INGALLS ST MAM AD 728x90px 03 30 21
Thirteenth Ward Ald. Mary Quinn (wearing dark sport jacket) joins Culver’s officials and frontline crew in cutting the ribbon on the company’s new restaurant at 6541 S. Cicero. --Greater Southwest News-Herald photo by Tim Hadac

Thirteenth Ward Ald. Mary Quinn (wearing dark sport jacket) joins Culver’s officials and frontline crew in cutting the ribbon on the company’s new restaurant at 6541 S. Cicero. --Greater Southwest News-Herald photo by Tim Hadac

Cicero Avenue rebirth marches forward

Culver’s is latest to join parade

By Tim Hadac

A four-block strip of Cicero Avenue that once stood stagnant in dilapidated ugliness is catching up to its prosperous suburban cousin across the street.

Late last week, as Culver’s officials smiled for the cameras and cut the ribbon on their new restaurant at 6541 S. Cicero, they said they looked forward to a long and profitable run on an increasingly sunny side of the street.

GSWNH CiceroAveRebirth 100121

Thirteenth Ward Ald. Mary Quinn (wearing dark sport jacket) joins Culver’s officials and frontline crew in cutting the ribbon on the company’s new restaurant at 6541 S. Cicero. –Greater Southwest News-Herald photo by Tim Hadac

The new Culver’s, featuring a two-lane drive-through and inside seating for nearly 100 customers, has already provided jobs to some 92 men, women and teens. Most of them live within walking distance of the restaurant, claimed area franchisee and co-owner Guy Hollis.

Culver’s is located on land that for at least 15 years lay fallow. Before that, it was home to an auto rental company.

It is emblematic of the tenure of 13th Ward Ald. Marty Quinn, who has made bringing jobs and economic development to the area a top priority.

Since he became alderman in 2011, Quinn has labored to transform Cicero Avenue, between 63rd and 67th Streets—in the long-booming shadow of the hotel, office and restaurant complex across the street in Bedford Park, a village led by a mayor (David Brady) with a reputation as aggressively pro-business.

In the last 10 years, vacant (or nearly vacant) lots on Chicago’s share of the strip have been filled in with Panda Express, 6501; Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria, 6456; a rebuilt Dunkin’ Donuts, 6435; Taco Bell, 6631; a remodeled McDonald’s, 6430; and a new strip shopping center immediately north of McDonald’s—where the long-shuttered Jozo’s hot dog restaurant once stood.

One of those lots—where Malnati’s now stands—was home to a used-car company that Quinn said was home to dozens of semi-feral cats and was a source of complaints by neighbors in nearby homes.

GSWNH QuinnAtCulvers 100121

Thirteenth Ward Ald. Marty Quinn congratulates everyone who had a hand in making the Culver’s grand opening a reality. –Greater Southwest News-Herald photo by Tim Hadac

Yet the transformation has not been a breeze. An uncertain economy over the past decade, coupled with a notoriously slow-footed (and some say anti-business) City Hall, have made revitalizing Cicero Avenue a challenge, even with vehicular traffic numbers that would make most retailers’ mouths water. (About 80,000 vehicles pass by 65th and Cicero in a typical 24-hour period, Quinn said.)

The keys, the alderman said, are persistence and fearlessness in reaching out. In fact, Culver’s came about because Quinn “wrote a letter to [Culver’s co-founder] Craig Culver back in 2011,” Hollis said. “Craig told me to go bird-dog it. That’s when I met Marty and started us on this journey that’s led to this day of celebration.”

Hollis praised Quinn as ”good at building bridges and bringing people together. He has been a really big and valued supporter of ours…and that’s important because Chicago’s a challenge. It’s a big dog. It’s imperative for a business to have support.”

Quinn said more good things are in store for Cicero Avenue in the years ahead, as well as elsewhere in the ward.

“I am shameless in saying good things about this part of the city,” the alderman said. “My message to prospective business owners is, if you come here, if you bring jobs to the community and are a responsible corporate neighbor, you will prosper.”

Local News

U.S. Rep. Marie Newman (D-3rd)

Support older workers, Newman says

From staff reports U.S. Rep. Marie Newman (D-3rd) recently joined three Democratic House colleagues in introducing the Supporting Older Workers Act, a new bill designed to improve and advance the employment, economic success and the well-being of America’s older workers. Newman said the legislation would strengthen the workforce development system for older workers and reduce…

GOAL CELEBRATION – Chicago’s Kealia Watt jumps into the arms of Tierna Davidson after scoring the lone goal in a 1-0 victory over Orlando on Oct. 13. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Pro Soccer Report: Red Stars battling for home playoff match

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent The Chicago Red Stars played their final regular-season game at SeatGeek Stadium on Saturday night with a 2-1 victory over Kansas City in a National Women’s Soccer League game. Is there a chance they will be back in Bridgeview for a postseason match? Even though the top four teams in the…

A Cook County Jail Chess Team member ponders his next move again an opponent in a facility on the other side of the world. --Photo courtesy of the Cook County Sheriff’s Office

Making their move

Cook County Jail Chess Team competes in int’l tourney From staff reports The Cook County Jail’s Chess Team finished in third place in its division during the championship round of the largest international chess competition for detained individuals, Sheriff Thomas J. Dart announced last week. Hosted by Cook County Jail and sanctioned by the International…

St. Rita sophomore Ethan Middleton fights for extra yardage against Providence on Oct. 15. Middleton finished with 21 carries for 115 yards and a touchdown in a 35-0 victory. Photo by Jeff Vorva

High School Football: Streaking St. Rita pounds Providence

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent St. Rita is still back on track. On Sept. 11, St. Rita’s football team came home after being battered around by Loyola in Wilmette, 37-7. That dropped the Mustangs to 1-2 after suffering a tight loss to Mount Carmel two weeks prior. In that game, they lost talented running back and…

Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart speaks about ghost guns. (Photos courtesy of the Cook County Sheriff’s Office)

Sheriff Dart, state Sen. Collins propose legislation to ban ‘ghost guns’

From staff reports Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart and state Senator Jacqueline Collins have proposed legislation to ban “ghost guns”–homemade, untraceable weapons that are increasingly being found by police fighting Chicago area violence. “The rapid proliferation of these weapons is alarming, and they are intentionally being used by individuals who want to thwart investigations…

Chicago Police Department

Police reports

Two elderly men killed in Brighton Park Two elderly men were shot and killed in an apartment building in the 4400 block of South Campbell at about 1:40 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 7. Police said Juan Alvarado, 80, was found in a hallway with gunshot wounds to his chest and head. He was transported to Mount…

Shortly after she met President Joe Biden on the tarmac at O’Hare International Airport, Mayor Lori Lightfoot posted this photo and wrote, “Vaccination requirements work. Thank you @POTUS for supporting required vaccinations. The vaccine saves lives and helps us move closer to the end of this pandemic.” --Supplied photo

Pushback against vax

Some city workers say ‘No’ to shots By Tim Hadac As the Lightfoot Administration announced that all City of Chicago employees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by today—or face disciplinary measures—some workers pushed back. One of the most public was 23rd Ward Ald. Silvana Tabares, who signed a letter of concern to the mayor–with…

An image of the Bicycle Bandit captured by a surveillance camera during a July 27 at Brighton Park Community Bank, 4334 S. Kedzie. --Photo courtesy of the FBI Chicago Office

FBI hunts ‘Bicycle Bandit’

Robbed banks in Bridgeport, Brighton Park, McKinley Park, Back of the Yards By Tim Hadac FBI agents continue to hunt for a serial criminal who has robbed four Southwest Side banks in recent months. Last week, the FBI’s Chicago Office reissued a community alert regarding a man they have dubbed the Bicycle Bandit because he…

Chicago Police Department

Police warn of armed robberies on Archer

By Tim Hadac Police issued a community alert last week regarding two armed robberies that occurred last month in Garfield Ridge, in the parking lot of the Chase Bank branch at 5687 S. Archer. One crime occurred at 3:37 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 15. The other was at 9:50 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 29. The bandits were described as black…

Chicago Police Department

Burglars hitting Chicago Lawn

From staff reports A cluster of burglaries in Chicago Lawn has prompted police to issue a community alert. Some of the places burglarized were businesses, while others were garages behind people’s homes. Crime scenes include: 6300 block of South Kedzie on Sept. 26. 5900 block of South Kedzie on Sept. 28. 6400 block of South…

Neighbors

House Ad Subscription4
House Ad Subscription3
Federal court throws out June legislative maps, declines to send issue to bipartisan commission

Federal court throws out June legislative maps, declines to send issue to bipartisan commission

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – A three-judge federal court panel in Chicago ruled Tuesday that the legislative redistricting plan that Gov. JB Pritzker signed into law in June – before official 2020 U.S. Census numbers were available – was unconstitutional because the population variances among districts violated the “one-person, one-vote” doctrine.…

State ramping up vaccine booster campaign

State ramping up vaccine booster campaign

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker on Tuesday urged eligible Illinoisans to get a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot and called on skilled nursing facilities to make booster shots available to patients and staff by Thanksgiving. Currently anyone who received the Pfizer vaccine and is over 65 years of age…

State worker vaccine deadline extended to Oct. 26 for first dose

State worker vaccine deadline extended to Oct. 26 for first dose

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker announced Monday that his administration has reached agreement with multiple trade unions requiring certain state workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19, but it is extending the deadline for workers to get their first shot to Oct. 26 while negotiations continue with the state’s…

Lawmakers returning to Springfield to consider congressional remap, more

Lawmakers returning to Springfield to consider congressional remap, more

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Illinois’ first congressional remap draft is out but changes could be in store as lawmakers return to Springfield Tuesday for the first of their final two weeks of scheduled session in 2022. It’s customary for lawmakers to meet each fall to consider overriding or accepting any…

CAPITOL RECAP: New congressional maps unveiled ahead of veto session

CAPITOL RECAP: New congressional maps unveiled ahead of veto session

By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – Democrats in the Illinois General Assembly released a proposed set of new congressional district maps Friday, just days before lawmakers return to the Statehouse for the start of their fall veto session, which begins Oct. 19. All states redraw their congressional districts following each decennial census. The proposed new…

UPDATED: New congressional maps unveiled ahead of fall veto session

UPDATED: New congressional maps unveiled ahead of fall veto session

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Democrats in the Illinois General Assembly released a proposed set of new congressional district maps Friday, just days before lawmakers return to the Statehouse for the start of their fall veto session, which begins Oct. 19. All states redraw their congressional districts following each decennial census.…

Tax summaries show Pritzkers made $5 million last year – not including family trusts

Tax summaries show Pritzkers made $5 million last year – not including family trusts

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker’s campaign released summary documents of his 2020 tax returns Friday, which showed the first family reporting $5.14 million in adjusted gross income, all from taxable interest and dividends. The campaign released seven pages summarizing the governor’s and first lady MK Pritzker’s returns, which…

Democrats release draft congressional maps

Democrats release draft congressional maps

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Illinois lawmakers released the first draft of new congressional maps Friday, the latest step in a process that occurs every 10 years after the U.S. Census and could impact the balance of power in the U.S. Congress. The new maps are only a draft and will…

Report: Nursing homes in crisis with staff shortages

Report: Nursing homes in crisis with staff shortages

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – A new report released Wednesday says staffing shortages at nursing homes in Illinois have reached crisis proportions and that people of color are most at risk of suffering the consequences. That’s because those individuals are more likely to live in understaffed facilities or in “ward” rooms…

Springfield transportation hub to relieve rail congestion

Springfield transportation hub to relieve rail congestion

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – A railway improvement project intended to greatly improve traffic congestion between St. Louis and Chicago reached a milestone Tuesday as work began on a multimodal transportation hub in the capital city. Gov. JB Pritzker was joined at a groundbreaking ceremony by U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and…

CRR NH Cherished Pets
SWNH Ameri Corp House Ad