Welcome To Sycamore Our Home Town
We have become the home of some of the friendliest people you will ever encounter. Historic Sycamore was founded in the early 1800’s and like many early settlements its strength and success was dependant on people helping people.
The feeling of a strong community still exists in Sycamore today! I have asked many of our citizens what they like about Sycamore and one of the first responses I received is that they feel a part of a community that cares for each other.
Sycamore has seen constant growth and has been able to maintain the quaint small town feeling that we all like and makes our Sycamore home. Our downtown of 2 blocks is always fully occupied with retailers, restaurants, and activities. It is always exciting to see most of the parking spaces filled with cars and people coming and going as they enjoy life in Sycamore.
Sycamore is a diverse community. We have many service clubs, many faith groups, many youth sports activities, many parks and recreation programs, many Chamber of Commerce events, and many volunteer opportunities.
Sycamore is our home and we hope that you will come and join us to experience the place we call home!
Mayor of Sycamore
Welcome to Sycamore! Where the spirit of our business community and our local organizations continue to contribute to the vitality of the Sycamore community.
The Sycamore Chamber of Commerce was founded in 1915 by several local business people and from there we have grown to the 500 plus member organization we are today. Our members represent the best in all types of businesses and community organizations.
Working together, chamber members combine their expertise, energy, creativity and financial support, to shape today’s business environment and positively influence our future. Our members are the most responsible, innovative, and conscientious business and professional people in DeKalb County. We accomplish collectively what no one business or professional can do alone.
By using this directory when looking for professional services and business products, you are directing your dollars to our member businesses, thereby fueling our local economy. In turn, the businesses that you support can continue their important work on behalf of our community.
We encourage you to support our members and remember to shop locally. These businesses are the lifeblood of our community.
Please feel free to contact us at (815) 895-3456 to ask how to become involved in our strong quality of life. Your involvement in Sycamore will be the best experience you will ever have.
RoseMarie M. Treml
With an abundance of new buildings and recreational facilities, the Sycamore Park District and the DeKalb County Forest Preserve are responding to residents’ requests for more opportunities to improve their health, play on expanded sporting fields, learn about the natural world, and simply to enjoy life in an area that once was an ocean of prairie grass dotted with islands of woods and oak savannahs.
In response to a demand for recreational facilities, the Sycamore Park District this year opened a new, 40,000-square-foot community center at 480 Airport Rd. This is the first time in the park district’s 95-year history that it has owned its own community center. It was developed with the input of residents and the business community. The center’s grand opening drew an enthusiastic crowd.
“People were just ecstatic when they saw it,” said Daniel Gibble, executive director of the park district. “We were packed. There were little kids everywhere, especially in the gym where they were playing and having a good time.”
In addition to a gymnasium, the center features a fitness center with state-of-the-art equipment that is open 24 hours a day. The center offers a wellness program, Pathway Fitness, in cooperation with Northwestern Medicine and Northern Illinois University’s Department of Kinesiology. Members have included in their fee a physical assessment from Northwestern Medicine and can tap the expertise of a personal trainer for an hour to apply that assessment to a planned workout regimen designed to set them on the road to fitness.
“The personal trainers can give some guidance as to what their workout should be if a member wants that guidance,” Gibble said.
The center is furnished with the best and latest in workout equipment including individual television monitors at treadmills and on other equipment where a member can liven up their workout by watching TV, logging on to the internet or watch a movie on Netflix.
Other amenities are classroom space and a gymnasium for a variety of other activities including pickleball, volleyball and basketball. The walking track was often mentioned as a desired feature in the park district’s two community-wide surveys, and was included as plans were made for the center. ’
We have a lot of older adults looking for a safe place to walk indoors,” Gibble said.
Kids who need a place to cool down and run-off excess energy will enjoy the splash pad, which will open at the center this summer. The park district also will expand a birthday party program to include the splash pad, so children can celebrate their special day with friends and family while splashing in the water.
A path from the center connects to an outdoor patio where people can learn about the environment.
“We’re adding more environmental education programming. We have access to parks, streams and ponds. We want to make use of our resources to teach about the natural world,” Gibble said.
In that same spirit of appreciating the environment, the park district has restored about 50 acres of prairie at four parks: Sycamore Park, Old Mill Park, Sycamore Community Golf Course and Leon D. Larson Memorial Park.
Park district improvements in the works include improving the irrigation system at the golf course and a plan to build 12 new soccer fields and six baseball fields in response to requests from parents who want options for their young children to start learning about sports.
“We’re seeing a demand among parents to introduce younger children to the skills of sports, not necessarily competition,” Gibble said.
The DeKalb County Forest Preserve is committed to preserving, protecting, restoring and restocking the flora and fauna and natural beauties of the lands. In 2017, it opened the Sycamore Forest Preserve, which replaced the Evergreen Village Mobile Home Park that had been prone to flooding. The 60-acre natural area features shelter houses, picnic areas, hiking and cross-country ski trails, biking and birding and is handicapped accessible. The east branch of the Kishwaukee River flows along the preserve’s western flank.
The Great Western Trail has been extended into the new preserve and serves as a new trail head. The trail, which is a favorite of bicyclists, joggers, hikers and snowmobilers, connects with a network of other trails that extend nearly to Chicago. The trail is only 100 feet wide, but boasts some of the most pristine remnants in the county, and which have been used as a critical seed source as the forest preserve conducts prairie restoration projects.
Sycamore Park District
480 S. Airport Rd.
Sycamore Forest Preserve
955 East State Street, Sycamore
Kishwaukee Family YMCA
2500 W. Bethany Rd.
Sycamore Family Sports Center, Inc.
725 E. State St.
Kishwaukee Country Club Golf
1901 Sycamore Rd., DeKalb
Whether it is a new business that’s just opened its doors or one that’s been in the city for generations, Sycamore is a place where businesses want to be and where they are making substantial investments.
One of the newest businesses calling Sycamore home is The Pantry Café, located next to the Sycamore State Theatre. It is owned and operated by the husband-and-wife duo of Randy and Jessica White.
The building is 90 years old and from about 1938 to 1972 housed another well-loved restaurant called The Pantry. The new restaurant, which is open for breakfast and lunch, is designed to ring a nostalgic bell for diners while also serving a menu of flavorful foods that are familiar yet entirely new.
“We’re bringing The Pantry back. It still has that nostalgic feel, but it’s our own take,” said Randy, noting the restaurant features fare that he calls “new American.”
“It is classic food, but we’re putting our own twist on it and it’s delicious,” Randy said.
Some of the popular standards include biscuits and gravy, chicken and waffles and mac and cheese. Other mouth-watering menu items are a goat cheese and marinara sauce dip, flatbread with country gravy, light and fluffy omelets, quiche and a brunch wrap with chorizo and eggs encased in a lemon cilantro wrap. Strawberry jam is made fresh in-house.
The décor features large old-time photos of the former Pantry restaurant and a comfortable décor.
“We’re calling it farmhouse rustic,” Randy said.
Randy earned his restaurant chops while mastering the culinary arts at Le Cordon Bleu school in Chicago. He worked 15 years in the restaurant industry and always wanted to open his own restaurant, preferably in Sycamore. Most recently, he was employed as a chef at Pub 64 in Sycamore. ’
He was passing the vacant space that had been The Pantry when it occurred to him that this would be the perfect place to realize a long-held dream to open his own restaurant.
“A light bulb went off in my head,” he said. “I went home to my wife and I said, ‘Hey. We’ve got to bring The Pantry back.’”
Randy is handling the kitchen while Jessica is overseeing the front of the house. Both of the Whites were born and raised in Sycamore and love the community. The restaurant’s catch phrase, “Rooted in our community. Sharing our passion for food,” reflects the affection they have for their home town and their desire to serve the highest quality in food to their patrons.
The Whites envision The Pantry Café as a gathering spot for the community.
“We like having a community feeling in our restaurant,” Randy said. “We want this to be a place where everyone feels welcome and where they can connect with each other.”
On an entirely different scale, but in a related field, The Suter Company, which has manufactured prepared food products since 1925, is undergoing an expansion. The company, which moved to Sycamore in the 1930s, is building an 81,000-square-foot expansion of its existing facility on Bethany Road.
“We’ve been growing steadily in recent years,” said Tim Suter, president and CEO. “We’ve been fortunate to do business with some of the major food retailers in the U.S. and Canada and we’ve been very successful in meeting their needs.”
The company broke ground in October 2017 on the expansion that will be used for preparing its line of refrigerated salads, which are currently produced at their May Street facility. The expansion will give the company the ability to grow well into the future at both sites. It is expected the new facility will open in the fall of 2018.
The company, that was founded by Tim Suter’s grandfather, Charles Suter, now employs about 285 people.
“We’ve been steadily adding employees as we continue to grow,” Suter said.
In addition to refrigerated salads, the company introduced in the 1990s shelf-stable lunch and snack kits.
The company invests in the community not only through its business, but through donating to local nonprofits and by hosting a MobilePack event each November for Feed My Starving Children, a Christian nonprofit organization whose mission is to eliminate starvation and severe malnutrition worldwide. Last year more than 5,000 volunteers packed over 1.2 million meals over the course of the four-day event.
The third generation of Suters have a strong connection to Sycamore and see it as a place where they want to be and invest.
“The people of Sycamore are fantastic and the city is great to work with,” Suter said. “We’ve been here for three generations and God willing, we’ll be here for three generations more.”
Illinois Community Credit Union
508 W. State St.
The Suter Company
1015 West Bethany Rd.
The Pantry Café
418 W. State St.
439 E. State St.
Ideal Industries/SK Tools
1600 S. Prairie Dr.
The Forge of Sycamore
327 W. State St.
Slow Smoke Barbeque
265 West Peace Rd., Ste. 102
1501 Dekalb Ave.
First State Bank
1940 Dekalb Ave.
1645 Dekalb Ave.
DeKalb Taylor Municipal Airport
In 1948, the City of DeKalb purchased for one dollar a large piece of land that has turned out to be possibly one of its best investments ever. The purchase was for the DeKalb Taylor Municipal Airport, which was built in World War II and was used by the U.S. Navy to test pilotless drones that were then shipped and re-assembled in the Pacific.
The war ended that program, but it signaled the beginning of a successful and vibrant future for the airport.
“When the war was over, the Navy didn’t want the airport anymore. It was a deal the city couldn’t refuse,” said Tom Cleveland, airport manager.
The airport has grown by leaps and bounds over the years and the city and surrounding area including Sycamore has benefitted. The airport now has two runways. Some of its assets are better than those at larger airports including a 100-foot-wide runway that was extended in 2014 to 7,025 feet. Its smaller runway is 75 feet wide and 4,200 feet long.
“We have a longer runway than Midway Airport,” Cleveland said. “All of the corporate planes love it because they can leave full of fuel and full of people.”
The airport is a busy place, boasting between 25,000 and 30,000 take-offs and landings a year. It is a full-service, all-weather facility, which means it is
open 24 hours a day. It also features GPS approaches to all runways.
The last time a study of the airport’s economic impact was done was in 2011 when it was estimated that it contributes $10.7 million a year to the local economy.
“It’s a force and an economic engine,” Cleveland said. “Any company that is looking at DeKalb County for their business flies into this airport. The big thing these companies want is accessibility.”
The airport provides a wide variety of services to businesses including aircraft fueling, cargo handling, de-icing and a conference room with Wi-Fi. The airport plays an important role in welcoming potential businesses to the county.
“We’re the gateway to DeKalb County. When they fly in, we’re the first thing they are going to see,” Cleveland said.
In recognition of its importance in helping businesses decide whether DeKalb County is a place they want to be, the airport strives to ensure the needs of those businesses are accommodated, down to automobile transport from the airport and enjoying a hot cup of hot coffee.
“If they need cars, we can rent them. If they need catering, we can do that. If they need coffee, or de-icing or fuel, we have it,” Cleveland said.
The airport has three maintenance facilities and serves as a base for one turbo-prop aircraft, four twin-engine aircraft and 80 single-engine aircraft. It has two privately-owned corporate hangars, 16 privately-owned corporate condo hangars and 51-city-owned hangars.
In addition to its focus on serving the needs of businesses, the airport is a hub for recreational fliers who can learn or improve their flying skills. One business at the airport, Fly America, is a Federal Aviation Administration Part 61 approved flight school whose instructors have more than 20,000 hours of flight time.
The airport also plays a role in getting young people excited about flying. It is the site for an aviation program that covers aeronautics, the power of flight and new technologies. The education consortium is a combined effort of Kishwaukee College and local school districts joining together to promote a program of hands-on career and technical education programs.
The aviation class offers both classroom and simulator instruction in an effort to prepare students for the FAA Private Pilot written exam. Students learn about aerodynamics, FAA regulations, GPS navigation, the use of flight computers, weather, radio navigation, flight instrumentation and performance and limitation of the air traffic control environment.
“They’re training pilots on simulators. A lot of kids come out for that,” Cleveland said.
As exciting as the airport’s last 70 years have been, the future looks just as bright.
“We’ve just gotten busier and busier,” said Cleveland who would like to see a strategic plan completed for the facility to target what the airport can be in the future. He envisions an airport with more hangars and with facilities and services for entrepreneurs who are starting new businesses and want to be in DeKalb County.
Need an updated hairstyle? Looking for a way to kick back and relax while indulging in some beautifying treatments. There’s no better place to go than Luxe Salon in Sycamore where hair is the emphasis.
“We focus on being professional experts in everything hair-related and we create an environment where people can relax and unwind,” said owner/master stylist Kalrissa Taylor, who has worked for 13 years in the beauty industry.
She started the salon on State Street three years ago.
“I wanted to bring a little bit of the city to Sycamore,” Taylor said.
The salon’s décor features a mostly white interior with a whitewashed brick wall and marble flooring in subtle shades of gray and white contrasted by black accent pieces. Crystal chandeliers add sparkle and sophistication to the interior.
“The look is clean, simple and contemporary,” Taylor said.
The pampering starts with the Image Profile, a complimentary 15-minute appointment dedicated to talking to your stylist about your hair and how you envision it. Most importantly, you won’t leave never being able to replicate it. The stylist will deliver the knowledge and tools you need to create it again and again.
Next is the shampoo, which is done in a separate space that’s equipped for relaxation and luxury treatments. Taylor said her clients have often told her the shampoo, which lasts around 10 minutes, is the best they have ever experienced. The three-step process features detoxing, followed by cleansing with a shampoo and deep conditioner that is chosen based on the client’s unique needs. The salon uses only clean and eco-friendly hair therapy treatments and products.
While enjoying the feeling of having their scalp gently massaged as their hair is shampooed, clients can choose to heighten that feeling of being pampered and deepen their relaxation by selecting to have a warm towel applied to their face and neck or a warm or cool eye mask.
“We truly want our clients to relax and enjoy the experience,” Taylor said.
Whether a client is there for a cut, color or make-up, the salon’s professionally trained team spends time talking with their clients to discover what their needs are.
“Your stylist will spend dedicated one-on-one time with you to design your perfect look,” Taylor said.
A sampling of the services that the salon provides includes haircut and styling for men and women, all-over color, root touch up, foils, babylights and balayage, which are sun kissed natural highlights. It also offers treatments to beautify a client’s locks including a split end mending treatment, and a Brazilian smoothing treatment, which removes frizz from the hair. Makeup application, bridal styles and eyebrow sculpting also are offered.
Even clients seeking a simple haircut are made to feel special. Everyone who gets a haircut receives a complimentary styling lesson.
“I want my clients to feel wowed by the experience they had at Luxe,” Taylor said. “I want them to walk out the door feeling beautiful and confident.”
The same attention that Taylor extends to her customers also is granted to her well-trained and experienced stylists. She strives to create a workplace where they can best apply their skills. ’
“When I dreamt of opening my own salon, I knew I wanted to provide an upscale, professional environment,” Taylor said.
Taylor came up with the salon’s catch phrase, “Luxe – Where we make every day a luxurious one” because it captures her desire to provide a one-of-a-kind experience for her clients.
Another salon is Hair Productions, a full-service salon where the focus is on cut, color and outstanding customer service. Jen Scott has owned the salon for 25 years. Today, she operates it out of her home where she converted space into a full-service studio with a clean, modern and comfortable décor.
Scott enjoys being able to treat her clients with a personal touch in a serene setting without noise from other hair dryers or people coming and going.
“It’s one-on-one. There are no distractions,” she said.
Over the years, Scott has built a loyal following who appreciate her expertise and her emphasis on customer service.
The salon’s shampoos are special, too. Clients are able to sit back and relax while enjoying a scalp massage and a hot towel warming their face and neck. Male clients receive a hot towel treatment and a straight shave of their necks.
In the evening Scott serves a glass of wine to her treasured clients. She wants them to feel at home in her salon.
“They’ve always been my guests,” she said.
Hair Productions Salon
Dolce Vita Salon and Day Spa
2525 Bethany Rd.
352 W. State St.
Design Nail & Spa
355 W. State St.
In & Out Cuts LLC
1963 DeKalb Ave.
Lizzy’s Pink Boutique
303 W. State St.
1739 DeKalb Ave.
Who doesn’t relish the feel of a refreshing summer breeze, basking in warm sunlight or sitting under the glow of starlight as they dine outdoors? After being cooped up for much of the winter, it’s no surprise that diners in Sycamore are clamoring for al fresco options.
Restaurants are heeding the demand with patios and other outdoor seating. One of those restaurants is Tom & Jerry’s, which has been operating in Sycamore for more than 40 years. Known as the King of the Gyros, the restaurant offers homemade Italian beef sandwiches, all beef Chicago red hot dogs, homemade soups, garden fresh salads, baby back ribs, fried chicken and wings.
All menu items can be enjoyed on the restaurant’s fenced outdoor patio with seating for about 75 to 80 people. The cheerful patio is dotted with blue umbrellas for those who want some shade and is decorated with planters overflowing with colorful flowers that add a burst of natural beauty. The restaurant offers quick service, and the patio is open throughout the year.
“Customers are free to sit wherever they like,” said Sarah Meyer, general manager. “We don’t ever officially open or close the patio and our furniture is out there year-round.” ’
Customers can enjoy “BBQ on the Patio” Thursdays from 5 to 7:30 p.m. all summer long. This popular event features Tom & Jerry’s award-winning barbecue rib dinners, along with pork chop sandwiches and marinated chicken quarters.
“It’s attracted quite a loyal following each week, and year in and year out, for that matter,” Meyer said.
The mouth-watering ribs are a popular attraction. In 2015, Tom & Jerry’s won an award for Best Ribs at the inaugural Sycamore Ribs, Rhythm and Brews Festival.
Another place with lovely outdoor dining is P.J.’s Courthouse Tavern where rustic brick walls, a large wooden bar, original woodwork and vintage photos of Sycamore on the interior give an historic ambiance and make diners feel truly a part of the city.
P.J.’s lays claim to being part of a long-standing and well-loved history in Sycamore. It is housed in a former dry good store that was built in 1871. In fact, Sycamore’s first public library was located on the second floor of the restaurant in 1892.
The restaurant is owned by Paul Schwartz and his brother, John. As warmer weather approaches, the patio becomes a hot spot. It has 11 tables and seats 42. Diners crave the chance to dine outdoors and relax with friends and family while listening to music.
“People from the Midwest, after a long winter, long for nice weather and love to be outside,” Paul Schwartz said. “We pipe in some nice relaxing music, and there is no better place to enjoy a house-made sangria or a Moscow Mule.”
In addition to those tasty drinks, the restaurant offers the finest in domestic and imported beers, spirits and mixers. It has a state-of-the-art draft beer system that keeps the brews at a cool 34 degrees. Sipping one of those beers on the patio is a perfect way to cool off on a hot summer day.
The extensive menu features a variety of sandwiches, salads, soups, burgers, char-broiled chicken, wraps and appetizers.
For those who like to dine while enjoying music, P.J.’s offers live acoustic music from 7 to 10 p.m. on Thursdays throughout the summer.
Another place that is well known for outdoor dining is nestled in the heart of downtown Sycamore. MVP’s Sports Bar provides diners with an outdoor oasis of rum buckets, cold beer and fresh food.
MVP’s is home to DeKalb County’s only rooftop bar, and while diners may not be on the beach they can gaze at the restaurant’s unique, hand-painted, Caribbean-themed murals and feel like they are.
There is also plenty to entertain diners at MVP’s. It features three full-service bars: a sports bar with flat screen TVs, video gaming and weekend DJs; a large covered beer garden with a fire pit, flat-screen TVs and a bags area; and, of course, the rooftop cocktail and dining area complete with a Tiki bar, palm trees and more flat-screen TVs.
MVP’s serves a variety of food to satisfy any craving from burgers to fish tacos to homemade warm Cajun potato salad. The restaurant uses fresh ingredients sourced locally.
Taxco Restaurant Too, a family-owned and operated restaurant that was established in 1992, also offers outdoor dining. Its sidewalk is lined with flower-filled planters and five tables that seat 14. There is plenty to enjoy besides the fresh air and tasty Mexican cuisine at Taxco. It serves 400 different types of tequilas. Noting its fresh, hand-made tortillas, tasty tacos and burritos bursting with flavor, numerous publications have rated the Mexican food at Taxco as among the best in the area.
Sycamore Places to Eat
MVP Sports Bar
124 S. California St.
Tom & Jerry’s of Sycamore
1670 DeKalb Ave.
PJ’s Courthouse Tavern
202 W. State St.
Taxco Restaurant Too
223 W. State St.
332 W. State St.
204 Somonauk St.