Chicago News – August 2017

Posted by at 3 August, at 15 : 37 PM Print





  1. Illinois’ Shrinking Middle Class. In the Realtor magazine of July 2017 issue, we read that the number of Illinois households considered middle class has contracted in the last 40 years, while those considered upper income has grown, according to the Project for Middle Class Renewal at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In the early 1970s, about 59 percent of the state’s households fell into the middle income range. Now the number is closer to 49 percent. The report points to a number of factors for the decline including: changing political and economic rules that benefit the wealthy; rising health insurance costs that have eaten into worker’s wages; declining wages for those without college degrees; a shift from manufacturing and production jobs to an increase in service sector employment; declining union power and more.
  2. As of now, 2017 Residential sales are strong; commercial and business not so much. Based on personal experience and input from others, the picture for a robust activity in commercial and business transactions is bleak. Why? We do not know for sure, but the feedback we receive can be summarized as follows: banks require larger than customary down payments; people are doing much “window shopping” but are hesitant to pull the trigger; there seems to be a phobia, in general among the public, that cause a delay in making an offer which means they rather wait for later rather than acting now.



Demetris Panos


YIA YIA’S PANCAKE HOUSE is located at 13 Grant Square in Hinsdale, IL and the owner is Demetris Panos. Demetri’s father George Panos and partner Ted Maglaris own the Yia Yia’s Pancake House in North Riverside, IL. Incidentally, YiaYia is the Greek word for Grandmother. Grandmothers know the importance of a good meal and at Yia Yia’s restaurants they couldn’t agree more. Let’s state a couple of facts about the Yia Yia’s restaurants: They are family owned and operated; they have a passion for fresh, local and organic foods and always try to use as much of that as possible.

Even though Demetris Panos was born into a restaurateur’s family and Demetris was familiar with the restaurant business, he elected to follow his dream and attended the University of Illinois. He graduated as a Civil engineer. Civil engineering is a professional engineering discipline that deals with the design, construction, and maintenance of the physical and naturally built environment, including works like roads, bridges, canals, dams, and buildings. He practiced his profession for 10 years. But his thirst for knowledge caused him to obtain a Master›s Degree in Structural Engineering which is a specialty within Civil Engineering. Structural Engineers create drawings and specifications, perform calculations, review the work of other engineers, write reports and evaluations, and observe construction sites. After practicing as a Structural engineer for another 5 years he organized a real estate company that builds new homes. In fact he is doing just that for the last three years.

About a year and a half ago, Yia Yia’s lost a manager; the search for a qualified replacement was taking a long time; someone had to do something. The solution became obvious but it needed some convincing! The rest is history; engineering lost a great engineer and the hospitality industry gained a great operator. Demetri is married to Jiana and they have Vasi, 6 and wins George and Eleni, 3. In the picture we see Demetris inside his restaurant.



Jackie Kotarba


LA PARRILLITA MEXICAN GRILL is located at 7225 W North Ave River Forest, IL and the owner is Jackie Kotarba. Jackie, a woman with high business acumen, was born and raised in the Chicago area. Her parents were involved in the food industry and from a young age she liked the idea of owning her own business. Her father, a retired chef, spent 25 years working for Fairmont Hotels & Resorts.

From a Chicago Tribune article we read: “the words “fresh” and “scratch” are part of the daily conversation at a new restaurant on North Avenue. That’s because Jackie Kotarba, owner of La Parrillita is using fresh ingredients in their food and everything on the menu is made from scratch.

The restaurant opens every day at 11 a.m., but Kotarba, her husband Lukasz, and staff get there early to prepare the food. She said one of their most popular items is tamales, which they make fresh daily.

She keeps the restaurant’s menu limited to maintain the restaurant’s standard of preparing food with fresh ingredients daily. She said her tamales and tacos have the authentic flavor of those made in Mexico. They make about 80 tamales every day in three different flavors like chicken, spicy chicken and spicy cheese. She said they’ve been going fast. “We sell out quickly and when we sell out, we sell out,” she said. “We make it with a lot of love. “Also made from scratch are authentic Mexican beverages like horchata, which is a sweet rice water drink; tamarindo, made from the Spanish fruit tamarind; and a hibiscus-flavored drink called Jamaica.”

Jackie is not your typical fast food operator. Her work ethic, her educational background (she has obtained a Degree from Robert Morris University), and her desire to excel have made her restaurant a big success. In addition to her younger sister Rachel who helps in the restaurant, her mom Tomara acts a consultant and advisor. In the picture we see Jackie inside her restaurant.





From Eater Chicago:

Brace for Bill Murray’s restaurant and bar, Chicagoland. The actor/comedian and his brothers have signed on to officially open a Murray Bros. Caddyshack in their native Chicago area at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Rosemont, according to a news release.


From Daily Herald:

A Denny’s Restaurant plans to move into the former Honey-Jam Cafe on Randall Road in Batavia.

City Works Eatery and Pour House, an eatery serving up American food and more than 90 beers, will be one of two signature restaurants at the Wheeling Town Center.

Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant will move its headquarters from Countryside to Woodridge next year, doubling its winemaking operations and bringing in 190 jobs.


From Daily Crain’s:

Grubhub says it’s buying Foodler, a small Boston-based rival that also provides an app for ordering food.



Should you wish to share news about your business with others, we are encouraging you to do so; please do not hesitate to call or e-mail: Peter J Poulopoulos, MBA Managing Real Estate Broker Licensed in Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin REALPOUL REALTY “Commerce with Morality™” 2731 W Touhy Ave Chicago, IL 60645 Phone: 773 743-2100 E-mail: visit us at:




Related Posts

Comments are closed.