Open in App
The State Journal-Register

A place for the whole family

By Natalie Morris,


Adam Maas knows the challenges of dining out as a family.

“Our family has a vegan, someone on (the) Paleo (diet), a vegetarian and a carnivore. A lot of our friends are gluten-free,” said Maas, who recently opened GOOD DECISIONS operating from the kitchen at DANENBERGER FAMILY VINEYARD in New Berlin

“We’re a family of five with five different eating habits. We are creating a place where the whole family will be able to come and enjoy.”

Maas opened Good Decisions in the vineyard’s kitchen space in May, filling the spot previously occupied by MIMI’S KITCHEN.

The menu – while accommodating a wide swath of dietary needs – will show off Maas’ wide range of culinary influences that date back to his earliest lessons as a 4 year old in his grandmother’s kitchen.

By the age of 12, his dream job was to operate his own restaurant.

Good Decisions is the culmination of that dream. And while it took several decades to reach, Maas has spent the time learning his craft from self instruction, working his way through Irma Rombauer’s culinary tome “The Joy of Cooking” to vacations where the itinerary was mapped out based on exploring regional cuisine.

“I have a real love of cooking with Indian, French and Italian influences,” said Maas, whose career for the past two decades has been in information technology. “Danenberger posted an opening. And here I am. It’s the fairytale.”

The menu ranges from grab-and-go features like locally sourced sandwiches and hand pies to entrees such as steak Florentine, Venetian pork chops and a daily pasta dish made with bronze-cut pasta and seasonal ingredients.

The current menu features appetizers that include nachos topped with brisket and scratch-made cheese sauce and freshly curated charcuterie boards.

The kitchen is open Thursdays from 6-9 p.m., Fridays from 5 p.m. until the concert ends, Saturdays from noon until the concert ends and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. Wood-fire pizzas available on non-concert days.

Maas, a Sherman resident, also plans to host monthly themed, small plate brunches, cooking classes and private chef dinners throughout the summer. Find these special events posted at on the event calendar.

Mimi’s Kitchen will begin serving customers Monday in its new home in Divernon.

Owner/operator Brenda Nelson said she is starting with a slimmed down menu focusing on burgers, wraps and salads. A daily special will be featured, as well as Sunday brunch buffets.

Daily specials will be served for lunch and dinner. The lineup features Monday, soup and salad; Tuesday, tacos; Thursday, pasta; Friday, fried fish.

Hours are 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The brunch buffet – served from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. – is the only offering on Sundays. The all-you-can-eat buffet costs $14.99 for adults and $7.99 for children 12 and younger.

Mimi’s Kitchen moved to 420 Illinois Route 104 (formerly home to ENCOUNTERS restaurant) in Divernon after a year of operating from Danenberger’s Family Vineyard in New Berlin.

WELLTHY JUICE CO. – a new cold press juice bar – is coming to The Gables.

Owner Heidi Clark – who already owns and operates the salon, Clark & Co. Beauty Lab – said the business grew out of lifestyle changes she has recently adopted.

“We were starting to eat clean and feeling better. Noticed a huge difference,” Clark said. “We want this to be a space to help others choose, enhance a healthy lifestyle.”

A summer opening is planned. The initial menu will include cold pressed juices, super food-based smoothies and acai bowls. Limited indoor and patio seating will be available.

Wellthy Juice Co. is being carved out of space currently occupied by vintage store Again & Again.

Management is calling this week’s closure of MEL-O-CREAM DONUT at Fairhills Mall temporary although no timeline to reopen has been indicated.

“Until further notice, the Fairhills store at 1953 W. Monroe St. will be closed,” was posted on the Springfield franchise’s Facebook page Tuesday. “We are trying to work with the mall property manager on facility repairs. Thank you for your understanding.”

The Fairhills Mall address has served Mel-O-Cream creations since 1975.

Customers for the doughnut shop were directed to the four other Mel-O-Cream stores throughout Springfield at 217 E. Laurel Ave., 525 North Grand Ave. E, 4411 Yucan Drive and 3010 S. Sixth St.

The A La Carte column highlights restaurant openings, closing, renovations and relocations, as well as personnel changes and business news. Natalie Morris can be reached at 737-7254 or by email at

Expand All
Comments / 0
Add a Comment

Comments / 0