It’s all my mom’s fault!

Celebrating our 50th anniversary!

Why choose Perry’s? My background in foodservice goes back to when I was 15, a busboy at Henrici’s (Rosemont). Back then parents understood that their children needed to learn how to work and be responsible at an early age: no job was too belittling. I advanced and became a wine steward at 16 ½. Boy what would have happened to Henrici’s liquor license if that was present day?

Growing up in Chicago we moved to Park Ridge and I attended Mary Seat of Wisdom and Maine South right here in Park Ridge. My dad was a machinist. Back then there were excellent paying blue collar jobs that would support an entire household so your spouse could spend his or her time caring for the family. My dad accomplished all this and more without high school, or even the English language. And of course, he had zero college debt.

I schooled one year at Purdue for engineering; my architectural drawing classes have come in handy in that I was able to draw, design and build a couple of restaurants, including redesigning Perry’s 8 times in my 37 years here on Devon. Food has always been in my veins.

Time to follow what I love.

Went to Triton for restaurant management and learned all about how to run a successful restaurant. In the interim I worked at Seven Eagles (Des Plaines), La Bon Vivant (Glenview), Scotch & Sirloin (Schiller Park), Marriot (Arlington Heights), Courtier Club (Park Ridge) and finally at Morton’s of Chicago. It was the only one back then, and we were slammed 6 nights a week!

My close friend, Jeff Battaglia, and I bought Perry’s when we were both 22! What a learning experience it was for the two of us. After closing up the restaurant at midnight we’d stay out till 4 a.m. It was a different time back then. I owe Jeff my start in the business. It was a scary thing jumping into that icy water, and we both just pushed each other in

We are not just a pizza place anymore.

We now have a full line menu and full line catering, including full liquor and bar service. We feature live music on the weekends and even karaoke. The only thing that’s not as full is the profit margin. In the old days volume (sales) would cure all evils. Nowadays if you don’t run a tight ship you are sunk.

There is so much competition from the chains because of their huge advertising gimmicks. The chains are experts at cloning subpar food and opening a lot of new locations. We at Perry’s, on the other hand, are the most experienced at producing high quality food and striving for perfection at just this one location. That positive attitude has kept us running stronger and longer than just about all our completion.

Yes, it is all my Mothers fault.

I think I was hooked the first time I saw her make strudel; I had to stand on a chair to see onto the kitchen table. There she was stretching the strudel dough (like a spider web) onto the whole table. Then the fresh fillings would get plopped down, carefully spaced. Lastly the ceremonial rolling of the strudel; she use the linen tablecloth to roll it up. Then into the oven. The aroma, the crisp flakiness and flavor of my mother’s strudel brings back memories. And believe it or not I can still get it today.

My mom is 89 and she still bakes, cooks and drives. She’s a testament to what real health food – made from scratch – will do for your health.

To my customers

You have kept my business intact and I will bend over backwards to keep you coming back.

Thank you for all the great years!


Nick Straub