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Country House Roots

In 1922, Valentine Kobal decided to build his dream: a country roadhouse where locals could gather for conversation, a cold beer, and a sandwich. He bought a small piece of property on a dirt road (55th street) in what is now Clarendon Hills. He built a two-story frame building.

The first floor housed a tavern and small grocery store. Kobal and his family made their home on the second floor. On the grounds to the east of the building, Kobal designed a park like setting amongst tall pines, black walnut, and oak trees. He filled it with picnic tables, gazebos, and a barbecue pit and invited guests to gather for a meal or a leisurely game of horseshoes.

During Prohibition, The Country House remained open as a grocery store and restaurant. It’s been said that the regulars could still get a drink of their choice in those dry times.

In 1930, the small stone house adjacent to the main building was added. It provided space for a variety of activities throughout the years. For example, it served as a fireworks store, and barbecue stand – amongst other things.

The Country House did well through good times and bad, and in 1958 Mr. Kobal decided to retire. He sold the business to Mr. Richard Montanelli, a decorated World War II bomber pilot. Mr. Montanelli, who already had a successful custom suit and tailor shop in Chicago, bought the business for his mother. As with the Kobals, Mrs. Montanelli could live upstairs and have a business to run downstairs. By the way, it was Mr. Richard Montanelli who changed the name to the “Country House”. Up until then, it had been simply known as “Kobal”s. Several years later, Mrs. Montanelli’s health began to decline and this forced Mr. Montanelli to oversee not only his prominent tailor shop, but also the tavern. Balancing both businesses successfully became difficult and the Country House fell into ill-repair and needed attention.

So, in 1974, four longtime area residents purchased The Country House. After a quick clean up, the Country House opened in the summer and it quickly became a popular spot for college students and the crowds from the Santa Fe Speedway. In the fall, the restaurant was closed for a major renovation. The following winter of 1975 the restaurant re-opened in its present form with a new menu featuring the soon to be famous Country Burger.

Early in the reopening, there were accounts of paranormal events which always involved the appearance of a young woman. These sightings have persisted through the years and have been reported by employees, vendors, and customers. See ghost stories for video presentations of these inexplicable happenings.

In 1985, after ten years of successful operation in Clarendon Hills, a second Country House was opened in Lisle, in the College Square Shopping Center, and in 2015 moved to a larger building in the Green Trail Shopping Mall.

By 1989, David Regnery had become sole owner. Seven years later, in 1996, David decided to move the Country House to the country. He selected a third location in Geneva, Illinois. Located near the Illinois Prairie Path in the Fox River Valley, the new Country House mimics the design of the original but on a larger scale with a spacious Cedar deck overlooking a beautifully landscaped pond. While featuring the acclaimed Country Burger, the expanded Geneva menu still focuses on casual dining with casual pricing.

David Regnery died prematurely in 2009. His family acquired control of the operations, and the restaurants continue to operate in the same manner.

The Country House has seen many years of wonderful business, yet remains true to Kobal’s original concept of a neighborhood roadhouse where friends can meet for good conversation, a cold drink, and a tasty meal.

Fundraising Opportunities

House Shares
Dine at the Country House. We will donate 15% of food receipts to your group.

Star Bartender
Tend Bar at the Country House. We will donate 15% of what your group spends.

Help the Country House
Country House has selected The Wellness House as our newest charitable partner. Founded in 1990, The Wellness House helps people with cancer live their best lives, emotionally and physically.

Community Business Appreciation
Country House will feature a local business every month and offer 25% off lunch! APRIL will feature NICOR, MAY will feature MOLEX.

  • Any featured company current employee is eligible
    • must be able to show a current company ID
  • Only the person with correct ID is eligible(no guests)
  • Program is good entire month – 7 days a week
  • Lunch is defined as between the hours of 11:30 and 3PM
  • Discount is for any menu item
  • Alcohol is not included
  • Cannot be combined with any other discount offer

In the Press

Hinsdale Magazine
The Best of 2019 for our Burgers and Casual Dining Experience

West Suburban Living’s 2019 “Best Burger” Award

Sourcing Pearls from Paradise Especially for Country House

Meet Lynn Banks of Country House Restaurant in Southwestern Suburbs

West Suburban Living’s 2017 “Best Burger” Award

Hinsdale Living

17th Annual Best of the West – Readers Choice Best Burger 10 years in a row. Best of the West 2016

Chicago Tribune published Phil Vettel recommends great burgers in Chicago’s suburbs…

YELP.com Yelp Review 1/2/13 “Favorite burger place in the western burbs”

2011 Kane County Chronicle published Mystery Diner: Panini steals the show at Country House

2009 Suburban Focus – Best of the Chicago Western Suburbs – Best Burger

2008 Insider Magazine – Readers Choice for Best Burger

The audience of Citysearch Chicago selected Country House as Best Burger in Chicagoland 2007

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