Day and night offer two very different scenes from the patio seats at Jimmy's Grill. But regardless of what time you visit, its large outdoor seating area makes for some of the best people-watching west of the city limits.
On a typical afternoon, you'll see families, dog walkers, shoppers and hordes of obnoxious teenagers stroll by the restaurant, which is situated in the heart of downtown Naperville, near the head of its picturesque Riverwalk. At night, this suburban corner (which also hosts The Lantern, Features, Club Mamali, Frankie's Blue Room, Bar Louie and other bars) transforms into the western suburbs' answer to Rush Street. The 40-table patio, which is surrounded by a three-foot-high stone wall, fills up quickly on warm nights. If you arrive late, you may just have to wait to get seated outdoors.
The interior undergoes much the same transformation once it gets dark. During the day, it's a family-friendly restaurant with a stroller-parking area near the entrance, serving up above average bar fare like burgers, sandwiches and wraps ($8-$10). Soon, though, the place gets loud as drinkers crowd in to mingle and watch sporting events.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Jim Collins