Hanley, owner of Peggy Kinnane’s Irish Restaurant & Pub, came to the United States from Ireland in 1985.
After living in New York for a couple of years, he moved to Boston, where he met his wife. Later, they moved to Los Angeles, Denver, back to Tipperary, Ireland, and finally to Arlington Heights.
Hanley opened Peggy Kinnane’s eight years ago and has been an integral part of the downtown redevelopment. He was one of the first business owners to offer his expertise for the Mane Event and has been part of the Irish Fest at the Historical Museum for eight years. He has also taken a leading role in providing support to several charities at his restaurant, including Salute Inc., the Edward A. Dillon Memorial Scholarship Fund and Hospice of Northeast Illinois. Derek has raised thousands of dollars for these organizations.
“I remember growing up in Ireland, the Christian Brothers used to tell me ‘Hanley, you will never amount to anything,'” he said. “I use that as motivation and drive to become a better man.”
What you probably didn’t know: Hanley moved to the United States when he was 19 years old, but last year he officially became a U.S. citizen.