First Look: Cheesecake Factory Opening in Orland Park Wednesday

The new 9,400 square-foot restaurant serving a novel-sized menu of entrees and cheesecakes opens this week for business. Take look inside while they held a test run over the weekend.

While walking into Orland Park’s latest addition to its dining scene Friday night, diners were given instructions.

Order entrees and an appetizer from specific menus, ask the server a specific question about take out service and pay attention to how knowledgeable the servers are on the roughly 250 menu items available, we were told.

Test lunches and dinners were held Friday and Saturday at the new Cheesecake Factory, on the west side of Orland Square Mall next to Macy’s, as part of the lead up to the restaurant’s opening on Wednesday at 11 a.m.

“We have 270 staff members for the Orland Park location, and depending on the position, some have been in training for about the last three weeks,” said Alethea Rowe, senior director of public relations and brand management for the Calabasas, Calif.-based chain. “On the final test day (on Sunday), they have to get a 90 percent or better.”

Achieving that score isn’t a small feat with the extensive food, drink and dessert menus available. Preparation for all the items also is a sizable effort, as the restaurant produces a vast majority of its items by scratch in house, Howe said.

“Our prep kitchen is larger than the main kitchen, which is a unique feature compared to other casual dining restaurants,” Rowe said.

The restaurant will be the first full sit-down establishment in Orland Sqaure, since Ruby Tuesday closed in 2011.

While slightly smaller than most of the chain’s 159 restaurants across the country, the Orland Square restaurant features a unique aspect with an indoor patio area in the mall proper, along with an outdoor patio for warmer times.

Since 2008, The Cheesecake Factory has partnered with the Chicago-based hunger relief charity Feeding America.

Each year, the restaurant picks a cheesecake where 25 cents from every slice sold goes to the charity, Rowe said. This year’s cheesecake is Oreo Dream Extreme, until summer 2013. The partnership has led to about $2.7 million donated from the restaurant since it began, Rowe said.

“The Chicago area has really been wonderful to us for many years,” Rowe said. “And we’re happy now to be in Orland Park.”

Cheesecake Factory is now offering a card for a free cheesecake slice for every $25 bought in gift cards.

From Wednesday’s opening and on, the restaurant will be open during the following hours:

  • Mon.-Thurs: 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
  • Fri.-Sat.: 11 a.m.-midnight
  • Sun: 10 a.m.-11 p.m. (brunch served from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.)

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Madrdd December 03, 2012 at 01:01 PM
So nice to see Cheesecake Factory in our area. Its about time we get some favorites in the south suburbs, rather than having to drive to OakBrook or downtown Chicago. Great Food.
Ed December 03, 2012 at 01:06 PM
Orland Mall has been turning into a ghetto the past few years with all of the gang bangers swarming around in there.. Hopefully this will help improve it by drawing a better crowd.
tom December 03, 2012 at 05:56 PM
ghetto, gang bangers? Is that really what it looks like? Please just stay away and keep your racial comments to yourself.
Emily December 03, 2012 at 05:59 PM
Ed - what does a ghetto gangbanger look like exactly?
Arthur Huff December 03, 2012 at 06:07 PM
Crime at the mall has certainly gotten bad over the past few years. Unfortunately I don't think adding a nice restaurant and remodeling the entrances will stop the thieves from coming out to Orland and stealing from the stores.
Mary Carumba December 03, 2012 at 07:00 PM
I was in the mall and looked into the Cheese Cake factory. It look pretty small and cramped compared to their other locations.
Mary Carumba December 03, 2012 at 07:01 PM
Ed, Your right. There certainly seems to be large numbers of suspicious characters there roaming around in groups.
Emily December 03, 2012 at 07:48 PM
Mary maybe you can shed light on what suspicious characters look like? Ghetto gangbangers? Please explain.
RGo December 03, 2012 at 09:42 PM
I'm offended by the "ghetto" "gang-banger" comments. I'm excited about the opportunity to dine at the new Cheesecake Factory...what does "ghetto and gang-banger" comments have to due w/the opening of the restaurant. Let's face it, theft isn't a "color" issue...stop the racist ranting. Its completely inappropriate, especially in the context of this news.
REAGANRAISEDTAXES December 03, 2012 at 10:17 PM
You'll have to tune into Bill O'Really, he teachers hate.
Arthur Huff December 03, 2012 at 10:34 PM
Poor choice of words Ed. While I believe there is empirical data that would show a pattern regarding the people who are typically caught stealing at the mall, using the words "ghetto" and "gang banger" make you seem racist. Even though a person of any race could be a gang banger but that's neither here nor there. And before anyone freaks out, the pattern I'm referring to is more regarding where these people are coming from and the organization with which these "crews" operate. And Mokena Voter, you sure are clever. I see what you did there you sly dog. Ed has been branded a racist and therefore must be a fan of Bill O'Reilly who you also believe to be a racist. Smooth! Perhaps all this garbage should be deleted so we can focus on the awesome new restaurant Orland just got.
Ben Feldheim (Editor) December 03, 2012 at 11:06 PM
Thanks to all the people who rightly pointed out the dialogue about who shops at the mall is irrelevant to this post. Let's stay on topic now.
Annie December 04, 2012 at 12:45 AM
Orland is the orphan child of decent restaurant availability. Where are the Lettuce Entertain You places? Forget true upscale gourmet. Chick Filet or bust is our motto. Why is Cheesecake soooo small??? No common sense involved. Gorgeous. I was at the opening. Doubt I'll get a seat again and I've lived in Orland 20+ yrs. Poor judgement.
Annie December 04, 2012 at 01:04 AM
We could handle 3 times Oakbrook's volume and it is a fraction of it. Cheesecake should have been free standing. Period. Minimum Oakbrook size. The mall has long needed a garage structure which could have helped support such a decision. As much as the food is amazing and the place is gorgeous, I was seriously sad at the underlying message. Mayor McLaughlin, seriously sir, with all due respect, what are you thinking?????? We need more quality and less quantity to maintain what Orland Park is and what it has been growing to become. The size of this restaurant is ultimately just plain insulting to a loyal Orland Park resident. really????
Emily December 04, 2012 at 01:31 AM
Annie - I am not quite sure what your living in Orland for 20+ years has anything to do with getting a seat in a restaurant. They chose to go inside the mall and were given the space available. You are acting as if the surrounding stores should have been forced to move to accommodate one restaurant? I am actually surprised Cheesecake wanted to come to Orland as it's residents like junk fast food.
Annie December 04, 2012 at 02:43 AM
Emily- I agree most people will make the wrong choices. However, if we had REAL options, I think we'd see a lot of people staying here and not going elsewhere to eat. ( I would rather go to Oakbrook than stay in Orland unless it's Ottimo's or I cook it. Period end all.) We are not the trailer park cousins our eateries make us out to be. My comment about living here a long time has more to do with how disappaointed I am that after paying such exorbitant taxes all these years, the township prostitutted itself in some way to allow this cheapened version of a restaurant to open it's doors inside the mall. Why not a freestanding restaurant to take the place of those abandoned buildings on the perimeter? My chances of being able to eat a meal there whenever I like look dismal. Looks like I'll be eating these bad decisions even moreso when I try to sell my house. Traffic issues that are feared even 40 miles away, theft, cheap eats and high taxes. We should have surpassed Woodfield 15 yrs ago. The fact we haven't tells me something is quite amiss.
Miss Jean December 04, 2012 at 03:05 AM
I don't understand why people are complaining about the size. I was at one of the practice runs on Friday and I thought it was a lot bigger than expected, especially considering they decided to be located in the mall. Some people should just take their bad attitude all the way to Oak Brook, since yanno, it's so much better there.
Emily December 04, 2012 at 03:15 PM
Annie - I was not at the board meeting when this proposal came about. But my guess is that the restaurant chose to go inside the mall. So your problem isn't with the Village Board, it would be with the owners of the restaurant. I agree with you on food choice in this town and all over America really. Which is why I rarely ever eat anything I do not cook myself.
ms.a March 22, 2013 at 05:30 AM
Don't think mall is ghetto is all i meantgreat food just busy n all people are capable of doin bad things yes that's dissapointing but the food n mall is great
ms.a March 22, 2013 at 05:41 AM
I flaggef one my la st comments so it could be erased didn't want to offend anyone n worded it wrong ..terrible things h ass ppen at malls sh op lifting amongst other things gere don't matter its sad but orland mall and every bui as ness in it is great that's why its so busy n the cheesecske fsctory n foox is great!:)-
ms.a March 22, 2013 at 05:42 AM
I flaggef one my la st comments so it could be erased didn't want to offend anyone n worded it wrong ..terrible things h ass ppen at malls sh op lifting amongst other things genre don't matter its sad but orland mall and every buisness in it is great that's why its so busy n the cheesecske fsctory n foox is great!:)-
ms.a March 22, 2013 at 05:42 AM
I flaggef one my la st comments so it could be erased didn't want to offend anyone n worded it wrong ..terrible things h a ppen at malls sh op lifting amongst other things genre don't matter its sad but orland mall and every buisness in it is great that's why its so busy n the cheesecske fsctory n foox is great!:)-
C.S. May 03, 2013 at 01:51 PM
The food was terrible. I order the same thing every time I go, Chicken and biscuits. I love the Oak Brooke and Chicago locations, but Orland Mall's food is terrible. The portion size is wrong, the chicken is small and over cooked. I don't get enough veggies or sauce and they claim they changed the biscuit to one large biscuit but it looks like a half of a biscuit is on the plate. I will never eat at this location again and make the 45 min to an hour drive to Oak Brooke or Chicago to enjoy my favorite meal twice a year.
Larry January 12, 2014 at 12:59 PM
Hey there is crime everywhere don't kid yourself. But in many cases at the mall many customers that steal are being caught!! And if you don't like the food then don't complain don't go there again, I was in there last night and at 9:00pm it was still busy ,so something that they are doing something right. So if you like SNOBS GO TO OAKBROOK.


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