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Buffalo Grove, Illinois is a gorgeous suburban community located about 30 miles northwest of Chicago. It's easily one of the most attractive communities in the Chicagoland area, and it has a rich history as well. The area was first settled and farmed in the 1830s by migrants from New England, who were soon followed in the 1840s by German immigrants. They established several successful farms in the area and sold their produce at market in Chicago. Area residents stuck to their agrarian roots well into the 20th century, and the farmer population in Buffalo Grove remained predominantly German. A cheese factory was built around the turn of the century, fueled by the large number of dairy farms in the area.
In the first decades of the 1900s, Buffalo Grove began to develop into a village, with a downtown anchored by Saint Mary's Church, a tavern and a general store. Dundee Road was paved in the 1930s, connecting the area to neighboring suburbs and enabling car traffic to reach Buffalo Grove. However, it wasn't until 1958 that Buffalo Grove was finally incorporated, mainly because a big residential subdivision was built in the town a year earlier.
The population immediately multiplied, and several other subdivisions were added in the following years to satisfy housing demand. The 1970s were a decade of steady Jewish immigration to Buffalo Grove, and now roughly 30 percent of the inhabitants are Jewish. A large industrial park was established in the town in the mid 1980s, along with a corporate ward that created many jobs in the area. Over the course of the past half century, Buffalo Grove's population has ballooned also, growing from about 1,500 residents when the town was incorporated in 1958 to its current population of more than 40,000 people.
One of the reasons many people choose Buffalo Grove over some of the other Chicago suburbs is because the town boasts some of the best public parks and recreation facilities of any park district in the Chicagoland area. Buffalo Grove has at least 50 public parks with excellent indoor rec centers and outdoor athletic fields and courts, landscaped grounds and trails.
For many Buffalo Grove families, Busch Grove Community Park (601 W Deerfield Pkwy) is the cream of the crop. The 75-acre public parkland is the largest in the Buffalo Grove Park District, and it also has more recreational facilities than any other park around. The grounds features large, wide-open green space, several baseball diamonds, a soccer field, and several miles of walking and bike paths. Busch Grove offers year-round fun with a spray pool in the summer and an ice rink in the winter.
Speaking of winter, the Buffalo Grove Fitness Center (601 W Deerfield Pkwy, 847-353-7500) is especially active once the temps start to drop. The center features a 3,000-square-foot exercise room with state-of-the-art equipment and an excellent variety of machines and weights, plus, a full-size gymnasium and a private women's workout studio. A highly trained staff is on hand to teach exercise classes, group lessons, and programs for beginners. The place also has an aquatic center that consists of a five-lane lap pool, a whirlpool, and a sauna. There are also two large locker areas (one for the guys and one for the girls) with towel service and steam rooms.
Buffalo Grove, Illinois is also a destination for golf lovers, as the town is home to two 18-hole courses. The first is a gorgeous, 100-acre set-up designed by renowned golf landscape architect Dick Nugent. The Arboretum Club (401 Half Day Rd, 847-913-1112) is as beautiful as it is challenging. On each hole there are three separate tee boxes, enabling players of different abilities to enjoy the course together. The Arboretum Club also features a new 27,000-square-foot clubhouse with two large locker rooms, a bar and restaurant, an excellent pro shop, and a snack mart. Private or group lessons are available through club instructors, as well as clinics and other opportunities to improve your game.
The suburb's other golf course, the Buffalo Grove Golf Club (48 Raupp Blvd, 847-537-5819), has been around since 1965, and it also offers three sets of tees on each hole. The fairways are beautiful, Kentucky blue grass while the greens are velvety bentgrass, used for its durability and shallow root system. Water comes into play on many of the holes, and because it has been around for so long, the course features some of the more impressive, older trees in the area. The Buffalo Grove Golf Club has a 25-station driving range, an expansive putting green, and an additional chipping green. The grounds also include a clubhouse with an excellent pro shop and a restaurant, the Village Bar & Grill.
When it comes to suburban Chicago real estate, Buffalo Grove is one of the hottest regions in the area. Many say Buffalo Grove is the ultimate place to settle down and start a family, whether you work in the urban center of Chicago or have a job outside the city. The architectural designs here range from colonial style to ranch houses to beautiful Georgian structures. Most of the lots in Buffalo Grove are quite big, and it's not uncommon for backyards to have large wooded areas abutting the grass-covered lawns. One- and two-car garages connected to the main house are a perk of most Buffalo Grove homes and many properties offer fenced-in yards - great for homeowners with young children or dogs.
The Buffalo Grove real estate market is characterized by diversity, as the town has an impressive variety of different houses for sale, ranging from small, affordable single-family homes that were built in the 1950s and '60s to newer "McMansions" with upwards of five bedrooms and three-car garages. In addition, there is a good selection of condos and attached properties on the Buffalo Grove real estate market that offer homebuyers spacious living options without all the maintenance of a full-size home and yard.
Nice one-story, three-bedroom houses in Buffalo Grove, Illinois start in the mid to upper $200,000s. Many of the 50-year-old residences make up the area's lower real estate price range for detached properties. There is a decent supply of one- and two-story frame houses, split-levels and ranches that all offer homebuyers great value for their buck. Condos and townhouses are also more inexpensive, generally starting in the low $100,000s for a one-bedroom place and going up to the $500,000s for a three-bedroom townhome.
While Buffalo Grove condos and townhouses are excellent for families just starting out, first-time buyers and empty nesters looking to downsize; it is also easy to go in the other direction and upgrade your home to a huge, new construction residence with additional bedrooms and bathrooms, gourmet kitchen, and other high-end finishes. Granite countertops and stainless steel appliance packages come standard in these Buffalo Grove homes and their prices reflect the upmarket value. Many luxury Buffalo Grove residences are listed in the $700,000s, $800,000s and $900,000s, although there are some properties that break the million dollar mark.
Buffalo Grove Residential Real Estate Info for Single-Family Detached Homes
|Average Sale Price 2005-2006||Average # of Days on the Market||Number of Sales 2005-2006||One Year Price Change||Price Change Since 94|
Source: Multiple Listings Service of Northern Illinois
Caf? Amuse (706 S Buffalo Grove Rd, 847-850-5039) is a hip spot in Buffalo Grove for those who like to eat out. This affordable but very high quality caf? serves an eclectic mix of small plates that range from contemporary American dishes to pan-Asian delights to French cuisine. Alex Moon is the chef, and he dips his spoon into a bit of everything - as you'll see by the menu selection. The bill of fare presents wonderful choices from delectable steamed mussels to crab salad with orange and grapefruit pieces. The wine list is also impressive (and quite affordable). Caf? Amuse has been open since the spring of 2005, and has steadily grown in popularity with Buffalo Grove locals in the past few years.
There are probably more Chinese and Japanese restaurants in Buffalo Grove than any other type of cuisine. The pack is led by Hanabi Japanese Restaurant (734 S Buffalo Grove Rd, 847-215-9088), a casual and authentic Japanese steakhouse that serves sushi and teriyaki. The sushi is easily some of the best in Buffalo Grove, but the tempura, udon and teriyaki are just as good. And if you stick around for desert, the mochi ice cream is a must.
Another popular Buffalo Grove eatery and venue is the India House Restaurant (228 McHenry Rd, 847-520-5569), a large dining and banquet hall that is very popular among the town's Southeast Asian population - and anyone else who appreciates good Indian food. The menu has more than 250 different entr?es, offering a full assortment of traditional Indian flavors and dishes. You have the option of dining in, carrying out, or making a trip up to the lavish buffet. Even though India House does a lot of business in the restaurant side of the establishment, the banquet hall is always booked with parties of all sorts, ranging from weddings and baby showers to larger corporate events.
Buffalo Grove's outpost of the Weber Grill Restaurant (20 N Milwaukee Ave, 847-215-0996), which is located in the town's "restaurant row," also attracts crowds on any given night. Weber Grill is the company that makes those ubiquitous backyard charcoal grills, and that's exactly what everything at the Weber Grill Restaurant is cooked on. The grills in the kitchen are customized stainless steel Weber kettles, and they can be viewed from the dining room, as the restaurant features an open kitchen. With such a novelty, it's not surprising, then, that the main emphasis of the menu is grilled steaks (Black Angus beef ) and barbequed meats. But you don't have to be a carnivore to enjoy a meal at Weber, there's plenty of other tasty grilled delights that veer away from meat-lovers feasts. The grilled seafood or vegetables are popular picks among guests and, in case you crave more casual fare, the grill masters will happily cook you up a hearty hamburger or hotdog.
As with many of the other northwest suburbs, Buffalo Grove isn't much of a shopping hotspot, because residents have such easy access to the largest mall in the state - Woodfield Mall in neighboring Schaumburg. However, that doesn't mean Buffalo Grove is completely bereft of any shopping destinations. In fact, there is a large retail center in the middle of town at the Buffalo Grove Town Center (150 McHenry Rd). The outdoor strip-mall is a convenient place for Buffalo Grove residents to get certain groceries, such as wine and spirits at Binny's Beverage Depot (847-947-4229), and services like Puppy Palace (847-325-5115), which trains dogs and stocks pet food and supplies.
For women's clothing, Talbots (355 W Dundee Rd, 847-541-5958) is a well-known name in professional attire and casual apparel for women. Talbots has a wide appeal because it offers the complete range of misses, petite and plus sizes, both in casual styles and formal fashions. The national retailer is recognized for the quality of its merchandise, and the store's return policy backs the reputation, allowing customers to return items for any reason at any time. Another popular shopping stop in Buffalo Grove geared toward women is Betty Schwartz's Intimate Boutique (1152 W lake Cook Rd, 847-459-5846). Betty Schwartz's offers a variety of lingerie and nightwear for everyone, from petites to plus sizes; from regular undergarments to more intimate wear.
Buffalo Grove is actually an excellent place to shop for gifts, flowers and sweets, and Gifts of Distinction (421 Checker Dr, 847-459-1191) is everybody's first stop. Here, you can find gifts and cards for just about any imaginable occasion, including the usual celebrations of holidays, birthdays, and weddings. The place offers an assortment of different sized gift bags, note cards and envelopes, gourmet chocolates, and dozens of other specialty gifts. Blooming Grove Flowers & Gifts (781 S Buffalo Grove Rd, 847-215-7770) is in a similar department, offering a wide array of bouquets and tropical houseplants, dried floral arrangements, and wedding, funeral, and other special event gifts.
For a night at the movies, look no further than Buffalo Grove Theatres (120 Old McHenry Rd, 847-604-1393), a five-theater movie house located in the Buffalo Grove Town Center plaza. The theater has been open since the late 1980s, originally playing first-run films, but now it serves as a second-run theater, screening older movies at a discounted price.
As is the norm in most other Chicago suburbs, the vast majority Buffalo Grove residents prefer to drive their own cars when it comes to getting around town. Buffalo Grove is located about 30 miles northwest of Chicago, so it's a fairly short commute if you work in the city - as long as traffic isn't too backed up during rush hour. The good news is there are several nearby highways that take you in the direction of Chicago, so you have your pick of routes to choose from if the morning traffic report says congestion is a problem. The Edens Expressway (I-94) and Tri-State Tollway (I-294) are to the east of Buffalo Grove and the Eisenhower Expressway (I-290/53) and Northwest Tollway (I-90) run sort of diagonally to the south of the town, all converging in the downtown Chicago Loop
If, however, you don't own a car, or if you are simply averse to sitting in traffic jams and would prefer to let someone else do the driving for you, there are public transit alternatives available. Buffalo Grove is serviced by Pace, a bus company that operates throughout the Chicago suburbs. The #234, #626, #272, and #576 buses crisscross through the Buffalo Grove area. In addition to Pace, Metra commuter rail services the community, providing a fast and comfortable shuttle to and from Chicago's Union station. The Buffalo Grove Metra Station is located at the Pace Park-n-Ride lot at Deerfield Parkway and Commerce Court. A trip to Chicago costs about four dollars and typically takes around an hour (which, compared to rush hour traffic, is pretty good time).
The Buffalo Grove education system consists of four different elementary and middle school districts, as well as two separate high school districts. Most high school-aged kids in Buffalo Grove attend Stevenson High School, which is located in neighboring Lincolnshire. With more than 4,000 students, Stevenson is one of the largest high schools in the area, and it is ranked the third best high school in the state. Buffalo Grove High School is also good-sized, with a student body of more than 2,000. It serves students living in the portion of Buffalo Grove that lies within Cook County.
- Aptakisic Junior High School - 1231 Weiland Rd - (847) 353-5500
- Buffalo Grove High School - 1100 W Dundee rd - (847) 718-4000
- Cooper Middle School - 1050 Plum Grove Cir - (847) 520-2750
- Earl Pritchett School - 200 Horatio Blvd - (847) 353-5700
- Henry W Longfellow Elementary School - 501 S Arlington Hts - (847) 520-2755
- Ivy Hall Elementary School - 1072 Ivy Hall Rd - (847) 459-0022
- Meridian Middle School - 2195 Brandywyn Ln - (847) 955-3500
- Prairie Elementary School - 1530 Brandywyn Ln - (847) 634-3144
- Tripp School - 850 Highland Grv - (847) 955-3600
- Twin Groves Middle School - 2600 N Buffalo Grove Rd - (847) 821-8946
- Willow Grove Kindergarten Center - 777 Checker Dr - (847) 541-3660
- The Continental Restaurant - 788 S Buffalo Rd - (847) 459-4095
- Caf? Amuse - 706 S Buffalo Grove Rd - (847) 850-5039
- Cravings - 1038 Weiland Rd - (847) 541-6008
- Melting Pot Restaurant - 1205 W Dundee Rd - (847) 342-6022
- Village Grill and Tavern - 48 Raupp Blvd - (847) 459-5522
- Weber Grill Restaurant - 20 N Milwaukee Ave - (847) 215-0996
- Wild Goose Cage - 401 W Half Day Rd - (847) 913-9112
- Hanabi Japanese Restaurant - 734 S Buffalo Grove Rd - (847) 215-9088
- Kamon Japanese Restaurant - 129 N Arlington Heights Rd - (847) 537-7550
- Masa's Sushi - 286 McHenry Rd - (847) 541-1777
- New Golden Dragon Restaurant - 742 S Buffalo Grove Rd - (847) 808-8383
- Super China Buffet - 1236 W Dundee Rd - (847) 818-1813
- Taste of Tokyo - 159 McHenry Rd - (847) 459-1656
- Teriyaki Box - 1663 N Buffalo Grove Rd - (847) 478-1979
- Yen Yen Restaurant - 360 W Half Day Rd - (847) 883-8888
- Little Italian - 1175 McHenry Rd - (847) 459-4901
- Pastabilities - 167 N McHenry Rd - (847) 419-1800
- Las Palmas Mexican Restaurant - 86 W Dundee Rd - (847) 520-8020
- Tacos El Norte - 344 W Half Day Rd - (847) 4150-2300
- Giordano's Pizzeria - 270 McHenry Rd - (847) 520-1600
- Lou Malnati's Pizza - 85 S Buffalo Grove Rd - (847) 562-1918
- Nino's Pizza - 960 S Buffalo Grove rd - (847) 947-4111
- Prima's Pizza & Fine Italian - (847) 419-0330
- Rosati's Pizza - 1147 McHenry Rd - (847) 634-0039
- Tortice's Pizzeria - 217 W Dundee Rd - (847) 541-4070
- Versailles Restaurant - 131 W Dundee rd - (847) 465-1526
- Buffalo Grove Theatres - 120 Old McHenry Rd - (847) 604-1393
- Dominick's Finer Foods - 770 S Buffalo Grove Rd - (847) 459-0537
- Seoul Supermarket - 1204 W Dundee Rd - (847) 870-8830
- White Hen Pantry - 294 McHenry Rd - (847) 215-9985
- Buffalo Grove Fitness Center - 601 Deerfield Pkwy - (847) 252-7500
- Highland Park Fitness Center - 1501 Busch Pkwy - (847) 229-0292
- Fitness - 19 310 W Half Day Rd - (847) 955-1919
- Busch Grove Community Park - 601 W Deerfield Pkwy - (847) 353-7500
- Buffalo Grove Fitness Center - 601 W Deerfield Pkwy - (847) 353-7500
- CVS Pharmacy - 20 E Dundee Rd - (847) 459-3800
- Osco Drug - 79 McHenry Rd - (847) 537-0845
- US Post Office - 255 N Buffalo Grove Rd - (847) 634-3272
- Ashley's - 1293 W Dundee Rd - (847) 398-1212
- Betty Schwartz's Intimate Boutique - 1152 W lake Cook Rd - (847) 459-5846
- Boulevard Chic - 610 Raintree Rd - (847) 913-1402
- Discovery Clothing - 1309 W Dundee Rd - (847) 368-0777
- Gifts of Distinction - 421 Checker Dr - (847) 459-1191
- Italica, Inc. - 213 W Dundee rd - (847) 947-4138
- Ribbon - 760 Macarthur Dr - (847) 581-1155
- Rogan's Shoes - 45 E Dundee Rd - (847) 325-5235
- Talbots - 355 W Dundee Rd - (847) 541-5958
- Toe the Line - 1493 W Dundee Rd - (847) 818-9800