Raffy’s opens second sweet shop in Frankfort’s Trolley Barn

Raffy’s has opened a second location in Frankfort’s Trolley Barn shopping center.

Raffy’s Candy Store, which opened in late 2015 on U.S. 30 in New Lenox, has opened a second location in the Trolley Barn shopping center in historic downtown Frankfort.

Dave Rafalski, who co-owns the sweet shop with his wife, Pam, said the new location opened May 30 at 21 White St.

“We had no intention to open a second location,” Rafalski said. “But we were encouraged by a lot of people to do so. Members of the chamber were eager for us to come into town.”

The new Raffy’s is pretty much a carbon copy of the New Lenox location, Rafalski said.

“The floor plan is a little different,” he said. “And there’s a nice patio at the new location.”

And except for the lack of soft-serve ice cream in Frankfort, the store features the same sweet treats as the New Lenox location.

There’s a wide selection of candy including premium chocolate, Albanese Gummy Bears from Indiana and what Rafalski calls nostalgic candy, popcorn and nuts. Frankfort also will have hard-packed ice cream by the original Plush Horse ice cream parlor in Palos Park.

Hours at the Frankfort location will be from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday to Friday and from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday.

First Midwest acquires Northern States

First Midwest Bancorp Inc., the parent of First Midwest Bank, announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Northern States Financial Corp., the holding company for NorStates Bank, based in Waukegan.

NorStates Bank operates eight offices in Lake County and has approximately $500 million in total assets, $400 million in deposits, of which 90 percent are core deposits, and $320 million in loans.

“We are very excited to welcome NorStates Bank to First Midwest and build on the strong relationships that NorStates has with its customers,” Michael L. Scudder, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of First Midwest, said in a release. “This combination continues our expansion in the greater Chicagoland area and enhances our presence in Lake County where we have long-standing, deep roots.”

“We are extremely pleased to partner with First Midwest,” Scott M. Yelvington, President and Chief Executive Officer of Northern States, said. “Like First Midwest, we have a strong commitment to relationship banking, personalized customer service and involvement in the communities we serve. We greatly look forward to offering our customers the broader array of financial products and services that First Midwest provides.”

Based upon the closing price of First Midwest’s common stock on June 5, on the Nasdaq Stock Market, the overall transaction is valued at approximately $91 million. The acquisition is to close in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Ryerson to acquire Central Steel & Wire

Ryerson Holding Corp. announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Central Steel & Wire for $140 million.

Central Steel has its main plant and offices near 51st Street and Francisco in the Gage Park community.

The company was founded in 1909. It operates six plants, employs about 900 people and has annual sales of about $600 million. It produces bar, tube, plate and sheet products. Last year, it posted a $14 million loss.

Central Steel will continue under that brand name after the closing of the deal, which is expected to come in the third quarter this year.

Loop-based metal processor and distributor Ryerson is one of the 60 largest companies in the Chicago area, with $3.36 billion in revenue last year.

Central Steel CEO Steve Fuhrman said in a statement that “the leverage this merger creates will benefit our diverse customer base, grow our respected supplier relationships and provide opportunity for further development of our loyal employees.”

Eddie Lehner, Ryerson’s president and CEO, had nothing but praise for Central Steel.

“Since 1909, Central Steel & Wire has cultivated a loyal customer following as an industry standard bearer of customer service,” he said. “Ryerson’s acquisition of Central Steel & Wire into the Ryerson family of highly valued industrial metal distribution and processing companies takes Ryerson’s ability to provide great customer experiences to another level. We are excited to elevate the best of Central Steel & Wire while leveraging Ryerson’s intelligently networked service centers to infuse Central Steel & Wire’s and Ryerson’s customers with a broader and deeper array of products with comprehensive processing capabilities. By supporting and further developing the Central Steel & Wire brand in the marketplace to existing and new customers, Ryerson continues along a smart growth trajectory that we expect to add meaningfully to shareholder value in the years to come.”

Completion of the transaction has been approved by the board of directors of both companies and Central Steel & Wire shareholders signed a written consent approving the merger agreement and the transaction.

The decision to sell was an about face for Central Steel, which waged a fierce court fight three years ago for the right to reject a more lucrative offer from Canadian manufacturer and distributor Samuel Son & Co.

American Eagle has landed at Orland Square

American Eagle has completed the remodel of its Orland Square Mall store, which reopened late last month at the Orland Park mall. The store is located in the upper level Macy’s wing of the mall.

Marketing group holds grand opening

WDB Marketing, a one-stop marketing and promotions shop that offers graphic design, print services, web design, marketing and promotional strategies, held its grand opening June 8 at its new location at 1007 E. 162nd St. in South Holland.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday. For information, call 708-527-3090. The website in www.wdbmarketing.com.

Ooh Wee Burger coming to River Oaks

Ooh Wee Sweet Tea and Ooh Wee Cereal and Candy Bar is expanding its presence at the River Oaks Center food court.

Ooh Wee Burger Bar and Grill is coming this summer to the mall in Calumet City.

If you see a new business in town or wonder what happened to an old favorite, drop me a line at bobbong@hotmail.com. You can track business openings and closings at http://bobbongonbusiness.com/

Rock ’n’ roll restaurant backed by KISS stars coming to Oak Lawn

KISS frontmen Gene Simmons (left) and Paul Stanley are official spokesmen for Rock & Brews, which has signed to open a new establishment in Oak Lawn. Supplied photo

Two new restaurants, including one co-owned by KISS stars Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, will highlight the beginning of phase two of the Stony Creek Promenade development in Oak Lawn.

Rock & Brews is a California-based restaurant chain born out of a post-concert conversation among Simmons, Stanley, concert tour manager Dave Furano, his brother, merchandising pioneer Dell Furano and restaurateur Michael Zislis.

The first one opened in El Segundo, Calif., in 2012. There are now more than 20 in eight states and Mexico.

The Oak Lawn location will be the first one in Illinois of a planned 15-20 locations.

Rock & Brews features American comfort food and craft beers.

Also coming to Oak Lawn will be the Barrel Club, a locally owned upscale restaurant, which says it will feature some of the highest quality steaks and prime rib in the area paired with a house-distilled whiskey.

Both restaurants are expected to open in 2019.

Oak Lawn Mayor Sandra Bury announced the news on Facebook and said the news had gone viral.

“My post just blew up on social media,” Bury said. “It had hundreds of views and shares.”

“Residents asked for upscale, fine dining and that what’s we’re trying to give them,” she said. “Everything is coming up roses at 111th and Cicero. “Please welcome them to Oak Lawn.

“The village has a great partnership with Hamilton Partners, developers of the Promenade, and this is just the beginning of phase two.”

Bury said there will also be a retail component in phase two. “I’m just not ready to make any announcements about retail,” she said.

Bury also revealed that Mariano’s supermarket, which was part of the first phase of the Stony Creek Promenade, will be adding a fuel station to its footprint at the Promenade.

“That location is consistently one of Mariano’s top locations,” she said. “It’s often the No. 1 location in the Chicago area.”

Joey’s Red Hots to open Monday in Morgan Park

Good news for Southwest Side fans of Joey’s Red Hots, a popular hot dog stand in Orland Park.

The eatery will open its second location next week in Chicago’s Morgan Park neighborhood.

Joey’s will open Monday, May 7, at 11500 S. Western Ave. in the former Snappers Fish location across the street from the Morgan Park Sports Center.

The new location will feature the same menu as Orland Park, which includes Vienna hot dogs, burgers, other sandwiches and salads.

The new location will have outdoor seating on picnic tables, as well as offer catering, delivery and even a food truck.

The restaurant’s first location has been open for more than three years at 17400 S. Wolf Road in Orland Park.

Hours will be 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, from 10:30 a.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday.

A message to owner Anthony Nardo was not returned.