By Bob Bong
Oak Lawn residents who were sorry to see the closing of Freshline Foods last month may soon get a new supermarket to take its place.
Oak Lawn Mayor Sandra Bury announced recently that Pete’s Fresh Market, a locally owned supermarket chain based on Chicago’s Southwest Side, had agreed to buy the Freshline location and convert it into the chain’s 14th store.
Pete’s has a long history of renovating former food stores rather than building new stores.
Pete’s was founded more than 40 years ago and operates south suburban locations in Bridgeview, Evergreen Park, and Calumet City as well as a location in Oak Park and Oakbrook Terrace. It also operates seven stores in Chicago.
A new store is under construction in Willowbrook. No opening date has been announced yet for that site.
Pete’s stores offer full-service supermarket services such as bakeries, produce, meat, dairy and liquor departments. Some stores have a prepared foods department so customers can pick up already cooked meals to take home, others have a fish fry so customers can pick out the seafood of their choice and have it cooked to order. Some locations also feature a Lotus Cafe & Bar with an espresso maker. Other locations feature aisles filled with food from around the world.
Freshline closed permanently on Aug. 8 after operating for 47 years at 5355 W. 95th St.
Bury said that Pete’s Fresh Market plans for the site will still have to be approved by the Architectural & Design Review Commission. She said the transition between the two stores was expected to be smooth because residents and village officials alike want to see a grocery store return to the downtown area.
Homewood DQ open again
The Homewood Dairy Queen, 1700 Ridge Road, reopened at the end of August after repairs were made at the ice cream parlor after a fatal car accident in July badly damaged the front of the building.
One person in the car was killed when it crashed into the building.
Owners of the parlor said they planned to stay open until November this season instead of closing in October as they usually do.
ALDI opens 3 new-look stores
On Thursday, ALDI will celebrate the reopening of its store at 12050 S. Pulaski Road in Alsip.
The retailer will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 8:25 a.m. followed by its popular Golden Ticket giveaway of gift cards to the first 100 people in line when the store opens.
Shoppers will also have the opportunity to sample ALDI brand foods and enter a sweepstakes for a chance to win a year’s supply of ALDI produce.
The retailer also recently celebrated the reopening of two newly remodeled stores in the south suburbs and northwest Indiana.
The store at 9921 Earl Drive in St. John, Ind., reopened on Aug. 16, while the store at 1490 Torrence Ave. in Calumet City held its grand reopening on Aug. 30.
All of the store’s new layouts focus on what ALDI says people love most: fresh food, produce, dairy and baked goods. All remodeled ALDI stores feature open ceilings, natural lighting and environmentally-friendly building materials. The stores will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday.
“Our remodeled store layout will simplify the shopping experience for customers, so they can get out the door with everything they need,” said David Zalunardo, Valparaiso division vice president for ALDI. “We’re excited to unveil these changes in a great market like Calumet City, where we already have passionate, loyal customers.”
The three stores are among more than 130 stores the retailer scheduled for $180 million in renovations in the Chicago and northwest Indiana marketplace by the end of 2020. The chain plans to spend $1.6 billion on renovation or expanding more than 1,300 stores nationwide by the end of 2020.
ALDI is also hosting a hiring blitz on Wednesday, Sept. 12 and Thursday, Sept. 13 to hire for 300 positions at 62 Chicagoland ALDI stores. Positions and wages vary by store ($12.50 to $22.75 per hour). To confirm specific details about the closet hiring event to you, visit careers.aldi.us.
Insurance agency to open in Tinley
The Tinley chamber announced it will hold a grand opening ceremony from 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 13, at Brenden Higgins State Farm Agency at 6787 W. 159th St. The ribbon cutting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.
Freddy’s building 2 new stores in south suburbs
Kansas-based Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, which opened its first south suburban location earlier this year in Orland Park, is building two new locations in Frankfort and Homewood.
The Homewood location is under construction in a former Taco Bell at 17601 S. Halsted St. The Frankfort site is new construction in front of a small retail strip at 9701 W. Lincoln Hwy. across the street from Phillips Chevrolet.
Freddy’s is known for its lean ground-beef steakburgers, Vienna Beef hot dogs and crispy shoestring fries, as well as dessert treats prepared with a choice of chocolate or vanilla frozen custard that is churned fresh several times throughout the day in each restaurant.
Hours of operation at both new locations will be 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
The two new locations will be owned and operated by FFC LLC, the same franchisee that opened the Orland location at 7403 W. 159th St. John Aguilar will be general manager of the Homewood site, according Freddy’s website.
No opening dates for either location have been announced.
Tinley Chamber to hold Oktoberfest
The Tinley Park Chamber of Commerce announced its second annual Oktoberfest will be celebrated Sept. 21-23 at the 80th Avenue Metra Train Station.
The chamber said the family event will feature authentic German food and Oktoberfest beers, traditional German entertainment, a vendor fair, and carnival rides in the station parking lot at 18001 S. 80th Avenue in Tinley Park. Admission will be free.
Hours will be 5-10 p.m. Friday, Sept. 21, 1-10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22 and 1-6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 23.
For information, visit the chamber website at tinleyparkoktoberfest.com.
Hickory Farms opening at Orland Square
A pop-up shop that specializes in sausage and cheese and other edible gifts for the Christmas holidays announced it would be opening again this year at Orland Square Mall in Orland Park.
Hickory Farms is now hiring for the shop that is expected to be open from late September through the holidays. If interested, visit hfseasonaljobs.com.
The mall will hold a retailer hiring fair for a number of mall store including Hallmark, Banana Republic and Eddie Bauer from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 22.
The retailers will be on site accepting resumes and applications, as well as conducting interviews for seasonal and permanent positions in the upper level court.
If you see a new business in town or wonder what happened to an old favorite, drop me a line at email@example.com.