Atrium & Don Moy in Rolling Meadows
I use to dine at the Atrium in Rolling Meadows on special occasion and I loved the Veal Oscar. The dishes were great and came with great service.
Don Moy was a good Chinese restaurant with good Chinese dishes and a nice oriental atmosphere. The mixed drinks were outstanding also. Does anyone know why these establishments went under?
Eight years later, here's a potential reply. Its what I get for searching "The Atrium" in Google.
I worked at The Atrium around '93. I had been managing restaurants just before getting a serving job there, and was shocked to find out that there was no manager at The Atrium. Betsy, the owner, hired me - partially because of my management experience. But she never asked me anything related to management once I started.
I worked there for a few months - say, October through January. I made a ton of money - more than $100 per night, which was pretty solid for that time. The staff was all veteran, experienced servers - and that was a good thing.
Because the owners pretty much counted on the place running itself. There was no computerized order or payment system. It would have been pretty easy to scam, except the kitchen was barely holding it together. Good luck if they messed up one of your orders, because getting something re-made or fixed was an ordeal if not impossible.
This might sound like a lot of other restaurants, but I am telling you that the place was unorganized and barely logical in its function. Around the holidays, they added more tables to the dining room. The kitchen honestly couldn't handle a typical Saturday night BEFORE the extra tables! Guests waited at least an hour for their entrees. Furthermore, this was a place that used "cart service." The added tables made it impossible to get your cart through the dining room. The carts were how the kitchen kept track of the order of the tickets. So as food came up, the carts all bottle-necked as you tried to leave the kitchen to get your food out to the guests. As the kitched tried to accelerate their operation, Beef Wellingtons would go out under cooked and anything with pasta was soft and sticky. Many items on the menu were sort of goof-proof (prime rib, simple steaks and chops, chicken breast with sauce), but still took forever to get out of the kitchen.
Last point. There was a separate menu for the staff to order from every day. Burgers, rubens, and believe it or not - liver with bacon & onions. I actually liked liver and ordered this a couple of times. Until I got one that wasn't cooked all the way through. I'm not sure if they had undercooked it or if it had gone bad... After this, I think I only ate the soups and side salads.
I was honestly surprised by how long they stayed open. I know that they were trying to make a go of it as a banquet hall for while. But the truth is that Betsy and her brother (cannot remember his name, but I know he thought of himself as a chef - an insult to real chefs...he didn't cook) were running a relic and either didn't know how to update the operation, or didn't want to invest in systems that could keep the place relevant.