Updated: Apr 14
What do you like to do before seeing a theater show or after? Mostly find somewhere to dine or have a cocktail. There’s a place in Aurora, IL, where you can experience both choices.
The moment of steps into Stolp doors, the atmosphere is very relaxing, pure, and greeted with a pleasant feeling.
Opening in November 2019, Stolp Island Social is a seasonal kitchen and steakhouse from restaurateur Amy Morton. Located in historic downtown Aurora on Stolp Island, the 4,500 square-foot space is located along the Fox River next to Paramount Theatre. Stolp Island Social is a dining destination in the western suburbs offering pre-and post-show lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch.
There's a variety of beverages to choose from, non-alcoholic, wine, cocktails, beer, and these continue to evolve based on the week in the season.
Bartender Anna is very experienced. She has quality knowledge of what she's creating, the history of the Aurora community, mixed with exciting energy. Each beverage is made with value and quantity from the heart.
Try these Cocktails:
(Edna Murray's Pink Lady) this pink-colored cocktail was inspired by a woman who is connected to Aurora. She was a criminal associated with several high-profile gangs in Chicago's depression era of the early 1930s. Ana would rob her male victims and leave them with a pink kiss which she widely became known as the “kissing bandit.”
(Stan Mikita's Mezcal Margarita) It is to perfection as it has that Margarita tastes with the tajin coated rim. Mikita is an NHL Hall of Fame center who played his entire career with the Chicago Blackhawks started in the 1960s. Stan's legacy is in the 1992 movie Wayne’s World as Stan Mikita’s Donuts. Unfortunately, the coffee shop is not accurate.
The food is incredible, and chef John and his staff make sure that it is to your perfection. Make sure you get the macaroni and cheese; you won't be disappointed.
Amy Morton’s newest eatery brings her signature fare and passion to Chicago’s western suburbs. Located on Stolp Island in the center of the Fox River, Stolp Island Social is a seasonal kitchen and steakhouse. Adjacent to the Jeff Award-winning Paramount Theatre in downtown Aurora, the restaurant will offer a warm, relaxed atmosphere to pre-and post-show patrons and those living in the area with a chic touch. Stolp Island Social is the first new dining destination in historic downtown Aurora to open in years.
"The vibe is 1920s Aurora meets Coco Chanel today!" says Morton. The eatery located in the fabled Block and Kuhl department store, famous during prohibition, will once again be front and center as the "be and be seen" place to drink, dine and gather. “The city of Aurora, on the verge of a massive downtown revitalization, is thrilled to have a top-notch restaurateur such as Amy Morton coming to town,” says Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin.
The once historic 4,500 square-foot space next to Paramount Theatre is an open and light-filled space with floor-to-ceiling windows. Paramount Theatre has been open since 1931 and is iconic to downtown Aurora with its Art Deco architecture and critically acclaimed world-class entertainment. More than 41,000 subscribers from the city and suburbs enjoy Broadway-quality productions and internationally known entertainers at Paramount, now the second-largest subscription house.
With a background spent on the stage, Morton is fully embracing her new neighbor and the artistic Aurora community. “I feel like I’m back to my theater roots and that this is the ultimate synergy,” says Morton.
Morton's newest venture hits all cylinders, whether hitting the town for a celebratory event, having dinner with a friend, lunch, tea, drinks, or dessert before or after a show, or just looking for a place to cozy up. “It will be a place that makes you feel like you belong,” says Morton. The space, laid out in a series of rooms to create a more intimate experience, boasts a modern take on Pullman booths with a wood-paneled lounge, salon-style art hung floor to ceiling in the lounge with vintage settees and cocktail tables, spectacular period fixtures, and a free-standing bar and lounge. Stolp Island Social will be the “it” place people can’t get enough of.
Chef John Thurmond leads the kitchen. The restaurant is all about local – Morton’s core philosophy is that restaurants need to be homegrown – Stolp Island Social will source as much product as possible from nearby farms, breweries, and distilleries in Aurora and surrounding western suburbs. “Its seasonal kitchen meets steakhouse, an ode to my two Evanston restaurants, Found Kitchen & The Barn Steakhouse,” says Morton. “The menu is a perfect balance of rustic grains, vegetables, and steaks!” For those wanting to “up the ante,” Stolp Island Social will pay homage to its sister restaurant, The Barn Steakhouse, offering the same reserve cut list. Guests heading to Paramount Theatre will be treated to prix-fixe menu options for a perfectly timed quality in-and-out pre-theater dining experience.
Guests will instantly feel transported, comfortable, and welcome from nibbles and cocktails to impeccable yet warm service and ambiance. Morton’s knack for creating stellar dining experiences is matched only by her innate sense of hospitality. The open kitchen provides complete transparency and interaction with the culinary team. Upon walking in, a partitioned area called the “green room” offers a lounge for anyone grabbing a quick drink or waiting for a table. The entire restaurant has an open concept with a 142-person capacity, including the bar, seated in the middle of the space. Guests will see inspiring quotes hand-painted onto the ceiling, all created by local artists from the Aurora community.
In addition to serving great food in a fabulous space, Morton is committed to restoring Aurora’s architectural and economic significance as she joins forces with the Mayor and ACCA CEO Tim Rater to redevelop the most prominent property in the city. Harkening to Aurora’s heyday, Stolp Island Social nods to the glorious time when flappers reigned while creating a modern 21st-century space. “It’s exciting to be part of the revitalization of downtown Aurora – the city is putting its money where its mouth is,” says Morton.
Continuing her mission and commitment to social and environmental sustainability, Morton focuses on utilizing as much local fare as possible to reduce her carbon footprint and composting and recycling. She gives back to the community through First Mondays, where she offers her restaurant space complimentary for all non-profit organizations. In addition, Morton understands the importance of and prides herself on hiring from marginalized populations.
Stolp Island Social is located at 5 East Galena Blvd, Aurora, Illinois, 60506. For more information, please call 630.340.4980.
Or visit www.stolpislandsocial.com
Facebook & Instagram: @stolpislandsocial