Venerable Palos Park restaurant has closed
By Kelly White
After 33 years nestled in the wooded outskirts of Palos Park, the well-known and rustic Hackney’s restaurant said goodbye.
“On behalf of the Village of Palos Park, we are saddened that Hackney’s is closing its doors forever,” Rick Boehm, Palos Park village manager, said. “It has been a longstanding iconic institute in the community.”
Owned by Mike and Teri Masterson, Hackney’s was known for its signature burgers, beverages and good times. The establishment also offered live music, banquets or fine dining for an intimate night out and its highly visible location at 123rd Street and LaGrange Road.
The restaurant has been closed for more than a month now, and an official statement was made on Facebook this past Monday.
A representative from the restaurant was unavailable for comment. However, the Hackney’s Facebook post stated “Due to increased costs for significant maintenance on our building, we deemed it impractical and unrealistic to continue operating at this location, especially as Mike is nearing retirement.”
Mike’s sister, Sally Landri, co-manager of Hackney’s on Lake in Glenview confirmed the Facebook post.
“It was getting really expensive for Mike to maintain the building; there were just so many issues,” Landri said.
Landri did not go into detail on the particulars of the maintenance issues, but she said Mike will be retiring without plans to open a new establishment.
The three Hackney locations have been family owned and operated for 80 years. Landri co-manages the Hackney’s on Lake in Glenview location along with her sister, Elizabeth Hebson and brother, James Masterson, Jr.
The siblings’ parents, Jim and Kitz Masterson, opened the first restaurant of the chain, Hackney’s on Harms at 214 Harms Road, Glenview in 1939. Opening its doors a few years later was the Hackney’s on Lake location at 1514 E. Lake Ave., Glenview and in 1986, Hackney’s in Palos Park held its grand opening.
“We are so sad to see this mainstay of life in Palos Park close,” said Palos Park Mayor John Mahoney. “We thank the Masterson family for Hackney’s many great years in Palos Park and all of the wonderful support Hackney’s and the Masterson family provided to our community events in Palos Park. We wish Mike and his entire family all of the best in their next adventure.”
The number of employees affected by the shutdown could not be determined before The Regional’s press time.
During his retirement, Mike, who resides in Palos Park, is planning on spending time with his family, and will always look back with love on Hackney’s in Palos Park, his sister said.
“It has been our privilege to serve our community for the last 33 years; we express our heartfelt appreciation and gratitude to our loyal customers, our dedicated employees, and the Palos Park community,” Mike’s Facebook post said.
“Hackney’s gave me my first job as a bus boy when I was 15,” Tom Sipple, of Palos Park, said. “Mike worked around my busy school schedule at the time. I loved every minute of it there. St. Patrick’s Day won’t be the same here in the Park. I wish nothing but the best for him in his retirement. Hackney’s will definitely be missed.”
Other local residents also reflected fondly on the establishment, including Carol Alesia.
“I’ve lived in Palos Park 25 years and have been visiting Hackney’s ever since,” Alesia said. “It was such a cozy, charming restaurant with delicious food. I loved the atmosphere. There aren’t many places like it. It was one of my favorite restaurants.”
Lucy Crocilla, also of Palos Park, agreed with Alesia. Crocilla would frequent the restaurant with her husband, Joe, family and even extended family.
“We loved Hackney’s and it’s just so sad,” Crocilla said, with obvious emotion in her voice. “My husband and I were devastated when we saw today’s message on Facebook. We loved Hackney’s and we love Mike. We knew that it was for sale and knew that he was doing all he could to keep it going.
“We’ve lived here in Palos Park for over 23 years and in that time we have attended countless events at Hackney’s which were held by our community and others,” she said. “We’ve personally held many functions there, from family reunions to fundraisers, friends and numerous club gatherings, as well as our own immediate family or just the two of us.
“The building itself is a landmark treasure of Palos Park and we will miss the comfort we enjoyed there with so many for so many years,” Crocilla continued. “The fireplaces, wooden beams, Mike’s beautiful Christmas decorations and coziness will all be missed. Losing Hackney’s is a loss to our community.”
Village of Palos Park officials said there is not a set plan in place yet about what will eventually occupy the building, which predates Hackney’s ownership. It used to be known as Matterhorn. They are hoping, however, to get something in there quickly, according to Boehm.
For now, Hackney’s, a beloved institution in Palos Park for more than 30 years, has permanently closed its doors.