History of Atwater’s

Geneva, IL restaurants are part of what makes our town famous.  Our waterfront location,  and fine dining menu have deep roots in the history of the community…

Mr. John Atwater was one of Geneva’s first settlers. Atwater had an interesting past before he arrived in Geneva to build his home 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. That invention made Atwater very wealthy.

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, but the one in the hotel was given the name “Atwater’s” to honor one of Geneva’s first settlers.

Current fine dining enthusiasts enjoy the eclectic, regional cuisine that our Executive Chef Jason Tsoris creates along with his culinary team, and his 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.