New restaurant opens on Northwest Hwy in Gladstone Park
by BRIAN NADIG
Lisa O’Neill last month opened a new restaurant in Gladstone Park inside the same building where the father of a childhood friend once operated a bar with a small kitchen in the 1970s.
The Highway House, 5653 N. Northwest Highway, seats nearly 60 people, and its interior features decorative wood finishes. The bi-level restaurant, which has undergone extensive renovations in recent months, has its bar on the first level and the main dining room on the second.
“We’re a scratch kitchen,” O’Neill said. “We make everything, from our breads to dressings. We grind our own beef, cure our own corned beef and make our own mac and cheese.”
O’Neill, who attained Immaculate Conception School, said that initially the restaurant is open only for dinner but that it will start serving lunch at 11 a.m. in mid-January and that breakfast, featuring corned beef hash, will soon be available on weekends. The restaurant received its liquor license in November.
Over the years the building has had a colorful history, hosting a variety of dining and eating establishments, O’Neill said. In the early 1990s a men’s social club reportedly opened there, but the city shut it down within a couple of days.
The most recent occupant before the opening of the Highway House was Kouks Vintage Café, which served coffee and sold antiques. It operated for about 10 years until the property was sold in early 2015.
It also has been home to Googy’s, an upscale Italian restaurant, and Playoffs, a bar. The building is about 90 years old.