This Roscoe, Ill., treasure began by accident, but what a happy one it’s been. From weddings to wine explorations, this new venue is happy to share its passion for good wine and beautiful terrain.
“When life gives you lemons …”
That’s what COVID-19 did to so many. But, instead of making lemonade, the Frank family, of Roscoe, Ill., chose wine.
More specifically, a wine bar that’s part of Hidden Creek Estates, a full-scale facility that caters to weddings, parties and other activities.
But that wasn’t the original plan for the plot of land located east of Interstate 90 at 13276 White School Road.
“My parents (Kerry and Dude Frank) had an aviation software company they started in the basement of their house in 2008,” explains their son Aaron, general manager of the wine bar. “They sold their shares of the company in 2018.”
The Franks were ready to enjoy retirement when the 30 acres bordering their property went up for sale during the COVID-19 lockdown.
“There were some subdividers who were looking at the property,” Frank says. “We wanted to protect the nature and not see 200 houses put on that plot, so my parents bought it.”
Fifteen acres of the plot were open land, with some farmland. There were also 15 acres of 200-year-old forest and 3 miles of nature trails.
“We have herds of deer that come through and we have a sandhill crane that comes to visit every week,” Frank says. “It’s just a lot of beautiful nature that my parents didn’t want to see torn down.”
During that summer, Aaron’s sister got married and had some wedding photos taken on the wooded property. Aaron’s aunt Katherine planned to get married, but her venue canceled on her due to COVID-19.
“We had the ceremony on the Hidden Creek property and the reception at my parents’ barn,” Frank says. “There was another family friend in a similar situation where a venue canceled on her a few days before her wedding, so we put something together for her, too. After doing these wedding events, we all looked at each other and thought this would be a cool thing to do moving forward.”
Last July, Hidden Creek Estates really got off the ground.
Since its formal opening to the public, this spot has become pretty popular, especially for its wine bar.
“We don’t make any of our own wines. We import them from all over the world,” Frank says. “We get them from South Africa, France, California and Oregon. Our goal with the wine bar is to make wine approachable and experimental. We also offer beer and a nice whiskey selection.”
From spring to fall, Hidden Creek’s wine bar is open on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Visitors can enjoy several wine varieties and various food trucks make regular appearances.
The wine bar will have limited hours in the winter with various tasting events each month. These next few months especially, Hidden Creek is open for hosting special events, like bridal and baby showers and birthday parties.
The wine bar is located in Hidden Creek’s iconic yellow barn. While the upper portion hosts social events, the lower part of the barn is home to the wine bar, and it offers access to an expansive brick patio with seating. For $20, Hidden Creek rents out private fire pits on the lawn. Each pit includes chairs, s’mores kits and roasting sticks.
“We pride ourselves in our warm hospitality and high-quality service,” Frank says. “We love talking to new people and meeting new people. When guests come to Hidden Creek Estates, we not only want them to feel welcome, but we want them to feel like part of our family.”
Hidden Creek Estates is open May-October, with limited special events from November through April. Check hiddencrk.com/wine-bar for updates.