Showing posts with label western ave.. Show all posts
Showing posts with label western ave.. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Another Nasty Sign

Drive down 111th St and you will see a bank branch building with a massive crooked "available" sign  on the lawn in front of the building. Further east, a newer nice restaurant put up a sign using 5 ft high lighted letters. Another establishment rings their windows with LED lights. I mean is there anyway these signs can get any bigger and brighter? Are gigantic signs and LED lights really that good for business? Are they good for the neighborhood or do they send another message? Perhaps a darker message that hints at desperation? A tremendous positive effort has been put into our commercial strips by our local officials. The improvements to our commercial strips are great but they are greatly cheapened by over the top signage.

What the 19th Ward needs are local guidelines to stop any further over the top signage and of course strict enforcement of the guidelines. Make every applicant for a sign appear before a beautification committee, which will make recommendations to Ald. O'Shea.  O'Shea can look to some of the suburbs, which have passed sign ordinances.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

He will be missed

Home Run Inn Pizza’s Joe Perrino dies—saw city as ‘pizza capital of the world’ and liked market it to African Americans at 109th & Western Ave. 

Joe Perrino pictured in a Home Run Inn promotional video. 

Home Run Inn Pizza CEO Joe Perrino, who helped turn his family’s legendary Little Village pizzeria into a national frozen pizza empire, died unexpectedly on Thursday at age 64, according to the company.

“We are deeply saddened to announce the unexpected passing of our leader and CEO, Joe Perrino,” the company said in a statement released Friday afternoon. “Joe’s legacy will be remembered not only for the beautiful business he built but for the foundation that lies beneath it. Joe was both a leader and the family patriarch, who over the years, inspired and touched numerous lives. He will be greatly missed.”

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Looks like crap

9901 S. Western Ave. Former location of Suburban Bank. 

West side of the building has 5 big dead ash trees. Looks like shit. Considering this is located on a major arterial street, it reflects poorly on the entire neighborhood. It creates the impression that we are impoverished or that nobody could give a rats ass. Looking at it from another angle, it's just a matter of time until tree limbs start falling

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Nice stories about up and coming Western Avenue

Not Your Dad's Western Ave.: Trendy Bars, Shops Bring New Flavor To Beverly

By Howard Ludwig | September 22, 2017 6:23am
 Open Outcry Brewing Co. (top left) debuted July 21 at 10934 S. Western Ave. in Morgan Park. Keith Lewis (top right) moved Bookie's July 1 to 10324 S. Western Ave. in Beverly. The mother-and-daughter team of Margo and Ayisha Strotter opened their second location of Ain't She Sweet Cafe March 6 at 9920 S. Western Ave. in Beverly. The Beverly Woods served customers for 63 years at 11532 S. Western Ave. before owner Bill McGann decided to close the Morgan Park banquet hall, restaurant and bar Sunday.
Open Outcry Brewing Co. (top left) debuted July 21 at 10934 S. Western Ave. in Morgan Park. Keith Lewis (top right) moved Bookie's July 1 to 10324 S. Western Ave. in Beverly. The mother-and-daughter team of Margo and Ayisha Strotter opened their second location of Ain't She Sweet Cafe March 6 at 9920 S. Western Ave. in Beverly. The Beverly Woods served customers for 63 years at 11532 S. Western Ave. before owner Bill McGann decided to close the Morgan Park banquet hall, restaurant and bar Sunday. 
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BEVERLY — The stretch of Western Avenue that runs from 91st Street in Beverly to 119th Street in Morgan Park has long been synonymous with bars painted Kelly green and adorned in shamrocks.
These dimly-lit Irish pubs have served bottles upon bottles of light beer for decades. And as for food, it would be hard to find a two-mile strip with more pizza parlors anywhere. Other comfort foods abound, including late-night subs, Chicago-style hot dogs, Italian beef and more.
But many of the newcomers to this commercial stretch have bucked the trend, bringing a fresh vibe to the businesses district by adding craft beer, healthy food options, shops designed to take advantage of natural light and more.
It's not uncommon to have to wait for a table on weekends at Horse Thief Hollow.Caroline Connors, the executive director of the Morgan Park Beverly Hills Business Association, credited the brewpub that debuted in 2013 at 10426 S. Western Ave. for setting a changed tone along the corridor.
Other independent businesses that have followed include Open Outcry Brewing Co., which opened July 21 to both hungry and thirsty crowds. A hip taco joint is on the way. A niche quilt shop seems to be thriving along with a trendy coffee spot that sells handmade doughnuts.
There's also a new lunch place that specializes in made-to-order chicken wraps, a longtime new and used bookstore that swapped its overcrowded store for a larger location with giant windows and others investing in the area too.
Connors's group represents the businesses on this busy strip and added that new enterprises — including bars — have largely gone away from focusing a very small group of customers living in the immediate vicinity. The new entrants seem to be trying to attract a larger, more regional customer base, she said.
Here's a look at some of the new additions (and a few subtractions) to the business district in recent years. The new arrivals mostly shun the idea the area will forever be known merely as the home of the ready-made pub crawl known as the "Western Avenue Death March."
Bridgeport and Beverly are often looked upon as Chicago's Irish twins. It's perhaps this familiarity that led Mike Pilkington, the owner of Bridgeport Coffee Co. to open a shop at 9135 S. Western Ave. on Dec. 14, 2015, replacing Hardboiled Coffee Co.
Pilkington actually expanded previous tenant's footprint, filling the storefront to the south with mismatched wood tables and chairs. In doing so, Bridgeport Coffee seems to have found an audience of those eager to get out of the house while also taking advantage of the free WiFi.
Not all the development on Western Avenue has worked out well for Beverly. Potbelly Sandwich Shop will soon move from the southeast corner of 95th Street and Western Avenue across the street to a new storefront in Evergreen Plaza.
The sandwich shop gains a drive-through window by moving to the adjacent suburb and leaves the shopping center it once anchored largely vacant. There's been talk of tearing down the strip mall as a result.
The owners of Ain't She Sweet Cafe built their brand in Bronzeville by serving Caribbean jerk chicken wraps and fresh sandwiches. The mother-and-daughter team of Margo and Ayisha Strotter opened their second location March 6 at 9920 S. Western Ave.
The cafe that sits just south of Beverly's Janson's Drive-In prides itself on offering healthy food. The owners drew praise Aug. 9 from the Obama Foundation, which highlighted their efforts to hire and invest locally.
The shop at 10215 S. Western Ave. opened April 25 and takes its name by combining the first names of owners Mary Ryan and Lauren Majka. The Beverly and Morgan Park residents graduated from the cosmetology school in 2011.
Their bright, airy salon replaces Optimo Hat Co., which had occupied the storefront for 25 years before moving its retail operation Downtown. Optimo's hats are still made in Beverly, but production moved from the combined storefront to a renovated firehouse at 1700 W. 95th St. last year.
The new and used bookstore has been in the Beverly neighborhood since 1989 and more than doubled its footprint by moving July 1 to 10324 S. Western Ave. OwnerKeith Lewis also opted to keep his previous store around the corner at 2419 W. 103rd St.
The idea is to focus the retail operation along busy Western Avenue and keep the smaller spot as a dedicated place for book signings, poetry readings and other literary and community events.
Many neighborhood residents bemoaned the loss of Koda Bistro in July 2013, but The Quilter's Trunk has found success converting the white table cloth restaurant at 10352 S. Western Ave. to a sanctuary for sewing enthusiasts.
Owner Katie Nathwani and store manager Lisa Wilberding opened their quilt shop Sept. 11, 2015. Since then, quilters from throughout the Midwest, including some on bus tours, have found their way into the store.
Keegan's Pub had practically been an institution at 10618 S. Western Ave. before owner Bernard Callaghan decided to tear apart the bar known for serving perfect pints of Guinness. He poured $750,000 into the business he'd previously owned for 25 years.
The renovated pub nearly doubled in size and was renamed Barney Callaghan's, after the family's late dog. A vaulted ceiling that's made to look like the inside of wine barrel has been attracting customers since the bar reopened Aug. 27, 2015.
After nearly five years of teasing, Buona Beef opened its first restaurant within the city March 21, 2016, at 10659 S. Western Ave. in Beverly. The restaurant has seen steady crowds, despite a union flap that drew picketers last month.
Another local chain to come to the busy stretch includes Home Run Inn, which debuted Nov. 8, 2012, at 10900 S. Western Ave. in Morgan Park.
The former Chesterfield Federal Savings and Loan at 10801 S. Western Ave. in Morgan Park sat vacant for six years before a massive renovation started this summer. The building is being redesigned as a medical office building.
Beverly-based First In Realty Executives Inc. is handing the deal for the 26,000-square-foot structure. The building had been known for its towering columns, several of which were removed in the renovation. Others were kept and will be enclosed as part of the redesign.
The latest addition to Western Avenue hasn't even had its official grand opening yet. Owner Jack Kelly quietly opened the bar Sept. 12 at 10910 S. Western Ave., replacing Mrs. O'Leary's Dubliner.
With new floors, a fresh coat of paint and a few other improvements, Kelly's Tap is a throwback to the bars that have defined the strip for decades. Kelly is also hoping patrons of nearby Home Run Inn and Open Outcry Brewing Co. will stop in for a drink after dinner.
The brewery that pairs craft its beer with Neapolitan-style pizzas opened July 21 at 10934 S. Western Ave. Owner John Brand walked away from his career in the futures market March 9, 2016, to buy O'Brien's Pub.
He then converted the pub and several adjacent storefronts into the brewery that features a roll-up garage door that opens the street. This allows fresh air to fill the brewery as the weather permits.
Chef A.J. Castillo hopes to soon have the necessary permits to begin construction on Americanos, a restaurant selling tacos and tortas. Castillo's first restaurant will replace Leona's at 11060 S. Western Ave. in Morgan Park.
He said the design will be far more trendy than traditional Mexican restaurants, favoring alternative rock music over mariachi bands.
The Beverly Woods served customers for 63 years at 11532 S. Western Ave. before owner Bill McGann decided to close the banquet hall, restaurant and bar Sunday.
McGann said the building needed both cosmetic upgrades and costly infrastructure improvements. His two children wanted to pursue other interests, and McGann, 67, did not want the burden of a large loan.
The building and nearly one-acre property is for sale for $1.29 million.
Before owner Dan Cullinan closed Cullinan's Stadium Club Aug. 1 at 11610 S. Western Ave., customers raised $14,215 via GoFundMe to help pay his back taxes. The bill was settled Dec. 29, but the fundraiser could not offset the drop in business over the summer months.
Cullinan admitted that the bar scene on Western Avenue has changed since he opened 29 years ago. He said those that have invested heavily in their businesses in recent years have seen success, while many of he older spots have struggled.
The menu at Global Kitchen in Morgan Park is as eclectic as the flags that fly outside the restaurant at 11722 S. Western Ave. Owner Essy Glenn of Beverly serves American favorites like pork chops and chicken wings alongside Asian cuisine, French delicacies and more.
The restaurant's dining area reflects this same variety. Opened May 27, 2016, Global Kitchen is carved up into tiny rooms. Each room is designed to take hungry customers on a visit to different countries, including Mexico, Japan, England and beyond.
This unassuming bar at 11848 S. Western Ave. in Morgan Park had been plagued with problems for more than a year before it closed following a police raid Aug. 5, 2016.Several days after the raid, an undercover police officer detailed multiple drug buys at Bar 118.
The liquor license for the property was later revoked.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Sad......I just hope they don't make it into a church

From another group: 9/18/17
The Beverly Woods Restaurant has closed its doors after 63 years. Our family wants to thank everyone in our great neighborhood for a great run. In a business where longevity and continuity is very difficult and extremely rare; we are very proud to have been of service to multiple generations. So many friends have passed through our doors over the years. It is bittersweet to finally close our second home and move on to new ventures. We want to bid a heartfelt fond farewell to all of our great customers, neighbors and friends. Our iconic landmark building and property are now for sale. 

Sunday, February 26, 2017

County Fair

Attention everyone! County Fair is going to pick up the tab on your bags! No bag tax for our customers! But, of course, we still encourage you to use recyclable bags whenever you can!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Good Idea, Poor Outcome

The Home Run Inn Pizza on Western- An unforeseen neighborhood disaster. We didn't get what we thought we were going to get. 
We envisioned a place where families could walk to for a nice pizza pie. 

Instead we got a very troubled institution that families will not dare enter

Home Run Inn Pizza is a Chicago Institution known for their excellent pizzas which are even leading sellers in many grocery stores as frozen pizzas.
When Home Run Inn contracted to put a pizza restaurant into a long vacant building on the northwest corner of 109th and Western it was hailed by all as a huge neighborhood win. There were press releases and much excitement among the community leaders. Even though our ward has as many fine pizza places as any in the city, Home Run Inn was big time and welcomed with open arms. Also, Home Run Inn was only going to offer dine in with no delivery so as to not take away much business from other pizza establishments that had been in our community for so long.  

Shortly after the announcement, problems began to surface. Home Run Inn as a policy does not use non union labor for construction. Yet when building began, non union labor was being used almost exclusively on the project. Because we live in a community that is known for being strongly pro labor,

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Jean Sapp from Rainbow Cone was a very nice lady.

Jean M. Sapp of ice-cream mecca Original Rainbow Cone, dead at 88
Jean Asp

Jean Sapp was a kindly cashier at a happy place in Beverly that layers chocolate, strawberry, pistachio and Palmer House ice cream — that’s New York vanilla with cherries and walnuts — topped with orange sherbet to make the Original Rainbow Cone.

She married into the family that created the trademarked treat, sold for nearly 90 years at Chicago’s oldest ice cream parlor at 9233 S. Western. She did the payroll, worked the register and fed home-cooked meals to the entire Sapp clan as they worked the counter.

Mrs. Sapp would march from her house behind Rainbow Cone and carry over dinner so everyone could keep working, including founder Joseph Sapp and his wife Katherine and their son Robert, who was Jean Sapp’s husband.

They couldn’t afford to pause for a break because Rainbow Cone operates only in warmer months.

“In the summer, you’ve got to make your money when you can make it,” said Mrs. Sapp’s son Thomas.

The staff wolfed down her food so they could return to dishing out cones to long lines of customers.

Mrs. Sapp died Sept. 8 in hospice care in Crown Point, Indiana. She was 88.

Jean Sapp of Rainbow Cone with her husband Robert on left, and her son Robert Jr. on right Family photo.

She made delicious roast beef and mashed potatoes and gravy and also savory spaghetti and lasagna from recipes shared by an Italian neighbor. Often, she made enough to feed all the Sapps and their workers — about a dozen people.

“She would have big trays,” said daughter Lynn Sapp, third-generation Rainbow Cone owner. “You had to have good arms.

“She would make sure everybody had a good meal.”

“Nobody’s ever been able to replicate her fried chicken,” piquant with cracked pepper and spices, her son said.

Mrs. Sapp volunteered for years at Christ the King parish, where her husband coached football. She washed the team uniforms and chauffeured players, cheerleaders and nuns. And she led an after-school Great Books program.

Born Jean Mullarkey, she grew up in Little Flower parish near 79th and Halsted, the daughter of a homemaker mom and a Chicago police officer dad who moonlighted as an electrician. The Mullarkeys lost their house in the Depression.

“We just figured everybody was poor,” she told her kids.

After Mercy High School, she joined the other young women who took the streetcar downtown to work at Illinois Bell.

She and Robert Sapp met at a dance, but World War II separated them. In the war’s final days, he was stationed on a boat off Japan, awaiting orders for battle.

“He was given his last rites. They expected 80 percent casualties,” Thomas Sapp said. “And they were sitting there, and someone said, ‘Hey, guys, they dropped some bomb on Japan.’ ”

When he returned to Chicago, he saw Jean. They had a romantic exchange, city-kid style:

“I thought your hand was broken. You didn’t write,” he told her.

“I didn’t know if you were coming back,” she zinged back.

They married in 1949. He worked as an engineer for the Chicago Board of Education. When school closed for the summer, he worked at Rainbow Cone.

Chocolate, strawberry, Palmer House, pistachio and orange sherbet. The Rainbow Cone.

When her kids went away to college (Thomas at the U.S. Air Force Academy, Lynn at Illinois State University and son Robert Sapp Jr. and daughter Kathi at Florida’s St. Leo University), Mrs. Sapp took advantage of those pre-Homeland Security days to press packages on friends who were going to visit them–ice-cream containers filled with her frozen spaghetti sauce, so they could have a taste of home.

“If there was somebody in the neighborhood who had a death in the family, Dad or Mom would be over there, bringing ice cream,” Thomas Sapp said.

Though “a little bitty Irish gal,” she could be a tough cookie when the need arose, said Robert Sapp Jr. “When I was with the Chicago Police Department, my mom grabbed me by the ear and told me, ‘You might think you’re a big, tough guy, but you can never, ever, handle your mother.’ ”

Her purse matched her shoes, and she believed in putting away white clothes after Labor Day. “When she was in hospice, she had lipstick on,” said her daughter Kathi. She enjoyed golfing and “knew more about football when the Bears were on than most guys,” Lynn Sapp said.

Her husband died in 2009. She is also survived by three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Services have been held.

Friday, June 26, 2015


We have a great neighborhood here. A well educated population with some of the highest disposable income in the city, a stable housing stock and a low crime rate. 

What is being done to market our demographics to retailers far and wide? 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Friday, July 25, 2014

Morgan Park Sports Center

No BS, Hard Worker
Alderman O'Shea should be commended for getting this project off the ground after 15 years of false starts. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Speed Cameras at Beverly Park?

It's because of the accident data.

Does anyone think these cameras will make our residents safer? 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Koda is no more!

Closed Wednesday night for the last time. A serious loss for the neighborhood. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

BAPA presents

Business Breakfast Targets Tips and Tricks for Marketing 

 (June 2013) -- Does web marketing pay off? How can a small local business stay competitive? What does your store say about your business?

Marketing consultant Caroline Dwan will answer these questions and more in “Own Your Mile: Tips and Tricks to Locally Market Your Business” at the Business Breakfast sponsored by the Beverly Area Planning Association, Morgan Park/Beverly Hills Business Association, 95th Street Business Association and the Mount Greenwood Community and Business Association on Thurs., June 20, 7:30 to 9 a.m., in the BAPA Community Room, 11109 S. Longwood Dr.

An accomplished marketing and sales professional with broad-based experience in marketing, print and digital advertising and non-profit fundraising, Dwan’s specialty is finding creative solutions for businesses of all sizes.

Dwan’s presentation will include how to apply big business marketing principles to small businesses, how to evaluate which media options are best for your business, and how to set goals and develop a workable and effective marketing plan.

“Small is the new big,” Dwan said of the popularity of small businesses that provide quality products and hands-on customer service. “Several of Beverly/Morgan Park’s small businesses have some very big ideas that are working quite well. Other businesses need to take a new look at what they currently do, and take advantage of the unique opportunities for businesses to work together for community-wide success. Local is trendy. There’s no better time for a small business to make a name for themselves in the community they serve. ”

For close to 20 years, Dwan has held a variety of advertising and marketing positions. Most recently, she was a Consumer Marketing Specialist for Ace Hardware Corp. Through Ace Hardware, she contributed to shaping national marketing programs while working with 900+ retailers on developing their annual local marketing plans and programs, brainstorming promotions, recommending advertising, and training associates and owners on the features and benefits of a loyalty program designed to create a one-on-one relationship with consumers.

Dwan’s career highlights include advertising sales for Chicago Sun-Times Media Group and Chicago Tribune where she focused on developing holistic marketing plans for small and medium businesses. At MNI (a Time, Inc. company), Dwan worked with Chicago's top advertising agencies and served high profile national clients including Delta Airlines, United Airlines, Panera Bread, Crayola and Disney.

Taking the initiative to dive into digital advertising, Dwan worked with two start up companies, becoming an expert on banner advertising, content management, newsletter marketing and direct mail.

Dwan and her husband, Dan Coogan, own Fat Tommy's and live near Kennedy Park.

Admission to the BAPA Business Breakfast is $10 or free for members of BAPA, the 95th Street Business Association, Morgan Park/Beverly Hills Business Association or Mount Greenwood Community and Business Association. Register online at For information or phone registration, contact Marcia Walsh, 773-233-3100 or