Blueberry Hill caters to Niles early risers

Published 12:03 pm Tuesday, August 5, 2003

By By Joanna Arnett / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- The smell of fresh fruit and warm dough and the sizzling of skillets in the kitchen greet you when you enter the newest restaurant in Niles, Blueberry Hill House of Pancakes.
However, this is no cookie-cutter breakfast restaurant.
Blueberry Hill, owned and managed by Nick Kladis and Javier Garcia, is a unique restaurant specializing in, but not limited to, breakfast.
It is located at 1109 S. 11th Street, where the Arby's Restaurant used to be. They are currently leasing the building from Arby's and hope to purchase it in the future.
Though today is only their sixth day of being open to the public, business is booming.
The breakfast menu includes the traditional crepes, pancakes and omelettes, but with a twist.
They have apple pancakes, made with fresh apples sauteed with cinnamon and baked in a special cake batter, Dutch Baby and German pancakes, and their own specialty, frittatas.
The Blueberry Hill Frittata is like an omelette that covers the entire plate, made with mushrooms, four kinds of vegetables, and mozzarella and Monterey Jack cheeses.
Other varieties include the Gypsy Skillet, the Farmhouse, and the Don Garcia, a Mexican variety.
Another treat are the Blintzes, which is dough wrapped around fresh strawberries, blueberries or peaches and baked golden brown, then sprinkled with powdered sugar.
They also have another specialty that you won't see in many restaurants -- a Zumex orange squeezer, so you can have pure fresh-squeezed orange juice in seconds.
They also have burgers, soups, salads, and extras as well as whole dinners, such as the Southwest Smothered Chicken and the Chicken Marsala with Rice.
Nick Kladis, who has been in the restaurant business for 25 years, was born in Greece but grew up in Chicago.
He met Garcia when they were working at a restaurant together 17 years ago. Kladis was the man of honor when Garcia married his wife, the former Tracy Coshow of Niles.
Asked how he decided to start a business here in Niles, he admitted, "It was accidently, really. I talked to the man who owns the Arby's restaurant and . . . just, you know, it was open to lease, so things are going well."
He said that he is extremely pleased and surprised with how business has been so far.
He said perhaps in the future, if things go well for their current restaurant, he'd like to open another one.
Blueberry Hill House of Pancakes is open Sunday through Saturday from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m.