Country House of Clarendon Hills

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The Country House has its own good-natured spirit who died tragically.

This spirit loves having fun; gently teasing in a favorite way.

Spirits from their rougher days still like to visit and party.


The Country House is a “Relaxed American eatery & bar serving comfort food & half-pound burgers in a quaint house.”
One happy patron said, “Tasty food, good service and cozy atmosphere.”

Outside, the authentic original 1920s vintage design has been restored, a real step back in time, a real country house. In front is a lovely flower garden, with an iron decorative fence on both sides of the cement walkway, leading up to the front door. The walls are plank boards and bricks.

It is also a very successful, romantic restaurant and bar, no more a creaky fixer upper opportunity. It is a stylish combination of wood board walls and brick, with hardwood floors throughout. It is no longer a working class dive, but a lovely renovated restaurant and bar with most of its original charm.

The cozy, upscale interior is well-planned out, a delightful, romantic place to have a meal with your significant other! Nice wooden round tables are located in front of a large, stone fireplace, made complete with a bear’s head mounted prominently in the middle. An L-shaped bar with big screen TV on the walls makes it a great place to catch sports events.

The second floor is mostly for storage, with an office or two for the restaurant and bar.

The brothers’ menu item, the Country Burger, has won acclaim and notoriety for the restaurant. They opened up two other restaurants in Lisle and Geneva. The great popularity of the restaurant and bar kept the business floating along during the COVID restrictions. From 11:30 AM to 9:30 pm weekdays and from 11:30 AM to 11:00 pm on Friday and Saturday, The Country House was filling carry-out pick up orders. For home deliveries, they use Gotta love those burgers: Country Burger, Bison Burger, Turkey Burger, Elk Burger, Top Drawer Burger and Veggie Burger!

Besides their burgers, they offer delicious,Two-Fisted Sandwiches, Seafood, Pastas, Salad, interesting Starters, Chop House, Sides AND a Child Menu.

They are also willing to help in fundraisers. See the information about this on their website:



The Country House is a two story building, a roadhouse restaurant, built in 1922, the dream of Emil Kobel, who wanted to have a place where the locals could gather for friendly conversation, a bite to eat and a drink of their favorite beer, wine or beverage. The second floor was his family’s home, while the first floor became a tavern and a small grocery store, a convenient place to buy basic food stuffs. His establishment was simply called Kobel’s.

Further inspired, he created a picnic area on the land just east of the roadhouse, a beautiful little park where people could come together and have a meal on the picnic tables or gazebos, under the shade of the pine trees.

Sometime during Prohibition, the Mob moved in. They gave Mr. Kobel an offer he couldn’t refuse, and set up a full underworld package, with the Speakeasy on the first floor, a brothel on the second, and probably card games in the basement. It became a pleasure palace: aimed at people who liked  their beer, liked to party, needed sexual relief, and enjoyed gambling in card games. Kobel knew his customers wanted their drinks, so he agreed to the new platform of offerings. His family moved out but still owned the place, cooperating with the Mob game plan. Probably by 1932, the mob and the girls were gone and the restaurant again became a normal establishment.

In 1957, The Country House was sold to a decorated bomber pilot, Richard Montanelli, when Mr. Kobel retired. Montanelli, a successful Chicago business man, bought the place for his mother, so she could have her own business, which worked out well for her. The name changed to The Country House. When her health began to fail, The Country House wasn’t kept up to snuff, and became even more in need of sprucing up.

In 1974, it was sold once again, bought by local residents, brothers David and Patrick Regnery, who gave it a quick-fix clean up and kept it open to rave reviews from college students in the summer of ’74. In the fall, The Country House was closed for detailed renovation, which was badly needed, and then reopened during the summer of 1975, with a new menu, but with the same philosophy; “To be a neighborhood roadhouse where friends can meet for good conversation, a cold drink and a gratifying meal.”

By 1989, David Regnery had become sole owner. He died prematurely in 2009, but his family continued running The Country House and it continues to operate in the same manner.



Restorations and renovations can draw dormant spirits into new activity if they are connected to a structure.

Hartford Twain House, CT (Mark Twain’s spectral family and their servants moved back into their forever home once it was fully restored).


Sometimes getting romantically involved with a married person can end disastrously and lead to hauntings.

Baker Hotel, TX (Mr. Baker’s “chick on the side” jumped off the top of the hotel when he wouldn’t leave his wife).

Biltmore Hotel, FL (An enraged spouse caught his beloved in bed with her lover, so he shot both of them).

Flagler College, FL (Henry Flagler’s “chick on the side” found herself imprisoned in rooms in the Flagler Hotel to keep her away from Mrs. Flagler. She went over the mental waterfall and killed herself in these rooms).

Country House, IL (During the late ’50s, a bartender at The Country House was having an affair with pretty blonde woman, in her late twenties, who was a frequent patron. One evening, she came into the bar with her small daughter in tow, to visit with her lover. Unfortunately, they got into a fight that ended the relationship).


Emotional break-ups, forced or voluntary, can cause hauntings.

Union Station, Ogden, UT (When her jerky ex-fiancee threw her engagement ring on the tracks, she dove after it and was run over by a train).

Westover Plantation House, VA (When a daughter was forbidden to marry at 17 to an Englishman who she thought was her beloved, she never got over it though she went forward with her life, staying celibate. She is still there, a spectral mistress of the estate, still mourning her loss while keeping her chin up).

Anchuca Mansion, MS (The daughter of a plantation owner, Archie fell in love with the plantation overseer’s son. She was forbidden to marry him, and is still angry about it in the afterlife).

Country House, IL (An emotionally heated break-up greatly upset a young blonde woman. Perhaps she found herself pregnant. She asked the bartender to watch her child for a little while. When he refused, she left with her child, and proceeded to kill herself by wrapping her car around a tree near the roadside. Luckily, her daughter survived!).


Spirits of people who kill themselves over a broken heart sometimes reside at or near where they did the deed.

Palace Hotel, WA (The Lady in Blue while alive thought that one of her clients was going to marry her, but he changed his mind. She is still there in spirit form).

Hotel Adolphus, TX (A bride betrayed at the altar hung herself on the railing of the staircase in the hotel. She remains an unhappy spirit in the hotel where she was supposed to be married).

17 Hundred 90 Restaurant and Inn, GA (A young maid was seduced by a sailor and then abandoned in a pregnant state. Her spirit is still there).

Country House, IL (Perhaps the blonde woman found herself pregnant. Or, perhaps she caught her lover with another woman, or for some other reason he called off the affair).


People who have a favorite good-times place in life, sometimes like to visit or reside there as spirits, and throw spectral parties. All four of the places listed below were Speakeasies and Brothels.

Baraboo Inn, WI (Spirits here have thoroughly enjoyed themselves downstairs when the restaurant and bar are closed, much to the annoyance of tenants on the second floor).

The Broadway, Chicago, IL (Spirits have long had their parties here, after the theatre is closed for the evening).

Biltmore Hotel, Miami, FL (Apparently, there are still Prohibition parties going on in the 13th floor banquet room).

The Country House, IL (Spirits from Prohibition still go to spectral parties here when the restaurant is closed).




The haunting of The Country House began during the major renovation projects in the Fall of ’74, continuing through the Spring of ’75, when The Country House was closed to the public.

The Young, Blonde Female Spirit

A young, blonde female apparition likes to hang out in the bar, the storeroom, and in an upstairs room that was once a bedroom of her bartender lover. Occasionally she plays pranks in the restaurant area.

When she appears, she does it in style, becoming as solid as she can to look like a real person.

Entertaining Herself!

A) In the bar area, when owner David Regnery was having a consultation meeting with a contractor, six independently operated shutters opened in the same moment, suddenly flooding the room with light.

B) The juke box has been known to turn itself on, in the middle of the night, playing a song not in the juke box selection.

A workman, Frank working on the men’s bathroom late one night, heard the juke box turn on, and he went to the bar area to investigate. He saw a young, lifelike blonde woman, standing by the juke box.

He was about to tell her that the bar was closed, when he noticed that there was nothing but air from the hem of her dress to the floor!

The Restaurant Activity

A) Patrons waiting for a table will hear their names called by a woman’s voice, but when they go up to the hostess, it isn’t their turn yet!

B) One hears footsteps through the restaurant’s dining room, which aren’t connected to a living person.

C) When patrons go into one of the stalls in the woman’s bathroom, they hear  someone in the stall next to them, opening and closing the door. There is no one living there.

D) Sometimes the door to the women’s bathroom is  held shut from the inside.

Upstairs Area…

A) Disembodied footsteps are heard in the hallway and the rooms.

B) The blonde-haired spirit of what is most likely a prostitute, or an entity pretending to be one, has been known to sit on the window sill inside one of the upstairs room windows. She beckons male customers from the street to come up and join her, which is rather cheeky behavior, even for an apparition!

The owners blocked off the window to stop this from happening.

Other Spirits?

Perhaps she has company from other unseen residents.

1) Pounding on the walls has been reported.

2) Phantom crying babies have been heard, perhaps the babies of prostitutes who died here prematurely.

3) Pots and pans in the kitchen move about like they have minds of their own. The spirit of a disgruntled chef?

5) In various parts and rooms of the building, the smell of fresh flowers permeates the air. (The spirit of a former owner?)

6) Footsteps have been heard in various parts of the building that can’t be attributed to living persons. (Residual energy or spirits going about their business).

7) Witnesses on the first floor have heard a pounding coming from the second floor.


Ever since the remodeling and rebirth of this upscale, romantic/family restaurant, owners, staff, and patrons have experienced the manifestations listed above. Apparently, all the spirits love the new look, and are happy to reside or visit.

Psychic Investigations: A well-known Chicago ghosthunter, Richard Crowe, and two mediums were invited by the owners to investigate The Country House. The mediums reported that they felt the presence of a very pretty young blond, who was looking for someone she had loved and lost. They also reported that she’d died of internal injuries.

The Country House’s website talks freely about paranormal activity and has posted videos from paranormal groups that have featured the hauntings there.

Many paranormal groups have come to investigate, and all are happy by what they have found, proven, or experienced. Two such groups are the Graveside Paranormal Investigation Team and The Paranormal Research Team.



Yes indeed!

There is hard evidence of the activity as well as countless personal experiences with this  blonde female spirit and other spirits. As long as this entity basically behaves herself, she is welcome to hang around The Country House.

All the spirits have shown themselves willing to share this special place with the living.

The other spirits who like to party are willing to wait until the restaurant and bar are closed to have their fun.



241 55th Street
Clarendon Hills, Illinois 60514
(630) 325-1444 

The Country House of Clarendon Hills can be found twenty miles west of Chicago.

Haunts in Illinois