Open Bottle in Tinley Park to unveil 4th annual special brew this weekend

Julia and Patrick Bisch will unveil their fourth special holiday brew, Santa’s Cookies & Milk Stout, on Nov. 30. (Photo by Bob Bong)

By Bob Bong

The Open Bottle craft beer shop and taproom in Tinley Park will unveil its fourth annual holiday collaboration beer with Hailstorm Brewing this weekend.

Open Bottle will donate $1 for every four-pack sold to Tinley Wish, a local charity that raises money for Tinley Park families in need. Last year, they raised $1,500.

All three earlier versions of the special brew were named after cookies. The tradition continues this year with the release of Santa’s Cookies & Milk Stout, which will go on sale at noon Saturday, Nov. 30, at both the Open Bottle and Hailstorm Brewing. Previous versions were named Snickerdoodles, Peanut Butter and Samoa (after the Girl Scout cookie).

“We’re excited to release our annual collaboration beer with our friends and neighbors at Hailstorm Brewing,” said Patrick Bisch, co-owner of The Open Bottle with his wife, Julia. “For the past four years, we’ve made this beer, and this year we took inspiration from one of our favorite cookies, hot chocolate cookies. So, we added hot chocolate mix, marshmallows, and vanilla to this imperial milk stout.”

The new brew will be available in two versions on draft and in cans at both locations. There will be a traditional stout called original and a special batch aged in old bourbon barrels.

“We aged a portion of the beer in bourbon barrels to give it an even more complex and richer flavor,” said Bisch.

“Like the past three years, this year we are donating $1 from every four-pack sold to Tinley Wish,” said Julia Bisch. “Their mission and execution on giving back to the community is commendable, and we always support them with our annual Santa’s Cookies & Milk Stout release with Hailstorm.”

Santa’s Cookies & Milk Stout has a bite. Besides being on the sweet side because of the hot chocolate mix, the original version has an alcohol by volume of 11 percent. The bourbon barrel version has an ABV of 12 percent.

Patrick Bisch said the special brew goes fast and when it’s gone it’s gone.

“We brewed 30 barrels of the original but only seven barrels of the bourbon barrel version,” he said.

The Manhattan couple opened the Open Bottle in January 2015 at 7101 W. 183rd St. in a retail strip at the entrance to the Holiday Inn. The store is open from 3-9 p.m. Mondays, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and from noon to 7 p.m. on Sundays.

For information, call The Open Bottle at 708-263-0449.

Hailstorm is located at 8060 W. 186th St. in Tinley Park. Hours are from noon to 8 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, noon to 9 p.m. on Thursday, from noon to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, from noon to 8 p.m. Sunday and closed on Mondays.

For information, call Hailstorm at 708-232-8072.

Barrel Club delays opening to Wednesday in Oak Lawn

The Barrel Club will hold its opening at 3 p.m. Wednesday in Oak Lawn. (Photo by Bob Bong)

The Barrel Club has scheduled its opening for next week at Oak Lawn’s Promenade shopping center.

The original opening date of Monday, July 8, was pushed back to Wednesday, July 10. The restaurant said the delay was due to circumstances beyond their control.

The bar will open at 3 p.m. and the restaurant at 4 p.m.

The upscale restaurant and bar at 4910 W. 111th St. will have a hearty menu along with a specialty list of whiskeys and spirits, according to principal owner John Zawaski.

“As of now, we can tell you it will be American fare with meat coming from Whittingham’s, bread coming from Buttercrumb Bakery and recipes created from Chef Carlos,” Zawaski said in a message.

“We will have daily dinner specials that will include Bone in Meatloaf (yes, you read correctly), Friday night fish fry, (which will include pan fried perch), and prime rib on Saturday nights.

“We are currently working on our very own barrel-aged Old Fashions and Manhattans as well as many fun drinks made from our private label spirits that you can only get at The Barrel Club.”

The 8,300-square-foot restaurant has been taste testing its fare and specialty drinks in preparation for its scheduled opening this week.

The Barrel Club originally had hoped to be open earlier this year, but Zawaski said weather-related delays pushed construction back.

The establishment is expected to have indoor seating for about 300 with additional patio seating outside when the weather permits.

Restaurant hours will be 4-10 p.m. Monday to Sunday. Bar hours will be 3 p.m. to midnight Sunday to Wednesday and 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. Thursday to Saturday.

Beverly native Zawaski is also part of the ownership group of Black Oak Restaurant and Tavern that opened a couple of years ago at 9630 S. Pulaski Road in Oak Lawn.

For more information, visit barrelclubillinois.com.

2019 guide to fireworks, parades and fun for the Fourth

Here’s a rundown of area Independence Day events planned to celebrate America’s birthday between now and the Fourth of July.

BRIDGEVIEW: The Bridgeview Park District will celebrate Independence Day with a picnic on Wednesday, July 3, at Commissioners Park, 8100 S. Oketo Ave. Food will be available from Sno Daze Tropical Sno, Zacarelli’s pizza, Beavers donuts and Don Rafa tacos.

DJ Mike will provide entertainment from 5-10 p.m. Those Funny Little People will be there at 8 p.m. Fireworks start at dusk (about 9 p.m.)

SUMMIT: The Summit Park District will have an evening of fun beginning at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, July 3, at Summit Park, 5700 S. Archer Road. There will be beer, food, music. Fireworks show starts at dusk. Bring the family a blanket and chairs to reserve your spot. For more information, call 708-496-1012.

BROOKFIELD: Brookfield’s Fourth of July Parade starts at 10 a.m. Thursday at the corner of Grand and Garfield and heads due south on Grand to Brookfield Avenue, and then east to Kiwanis Park.

That’s where the village annual Party in the Park will be held from noon to 8 p.m. with music, food, beverages and fun.

LYONS: Lyons will host its annual Independence Day Parade starting at 1 p.m. Thursday. The parade begins at 46th Street and Lawndale Avenue. It heads east on 46th to Joliet Avenue, and north on Joliet to the fire station.

The Kids Party in the Park will be held from 6-9 p.m. in Veterans Park, located on the west side of Lawndale, just north of the village hall, there will be games and activities for children. Live music will be played.

The fireworks display, which always draws a big crowd, begins at dusk at the park.

RIVERSIDE: The celebration begins Wednesday night with Concert in the Park in Guthrie Park, located downtown near the train station.

A 5K run starts at 7:30 a.m. Thursday. You can register online or at the water tower near the train station.

The parade starts at 8:45 a.m. Thursday at Big Ball Park, at Delaplaine and Longcommon roads, and then heads south on Longcommon to Guthrie Park. A community festival will be held at 10:30 a.m. in Guthrie Park until 1 p.m. with food and beverage vendors.

BERWYN: Berwyn’s annual fireworks show starts at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 3, in the football stadium of Morton West High School, 2400 S. Home Ave. Gates open at 7 p.m.
Children’s games and activities will be offered from 7:30-8:30 p.m. The Morton High School band will play starting at 8:15 p.m. Opening ceremony will begin at 8:30 p.m. followed by a 20-minute fireworks show.

The Morton Booster Club will be selling refreshments.

EVERGREEN PARK: The annual Evergreen Park Independence Day Parade will march down 95th Street at 6:30 p.m. July 3. Fireworks will begin around 9 p.m. at Duffy Park, 92nd and Millard.

CRESTWOOD: The Windy City Thunderbolts and Village of Crestwood will celebrate with Crestwood’s annual Sparks at the Park on July 3 at Ozinga Stadium, 14011 Kenton Ave. Gates open at 6 p.m. Fireworks follow the movie “The Princess and the Frog,” which starts at 7 p.m.

The Grill behind home plate will be open and alcohol and food will be available. Outside food and drink is allowed in the ballpark for the event.

PALOS HEIGHTS: Palos Heights will celebrate from 4:30-11:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 3, at Memorial Park, 7607 College Drive. Events include food vendors, beer tent, face painting, a petting zoo, and giant slide. A DJ will entertain from 4:30-8:30 p.m. and a live band will perform from 8:30-11:30 p.m. Fireworks over Lake Katherine will begin at 9:15 p.m.

There will also be a parade at noon on the Fourth of July from the BMO Harris Bank north down Harlem Avenue to 119th Place. The Sensory Friendly Block runs from 120th and Harlem to Route 83. Fun begins at noon. For information, call 708-361-1807.

OAK LAWN: Oak Lawn kicks off the Independence Day celebration with its annual Fourth of July Parade starting at 10 a.m. at 95th Street and 51st Avenue and heads west on 95th to 55th Court.

After the parade ends, continue the fun at the Oak Lawn Park District’s Party in the Park Fourth of July event at Memorial Park, 102nd and Major Avenue. Admission is free as it’s the park district’s 75th anniversary.

Day time festivities will begin with a variety of family activities from noon to 4 p.m. that includes: A treasure hunt, Adult and Youth Watermelon Eating Contests, nature scavenger hunt, fishing derby, kids’ tattoos, carnival games, inflatables, bingo, crafts, magician, balloon animals, concessions and more!
Take a short stroll from Memorial Park to Stony Creek Golf Course, Restaurants and Banquets to participate in a mini-golf tournament and longest drive contest. The facilities dining room will also be open for food and drink purchases.

Free evening entertainment will be held at the football field at Richards High School, 106th Street and Central Avenue. Gates will open at 6 p.m. GAC Entertainment will provide music at 7 p.m. followed by a fireworks display at 9 p.m. that is co-sponsored by the Village of Oak Lawn.

ORLAND PARK: Orland Park’s celebration include a free outdoor concert Thursday from 7:15-9:15 p.m. featuring Suburban Cowboys at Centennial Park, 15600 West Ave. followed by the presentation of colors and the village’s annual fireworks show at 9:15 p.m.

OAK FOREST: Oak Forest’s 32nd annual Oak Fest runs July 3-7 and there will be fireworks at dusk on the Fourth of July at 159th Street and Central Avenue.

TINLEY PARK: Tinley Park has a full day of events planned for the Fourth of July and it all starts with one of the Southland’s most popular yearly 5K races. The Stars & Stripes 5K Run/Walk presented by Republic Bank will step off from McCarthy Park at 8 a.m.

Opening ceremonies for the remainder of the events planned by the Tinley Park-Park District will be at 4 p.m. Batting cages and miniature golf will be open from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the area in between the race and the rest of the events planned for the day. Free watermelon will be available from 6-6:30 p.m.
Activities include food tent, beer tent, bingo, penny carnival, horseshoe tournament, and face painting. Music will begin at 4:15 p.m. on the main stage with Peter Oprisko, the Hat Guys will start at 5:30 and play until the fireworks. Also entertaining the crowd will be Loopy and Cazoo the clowns, Dale the Magical Balloon Dude, and Bruce Korosawa’s Polka Band.

The Tinley Park Fireworks Extravaganza display will cap everything off at dusk.

Weiner Wednesdays at Pop’s in July

Ketchup with summer and relish the good times with Pop’s Italian Beef and Sausage locations throughout the Chicagoland area every Wednesday during the month of July.

Beginning July 3, Pop’s Beef is celebrating Weiner Wednesday all month long. Each Wednesday during the month of July, customers can get a hot dog for $1.99, including National Hot Dog Day on July 17.

“Nothing says summer in Chicagoland like a hot dog,” said Kacie Radochonski, director of operations for Pop’s Italian Beef and Sausage. “We’re turning National Hot Dog Day into a month-long observance with Weiner Wednesdays. It’s the perfect way to celebrate the local favorite with our customers.”

Pop’s Beef is known for its savory Italian beef, sliced and cooked fresh daily and their commitment to high quality menu items and impeccable service. The signature Italian beef and sausage sandwiches are topped with your choice of our homemade Giardiniera or cooked sweet peppers.

For more information and operating hours, please visit www.popsbeef.com.

‘Let Freedom Ring’ with Krispy Kreme’s Patriotic Collection of Doughnuts

In honor of Independence Day, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts introduces the “Let Freedom Ring” patriotic collection of doughnuts at Chicagoland shops located in Homewood at 17815 S. Halsted St., Evergreen Park at 9150 S. Western Ave. and Hillside at 110 S. Mannheim Road.

The star-spangled collection consists of three Fourth of July doughnuts, available today through Independence Day, July 4:

Firework Ring Doughnut: A festive new twist on Krispy Kreme’s classic Original Glazed® Doughnut topped with blue icing, drizzled in red and white icing fireworks.

Freedom Ring Doughnut: Fan-favorite featuring Krispy Kreme’s classic Original Glazed® Doughnut decorated in the spirit of the American flag with a red, white and blue icing drizzle and sprinkles.

Patriotic Ring Doughnut: Another new take on Krispy Kreme’s classic Original Glazed® Doughnut dipped in white icing and decorated with red, white and blue sprinkles.

“Krispy Kreme’s patriotic collection is the best way to celebrate the holiday,” said Carlos Larcada, President of Chicagoland Restaurants, LLC. “You’ll be a hit at the neighborhood BBQ with a dozen of these festive doughnuts!”

Chicagoland Krispy Kreme shops will be open regular store hours on July 4.

159th Street resurfacing from Orland to Oak Forest

The Illinois Department of Transportation announced that a resurfacing project on 159th Street (U.S. 6) from 94th Avenue in Orland Park to Ridgeland Avenue in Oak Forest will begin, weather permitting, Monday, July 1.

The first week of construction will require rolling closures in both directions for curb, gutter and sidewalk repairs. After July 8, intermittent, daytime lane closures will be necessary to begin resurfacing the eastbound lanes. Once the eastbound lanes are completed, work will begin westbound from Ridgeland Avenue to 94th Avenue.

The work is expected to be complete by the end of October. Starting in spring 2020, the improvements will be extended from Ridgeland Avenue in Oak Forest east to Pulaski Road in Markham.

Motorists can expect delays and should allow extra time for trips through this area. Drivers are urged to pay close attention to flaggers and signs in the work zones, obey the posted speed limits and be on the alert for workers and equipment.

Click here to find details on other construction projects in IDOT’s District 1. Updates on the impacts to traffic are available at www.travelmidwest.com.

Bridgeview Bank sells to First Midwest in $145 million deal

The original Bridgeview Bank is still operating near 79th Street and Harlem Avenue in Bridgeview. (Photo by Bob Bong)

Bridgeview Bank, a community bank founded in Bridgeview in 1971 and which emphasized a personal and small business focus, has agreed to be acquired by First Midwest Bank in a cash and stock deal valued at $145 million.

The agreement was announced Thursday by both financial institutions.

“First Midwest has created significant momentum over the years because of its market-leading commitment to relationship-based banking and to providing a wide array of banking products and services. We very much look forward to joining them,” Peter J. Haleas, Chairman of Bridgeview, said in a release. “Our clients will continue to have the highly personalized service they have come to expect from Bridgeview Bank, now with the added benefit of a broader range of products and services combined with larger scale.”

“We are very excited to welcome Bridgeview Bank clients and colleagues to First Midwest,” Michael L. Scudder, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of First Midwest, said in the release. “Bridgeview is a well-established and trusted financial institution with deep client and community relationships, which we look forward to continuing. Joining forces with Bridgeview brings to all of our clients an expanded footprint across Chicago and further enhances our position as metro Chicago’s premier commercial bank.”

Bridgeview has assets of $1.2 billion, which includes $1.1 million in deposits and $800 million in loans. The bank has 13 branches, including five on Chicago’s north side, one on the Southwest Side and the rest scattered across the suburbs. Most of those locations are expected to remain open.

The bank’s mortgage division was not included in the deal.

Bridgeview Bank almost fell victim to the Great Recession and financial crisis. The bank received $38 million in bailout funds from the U.S. Treasury Department as part of the Troubled Asset Relief Program. Those shares were later auctioned off to private parties.

Founders Peter and Tom Haleas were able to raise $47 million in 2015 to redeem those shares and maintain control of the bank.

First Midwest is one of the largest independent publicly-traded bank holding companies based on assets headquartered in Chicago and the Midwest, with over $15 billion of assets and $11 billion of trust assets under management.

First Midwest’s principal subsidiary, First Midwest Bank, and other affiliates provide a full range of commercial, treasury management, equipment leasing, consumer, wealth management, trust and private banking products and services through locations in metropolitan Chicago, northwest Indiana, central and western Illinois, and eastern Iowa.

Founded in 1940 in Joliet, First Midwest became a publicly traded company in 1983.

The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals, the approval of Bridgeview’s stockholders and the completion of various closing conditions, and is anticipated to close in the second quarter of 2019.

Gas N Wash, Hog Wild Express to open on LaGrange Road on Friday

 

Gas N Wash featuring a Hog Wild Express drive-thru restaurant will open Friday at 199th and LaGrange Road in Mokena. There’s new traffic light at the entrance. (Photo by Bob Bong)

Mokena-based Gas n Wash has announced it will open a second location in Mokena at 6 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 16, at 19990 S. LaGrange Road.

It will be the company’s seventh location. The company also operates Food n Fuel locations in the south suburbs.

The new Mokena location will feature a car wash, fuel pumps for cars and trucks, a convenience store as well as Beggars Pizza, Great American Bagel and Hog Wild Express restaurants.

Great American Bagel and Hog Wild will offer window service in separate drive-thru lanes.

This will be the second go-round for a second Hog Wild location. The popular eatery is based in Midlothian and opened a location in Tinley Park several years ago that subsequently closed.

The new Hog Wild will offer dine-in eating as well as drive-thru. The Mokena restaurant will also accept credit or debit cards, which the original location in Midlothian does not, it will remain a strictly cash operation.

Hours will be 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

The car wash is located on a former campground that was abandoned years ago.

A new traffic light has been installed at the entrance to the new facility, which went into operation this week.

Plans for the gas station were first approved in June 2017 and construction began in April.

Grand openings

A number of local businesses are holding grand openings this week or recently held them:

  • United Real Estate Elite will hold a grand opening, ribbon cutting and business after hours from 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15, at 19606 S. LaGrange Road in Mokena. The ribbon cutting is set for 5:30 p.m. Refreshments will be served.
  • Konquer Dance Company held its grand opening and ribbon cutting on Saturday, Nov. 10, at 8600 W. 159th in Orland Park.
  • Luxurious Lathers, a boutique that sells soaps and body products, held its grand opening and ribbon cutting on Saturday, Nov. 10, at its new home at Orland Square Mall in the upper level near Macy’s. It has a second location at Yorktown Shopping Center in Lombard.
  • Great Clips held its grand opening and ribbon cutting on Oct. 29 at 15958 S. Harlem Ave. in Tinley Park.
  • Jem MedSpa will hold its grand opening and ribbon cutting from 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14, at 11219 W. 159th in Orland Park.
  • Premier Veterinary Group will hold its grand opening and ribbon cutting from 11 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, Nov. 14, at 7000 W. 159th in Orland Park. The ribbon cutting is scheduled for 11:15 a.m. The 12,000-square-foot animal hospital offers round-the-clock emergency care and critical care for pets.

Kup A Joe to serve customer appreciation dinners

Kup A Joe’s restaurant at 41 Old Frankfort Way in Frankfort will hold its seventh annual Customer Appreciation Turkey Dinner on Saturday, Nov. 17.

The dinner is free but reservations are required at 815-464-0909. For anyone 12 and older.

There will be three seatings of 80, at 4, 5 and 6 p.m.

Guests are asked to bring a food item for an area food bank.

Walmart opens remodeled Bedford Park, Crestwood stores

Crestwood Mayor Lou Presta congratulates Walmart on reopening its newly remodeled store in the village. (Supplied photo) 

Walmart celebrated the grand reopening of its remodeled Bedford Park Supercenter on Nov. 9.

The store was one of 16 stores the retailer was remodeling throughout Illinois this year.

“We’re excited to welcome Bedford Park shoppers to our newly remodeled Supercenter just in time for the holidays,” said Store Manager Gary Schlechter. “We’re committed to saving our customers time and money throughout the holiday season.”

Improvements to the store include:

  • Transformed front-end, including an improved self-checkout area—a convenient, quick way for customers to shop.
  • State-of-the-art electronics department with interactive displays.
  • Revitalized apparel department, including updated fitting rooms.
  • New tool department with fresh look and added variety of tools available.
  • Wider aisles and lower fixtures for improved store flow, better line of sight and easier navigation.

As part of the celebration, the Bedford Park Supercenter presented monetary donations to Summit School District 104 ($2,500) and Bedford Park Police Department ($2,500) in recognition of their important work in the community.

In April, Walmart announced it expected to spend an estimated $56 million in Illinois over the year through the remodeling of 16 stores, as well as the rollout of several in-store and online innovations designed to help busy customers save time and money.

Last month, Walmart celebrated the grand reopening of its remodeled Crestwood Supercenter with Mayor Lou Presta at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Oct. 19The store was also one of 16 stores the retailer was remodeling throughout Illinois this year.

“On behalf of the Village of Crestwood and the village board, we’d like to congratulate Walmart on the completion of recent renovations,” said Presta. “We appreciate Walmart’s investment in Crestwood and their continued partnership with our community.”

“We are so excited to welcome Crestwood shoppers to our newly remodeled Supercenter,” said Store Manager Jennifer Bell. “Our everyday low prices save our customers money, but our newly redesigned store layout will now save our customers time as well.”

As part of the celebration, the Crestwood Supercenter presented donations to local organizations in support of their important work in the community: Crisis Center for South Suburbia ($1,000), Crestwood Police Department ($1,000), Crestwood Mayor’s Office ($500) and the Crestwood Fire Department ($500).

Kernel Sweetooth open again in downtown Frankfort

Kernel Sweetooth is open again in downtown Frankfort at the Grainery. (Photo by Bob Bong)

Kernel Sweetooth, the snack and sweets shop that was booted from its longtime home in the Trolley Barn in downtown Frankfort back in October, has resurfaced in the Grainery building at 10 Elwood Ave. in downtown Frankfort.

The new location is about a block away from the Trolley Barn.

The shop opened in early July and then was forced to close for a couple of days as a result of the July 15 fire that has shuttered the adjoining Durbin’s pizzeria.

The shop features a variety of sweets including gourmet popcorn in eight flavors, hand-dipped ice cream, Hawaiian shaved ice, homemade chocolate, cotton candy, bulk candy, cookies, cakes and other snacks. It also offers doggie ice cream treats.

Kernel Sweetooth offerings are also available at the Frankfort Farmer’s Market and at the Cross Street Grill in downtown Joliet.
The new location is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday.

A second Kernel Sweetooth location at 17258 S. Oak Park Ave. in Tinley Park remained open while owners Gary and Debbie Kovarik searched for a new Frankfort location.

A call for comment to the Kovariks was not returned.

It’s the second sweet shop to open this year in downtown Frankfort.

Raffy’s Candy Shop opened a second location in May at the Trolley Barn.