Located in the heart of downtown Elgin, Al's Cafe has been providing excellent service and food for many years! The current owner's Chef Tony Jamin & Patricia Jamin purchased the cafe in 2005. However, Al's Cafe has been around since 1982 when William Alan Berg bought the Ranstead building with the idea of turning the entire place into a restaurant. Al Berg acquired the recipe for the “Burns’ Malts” - rich & tasty malted milk shakes made popular at Burns Pharmacy on Bluff City Boulevard; renovated the street level store, and opened the second floor to the public, creating one restaurant called Al’s Café & Creamery. Today you can still stop by to try one of the incredible malts for yourself!
The building Al's sits in is an amazing site to see as well. The Ranstead Building was completed in 1892. It was designed by Elgin Architect Smith Hoag, with Siederstrom and son doing the carpenter work, and Lilly and Palm doing the mason work. The Elgin Daily Courier of December 31, 1892 declared “J.W. Ranstead’s Building on DuPage street is perfect in it’s construction and is one of the best in the city.”