Recent Blogs

Easter at Discovery Church


Pastor Dan and his wife, Laura invite you to join them for Easter Service.

Easter is right around the corner, and Discovery Church in downtown Elgin is busy gearing up for an eventful Easter weekend. Last year, over 1000 people celebrated the resurrection of Jesus at Discovery Church, and this year, the Church is making room for even more people to worship with them. For the first time ever, Discovery will be offering three service times on Easter Sunday, March 27th. Easter Services times will be 9, 10:30 am and noon. Discovery will also be offering its annual Good Friday Service at 7:15 pm on March 25th.  Special children’s programs will also be provided.  We would love for you to celebrate with us!


Come see what the buzz is about!

Gather your friends, come to the Elgin Artspace and “wine” a little while laughing a lot at the YWCA Elgin’s first ever YW Uncorked event! This awesome event will include wine tastings, delicious hors d’oeuvres and desserts, a silent auction, a wine pull, wine themed items for purchase, live musical entertainment by Candy Kresmery and fun with friends.

YW Uncorked will take place on Thursday, March 24, 2016 at the Elgin Artspace from 5:30pm – 8:30pm. General admission tickets are $25 for a YWCA member or $30 for a non-member. General admission tickets include: 8 wine tastings, a wine glass and light hors d’oeuvres. Our limited amount of VIP tickets are almost sold out but we still have a few available for $50 each for a YWCA member and $55 for a non-member. VIP tickets include: express check-in, a glass of champagne immediately upon check-in, 10 wine tastings, a hand-painted VIP wine glass, access to the VIP lounge (with its own bar and wine tasting station), (1) non-alcohol drink ticket, and heavy hors d’oeuvres and a candy/popcorn bar. Hurry up and get your tickets before it’s too late. All attendees must be 21 years of age or older; ID must be shown at check-in!

Reservations can be made online at Sponsorship opportunities are available, for more information visit

The proceeds from this event will benefit the YWCA Elgin.


Making dreams come true for modern-day Cinderella’s 

On March 19, 2016, 9am – 2pm, the YWCA Elgin and the Elgin Junior Service Board will help make dreams come true for hundreds of modern-day Cinderella’s at the twelfth annual “Cinderella’s Closet” event ~  a fun formalwear boutique where high school girls can “shop” for dresses, jewelry, purses, shoes and make-up (while supplies last) for a $15 suggested donation.

**New Addition** This year Cinderella’s Closet has added prom related vendors such as: florists, hair stylists, make-up artists, etc. For more information about becoming a vendor, visit

At the event, girls are greeted by “Fairy Godmothers” who serve as their personal shoppers as they select from hundreds of beautiful dresses –all current styles, many new with tags, in sizes ranging from petites to plus sizes.  Once each girl has found her dream dress, she can select jewelry and other accessories to complete her outfit.

To be eligible for entry, girls need to be a current high school student with proof of enrollment.  Any girl currently enrolled in high school is welcome to attend Cinderella’s Closet.

Donations are currently being accepted. We are looking for new or gently-used dresses especially in sizes 16 and up, new jewelry and new wrapped make-up. Students who donate a recently-worn prom dress are eligible to receive a coupon for $5 off their next purchase.

The “Cinderella’s Closet” Prom Event will be held Saturday, March 19, 2016 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the YWCA Elgin located at 220 East Chicago Street, Elgin.  For more information about the Cinderella’s Closet event or volunteer opportunities, visit or call the YWCA Elgin at 847.742.7930.

Guest Blogger: Alana Freedman
Alana is the Director of Marketing & Events for the YWCA Elgin, a non-profit dedicated to eliminating racism and empowering women and families.


12594026_1001112166627857_684619117565842326_oHop Downtown
to a Vintage Shop

The road to your next unique gift, trinket or treasure leads through downtown Elgin, during the third annual Vintage Shop Hop, March 4th and 5th. Over 200 locally owned shops throughout northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin are hosting fun promotions inside their store, with special deals, refreshments and appearances by guest artists and artisans.

Guided by a map that’s powered by an app, hundreds of shoppers will explore the region to find repurposed articles, antiques, handmades and uniques … even just plain cool junk!  As a repeat participant, Soulful Sparrow (10 Douglas Avenue) is a top destination on this year’s Vintage Shop Hop

The two-day event will include a trunk show by Fox Valley jewelry artist Nancy Neill, whose designs use found objects, beads, natural stones, charms and chains that create one-of-a-kind pieces. Each item is carefully designed to celebrate nature, commemorate special places and events, or simply express the individuality of the woman who wears it.

The weathered beauty of Elgin’s old buildings and structures are the subject of local artist Barbara Broeske’s photographic creations. Guests can see numerous images with various sizes and mountings displayed in the store, affordably priced to adorn the home or office of anyone who appreciates the character that a city acquires as the years go by.

A free gift, a cup of Downton Abbey tea and nibbles will welcome Shop Hoppers to this beautiful boutique that offers a wide selection of jewelry, apparel and home decor in a lovely atmosphere inside a historic building. Soulful Sparrow will be open extended hours: March 4, 10am – 8pm, and March 5, 10am – 6pm.

Whatnots & Whimsies, at 211 E. Chicago Street in downtown Elgin, is new to this year’s event.

For more details on the Vintage Shop Hop, including links to a map of locations, visit  Meet Mary and Krissy of Soulful Sparrow at 10 Douglas Avenue, or online at

Jeffrey Pierce is publisher of BRAVO, a free monthly magazine devoted to Elgin’s arts happenings, entertainment, community events and dining.


World Bartenders Day Mini Pub Crawl Challenge

Today, February 24th, is World Bartender’s Day and to celebrate, the DNA challenges our readers to visit these featured bartenders for a chance to win a $10 Downtown Elgin Gift Certificate! All you have to do is “like” the Downtown Neighborhood Association’s Facebook page, take a photo with a bartender at each of the featured establishments, and upload the photo to Facebook with the hashtag #DNAMiniCrawl!

Chooch’s Pizza64 S. Grove – Sayre Granrath

20160211_135924Sayre has been with Chooch’s practically from the beginning – over three years.  Her specialty is making a Chooch’s Italian Margarita which contains a bit of Amaretto and splash of Grenadine.  When Sayre is not bartending at Chooch’s she is playing drums in her band “Green Denim.”  Dan and Mike can’t say enough how very lucky they are to have her!

Dog’s Paw Brewing @ 74 S. Grove – Steve Dau


Just a few doors down from Chooch’s you’ll find Steve at Dog’s Paw Brewing. Still the new kids of the downtown Elgin bar scene, Dog’s Paw is working hard to refine their menu and continue to cultivate their expansion into craft brewing in the very near future. In the mean time, Dog’s Paw has many dog-themed drinks that come highly recommended… such as Steve’s specialty the Siberian Mocha Husky which has vanilla vodka, dark mocha liqueur, Rumchata, and Kahlua served over ice in a chocolate rimmed glass. Yum! Steve isn’t just a talented mixologist he has also been blessed with the gift of gab. Interested in Cats of Elgin, mixed martial arts, hockey or acquiring questionable tattoos? Stop on in, he’d love to chat!


Elgin Public House @ 219 E. Chicago – Lincoln Schramm


If you haven’t met Lincoln behind the bar at Elgin Public House, you’re missing out! This EPH not-so-hidden treasure has been with EPH for over 6 years and has made himself many a friend in the process. When asked about his experience at EPH this is what Lincoln had to say: “My favorite thing about bartending is meeting all kinds of different people. Striking up conversation with a random person at the bar is a pretty interesting thing to me and I really enjoy it. My favorite drink would have to be the EPH Old Fashioned. It’s delicious!! Working at Elgin Public House has really been a lot of fun and getting to know a lot of people that I’ve worked with or had the pleasure of serving at the bar is truly remarkable.”



Martini Room @ 161 E. Chicago – Steve Barr


It is easier to show than to tell when it comes to the talents of Steve at Martini Room. His favorite cocktail to make and drink is Manhattan. Steve says, “The Manhattan! An iconic American cocktail as nostalgic as a speakeasy. This classy and versatile rye whiskey cocktail is sure to be “straight up” at the top of my list.” Check Steve putting the finishing touches on one of his crafted cocktails here!




Content prepared by the Downtown Neighborhood Association staff.


Happy National Drink Wine Day!


Now this is an event that Elgin as a whole can get behind. There are so many great places to grab a glass of wine in Downtown Elgin after work or share a bottle with friends on the weekend.

Al’s Café
43 DuPage Court, Elgin
Facebook PageWebsite
Al’s Café is known for the delicious dinners they serve in a romantic atmosphere of their dining room. Ask the server to help you pair one of the wines they have on special with your meal or opt for the local favorite, Al’s Secret Recipe Sangria.

Buckingham’s Steakhouse – Located at Grand Victoria Casino
250 S. Grove Avenue, Elgin
Everyone knows a good glass of red wine pairs perfect with a thick cut steak. So enjoy an afternoon at Grand Victoria Casino then head to Buckingham’s for their Grand Tomahawk paired with a Cabrnet Sauvignon or the King Crab Legs paired with a Chardonnay. You always win at Buckingham’s!

choochs sangriaChooch’s Pizza
64 S. Grove, Elgin
Facebook PageWebsite
Located right along the Fox River Bike Trail, bikers stop for a cool sangria in summer or enjoy $5 glasses of wine every Thursday during the winter.

Danny’s Pizza
231 Douglas Ave, Elgin
Facebook PageWebsite
Not many things go better with pizza than wine. We recommend trying Danny’s Sausage and Cheese Pizza (past Downtown Madness winner) and a glass of Pinot Noir.Dogs Paw sangria


Dog’s Paw Brewery
74 S. Grove Avenue, Elgin 
Facebook PageWebsite
Do not let the name fool you. The menu at Dog’s Paw pairs perfectly with a glass of wine! We recommend trying  the Turkey Apple-Butter Arugula Sandwich with a glass of Pinot Grigio.


Elgin Public House
219 E. Chicago Street, Elgin
Facebook PageWebsite
Celebrating National Drinking Wine Day is easy at Elgin Public House. Enjoy the Lemon Tilapia with a crisp glass of Sauvignon Blanc. Do not forget to finish the meal with one of their $1 desserts.  The deconstructed Strawberry Cannoli pairs perfect with the Sandeman 10-Year Port.

Martini Room
161 E. Chicago Street, Elgin
Facebook PageWebsite
Martini Room is known for their award winning martinis but the atmosphere makes for the perfect spot to meet-up with friends and have a glass of wine. Sit back on one of the couches and enjoy an evening in the heart of Downtown Elgin.

YWCA Elgin UncorkedIf you are looking for an event celebrate wine all night long check out the YWCA’s spring event, YW Uncorked on March 24th. Sample 8-10 wines, enjoy local art and LIVE music at the Elgin Artspace Lofts.


So wherever you stop for a drink to celebrate National Drinking Wine Day you are sure to have a fun time. Remember to check out all the shops in Downtown Elgin after you celebrate. Cheers!


Content prepared by the Elgin Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (Elgin Area CVB) in partnership with the Downtown Neighborhood Association. The mission of the Elgin Area Convention and Visitors Bureau is to enhance the economic and environmental well-being of the 9 communities in the Northern Fox River Valley through marketing the area.


Valentine’s Ideas by Ola la! IJORERE

This week’s Valentine’s blog is courtesy of Ola Morin-Muhammed, Owner/Chief Creative Officer of Ola la! Ijorere.  So read her blog article today and be inspired with ideas on what to do for Valentine’s Day for events, how to make the wedding “proposal” special, and also a creative spin on the card and chocolates idea!

Other Quick Links for This Weekend:

Andersen’s Trophies & Wedding Invitations (They do engravings too)

Floral Impressions – Order flowers, balloons, and plush animals

Town & Country Gardens – Order your flowers and arrangements