to browse and shop the trove of antiques and vintage items in the store, as well as, some of Patricia Keeney's "personal treasures" including never-before-seen hats and purses. This will be your last chance to view and purchase merchandise before it goes up for auction (date to be announced). NOTE: The sporting goods in Keeney's will not be available for sale.

The organizers of PK's Vintage Open House are also seeking volunteers to work the event and help with set-up. For more information about volunteering, e-mail karin@kjhins.com.

Also while in downtown Elgin that weekend, vintage shoppers can check out the Cat's Pajamas Vintage Clothing & Jewelry Show at The Hemmens Cultural Center, 45 Symphony Way, on Friday and Saturday during the same hours. Shop two full floors filled with 75 booths of the finest vintage fashion exhibitors anywhere!

Admission to the Cat's Pajamas show is $10 ($2 off Friday admission if you dress in vintage). Early buying is available beginning at 3PM for $60. Free parking, cocktail bar, vintage clothing contest and a live rockabilly on Friday evening.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Sweet Valentine's Values in Downtown Elgin


Looking for a romantic evening on the town this Valentine's Day? Then let Cupid's arrow point you towards Downtown Elgin for a veritable variety of Valentine's activities for you and your special someone.

Here is a heart-shaped sampler box of events courtesy of the Downtown Neighborhood Association of Elgin:

"All You Need is Love" Valentine's Weekend Dinner
Saturday, February 11-Tuesday, February 14


Villa Verone Ristorante Italiano
13 Douglas Avenue
847-742-0263
http://www.VillaVerone.net

Love is in the air at Villa Verone Ristorante Italiano this Valentine's Day. All weekend long through the big day, bring your beloved to VV for a romantic evening filled with delicious food, wine and sweets. For $75 per couple (tax & gratuity not included), guests will receive an appetizer, two entrees, a dessert and a bottle of wine. Make your reservations now!

Salon Couture Valentine's Day Event
Saturday, February 11, 9AM-5PM


Salon Couture
176 E. Chicago Street
847-488-1465
http://www.SalonCouture.biz

Guests will enjoy:
- Complimentary mimosas and pastries
- Complimentary Deep Conditioning Treatments, Hand Massages and Paraffin Treatments
- All products will be 15% off

Spa Packages include:
- Half Hour Facial and Massage - $75
- Hour Facial and Massage - $115
- Make-up and Style from the Blo Dri Bar - $50
- Manicure and Pedicure - $50
- Beauty-on-Demand Facials - $20

There will be Special Love Readings and Chakra & Aura Photography from Crystal Rivers Gifts for only $10 and a representative from Cookie Lee Jewelry will also be on-hand with special offers! Reserve your spot now!

Have a Heart Community Dinner at
The Hemmens Cultural Center
45 Symphony Way
Sunday, February 12, 11AM-2PM


Presented by In the Neighborhood Deli
185 Edison
847-888-9486
http://www.itndeli.com

Chef Jeff Turner from In the Neighborhood Deli, 185 Edison, invites you to attend the 3rd Annual Have a Heart Dinner at Hemmens Cultural Center, 45 Symphony Way.

Volunteers are needed to work the following shifts: 8:30-10:30AM; 10:30AM-1:30PM; and 1:30-3:30PM. Donations of desserts, as well as financial donations payable to Elgin Community Network, will be accepted at In the Neighborhood Deli on Friday, February 10 from 8AM-3PM or at Hemmens from 2-5PM or on the day of the event.

The dinner is for the entire Elgin community. This event is free and no reservations or tickets are needed.

For more information, contact Chef Jeff at itndeli@gmail.com.

Candlelight Dinner at Al's Cafe
Sunday, February 12 and Tuesday, February 14, 4-9PM

Al's Cafe & Creamery
43 Dupage Court
847-742-1180
http://www.AlsCafe.com

Al's Cafe has something special for that someone special in your life...a candlelight dinner!

Chef Tony Jamin has prepared a romantic dinner menu for you and your Valentine. With dishes to choose from including Love Me Tender, Always & Forever, Cupid's Arrow and Eternal Flame, you're sure to ignite your night with dinner by candlelight!

Visit http://www.AlsCafe.com for the complete Candlelight Dinner Menu.

All of the ladies receive a special gift of Chef Tony's amazing hand-rolled truffles! Anyone who purchases $25 in Al's Cafe Gift Certificates will also receive a box of hand-rolled truffles.

Reservations recommended!

Toom's Valentine's Day Special
Tuesday, February 14


Toom Toom Thai Restaurant
23 S. Grove Avenue
847-531-8755
http://www.ToomToomThai.net

On Valentine's Day, Toom Toom Thai Restaurant opens their doors for a special Tuesday of Great Thai Food by Thai People! Cupid (also known as Chef Toom) invites everyone for a free shot of Thai Coffee or Thai Tea with a lunch or dinner purchase.

Bangkok House Valentine's Day Special
Tuesday, February 14


Bangkok House & Shanghai Restaurant
11 Douglas Avenue
847-742-0263

Bangkok House & Shanghai Restaurant, celebrating their 25th Anniversary in business in downtown Elgin this February, invite customers to enjoy a free dessert with any entree after 5PM.

EPH Valentine's Day Dinner Pairing
Tuesday, February 14, 6:30PM


Elgin Public House
219 E. Chicago Street
847-468-8810
http://www.ElginPublicHouse.com

On Valentine's Day evening, Elgin Public House invites you and your sweetie to their Valentine's Day Dinner Pairing.

For $60 per person, enjoy a lovingly prepared six-course meal (including reception and dessert courses) each paired with a romantic concoction including a Pomagranite Champagne Cocktail, Windy City Wheat Pale Ale, assorted red and white wines and a Chocolate Pomagranite Martini.

Visit http://www.ElginPublicHouse.com and click on "EVENTS" for the complete Valentine's Day Dinner menu.

Reservations are required! Call now!

Martini Room's Celebration of Romance
Tuesday, February 14, 7:30PM
Martini Room
161 E. Chicago Street
847-741-0349
On Valentine's night, Martini Room rolls out the red carpet for you on their Valentine's Day Celebration of Romance to bring you and your significant other an amazing, sensual evening full of guilty pleasures!

Known for their chocolate martinis, Martini Room will become a chocolate lover's heaven! Be prepared to indulge your taste buds with their complimentary Chocolate Fountain, complete with delicious edibles such as strawberries, grapes, pears, vanilla wafers and angel cake!

Valentine's Day specials include Martini Room's Godiva Chocolate Martini for $9 and Chocolate Raspberry Martini, the martini of the month, for $7.

Sign up for their Romantic Raffle with some amazing prizes including a Romantic Spa Day at Trendsetters Salon & Spa valued at $320 as well as Martini Room gift certificates! Winners need not be present to win.

The Larkin Center Sweetheart Auction
Saturday, February 18, 6:30PM-Midnight
Chicago Northwest Marriott
4800 Hoffman Blvd., Hoffman Estates

The Larkin Center, a DNA Community Non-Profit member located at 1212 Larkin Avenue, invites you to Reach for the Stars at their 16th Annual Sweetheart Bachelor and Bachelorette Auction at the Chicago Marriott Northwest, 4800 Hoffman Boulevard in Hoffman Estates.

Tickets are $35 per person (which includes one FREE drink between 6:30-7:30PM). There will be dancing, appetizers, a 50/50 raffle, dessert bar and live & silent auctions. Plus 16 Bachelors and Bachelorettes, including the DNA's Promotions Coordinator Jason Pawlowski, will be up for bid along with some fantastic date packages including:

- Sunset Dinner Cruise for 2 on the Grand Belle of Lake Geneva
- Spring Wine Flight Dinner for 2 at Gordy's Boat House in Fontana, Wisconsin
- Chicago Blackhawks vs Minnesota Wild tickets for 2 in the Bud Light Lounge (includes all food and drinks)
- 3-Hour City Lights Cruise for 2 on Lake Michigan
- Dennis DeYoung concert at the Hemmens on March 16 with dinner for 2 at Villa Verone Ristorante Italiano

You can purchase tickets to the Sweetheart Auction online at http://LarkinCenter.org/Sweetheart.html or call Sharon Prizy at 847-695-5656 x263.

For more information about Downtown Elgin, visit the DNA's website at http://www.DowntownElgin.com.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Resources for Illinois Food/Agriculture Businesses


You would think that a market manager would be off in some sunny area resting her weary bones from the summer’s hectic and fun schedule, but like our vendors, I am busy plotting, planning, learning and improving myself and the Downtown Elgin Harvest Market. As some of you know we already have an ongoing survey determining the best times and days for this year’s market. I have learned that cities and events are always changing and evolving to accommodate the needs of its residents, attendees, and existing and potential customers.

I recently took a trip to Springfield where I attended a pre-workshop that led up to the 2012 Illinois Specialty Crops, Agritourism and Organic conference called “Farmers Markets: Creating Resources and Partnerships for a Healthy Community”. I learned quite a bit in the areas of the LINK program (which we will be unveiling this year) as well as new state laws. I also saw some really informative presentations about a variety of topics some more broad and some more specific. I even shared and networked with other market managers from all over the stat,e including Lisa Bralts from the Urbana Market at the Square, Keith Johnson from the Woodstock Farmers Market, Roxanne Junge with the Glenview Market, Lindsey Engelsman from DeKalb’s Farmers Market and Dee Basile with the Aurora Farmers Markets which is celebrating their 100th year!

I particularly wanted to give a heads up on four possible resources for Illinois businesses, especially when it comes to agriculture and food.  Hopefully what I share will be helpful:

This program from the Illinois Department of Agriculture identifies Illinois products in various retail establishments – from major grocery stores to local community farmers markets.  Currently over 500 food and agribusinesses utilize this logo. The great thing is that any entity that produces, processes, packages or manufactures a food or agribusiness product in Illinois can be authorized to participate in the logo program – and it is FREE of CHARGE.

2)      Market Maker 
This is another great FREE marketing tool for anyone that does anything with food.  It is a web-based resource that connects farmers, fishermen, processors, distributors, food retailers, and consumers. The thing I really liked about it, aside from being another way for potential customers and vendors to find us, is that it contains demographics and business data for you to identify markets by those characteristics; enables you to find lists of potential marketing partners by location, and also notifies you when someone pops up in your area.

Though several of our vendors could be considered organic, most of them are too small to afford the certification costs. This wonderful program exists to alleviate that burden on small businesses who are producers and handlers.  If eligible this program will reimburse that business a portion of the costs of organic certification, up to 75% of the costs up to a maximum of $750.

4)       Local Producer Loans/Grants – THEY DO EXIST
·         Whole Foods Market Loan Program 
      Loans range from $1,000 to $100,000 and can be for things like purchasing more animals, investing in new equipment or converting to organic production. 
     Grants are available by region and state.  I was quite excited to read about all the monies they gave out, and the wide range of recipients such as: research and education, graduate student projects, professional development, to local farmers and ranchers, and youth/educators.  Definitely worth looking at. 
·         Though harder to get, it is worth mentioning that the Illinois Department of Agriculture usually lists federal grants as well on their webpage. 
·         Illinois Finance Authority 
      This group offers quite the list of lending tools to service farmers and agribusinesses with their pressing capital needs.  Since 2004, they have supported 561 businesses, approved $685 million dollars in financing, and have served over 80+ counties in Illinois.