Missouri-based Andy’s Frozen Custard opened the doors without fanfare at 11 a.m. Friday at its Palos Heights location at 12805 S. Harlem Ave. A grand opening may be held in the spring.
The Palos Heights location is the chain’s fifth in the south suburbs. The company first moved into the Chicago marketplace in 2011 in Oak Lawn and has since opened south suburban stores in Burbank, Countryside and Orland Park.
“We’re excited to open our 14th Chicagoland store,” said Andy’s Frozen Custard President and Owner Andy Kuntz. “As our biggest market nationwide, Chicago is near and dear to our hearts. We love making fresh custard each hour and serving such an on-the-go community. As Andy’s Frozen Custard continues expanding, we look forward to welcoming new friends and neighbors alike with concretes, store-baked waffle cones and sweet treats at our newest area location.”
The Palos Heights location is a typical Andy’s in size and will offer a drive-through lane as well as walk-up windows.
Andy’s features a wide variety of frozen and unfrozen treats including concretes, malts, shakes, floats, sundaes, banana splits, old-fashioned freezes and old-fashioned sodas.
Hours will be from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday to Saturday.
“The South Side works for us,” company President Andy Kuntz said when first announcing plans for the chain to start opening south suburban locations.
Andy’s Frozen Custard started in Osage Beach, Mo., in 1986 and later expanded throughout the state of Missouri.
Andy’s then expanded into Arkansas, Texas, and Illinois.
All south suburban locations are corporate-owned.
Tinley Park bakery owners retire
Zettlmeier’s Bakerei is closed again in Tinley Park and this time it looks like it might be for good.
Dawn and Paul Zettlmeier announced on Facebook that the bakery at 17016 S. Oak Park Ave. in downtown Tinley would close at the beginning of the year so they could finally retire after serving cookies, cakes, pastries and other goodies for 42 years.
The family opened the bakery in 1978 after the founder, Paul’s father, came to the United States from his native Germany.
They first sold the bakery in 2014, which was renamed Shea’s Bakery. The family reacquired the bakery in 2016.
On Facebook, Dawn said, “Paul and I have achieved carrying on their dream, and we are forever grateful. We pray we have done them proud, and are certain they are looking down saying well done. We also know they would understand our decision to permanently close our doors after 42 years of serving the Tinley Park community.
“Again, our parents taught us well, taught us to save for our future! Paul is able to retire and give his body much needed rest! He is going to enjoy life where he can put his boat in the water every day!
“I will enjoy finally being home with my 3 amazing children full time, as I have missed out on so much these last years. I am looking forward to waking up and serving THEM breakfast, instead of the public!
“We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for these years together. God Bless you all.”
Dick’s Sporting Goods eyes Chicago Ridge
Dick’s Sporting Goods has started work on a new store at Chicago Ridge Mall in Chicago Ridge.
“We are pretty happy with what’s going on,” Mayor Charles Tokar said. “I just drove by the Chicago Ridge Mall and saw the sign for Dick’s Sporting Goods. That’s really good news.”
The store will occupy at least one level of the former Carson’s department store that closed in the summer of 2018.
Tokar said the store could be open by August.
The site has been vacant except for occasional use as a Halloween seasonal store the past three years.
Tokar was also pleased that a marijuana dispensary is set to open by the end of March in the former Pier 1 store at 9820 S. Ridgeland Ave. that closed last year when the chain went out of business.
“The Illinois Department of Professional Regulation said that the owners have to have it open by March 31,” Tokar said. “I said that is great. We have been more than lucky on this.”
The dispensary will be operated by Ascend Wellness Holdings.
The village board last year approved a 3 percent tax on all cannabis sales in the village.
“These marijuana dispensaries bring in a lot of revenue,” Tokar said.
The nearest recreational dispensary to Chicago Ridge is in Worth and is operated by Windy City Cannabis, which also operates dispensaries in Posen, Homewood and Justice.
Since marijuana was fully legalized at the start of 2020, dispensaries across Illinois sold more than $580 million worth of recreational pot through November, according to the Illinois Department of Professional and Financial Regulation.
‘Toasted’ Chicken opens in Palos Hills
John Lowell, the owner of “Toasted” Chicken in Palos Hills, may have the best remedy for dealing with a pandemic.
“I just always wanted to own a restaurant,” said Lowell, 36, who was previously employed at an automotive center. “It was always my dream. But I just wanted to have it under a theme. I wanted it to be fun.”
That was the impetus behind opening “Toasted” Chicken, 9750 S. Roberts Road, according to Lowell, who believes it is important not only to provide good food but to entertain customers as well.
The sign that is present in front of the restaurant features an animated caricature of a chicken. Messages on the sign indicate that the restaurant is open and other various sayings that include “good vibes.” The sign is noticeable to motorists who are driving by along Roberts Road.
Amanda Laux, the general manager of “Toasted” Chicken, said the quote marks around toasted is a reference to the counterculture days of the mid to late ’60s.
“It’s a pun, really,” she said. “It’s a play on words that people will notice when they come in here. The idea behind all this is to have some fun.”
Along with some good chicken.
“Our chicken is fresh and not frozen,” Lowell points out. “It can be prepared a number of ways and people really like it.”
Lowell’s enthusiasm was initially put to the test when he planned to open this past spring only to have it delayed because of the first wave of the pandemic.
“We wanted to open on April 20, which is National Marijuana Day,” said Lowell, a Palos Park resident. “But when that happened, we decided to remodel everything from top to bottom. It gave us more time to add a lot inside and the people get a kick out of it.”
Some of the images customers will notice is a marijuana flag, a Cheech and Chong banner and a framed photo of a Janis Joplin concert listing from the late ’60s. A mural can be seen on one wall that includes the Chicago’s skyline.
Lowell also has a party room upstairs that under normal circumstances would seat well over 50. However, that changed almost immediately after they held their grand opening on Oct. 24.
“We had to shut down indoor dining just after a week because of the COVID surge,” Lowell said. “We were seating about 25 people in the party room until the surge. But we will just prepare for it later.”
Lowell said despite the setback, business has been more than steady.
“We have been doing surprising well,” he said. “Right now, we are at 50-50 with delivery and pickup.”
Most deliveries for now are offered through Grubhub. The restaurant is open for delivery and pickup most days from 10:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
For more information, call 708-907-5547.
Lowell said a variety of chicken sandwiches and dinners are offered, including a chicken bucket. The bucket dinners range from 12, 16 and 24 pieces. Lowell also said that customers rave about the broasted potatoes. Salads are also prepared and range from tuna, Caesar’s and a Hippie Chicken selection. Sides also include butter corn right off the cob, baked beans and potato salad. A kids menu, or a Lil Budz Menu, is also offered.
Desserts range from Sheila’s Carrot Cake, rice crispy treats and chocolate chip cookies.
While the emergence of COVID-19 is a downer, Lowell remains optimistic about the future. He still plans to have an official grand opening that he hopes can take place on April 20. In the meantime, he is pleased with the response from the customers who come in.
“The references to the counterculture way back then upset some people but now it is pretty mainstream,” Lowell said. “So, we just do this for fun. We want people to come in and smile.”