History of Atwater’s

Voted most romantic Geneva, IL restaurant.  Come and experience fine dining on the water front this spring!

Our restaurant is built on land that is rich in the history of Geneva, IL.

Mr. John Atwater was one of Geneva’s first settlers. When Abraham Lincoln was president, Atwater arrived in Geneva to build his homestead with his wife and three children. He made his fortune with an invention. His name is still on a patent filed with the U.S. Patent Office for a “rifled projectile” that was widely used by Union forces during the Civil War.

When Atwater and his family arrived in Geneva, they purchased two parcels totaling 41 acres at a cost of $16,700, and their home was built on a site near The Herrington Inn & Spa.

The property Atwater purchased included some mineral springs, which were abundant along the Fox River in those days. To this day, these mineral springs run underneath The Herrington Inn & Spa, and Atwater’s Restaurant. During the summer, the mineral springs were a popular gathering spot for many town members and were thought to improve health.  It was the early settler’s version of a day spa in Geneva.

Due to the popularity of the springs on his property, Mr. Atwater considered the feasibility of building an elegant hotel in the vicinity of the spring.  He envisioned a resort in the Chicago area for those traveling to the city and still enjoy the fresh country air.

It appears that Atwater never followed through on that initial idea, but almost a century later in 1993 it was realized by local developer Kent Shodeen.

Shodeen envisioned, designed and built The Herrington Inn & Spa around the original flagstone of the Rock Springs Creamery. Mr. Shodeen also made sure that John Atwater’s name was not forgotten. The AAA Four Diamond Herrington Inn & Spa owner opened several Geneva, IL restaurants, and it is the elegant, fine dining restaurant in the hotel that was named “Atwater’s” over twenty years ago to honor one of Geneva’s first settlers.

Current fine dining enthusiasts enjoy the eclectic, regional cuisine that our culinary team creates collaborative menu items with Laszlo Marton from the Galena Garlic Company,the menus here offer, Atwater’s outdoor dining in Geneva, and private dining in the beautiful Gazebo on the water front.