Discover Hinsdale

January 2020 View more


Although he grew up in St. Louis—and spent his high school years in Brussels, Belgium—Rob Johnson has called Hinsdale home for the past 16 years.

Johnson, 51, studied communications at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, and became seriously interested in a broadcast journalism career while interning at CNN in Washington, DC. He worked at TV stations in Louisiana, Arkansas, and Texas before moving to Chicago to work as weekend anchor for ABC-7. After six years he moved on to CBS-2, where he was main anchor for 13 years.

Encouraged by colleagues who lived in Hinsdale, Johnson and wife Stacy moved from their Lake View condo to Hinsdale in 2003. Two years later, they welcomed son Jaden, now 14.

“The thing about Hinsdale is it’s just a nice little village. It just feels homey an it has this small-town feel to it,” Johnson says. “They’ve done a tremendous job improving the downtown—the dining scene in particular.”

Last year Johnson started his own communications consulting firm, where his services range from marketing to media training to crisis management. A hockey dad and a recreational player himself, Johnson is passionate about concussion awareness and heads up the Chicago Advisory Board for the Concussion Legacy Foundation. In 2016, he wrote a children’s book about the dangers of concussions called Timothy Trainor: Head in the Game.

In his spare time, Johnson enjoys spending time with his family. Read on for a few of his favorite destinations.

Go the distance
Hinsdale is 20 miles west of downtown Chicago and about 13 miles east of Naperville.

Dry times
The Village of Hinsdale lifted its longtime alcohol sales ban in 2001, making way for an increase in restaurants in recent years.

Theatrical eats
The historic Hinsdale Theater on First Street was built in 1925 and now houses Harry & Eddie’s, a restaurant and bar.

Top chef
Chef Paul Virant, owner of award-winning restaurant Vie in Western Springs, opened Vistro in Hinsdale in 2014.

Worth a trip

  1. Wild Ginger Asian Cuisine
    The Johnsons love to head here for casual family meals—either to dine in or carry out. “They have Thai, Japanese, Chinese—you can have almost any kind of Asian food you want,” Johnson says. “The prices are great. It just feels comfortable in there … and the service is spectacular.”
    44 S. Washington St., 630.323.1888

  2. Hinsdale Wine Shop
    An avid wine fan, Johnson loves to shop for bottles of red—usually Cabernet in the winter and Pinot Noir in the summer—at this store owned by Sean Chaudhry. “There have been times he didn’t have something I was looking for, and he’s like, ‘I’ll get it’—and he gets it in days.”
    12 E. Hinsdale Ave., 630.654.9862

  3. Fuller House
    This two-level hangout is a favorite of Johnson’s for catching up with buddies over a round of drinks. “It’s got a good bar scene and it seems like it’s always packed in there,” Johnson says. When hunger strikes, he usually orders the Southwest tostada salad or the chicken wings.
    35 E. First St., 630.568.5466

  4. Nabuki
    This upscale sushi bar is a go-to for daytime dates with his wife, Stacy. “If Valentine’s Day or a birthday fell during the week when I had to go to work [at night], we would always do a special occasion lunch here,” Johnson says. He recommends the Stanley Cup maki, which rolls together crab and spicy shrimp, avocado, mango, cilantro, and sweet potato, topped with unagi sauce and chile oil.
    18 E. First St., 630.654.8880

  5. Alixandra Blue
    This garden-level boutique stocked with stylish women’s clothing and jewelry is where Rob and his son, Jaden, come to shop for gifts for Stacy. “We can put together a really cool outfit in like 20 minutes … and the staff is terrific,” Johnson says. “Everything in there is cool … so I know I’m always going to get it right.”
    2 W. First St., 630.455.0022,

Save the date

Mark your calendar for these Hinsdale events on the 2020 schedule.

The Village of Hinsdale has teamed up with Hinsdale Wine Academy and Taste of Home Catering to host first-time event Corks & Forks at the Lodge at Katherine Legge Memorial Park (5901 S. County Line Rd.) on February 21. Attendees will learn about pairing wine with food while savoring 12 tapas-style courses matched with 12 different wines. Tickets ($64/ person, 21+) are on sale now at

The Hinsdale Cooks! Kitchen Walk, an annual tour of the village’s most beautiful home kitchens, is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year on May 8. The Hinsdale Women’s Society hosts the event on Mother’s Day weekend to benefit the Hinsdale Historical Society. For more details visit

Notable summer events include the Hinsdale Fine Arts Festival (June), Farmers Market Mondays, (early June through mid-October) and Uniquely Thursdays, a BYO-chair outdoor music series (June through August).

For more details and to learn about other Hinsdale events, browse the events calendar at

Photo by Lori Sapio (headshot) and Courtesy Hinsdale Chamber of Commerce