and Patricia are both alumni from Eastern Illinois University
in Charleston, IL. John graduated with a BS in Economics and Patricia
graduated in Speech Communications and Business. John became a
successful stock market trader and Patricia’s forte was
in Sales/Marketing. After having the 3 girls, Patricia gave up
her career and stayed home with the kids.
“Twice a week I would
take them out to the same places over and over again, always looking
for new places to go, but there wasn’t any”, stated
Patricia. As John’s interest in the Market faded, the couple’s
interest in creating a new children’s restaurant flourished.
As trading became a past-tense
word, deciding what type of restaurant to open became more apparent.
Along with John’s life long passion for trains, their concept
was based on having a unique family-orientated restaurant that
is entertaining, fun for kids, and where adults can be kids too!
–A restaurant that serves the highest quality food and to
top-the- cake-have it delivered via model train!
After months of extensive
training at various restaurants and through the help of their
friends and family with the design and build, in December of 2002,
in Frankfort, IL., John and Patricia Ethell opened the doors and
gave the public a welcoming ticket to the “greatest train
ride” in the southwest suburbs called “Choo Choo Johnny’s
Today, Choo Choo Johnny’s
has become one of the most popular spots for kids in the Chicago
suburbs! People travel from just about every suburb to experience
this ultimate railroad restaurant. “It has become quite
the tourist attraction”, stated John. “People have
traveled from Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, and a far south as
Springfield, IL to visit us”.
With a high demand for more
restaurants, Choo Choo Johnny’s became an official franchise
in August of 2005. They hope to expand across the nation and eventually
become world wide.