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Meet Jessica Mack of Mack’s Golden Pheasant Restaurant in Elmhurst

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jessica Mack.

Jessica, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I am the fourth generation of ownership at Mack’s Golden Pheasant Restaurant. My Great Grandparents Frank and Mae Mack came to Elmhurst from the Czech Republic in 1948. They decided to turn a one room tavern into a full service lounge and restaurant. They converted the small building on the corner of North Avenue and Route 83 into a Czech-Austrian inspired chalet. Complete with deep, low hanging eaves and Germanic woodwork, it became an architectural connection to their youth. The name Golden Pheasant was inspired by, my great grandfather, Frank Mack’s love of exotic birds. The dining room is home to an original menagerie of stuffed fowl created by famed Field Museum taxidermist Julius Fressier.

The Golden Pheasant’s historic legacy is carried on today by my father, Steve Mack along with my talented mom Debra, my brother Luke, and me. Today, we are the proud to be the oldest continuously owned restaurant in DuPage County and one of the most successful. We make sure to adapt to the times while staying connected with our past by focusing on creating and serving quality food and cocktails. Today’s scratch kitchen trend is something we have always practiced since our conception in 1948.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The main struggle that we’ve incurred was the loss of my grandfather in 1981 at the young age of 49. My parents were forced to take over the restaurant at the tender age of 21. There have also been some natural disasters. A fire in 1962 destroyed much of the building sparing only the north balcony. My great grandfather Frank and his son Donald rebuilt Mack’s into its proud, present form. We had another brush with flames, and also weathered the massive Elmhurst flood of 1987. Yet the building stands as sturdy as the 200 year old oak tree in the beautiful back garden. This garden bears the fingerprints and careful planning of my great grandmother Mae Mack.

Please tell us about Mack’s Golden Pheasant Restaurant.
We are known for our great homemade food including: Weiner Schnitzel, Breaded Pork Tenderloin, Prime Rib, Roasted Duck, Barry Burgers, Roasted Pork and Sandwiches, our legendary lounge, and our neighborhood vibe.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
Made some structural changes that are more current to today being that our building is from 1948.

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