Park Ridge Insider Vinnie Fosco on Main Street’s revival, dining at Harp & Fiddle and Thalaiva’s Indian Kitchen, and relaxing at Grand Geneva Resort
Harp & Fiddle photo by Nikki Allen Creative
What you do for a living: I am an owner and hair stylist at Anthony Valentino’s Salon on Main Street in Park Ridge. I’ve been cutting hair for 37 years. I truly still love cutting hair, working with my team and enjoying time with my clients. Many of them I have known for 30-plus years and I’ve known the family for generations. I am truly blessed.
How long you’ve lived here: I have worked here in PR for 24 years. My wife grew up here, and all my in-laws reside here. I do much of my dining out and socializing here in town. I’ve made some great friendships over the years.
What you like best about Park Ridge: What I like most about Park Ridge is what’s been happening here on Main Street these past five years. We have been down here on Main Street since 1997, when it had its own charm then. The addition of great restaurants, entertainment and the al fresco street closure has been incredible for businesses here. And we are excited for the two new restaurants in the works.
Best meal you’ve had recently: The sushi and a great martini at Shakou on a Saturday night with my wife JoAnn.
Favorite restaurant in the area: That’s a hard one, I enjoy many of the restaurants here in Uptown and the owners. There are so many more great options than there used to be.
Favorite “hidden gem” restaurant: House of Szechwan in Des Plaines on Northwest Highway. It’s on our way home from work, and after a long day, some great Chinese and hot tea hit the spot.
Best bar to grab a drink or to catch the game: The Harp and Fiddle, aka our second work family. They have been our neighbors for five years now. Not just neighbors, but friends.
A great night out with friends usually includes… a late stop at Pennyville Station‘s Bar Car, especially if the DJ is in. Great atmosphere, old and new music, and a dance floor.
What I like most about Park Ridge is what’s been happening here on Main Street these past five years. … The addition of great restaurants, entertainment and the al fresco street closure has been incredible for businesses here.
The best way to spend a Saturday in the summer: I enjoy working behind the chair and hanging out at my salon each Saturday, and now that it’s summer, finish the rest of the day outdoors where we live in Lake Barrington.
What’s something you look forward to every summer?
I look forward to enjoying the beach, pool and boat with my wife, two daughters and friends in Lake Barrington Shores, where I call home.
Favorite store or best shopping area: Well, since my wife does most of the shopping, a couple of her favorites are Sooo Cute Boutique, Edie Boutique or Marigold right here in Uptown. She enjoys the shopping, and I get the statements.
Secret spot: It’s not too much of a secret, but the beverage bar we have at Anthony Valentino’s Salon. When we received a salon liquor license, we decided to offer complimentary beverages every day.
Underrated activity in the area: Sitting outside enjoying Indian food at Thalaiva’s Kitchen on the Main Street patio here in Park Ridge.
Summer weekend getaway spot: Grand Geneva Resort & Spa in Lake Geneva. Close to home, but feels like a million miles away.
What have you heard great things about but have yet to try?
Reyes Steakhouse. Embarrassed to say, I haven’t made it up there yet. Hear great things about it from many clients and restaurant owners in the neighborhood.