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Comings & Goings: Branding Iron first to open at SeatGeek Stadium

By Bob Bong

A new restaurant is the first business to open in a retail strip built along Harlem Avenue in the gigantic outlot at SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview.

Branding Iron opened in mid-September at 7036 S. Harlem Ave. It’s the first business to open in the retail strip between the Shell gas station at the new Hampton Inn hotel, but two other businesses have signs up in the strip.

Branding Iron is the latest business venture for Tom McAuliffe, who also owns the Durbin’s restaurant chain and a handful of Darla’s gaming cafes.

“We like it here,” said McAuliffe. “This is a good-sized building. We have the hotel. The Sports Dome. And there should be more events coming now that the Fire has left.”

McAuliffe said his Branding Iron is a tribute to the original restaurant on 95thÊStreet in Oak Lawn that stood from its opening in 1959 to its closing in 1988.

“When Branding Iron closed, some of the employees took the recipes and opened their own place in Chicago Ridge called Patsby’s. I bought that place in 1995 and opened Durbin’s using the same original recipes.

“We’ve been serving Branding Iron ribs for 24 years. It’s where we got the idea for the doughnut holes on every table.”

The menu consists of a lot of steaks and ribs but also features burgers, soups, salads, sandwiches, and other entrees.

McAuliffe said more may be coming, but he’s content to “stick with this one right now.”

Branding Iron is open daily at 11 a.m. Closing time is 2 a.m. except on Friday and Saturday when it closes at 3 a.m.

For information, callÊ708-458-5555.

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