New Farlows Restaurant Is Coming To Dearborn

May 20, 2024 at 2:50 a.m.

By Sharyn Lonsdale

When Keith Farlow first walked through La Stanza Ristorante, the beloved Italian restaurant at 285 West Dearborn Street, with an eye to possibly buying the property from retiring chef/owner Al Kanacevic, he was impressed with the “bones of the building.” There was nothing else like it, 8500 square feet, a dedicated parking lot and of course, the location in the heart of Dearborn Street.

However, with other projects in the pipeline for Keith and Laurie Farlow, owners of Farlow’s on the Water, it just wasn’t the right time to strike a deal. But earlier this year, after a couple of potential offers for his restaurant didn’t work out, and after more than 40 years in the business, Kanacevic, still cooking six days a week, was more than ready to retire and the Farlows were ready to buy. “We were lucky,” said Keith Farlow. The Farlows were also free of the other projects and able to focus on the transformation of La Stanza, which closed its doors in April. 

While the Farlows aren’t quite ready to share too much about their new venture, set to open in early 2025, don’t expect a clone of Farlow’s on the Water, the destination spot specializing in elevated seafood dishes influenced by Keith’s Caribbean and Laurie’s Southern roots. 

What they will say is that the plans are to “gut the building” for a total redesign and to transform the unused deck space to outside dining. “It will be fine casual dining, like Farlow’s with unique dishes that you can’t get anywhere else,” said Keith, envisioning a “high-end concept at an affordable price.” The couple is also committed to the design complimenting the standards of the Main Street Overlay District” (MSOD).

“We are looking through lots of fun and different ideas,” said Laurie Farlow. “The chefs (at Farlow’s) have already been working on dishes in the kitchen.” She promises some authentic Southern food, along with innovative cuisine that is “upscale but not fancy.” Adds Laurie, “It’s exciting to offer something different in the right space with the right people in place.”

The Farlows also understand the goodwill and loyalty generated by Kanacevic during his decades on Dearborn. “He built a great reputation there which we look forward to building on,” said Laurie.

The Farlows are bringing their own reputation as successful business owners with a commitment to Englewood and the community. Many with an investment in the street, which has seen its ups and downs, are thrilled to welcome them. 

Kathi Obendorfer, President of the Olde Englewood Village Association, said she is “very excited” about the Farlows expanding to Dearborn. “I think they’ll bring so much excitement. They are great contributors to the community, advocates for Englewood and Dearborn, and leaders. They just care.”

Keith Rowley, who opened the Rowley Insurance Agency at 250 W. Dearborn Street in January 2021, said he sees the Farlows as “a great fit” and the new restaurant “putting more people on the street” until late in the evening. “I look forward to having him as a neighbor,” said Rowley.

Laurie and Keith Farlow


Of course, the new restaurant will mean more jobs with business owners who have consistently shown through good times and challenges that they truly value their staff. Keith said that they look forward to hiring new employees, but the leadership team for the new venture and some of the staff, will be coming from Farlow’s on the Water. “We consider our employees family and they have always had the opportunity to become a part of the legacy we are creating. Our employees are awesome, and they can fill out any vision we have.”

The Farlows aren’t the only ones investing in Dearborn Street, determined to make it a must-see destination for visitors to the area. There are major projects in the works from local YouTube star Danny Duncan, and the Libertore and Hesse families. And of course, the many long-time businesses who remain committed to Englewood’s “Main Street”. Keith Farlow sees his restaurant and the other projects as bringing more foot traffic to the area, driving business to the shops, businesses and restaurants already on the street. 

Keith and Laurie Farlow know that even with an abundance of goodwill, a stellar reputation and a very successful restaurant, there are risks opening a new location. “We have such a loyal following and such fantastic employees our odds are better than normal so we’re willing to take a risk.” said Keith. “There’s nothing like opening a new restaurant. I am committed to our community and truly feel like Dearborn will be the heartbeat of Englewood.”