In recent years, Downer’s Grove’s low-key charm has been turning heads.
Major publications (such as Forbes, CNN, and the Chicago Tribune) have celebrated the village’s bustling downtown, leafy parks, and lovely homes. Located in DuPage County 21 miles west of Chicago, Downers Grove residents love their charming tree-lined neighborhoods and friendly, welcoming community.
Downers Grove Village Guide
With a huge stretch of businesses along Ogden Avenue (once a stretch of Route 66!) and one of Chicagoland’s most popular downtown areas, Downers Grove has a whole lot to offer its residents.
You won’t have to look long to find a good bite in Downers Grove. Village restaurants range from fine dining to brunch spots and classic dives. Some local favorites include Baked Apple Breakfast, with breakfast classics, Ballydoyle Irish Pub & Restaurant, for brews and grub from the Emerald Isle, and Capri Ristorante, to satisfy your pasta cravings. Looking for something familiar? Classic Chicago chains like Giordano’s and Portillo’s are also in the area.
Residents take advantage of Downers Grove’s great entertainment. A local gem is the Trivoli Theater. Built in the 1920s, the theater shows second-run films in a unique atmosphere and comfortable seating. A summer favorite is Car Show Nights, where the community gathers in downtown to see antique cars and live music.
Other gatherings include high school football games, a downtown art fair featuring more than 50 artists, and the annual Halloween Party for the neighborhood kids.
And don’t sleep on the local nightlife! At Rita’s American Roadhouse, one can find a great dance floor, live music, and delicious drinks, and Another Round Bar & Grill, a sports bar with a to-die-for mac and cheese.
Downers Grove Shopping
The area’s fantastic shopping strikes a nice balance between local boutiques and national retailers. Some great local stores include Anderson’s Bookshop, a cute local bookstore, and Bangle Boulevard, for handpicked women’s clothes. One can find shopping centers and grocery stores throughout the area, including a Trader Joe’s and ALDI on Ogden. Just to the north in Lombard, the Yorktown Center Mall has tons of great stores and an 18-screen AMC theater.
Parks and Recreation
With over 600 acres of parks and top-notch facilities, Downers Grove is equally suited to a relaxing nature walk or an intense training session. The area’s parks are host to baseball diamonds, basketball courts, and rolling open fields. The park district also offers a public golf course, a state-of-the-art recreation and fitness center, and sports and arts programming. Just to the west in Lisle, the Morton Arboretum, a massive public garden and outdoor museum, is definitely worth your time.
Downers Grove History
Settlement and Incorporation
Downers Grove was first settled by Euro-Americans in 1832, mainly by migrants from the Northeast and northern Europe. The town was named after Pierce Downer, a dairy farmer and one of the area’s first settlers. The first school was built in 1844 and the village was connected to Chicago by train in 1862. Many new residents came with the train and community incorporated in 1874.
Becoming a Modern Suburb
Downers Grove came into its own in the 20th century. The Tivoli Theater, one of the first theaters built specifically for sound motion pictures, was built downtown in 1928. In the 1950s, with the construction of a new highway, the Village experienced rapid growth. By 2000, 48,724 people lived in the Village.
Today, with a diverse economy including corporate headquarters, industry, and service and retail businesses, Downers Grove is a bustling Chicago suburb.
Downers Grove Homes
The Village offers a mixture of historic homes and new construction. Some homes near the center of the town are over 100 years old, some are from the 1950s, and there is plenty of new construction. Most of the housing in the community consists of single-family homes, but some apartment complexes and condo buildings are also available. Residence in Downers Grove puts you in a vibrant, yet laid-back community in Chicago’s west suburbs. Come check it out!