Fatty’s celebrates 10 year anniversary


Jake Swanson (far right), Sammi Cain (middle right), Erica Oney (middle left) and Robert De Corah (left) enjoy dinner at Fatty’s Pub & Grille Thursday night. Fatty’s is celebrating its 10th anniversary this weekend.

By Leah Spagnoli

For 10 years Jeff Dobie, owner of Fatty’s Pub and Grille, has been fattening people up with his food and service.

Fatty’s Pub and Grille, 1312 W. Lincoln Highway, is celebrating their 10th anniversary this week to give back to their customers as a “thank you” for their patronage over the years.

“It’s about the customers,” Dobie said. “We wouldn’t have gotten this far without them. We’re recognizing them the best we can, it’s practically customer appreciation week.”

Dobie said the key to his success was with the help of his sister and Fatty’s manager Jennifer White and being able to meet both of the demographics in DeKalb, the people of NIU and the DeKalb locals.

“The restaurant business isn’t easy. Being able to rely on both sides of DeKalb helps us out a lot,” Dobie said. “In the summers the only way we stay open is with the help of the locals, but in the fall we get students and faculty of NIU back.”

On Wednesday, Fatty’s hosted an anniversary toast with NIU alumnus Jake Coffman taking up “toastmaster” duties. The customers that went to the event will have their name engraved on the Fatty’s 10th Anniversary plaque to be displayed in the bar permanently.

“We assume that the people that came in were regulars, they want to be able to come back and see their name on the wall and say ‘This is a place I used to hang out at,” Dobie said. “Even the people that graduate are likely to come back for a football game in the future and say that.”

On Thursday, Jim and Justin of the Modern Day Romeos performed. Today from 1 to 6 p.m., there will be a live broadcast of the Chicago sports radio show “Boers and Bernstein” from 670 The Score as a part of the Bud Light “Who Needs Two?” Tavern Tour.

“It’s exciting, I don’t think they have ever come farther west than Elgin,” Dobie said. “For them to broadcast from Fatty’s is a big deal.”

All four nights there will be drink and food specials, Dobie said. Saturday, the anniversary party will be closing out the celebration with Red Woody, a local band.

“When I started Fatty’s 10 years ago I was scared of failure,” Dobie said. “I was 27 years old, right out of college for engineering and didn’t want to pursue it. I took a leap of faith. I was nervous I wouldn’t be able to pay back the money I borrowed, and that we wouldn’t make it. I had family support and my biggest motivation was fear itself, putting one foot in front of the other. I’m happy that we’re still here today and that we continue to stay here.”