By Bob Bong
Orland Park Bakery, which had planned to reopen May 1 after shutting down when two employees at the popular bakery tested positive for the coronavirus, has delayed the reopening to May 13.
The bakery at 14850 S. LaGrange Road in Orland Park closed after it was notified that an employee tested positive for COVID-19. A second employee also tested positive.
The bakery decided to close for the protection of its employees as well as the safety of its customers.
The bakery said when it reopens customers will place orders online and pick them up curbside. Go to https://orders.orlandparkbakery.com to place orders for dates beginning May 13.
Pop’s Italian Beef franchise owner does his part for healthcare workers
Pop’s franchisee Matt Kahn got the idea to give something back to the overworked healthcare workers in the south suburbs when a customer came into his restaurant at 18328 Governors Highway in Homewood and wanted to make a contribution of food to the workers at nearby South Suburban Hospital.
At first, he wasn’t sure how to go about it. Then fate intervened.
“The next day, an employee from South Suburban called and wanted to make a donation. We figured out that individually bagged meals made to be distributed to workers was the way to go.”
That was the beginning of Kahn’s Feed the Front Line Initiative.
Kahn collects donations at the store, from friends and family, and he has started a Go Fund Me page that had collected $3,240 as of Monday. “Total donations are more than $4,000,” he said.
“I collected $1,800 in the first 24 hours the Go Fund Me page was active,” he said.
“I put the first post on Facebook on April 9 that we were going to do this,” he said. “We made our first delivery on April 10.”
As of May 1, Kahn had delivered more than 680 meals.
For each $150 raised, Pop’s will deliver 25 meals to either South Suburban, Ingalls, Franciscan Saint James Olympia Fields, Franciscan Saint James Dyer hospitals as well as Homewood Manor Care and Sunrise Senior Living nursing homes.
“The bags contain a sandwich, chips, cookies and a pop,” Kahn said. Sandwiches range from Pop’s Italian beef, to chicken to meatball.
Kahn coordinates deliveries of the meals with the hospitals.
“Most are between 11:30 a.m. and noon for lunch,” he said. “But we have delivered at 8 p.m. for the night shift.”
“The amount of gratitude by the healthcare workers has impressed me,” said Kahn, who has owned the Homewood Pop’s location for three years. He bought it from the original franchisee.
Kahn was no stranger to Pop’s when he purchased the restaurant.
“I started working there when I was a 16-year-old at Homewood-Flossmoor High School,” he said. After college, he returned there working fulltime in 2009.
He said he has thought about opening a second location but isn’t convinced.
“One store is a lot,” he said.
To make a contribution, visit his store or go to https://www.gofundme.com/f/7drqe2-feed-the-front-line
Towns launch promotions to help restaurants
The City of Countryside is joining the list of communities that wants to show its restaurants that it cares during these difficult times.
The city has started a restaurant promotion called Countryside Cares that will reward residents who continue to patronize their favorite places to eat in Countryside so these restaurants will survive the pandemic.
Here’s how it works, for every $25 spent at a Countryside restaurant between April 25 and May 31, the resident will receive one chance to win a gift certificate package worth up to $2,000. There is no limit on the number of entries per person.
Entry forms are available on the city’s website at www.countryside-il.org or you can get them from participating restaurants with your carryout order.
Simply fill out an entry form, attached the original receipt, and mail to: City of Countryside – Restaurant Promotion, 803 Joliet Road, Countryside IL 60525. Entries must be received by June 15.
Three winners will be drawn during the June 24 city council meeting. Winners need not be present. Official rules are available on the city’s website.
Palos Heights and Crestwood have also launched similar campaigns.
Palos Heights is calling its effort Love Local Business.
Anyone who spends $100 at any city retail business or restaurant between April 1 and July 1 can receive up to two free vehicle stickers for 2020, 30 free Metra parking tokens or a $100 voucher to use at the Palos Heights Rec Center or Lake Katherine.
There is a limit of one reward per household.
Crestwood is offering residents four $25 vouchers to use at any participating restaurants in the village. The vouchers are good until July 1.
Beefy’s opens drive-up window
Beefy’s restaurant at 5749 S. Harlem Ave. (on the Chicago side) closed temporarily in mid-March thanks to the pandemic.
The popular restaurant is open again and now has a drive-up window in addition to curbside carry outs and delivery.
The restaurant is open daily from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Breakfast Nook reopens
The popular Breakfast Nook restaurant at 19140 S. 88th Avenue in Mokena reopened at 6 a.m. Friday, May 1, serving customers through its new drive-thru window.
The breakfast and lunch eatery had been closed since mid-March, when Gov. JB Pritzker’s shelter in place order went into effect.
If you see a new business in town or wonder what happened to an old favorite, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can track business openings and closings at http://bobbongonbusiness.com/