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Event at suburban Chicago restaurant expands to four days and 1000 guests.

St. Charles, IL — Balmoral Restaurant, the highly rated Scottish restaurant located in Chicago’s Western Suburbs – and the only restaurant outside of Chicago to make Yelp’s list of Top 100 Restaurants in America for 2023 – will conduct four days of free meals on January 8-11, 2024, for senior citizens and their immediate families. The annual event has been held almost since the restaurant opened. This year, the event is being expanded, with the number of days increasing from two in 2023 to four. Guests will enjoy a three-course meal at no cost. Each senior, age 65 or older, may invite up to five guests, of any age, to join their party. Reservations were held on January 2 and 3, and the event is sold out.
Balmoral Restaurant is one of America’s most authentic Scottish restaurants, founded by Colin Smith, a restaurateur who operated 11 restaurants in the United Kingdom before moving to the States.  Supporting seniors is a cause that is near and dear to Smith’s heart, since he grew up an orphan and, only through the kindness of strangers, many of whom were seniors, was he able to find his way in life.
“So many people have asked why I do this,” Smith said. “The simple answer is ‘respect for my elders.’ Nothing more and nothing less.”  Smith has created a GoFundMe campaign to solicit help from the local community to fund the event, which has a cost of about $50,000.
According to Chef Joe Schroeder, the menu will start with a choice of one of Balmoral’s signature appetizers, shrimp with watermelon and goats cheese, or green pea and ham soup, or a mixed salad. For the main course, the options will be either the restaurant’s best-selling Campsie Glen Chicken with Stilton blue cheese, the Edinburgh's Salmon, or Queen Elizabeth’s Pork Chop, all served with mashed potatoes and mixed vegetables.  The final course will feature Ye Auld Sticky Toffee Pudding, Blairgowrie Raspberry Meringue, or Graham's of Geneva Vanilla Ice Cream with Toffee Sauce.

Renowned Chicago-area Celtic harpist Laura Utley will be appearing on January 9 and 10. In addition, a bagpiper will greet guests as they arrive on the red carpet that leads into the restaurant. Smith says that Balmoral is all about tradition, and it is important to keep this one alive.
“I’m so pleased to see how much this event has come to mean to all the seniors around the Western Suburbs,” Smith said. “Especially those who might not be able to enjoy a night out at Balmoral very often, with our award-winning fare and service.”
The restaurant will be closed to the general public on January 8-11, but will reopen for general reservations starting at 4pm on January 12.
Balmoral Restaurant is located in the Western Suburbs of Chicago, at the intersection of Illinois Route 64 and La Fox Road, in the Campton Square retail development of Campton Hills, in the far west side of St. Charles, Illinois. The restaurant is open daily from 4pm to 9pm for dinner, and 2pm to 4pm Mon-Thurs for Scottish Tea Service. In addition to the Main Menu, on Sundays, Balmoral serves Sunday Roasts from 12pm to 9pm. Reservations are available by calling the restaurant at 331-901-5224.  More information is available online at

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