Category Archives: Food

Has the Big Hurt Struck Out?

 

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By Jonathan De Leon

Two years ago, The Big Hurt Brewhouse opened in September of 2014 on the corner of Cermak and Oak Park with boosters claiming it was the next great sports mecca and tourist attraction.

Now it stands quiet, with the sign “closed for remodeling” taped on the doors outside.

Neither restaurant management nor owner Frank Thomas, Chicago White Sox legend, could be reached.

Berwyn officials had no answers as well about the sudden closing. Continue reading

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Berwyn Development Corporation Gears Up for 2nd Annual Green Mile Pub Crawl

by Lauren Pinkston

The Green Mile Pub Crawl gives revelers a chance to get a jump on St. Patrick’s Day with a March 13 party along Berwyn’s Roosevelt Road.

Don’t expect too many marching bands, however.

Organizer John Aranza said it will highlight Roosevelt Road as a “destination point”.

“It’s not a typical St. Patrick’s day parade,” Aranza said, “It’s more to showcase the quality of businesses we have.”

Local businesses, such as Fitzgerald’s, Big Guys Sausage, Autre Monde, and others will host special music performances and food and drink specials for the evening.

And this year the organizers are going to showcase more musical acts, including the Band of Brothers Pipes and Drums.

“Band of Brothers is a group of retired firefighters from the Illinois area who play traditional music,” Aranza said. “They’ll be moving to different locations on Roosevelt to play bagpipes throughout the night.”

The Pub Crawl is set to kick off on Friday, March 13 at 5 p.m. and going to  11 p.m. Wristbands for the event costs $10 and include a shuttle service down Roosevelt Road as well as drink specials at participating venues.

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Mission House Café Serves Coffee and Compassion

by Lauren Pinkston

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Mission House Café, tucked away in a renovated Victorian home in South Berwyn, brings customer service and community outreach together by using profits from serving food and beverages to benefit local and global charities.

The café’s handcrafted refreshments and rustic atmosphere makes it stand out from the average coffee shop.

Berwyn’s Assemblies of God Pentecostal Church runs the café; its children’s pastor, Joshua Brniak, manages it on a day-to-day basis.

“My goal as the manager is to provide a warm and inviting environment while serving the highest quality coffee and food around, meet and build connections within our community, and provide a meeting place for people from all walks of life,” Brniak said. Continue reading

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7th Annual Wellness Fair

By Elisa Juliano

Heritage Middle School’s gym was buzzing with many adults and children attending the 7th Annual Wellness Fair on March 13.

The fair had many exhibition booths and lots of free give aways. McNeal Hospital, the YMCA, the Berwyn Police Department, the Berwyn Fire Department and many other organizations participated in the fair.

In addition to visiting the many exhibits, attendees were also able to participate in numerous activities ranging from relaxing massages to adrenaline pumping exercises.

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Comedian films at local lounge

By Elisa Juliano

While most of the crowd at Cigar and Stripes BBQwere enjoying beers, 12-year-old Trevor Burke was sipping chocolate milk waiting to perform.

On Feb. 5 comedian Trevor Burke filmed the pilot for his new reality TV show at the neighborhood restaurant and bar in Berwyn.With cameras, microphones, and directors on deck Cigar and Stripes BBQ looked more like a Hollywood movie set.

“I’m kind of transforming from a kid doing stand-up comedy and acting into something huge,” said Trevor.

The show will follow Trevor’s journey to perform comedy while often being rejected by clubs because of his age. Trevor, a St. Charles resident, is only 12-years-old, most clubs have a 21 and over age restriction.

Trevor said his humor appeals more to adults than children.

While most were drinking beer and cocktails Trevor Burke sipped on chocolate milk.

Trevor Burke taking a break and playing on his phone.

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Paisans Pizzeria & Bar food allergy friendly

Paisans Pizzeria & Bar 6226 W Ogden Ave., Berwyn

Paisans Pizzeria & Bar 6226 W Ogden Ave., Berwyn

Researchers estimate that up to 15 million Americans have food allergies, according to Food Allergy Research and Education. Every 3 minutes, a food allergy reaction sends someone to the emergency department. While some restaurants are too afraid to take this risk with their guests, Paisans Pizzeria & Bar is one restaurant that welcomes those with food allergies.

“My daughter has tree-nut allergies, so I understand how hard it can be to eat out,” said General Manager Stacey Scott.

Paisans has a policy of accommodating all reasonable needs of a guest with food allergies. The chefs must clean all surfaces and utensils to prepare for a special order. During orientation and training, servers are taught how to handle these special requests.

“It’s not the server’s job to guess,” said Scott. “We tell our servers to get all the details and get a manager involved, if needed.”

Scott estimates that 20 to 30 people come in a week with food allergies. Some of the items on the menu can be prepared gluten-free. Other allergens can also be accommodated for.

“Every time we tell them about our gluten allergy, our server or bartender is very accommodating,” said Janine J., a Berwyn reviewer on Yelp.com. 

Paisans’ executive chef, known as “Chef,” and two sous chefs, Sergio and Fransisco, are in charge of kitchen management. These three chefs rotate shifts to ensure that an experienced chef is on deck at all times during Paisans’ open hours. They oversee all special requests in the kitchen. 

“We do the best we can and are willing to go above and beyond to accommodate if its within our control,” said Scott. “We don’t want you to leave hungry.”

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Connie’s Restaurant new addition to “keep up with the times”

By Lauren Reiniger

Connie’s Restaurant in Berwyn now has a new party room and lounge. The party room seats up to 90 people, and the lounge includes a bar and modern electronic slot machines.

Connie’s Restaurant, 3271 S. Harlem Ave., hosted its grand opening of Connie’s Event and Party Room & Lounge Wednesday morning.

Ribbon-cutting ceremony

Ribbon-cutting ceremony

“If you don’t keep up with the times, you’ll always die with the dinosaur,” said Andy Sotiropoulos, one of the owners of this family-owned restaurant. 

Four years ago, the family couldn’t decide if they waned this part of the building to be a party room or a lounge. The space became both, after Sotiropoulos and his friend completed the construction in July.

The new addition is a business opportunity. Video-gaming is growing, especially in Illinois, and this expansion will be a “terrific addition,” according to Mayor Lovero.

Game room and lounge

Game room and lounge

Sotiropoulos was previously a product manager for Moterolla, but decided to commit to the family business.

“This place has survived 70 years, and I promised by dad I would see it to 100 years,” said Sotiropoulos.

His father, who was unavailable for comment, started working at Connie’s restaurant 38 years ago as a cook, according to Sotiropoulos. His parents became co-partners in the late 1970s and helped the success of Connie’s Restaurant.

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