Welcome to Partner Spotlight! A highlight of the diverse and talented individuals in our Chicago Northwest region’s hospitality industry.
Meet Ted Boufis, Owner of Local Bar and Grill in Wood Dale
Ted grew up in the restaurant business. His parents, along with his aunts and uncles, owned a family restaurant in Munster, Indiana where he worked throughout his childhood. And throughout those experiences, he always knew he would have his own place one day. In fact, Ted has managed and owned several restaurants over his 25-year career. “It was my goal at a young age to take what I learned and use it to create my own restaurant with a concept that incorporated good food, a relaxed environment, live music and sporting events,” he said.
Ted purchased Crossroads Tavern in November of 2019 and renamed it, Local Bar and Grille. “When I took it over, I gave it a facelift and added events and specials not found anywhere else in the area,” he said. Local Bar and Grille is known for their prime rib dinners on Saturday nights, multiple entertainment options weekly including popular DJs, karaoke and virtually any sporting event on multiple TVs including a mega screen. Ted prides himself on the fact that the establishment is more than just a bar and works regularly with Local Bar and Grille’s chef to keep the menu fresh with new offerings. The location additionally offers private party space and catering for off-site events.
When asked what one of his more interesting experiences has been in the business, Ted says the pandemic absolutely put his leadership skills to the test. “Four months after we opened our doors, the pandemic hit. Even with more than two decades of family-owned and corporate restaurant leadership experience, nothing could have prepared me for owning a restaurant during a pandemic.”
According to Ted, one of the more rewarding parts of his job is the ability to mentor today's youth the way he was mentored. “There is nothing more exciting than to see someone who was under your tutelage strike out on their own and become successful.” He went on to say that he guides young people by explaining they must be 100% committed to ‘make it’ in the hospitality industry, along with being personable and evening being able to bite your tongue at times. “It’s also invaluable to work in every aspect of the business, from the front of the house to the kitchen, to see how everything works and to be able to problem-solve when needed,” he said.
Ted is married with two sons and a daughter, and spending time with his children is one of his favorite things to do. His passion for the restaurant industry is also something he loves and consults for other restaurants in the Chicagoland area in his spare time. His goal in many cases is to help an owner not only survive but thrive. “Taking a restaurant that is starting to fail and turning it around so it begins to make a profit is a hidden passion that I only recently discovered and brings me great satisfaction,” he said.
Special thanks to Ted for sharing a little bit about himself! We hope you join us as we share Partner Spotlights each month.