HIS LIFELONG DREAM OF OPENING A RESTAURANT COMES TRUE
GENEVA/ST. CHARLES–Long time west suburban resident, Mario Grado realized his lifetime dream of opening a restaurant in his early 20’s. Along the way he worked as a CNA in healthcare, an appliance repair technician, and earned his Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration with concentrations in Small Business Management and Entrepreneurship. His vision evolved into a wine bar and ultimately Vintage 53, a specialty marketplace, cheese shop, and wine bar in the heart of downtown St. Charles.
Offering artisanal cut-to-order cheese, charcuterie, wine, serving boards, glassware, and gifts, Vintage 53 also specializes in an assortment of curated to-go trays for up to 15 people and grazing tables for larger groups boasting choices from over 50 artisanal cheeses, charcuterie, pickled items, crunchies, fruits, veggies, and jams.
“I love seeing people creating memories, and attaching them to a place that I created,” he proudly shares. “I slice every meat and cut every cheese to order, and our guests can select as many or as few items from our ordering cards as they like.”
This unique venue is half market, half experience! Take and go, stay and eat, or try a cheese pairing class every other Sunday - Wine and Cheese, Whiskey and Cheese, or Board Building!
At only 41 years old, Mario has found his happy place professionally and personally, living his absolute best life in the western suburbs along with his partner and his perfect Pug.
Photos by Mike Catuara