The Rapidian

"So far, so good": Welcoming The Cheshire Grill to the neighborhood

The newest addition to our local restaurant scene, The Cheshire Grill offers delicious comfort food, local flavor, and just a dash of whimsy.

/Abby Koning

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Want to eat at The Cheshire Grill?

The Cheshire Grill is located at 2162 Plainfield Ave, on the Northeast side. They are open Monday through Sunday from 7 am until 4 pm. Check out their Facebook page to learn more about their prices, their thoughts on comfort food, and their specials. 


By: Abby K.

Opened on January 23, 2012, The Cheshire Grill is the newest addition to the local restaurant scene. Nestled beside the Sweetland candy shop, The Cheshire Grill combines the charm of a 1950s diner with a modern twist. The result is a whimsical and fun dining experience that begins even before you enter the building. As you approach the front windows, the Cheshire cat grins mischievously like an illustration straight out of the pages of Alice in Wonderland. Inside, the old-fashioned soda counter, checkerboard tile floor, and hearty menu reflect the same careful creativity as the logo. 

Three Saturdays ago, my friends and I enjoyed a late breakfast at The Cheshire Grill. A waitress brought us to the Blue Room and seated us in a plush booth decked out for Valentine's Day. While we waited to order, we sampled the complimentary bishop bread, a freshly-baked cinnamon-sugar bread that The Cheshire Grill's specialty baker prepares daily. As is the case with many old-time diners, The Cheshire Grill's menu emphasizes American-style meat dishes, but the chef willingly caters to the vegetarians among us. I ordered the very veggie omelet, a fluffy concoction stuffed full of fresh broccoli, mushrooms, diced onions, spinach, and cheese. It came with yet another of the in-house baker's masterpieces--toast with sundried tomato and rye swirls. It did not disappoint.

The Cheshire Grill is the brainchild of Eric Vorpi, the owner and manager, and his family. Vorpi and his family hail from Rockford, where he owned and managed Big Al's Diner, a restaurant that many Rockfordians know and love. Like Big Al's, The Cheshire Grill aims to be a thoroughly local establishment, continuing the long tradition of local restaurants that formerly called this corner of the neighborhood home. Vorpi appreciates the warm welcome and encouragement he has received from neighbors and friends. "So far, so good," he replies when I ask how he feels about The Cheshire Grill's early days. Admiring the colorful decor and smiling at the large group of newcomers waiting to be seated, I can only agree.

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