An aerial view of the packed parking lot behind Duke's Drive-In Mokena on opening night. (Supplied photo)

An aerial view of the packed parking lot behind Duke's Drive-In Mokena on opening night. (Supplied photo)

Comings & Goings: Duke’s opens new drive-in Mokena

By Bob Bong

Duke’s Drive-In Mokena held its grand opening last month and a huge crowd of fans showed up to greet Bill Humphrey upon the return.

Upwards of 100 cars packed the parking lot on June 17 behind the restaurant at 19990 S. LaGrange Road in Mokena and the adjoining parking lot of Belle Tire.

When Duke’s announced it would be closing its longtime home in Bridgeview in 2019 to make way for a Panera Bread, people wanted to know where the restaurant would be relocating and how soon before it was open again.

There were all kinds of rumors. Then, finally, word came that Duke’s Drive-In would be reopening inside the Gas-n-Wash in Mokena with a drive-thru lane.

Dukes said there would be ample room in a parking lot behind the Gas-n-Wash to continue the restaurant’s popular cruise nights. If opening night was any indication, that is true.

Dukes has new ownership but is still in the family. Bud Dukes opened the drive-in 44 years. The new owner, Bill Humphrey, is his son-in-law.

Earlier this year, Humphrey said initial plans to relocate were put on hold. First, because of some illnesses in the family and then because of COVID.

Humphrey said the new Dukes still has the same flavor its customers came to love over the years on Harlem Avenue because the restaurant has contracted with the same suppliers it used in Bridgeview.

Jet’s Pizza now open in Mokena

Jet’s Pizza and its Detroit-style pizza has arrived in Mokena and another south suburban location in Matteson will be opening soon.

biz jets pizza mokena

Jet’s Pizza is now open in Mokena. (Photo by Bob Bong)

The chain has had a pizzeria in Tinley Park since 2013 and announced earlier this year it expected to open five new stores in the Chicago market this year.

In addition to the Mokena and Matteson locations, new pizzerias are coming to Chicago’s Hyde Park, Jefferson Park and Rogers Park neighborhoods.

“We are overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and continued demand for Jet’s to continue adding new locations in the best possible way. It is truly incredible,” says Kevin Tosolt, Director of Marketing, Jet’s America’s Inc. “We could not be more honored to be the household favorite for so many and are thrilled to have the opportunity to serve these new Chicagoland communities in 2022.”

In addition to their square-shaped Detroit-style pizza, the new Jet’s Pizza locations also plan to serve hand-tossed, thin crust, New York-style, gluten free and cauliflower crust pies, fresh salads, handcrafted sandwiches, sidekicks, and desserts.

The Mokena location is coming to 11232 Lincoln Highway, a former That Girl Boutique. The Matteson location is coming to 4605 Lincoln Highway, a former Sears Auto Center. Scheduled to join Jet’s Pizza in that location is a Captain D’s seafood restaurant.

Jet’s Pizza in Tinley Park did have a second location at 7154 W. 127th St. in Palos Heights, but it closed early in 2017.

The Michigan-based chain, which proudly calls itself the 17th largest pizza chain in the country, is in an expansion mode. The Tinley location was its first in the Southland.

TK Insurance Services grand opening

The Tinley Park Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting for TK Insurance Services Inc. on June 15.

biz TK Insurance Services Tinley

TK Insurance owner Tina Konieczki was joined by Tinley Park Mayor Michael Glotz, Clerk Nancy O’Connor, Trustees Colleen Sullivan and William Brady, Chamber President Brandy Cafarelli along with family friends and baby grandson. (Supplied photo)

Owner Tina Konieczki was joined by Mayor Michael Glotz, Clerk Nancy O’Connor, Trustees Colleen Sullivan and William Brady, Chamber President Brandy Cafarelli along with family friends and baby grandson.

According to Konieczki’s website, “I am a local, licensed and trained independent insurance agent in Tinley Park. I represent most major companies with a Medicare contract and am qualified to answer any questions you may have.

“At no cost, I will help you find a health plan that best suits your personal healthcare needs and your budget. By educating you on all the options available, I will give you the power to compare and the freedom to choose. Give me a call today. I look forward to helping you.”

If you see a new business in town or wonder what happened to an old favorite, drop me a line at [email protected]

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