Satellite Inn under new ownership

2014-04-06T18:15:00Z Satellite Inn under new ownershipStan Maddux Times Correspondent
April 06, 2014 6:15 pm  • 

UNION MILLS | Legend has it that alcohol was served during Prohibition at what's now the Satellite Inn in Union Mills.

The restaurant and bar that's given so much back to the small community over the years continues on with new owners, who plan to carry on the same tradition of good service and goodwill.

"It's a small community. Pretty much everybody knows everybody. It's that kind of atmosphere," said owner Stephen Blazek.

Blazek and his wife, Mary, purchased the business after seeing their savings dwindle.

Stephen Blazek, a member of Laborers Union No. 269 out of Chicago, said it was difficult to find enough construction work the past few years to maintain his income.

Blazek, 46, said he was offered a factory job before the March 2 sale went through, but chose to go through with the purchase because of his love for cooking and to have an occupation that will allow he and his wife to spend more time together.

Fate must have been on the side of the LaPorte couple, who are friends with the previous owners, Dick and Dorrie Scarborough.

The Scarboroughs were looking to retire when the Blazeks expressed an interest and were given an offer they could not refuse.

"He wanted somebody to keep it what it is and he knew we would do that," said Stephen Blazek.

After buying the business 18 years ago, the Scarboroughs changed the name from Menke's to Satellite Inn in honor of South Central High School teams named the Satellites.

Donations to youth baseball leagues, parks and other local organizations were among the ways the Scarboroughs gave back and the community returned the favor at the cash register.

Lunch is always busy and as always the Friday night fish fry often draws a line of people waiting to get in.

Stephen Blazek said the only real change in the menu was made-from-scratch dishes like pot roast, chicken alfredo and lasagna were added.

His mother, Stella, who grew up in Union Mills, is even involved doing things like baking homemade pies she delivers and making other desserts.

Mary Blazek, who had some bartending experience going in, oversees the operation focusing on things like socializing with customers and running the cash register.

The building went up in 1901. It originally was a meat market.

Legend has it the upstairs was used as a speakeasy where people gathered to drink bootleg liquor and dance when it was against the law to consume alcoholic beverages nationwide from 1920 to 1933.

Stephen Blazek said there's also a small stage upstairs and some lifelong residents come in and tell stories about the speakeasy legend that was handed down to them while growing up.

"Something went on up there," he said.

As soon as prohibition ended, the place became Novak's bar.

"There's a lot of history here," said Blazek.

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