Big Chief blast from the past gives back to community


By Lindsay Seagraves/News Editor 

Glencoe’s historical Big Chief looked like a scene from an old 60’s movie on July 3 as the newly owned restaurant celebrated its 1st annual “Blowout at the Big Chief.”

The only things missing from the blowout were a few carhops wearing roller blades, as classic cars and customers drinking chocolate malts blanketed the restaurant’s parking lot from 4 until 8 p.m.  

An estimated 250 people enjoyed clear July skies and live music by Glencoe resident Johnny Adams and the “Relics.” Inflatable bounce houses and tickets for free hotdogs were available during the event.

“Big Chief is a landmark tradition,” owner Jeff Word explained. “I wanted to bring back the history; go back to the days of the old times while giving back to the community that’s given so much to me.”  

Glencoe resident Chris Hare volunteered to grill the free hotdogs provided on his own grill. “I’m just doing it for the great citizens we have here in Glencoe,” he explained. 

Word added, “I just asked Chris for help. Him being a Glencoe supporter and a Big Chief supporter, I knew I could count on him.”

Word said when he and wife Regina bought Big Chief in September last year it needed a lot of work. “It still needs a lot done, but we’ve painted the roof, painted the inside and bought new kitchen equipment,” he explained. 

Customer Ashley Franklin said, “Big Chief never does anything like this. Jeff has brought back the fun times while giving back the community.” 

Franklin also said the food has never been better, especially the new items Word has added to his menu. 

“We’ve added fresh brewed green tea with flavor shots [customers] can put in it and we’re adding different milkshakes like strawberries and cream,” said Word.

New Big Chief items also include fish and chips, wings during football season, and a customer favorite – grape ice cream available daily.  Regina’s favorite is a new drink called “Sea Breeze.” 

“He just knows how to do it. He comes up with these new ideas and we sell it like crazy,” Regina said of her husband. “Big Chief is his thing…he’s always wanted his own restaurant.” 

Word said as long as customers ask for something, he will do his best to make it.

“I love Glencoe. I believe in shopping local, eating local, buying local. Because if it weren’t for the local mom and pops we wouldn’t be where we are today. I wanted to show Glencoe what Independence Day is all about,” Word said.

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