New Owner of Peggy Kinnane’s Draws on His Saint Viator High School Roots

Fr. Charles Bolser, CSV, has been called upon to bless many things in his nearly 50 years as a priest, from homes to cars to motorcycles, but last week was a first: He was asked to bless a pub.

It was Tim Grodek ’99 and his wife, Stacey, who approached Fr. Bolser. The couple purchased Peggy Kinnane’s Irish Pub & Restaurant in June after Grodek worked for Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchens for 20 years, including 13 as its general manager in the Westmont facility.

“This is a major project for them and they wanted God’s blessing,” Fr. Bolser said.

Grodek said the request came after the first few weeks of taking over the pub, when a series of mishaps happened, from a power outage to the printer going down to the hood fan in the kitchen going out. 

“I thought the place was cursed,” Grodek quips. “I thought maybe a blessing would change our luck.”

Fr. Bolser – who was president of Saint Viator during three of Grodek’s years there -- said he was happy to do it and he brought along Fr. Dan Lydon, CSV, the new president of the high school, Grodek’s former Spanish teacher.

The blessing took place on a Wednesday morning before the restaurant opened. Standing in the pub, which features Irish stone obtained from County Clare, and woodwork and bar all constructed and shipped from Ireland, Fr. Bolser drew on a mix of traditional and contemporary Irish blessings.

“We ask you to bless this house; a house of hospitality and friendship – a place of sharing stories of love, hope, and companionship,” Fr. Bolser said at the opening. “A place where people gather as friends and family to celebrate life, to mourn, and to remember. Life is a common journey, that we travel together and celebrate around a meal. 

“Let us entrust those who work here to the hands of the Lord,” he added. “Let us pray that he will give them a prosperous life and that as we share our common life journey that they will praise God’s own goodness by offering the hospitality of this place to all who gather to celebrate life in all of its diversity and wonder.”

With that, he sprinkled holy water at various places throughout the bar and restaurant, in the kitchen, and on the new young owners.

“It was pretty cool,” Grodek says.

Since its opening in 2000, Peggy Kinnane’s has been a consistent supporter of Saint Viator’s events, and Grodek says he plans to continue that.

“The whole attraction for us was the community aspect of working for and serving the community,” says Grodek, who grew up in Hoffman Estates and now lives with Stacey and their three young daughters in Rolling Meadows.

Since taking over, he adds that he has enjoyed meeting so many Saint Viator alumni and parents of current students who think of Peggy’s as their neighborhood establishment.

“I knew there’d be a Saint Viator connection,” he says, “but I had no idea how strong it would be.”

Saint Viator High School

Located in Arlington Heights, IL, Saint Viator High School is a private, co-ed, Catholic school for grades 9-12. Students benefit from a challenging academic program, fine and performing arts, competitive athletics, and a wide selection of extracurricular activities.