Chicago News – January 2018

Posted by at 22 January, at 10 : 56 AM Print

Our best wishes for a wonderful New Year 2018



OUR best wishes for a wonderful New Year 2018. For many of us, when one year ends and another one begins, euphoria settles in our minds. We feel happy and self-confident. We look into the future and expect or wish for us and others that things may be better during the New Year. Most of us who have been around for a while understand that sometimes things become better, sometimes situations worsen and other times things remain the same. Yet, every year this ritual gets repeated, and that’s good. We need to be optimistic; we need to express our hopes for the betterment for us and others; we need to keep a positive outlook; we need to desire the improvement of our lives in particular and, generally speaking, for the improvement of our society.

There’s no doubt that many individuals can improve themselves. They can learn something new, they can perform a good deed, they can become better listeners, and they can show more empathy, just to mention a few possible improvements. However, this time we have an opportunity to examine areas for improvements in our business as well. What are some areas for improvement in the food industry?

Restaurant owners need to address the concept of ACEQ. A stands for Appearance, C stands for Customers, E stands for Employees and Q stands for Quality. Let’s remind ourselves what needs to be done so our New Year becomes a success.

  • Appearance. A business should be clean and needs to show that we care about its physical characteristics. A few years back, a successful restaurateur told us that a restaurant should be completely remodeled every 7 years. It maybe 6, 8 or 10 years; the point is that our place needs to have a great-looking appearance to make customers feel good in their surroundings.
  • Customers. Are we giving our customers what they need? Is our food of high quality? Is it comparable with social trends of our time? Do we allow our customers to buy our food without them being physically present in our place? Do we capture data about customers to determine what the customer norms are?
  • Employees. Are our employees sufficiently trained to perform their tasks? Do they know what to do when they face a situation for the first time? Are we showing them that we really trust them? If not, we should start immediately showing them that we trust them; if we do not, they will never trust us. A business where trust is missing, like in personal relationships, is destined for failure. Are we compensating our employees fairly? Do we have a system that allows them to suggest improvements? Do we recognize them for their contributions?
  • Quality. The idea of quality, for most people, addresses the quality of food. In fact, quality of food is an extremely important element for successful restaurants. But we should think about quality in more ways than quality of food. For example, are employee uniforms of high quality? What about silverware? What about plates, glasses, etc.? We understand that the quality of uniforms and silverware, etc., needs to match the concept of the particular restaurant. Incidentally, are our employees of high integrity?

We are certain that you can come up with your own additional list; and you should. We can all agree that the concept of continuous improvement is not an annual ritual but rather an event that should occur daily. Regardless, consider this as a reminder of the ACEQ concept. Best wishes to you and yours for a happy and healthy 2018.



Hearty Cafe is located at 9623 S Western Ave Chicago, IL and the owners are brothers Tom and Nick Demogerontas. It was April of 2010 when something important happened: the grand opening of Hearty Cafe. Seven years later, this successful restaurant, which opened to fill a void in the area, made the dreams of the owners a reality. They knew that the residents of this location were hoping for the opening of a quality breakfast/lunch place. They wanted a restaurant to serve home-style meals, they desired the owners of such a place to have experience in the restaurants and they wished that the new restaurateurs were of good character. After seven years not only have the new owners realized their aspirations but the customers saw their desires become a reality. With an emphasis on excellent quality of food combined with good service and reasonable prices in a friendly atmosphere, the Hearty Café has become very popular.

When we visited the restaurant, we met only with Tom; we assume that Nick had taken the day off to celebrate his name day. We spent some time conversing with Tom and learned quite a bit about the restaurant. Incidentally, the restaurant is designed well and the materials used in the construction are of high quality; being inside the restaurant makes someone feel good, which means the place has excellent atmosphere. Tom mentioned every customer who that visits the place for breakfast or lunch leaves satisfied and happy every time because the restaurant always uses the freshest and finest ingredients to prepare meals, and that creates a unique dining experience. As Tom says, they are not the biggest name in town, just the best. Moreover, Tom reminded us that his restaurant offers takeout food and an online ordering system. In the picture we see Tom inside his restaurant.

Tom Demogerontas inside Hearty Cafe (9623 S Western Ave Chicago, IL).

Tom Demogerontas inside Hearty Cafe (9623 S Western Ave Chicago, IL).






From Chicago Tribune: 

Mount Prospect business owners want video gambling ban overturned. A group of Mount Prospect restaurant and bar owners are asking village officials to allow video gambling at their businesses. They say their establishments are struggling because they can’t compete with those that offer the machines in neighboring towns. Village officials said that the results of a recent survey weren’t comprehensive enough to be useful. Of 98 responses, 63 percent in were in favor of the proposal and 37 percent opposed. Trustee Paul Hoefert said the sample was both unscientific and too small to be considered decision-guiding information. “I don’t put a lot of weight in this survey,” Hoefert said. “If the board is really serious about this, we should hold a non-binding, advisory referendum and ask voters the question to get a real, true feeling of what our residents think.” While the village passed an ordinance in 2012 prohibiting video gambling in town, officials launched the survey last month asking residents and business owners for feedback on the proposal, which would allow the machines to be installed in local businesses with a liquor license. A spirited debate about the value of the survey results and the gaming proposal itself at a recent Mount Prospect Village Board Committee of the Whole meeting attracted several local business owners. They all said that allowing video gambling will help them compete for customers in communities that allow gambling, including Elk Grove Village, Prospect Heights and Hoffman Estates. Though neighboring Arlington Heights also prohibits video gambling, Mount Prospect officials said Arlington International Racecourse has long expressed an interest in offering the machines to its patrons.

New Billy Goat beers as hot as cheezborgers as iconic bar hypes its brand. There are the cheeseburgers, of course. And the Billy Goat Tavern’s weathered, subterranean charm. But beer, funny enough, was never a reason to step below Michigan Avenue into Chicago’s most iconic bar, where, until recently, the same three beers have been on draft for the past 20 years.


Dna Info / Chicago: 

Old Irving Brewing is Running for Best Neighborhood Restaurant Award. Old Irving Brewing set out to be a destination for neighbors. That mission appears to have been accomplished. The brewpub was nominated for a Jean Banchet Award for Culinary Excellence in the Best Neighborhood Restaurant category.


From Eater Chicago: 

Another Greek town icon, Pegasus, is closing. Last year it was the Parthenon, now Greek town is saying goodbye to another iconic restaurant. Pegasus Restaurant announced that it’s closing, ending a 27-year run, as the owners want to retire. The restaurant earned a place in many Chicagoans’ hearts. A Midway Airport location will remain operating, and so will Artopolis Bakery, Cafe and Agora. That’s Pegasus’s sister restaurant located a few blocks south.

Chicago’s hottest restaurants & bars with fireplaces, 2017 edition: 1 Allium, 2 Chicago Firehouse Restaurant, 3 Chief O’Neill’s, 4 The Dawson, 5 Drumbar, 6 Ella Elli, 7 Fountainhead, 8 Frontier, 9 Gibsons Italia, 10 The Grafton.

Snap Kitchen is leaving the Chicago market. The Austin, Texas-based chain told its 75 employees that December 14, 2017 would be the day it ceases operations in Chicago. The chain entered the Chicago market in 2014, serving ready-made meals, juices, and snacks to healthy conscious customers. Snap will close all five locations and two kiosks at Whole Foods in Lakeview and Streeterville.

Purple Pig chef Jimmy Bannos dishes on new food hall concept. Chef Jimmy Bannos Jr. has a new fast-casual concept coming to the Wells Street Market, the upcoming food hall arriving this spring at 205 W. Wacker Drive. Aimed at those looking for a quick, healthy, and hearty lunch, Piggie Smalls will serve traditional Greek gyros. Bannos shared more about the restaurant and his take on the gyro, where they got the name, and what it’s like to be one of People’s sexiest male chefs.

Lettuce Entertain You is bringing deep-dish pizza slices downtown. Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises is planning a new restaurant in a rare downtown Chicago area that lacks an LEYE presence. The massive restaurant company plans on opening a Beatrix Market near DePaul University’s downtown campus at 23 E. Jackson Boulevard. Beatrix Market is the mini spin-off of LEYE’s Beatrix, the company’s all-day restaurant with locations in River North, Streeterville, and Fulton Market. LEYE is targeting an early spring opening inside the former Pazzo’s Bar & Grill.


Whether you're looking for a new Greek restaurant in your neighborhood, a new business opportunity in the restaurant industry, or traditional Greek recipes for the curious chef hidden in you, Estiator magazine has all the information you need. Grand openings of Greek restaurants, sales of restaurants and homes, job opportunities in the restaurant industry, new restaurant trends, and news from the restaurant industry, Greece and the U.S. You'll find everything in Estiator. Subscribe now!

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