SHOREWOOD, IL — For the past four months, one of Shorewood's best known restaurants remained empty amid the new coronavirus pandemic, but that's no longer the case. This marks the first full week of business at Mark's On 59.
Mark's has been a part of Shorewood for 20 years.
"It's been a long four months," owner Mark Kafka told Joliet Patch's editor on Wednesday. He and his brother Eric operate the restaurant while brother Frank runs the K's Liquors and Foods in the same business plaza along Route 59. Their restaurant address is 714 Cottage St.
Mark's officially reopened last Friday, July 10. There's now an outdoor patio featuring 10 tables. Customers can also dine inside. Mark's also handles carryout and curbside orders.
Patch asked Mark Kafka why he kept his Shorewood restaurant closed since March.
"The main reason was the safety of our employees," he explained Wednesday.
Mark's is best known for its hand-battered and breaded shrimp.
"It's all gulf shrimp," the owner told Patch. "We have no problem getting the product."
In 2014, Chicago's Best TV, which has 325,000 YouTube subscribers, visited Shorewood for a segment on the shrimp at Mark's On 59.
You can watch that YouTube video at the bottom of this article.
On Wednesday afternoon, there were a number of customers inside the restaurant, either ordering carryout or sitting down for a meal.
"We're welcoming them back, and everyone is glad we're open," Mark Kafka told Patch. "They like the outdoor patio, that's kind of new."
The food menu remained the same, its owner said. Mark's is also known for its Italian beef and Italian sausage, char grilled burgers and hand-carved sub sandwiches.
And, most of all, its seafood selections.
A jumbo order of hand-battered and breaded shrimp comes with your choice of two sides for $11.99. Other seafood meals include calamari rings served with marinara sauce, the three-piece tavern-battered cod dinner and two different portions of smelt.
There is one new addition to Mark's. The restaurant just added video gaming machines.
"We're just following every precaution we can, and we're keeping the place clean and sanitized," Mark Kafka remarked. "Restaurants are heavily regulated already."
For carryout, call 815-744-3043. For more information, visit the Mark's On 59 website here.