Business Comings & Goings: Lou Malnati’s Coming to Oak Lawn

Moraine Valley Community College is seeking local businesses to take part in next month's job fair at the college. Car drives through Bookie's.

Lou Malnati’s pizza chain is hoping to open its latest location at 5261 W. 95th St. in Oak Lawn by the first week of November.

The Oak Lawn location would be No. 35 for the chain, which is famous for its deep dish pizza.

“Most of our locations are in Chicago and the northern suburbs,” said Director of Marketing Mindy Kaplan. “We just opened a store in Joliet and are looking more into expanding in the south suburbs.

“We’re really excited about opening a location in Oak Lawn,” Kaplan said.

Lou Malnati’s is renovating a vacant building next door to the new and across the street from the library in downtown Oak Lawn.

The new restaurant will offer catering, carry-out and delivery only. The chain has 22 carry-out stores and 12 locations that offer sit-down dining.

The company was established by Lou Malnati in Lincolnwood in 1971 and is still owned by the Malnati family.

For more information, visit Lou Malnati’s online.

Bookie’s Survives Run-In With Car

Bookie’s Paperbacks is the second area business to survive a run-in with a vehicle this month.

A motorist plowed into the bookstore on Aug. 12 and knocked out a wall, front window and front counter at 2419 W. 103rd St. in Chicago’s Beverly community.

“The store was crowded, but miraculously, nobody was hurt,” said owner Allison Platt.

“We were closed for three days while we cleaned up,” she said. “Now we’re open for business again.”

Platt said a brick mason was at the store on Tuesday to start putting the wall back up.

For information, visit Bookie’s Paperbacks online or check out their Facebook page.

Earlier this month, the An employee was in the back of the store but no one was injured in that incident.

Moraine Valley Job Fair Seeks Employers

Employers from all industries who have position openings are being sought for Job and Internship Fair on Thursday, Sept. 27, from 2-5 p.m. in the Business and Conference Center, Building M at 9000 W. College Parkway in Palos Hills.

Registration is $100 for a table and lunch for two recruiters. Space is limited.

For information, call 708-974-5313. To download a registration form, visit Moraine Valley Community College Job Fair.

Charter Fitness Hosts St. Jude Challenge

is hosting the St. Jude Fitness Challenge through Sept. 28 at participating locations. The eight-week event challenges Charter Fitness members to reach their fitness goals while helping raise money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital to find new treatments for children with cancer and other serious illnesses.
Charter Fitness members can set their goals for weight loss, time worked-out, miles ran or walked or weight lifted over the eight-week period. Friends and family can monitor the member's progress on-line and pledge a monetary donation for each fitness milestone reached.
Participants can register online.

Farmers Market Features Park District

Today’s Oak Lawn Farmers Market is featuring

If you see a new business in town or wonder what happened to an old favorite, drop me a line at bob@chicago-patch.com.

You can also catch up on Comings & Goings in other parts of the Southland at www.southlandbusinessnews.blogspot.com.

Pat F August 22, 2012 at 04:57 PM
Lou Malnati's but no place to sit down and eat? Either this is a mistake or it Isn't a restaurant but rather Just another fast food joint?? Don't we have enough of these already?!?!?
Jerry August 22, 2012 at 05:17 PM
I'm sure it's not a mistake. The location they just opened in Joliet is the same...carry out and delivery only. I'm not a fan of thier pizza, but I will defend it against the "fast food" label. There is a difference, in my opinion, between a carry out pizza place and fast food.
Lorraine Swanson (Editor) August 22, 2012 at 05:21 PM
It's a carryout restaurant, Pat. Lou Malnati is coming to Oak Lawn. I'm disappointed that it isn't a sitdown restaurant too. I've been to the carryout Lous and never thought of them as fast food joints.
anthony August 22, 2012 at 05:28 PM
very pleased ... number 33 but still welcome
anthony August 22, 2012 at 05:29 PM
In our fine area one could eat a different pizza every day of the year!
Karen&Ed-Oak Lawn August 22, 2012 at 09:03 PM
Oak Lawn desperately needs an upscale, fine dining restaurant. How wonderful it would be to stay in my neighborhood AND support the local economy instead of driving to Naperville, Orland, and downtown Chicago to have an exquisite dining experience to celebrate a special occasion. No more pizza, taco, hamburger take out food parlors-Oak Lawn will soon be known as the world's largest food court!
Dave W. August 23, 2012 at 12:46 AM
Not to be combative, just asking...aren't Palermo's, that Francesca's on 95th and even Papa Joe's considered finer dining? For what Palermo's and Francesca's charge, they should be...
Chef's Pride August 23, 2012 at 01:51 AM
And how about Louies Chop House, Fox's Restaurant, Peties Bungalow, Barraccos on 95th, Whitney's in the Hilton....at least you get to hold your own menu, while sitting down!
Karen&Ed-Oak Lawn August 23, 2012 at 02:18 AM
You consider that "up scale dining" because of the menu prices? Palermo's and Papa Joe's are considered to be casual dining (and showing their age) and Francesa's is a wonderful addition to the area, however those restaurants have the same cusine and are not exquisite dining. There is need for a more dinstinctive menu, a sophisticated atmosphere and a refined direction such as "Courtrights" of Willow Springs or "Vie" of Western Springs. Yes, these restaurants will be expensive, however, it would draw the cliental that is willing to splurge on a special celebration or lifetime moment that would require more that a plate of pasta. Oak Brook, Naperville, and downtown Chicago upscale establishments have not suffered during these economic times-check lines at the prime times and the advance reservations.
Dave W. August 23, 2012 at 02:42 AM
Have you seen the average income of Oak Brook, Naperville and downtown Chicago? I'm amazed the Franchesca's is still open...this goes back to the questions of demographics that people who want a Wholefoods or Trader Joes or Nordstroms on 111th don't understand...Oak Lawn has 55,000+ people...every company in at least the region knows we are here, we are NOT a secret...there is a reason why Malnati's is NOT putting in a sit down restaurant, and they are just a pizza place...there is no money here for that price range. MAYBE, you are right, Karen L.T.; perhaps IF somebody builds it, the crowds will come. But this is a down market time...companies do research, and if it isn't a guaranteed home-run from the get-go, they aren't risking big money to find out that the research they have paid for was wrong. There can only be so many $35 steak places in an area that serves mostly blue-collar, middle income families. Everybody goes once...and that is it...maybe. The Old Barn was that place for a long time, and they couldn't hang on, even though they expanded into a beer garden AND weddings much more. There clearly aren't enough funeral memorials and receptions dinners to support that price bracket in this area. We all wish there were...we could feel better about our tax bills for one...but unless you win the lottery and decide to build it yourself, it just doesn't seem likely...
OakLawnGuy August 23, 2012 at 11:55 AM
Eateries in downtown Chicago have certainly suffered, as quoted by several chefs in several publications over the last 3-4 years. Those that are connected to upscale hotels have lost traffic along with the hotels. But most have survived by adjusting to the times, changing portions, prices and sometimes entire menus. I think Oak Lawn might have room for one or two more such places but it's going to take a daring chef/entrepreneur and I'm not sure that in this slow, slow recovery that the "daring" is there.
Me August 23, 2012 at 04:53 PM
Businesses like Whole Foods are also adjusting their expectations in these economic times and looking to expand into areas they haven't traditionally gone into. While I agree that could be a big risk for an individual restaurant owner there may some motivation for bigger chains like Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, or restaurants like Francesca's (which already has) or maybe a Rock Bottom Brewery to look at Oak Lawn. For more info see: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-08-21/business/chi-whole-foods-plans-more-stores-in-chicago-nation-20120821_1_food-deserts-sales-at-whole-foods-open-more-stores
john Crivellone August 25, 2012 at 07:44 PM
Hopefully Lou Malnati's will do well and expand to a larger sit down restaurant. I like Lou Malnati' s and I know that it will be a big plus for Oak Lawn. Many people that lived in Chicago and grew up- with Lou Malnati's are now living in Oak Lawn. I intend to be their best customer. Great Pizza!!!!!
Joan A October 19, 2012 at 01:02 AM
sooo happy to see Lou Malnati's coming to our great town. They have THE best pizza I have ever tasted.
Beerpocket October 19, 2012 at 05:25 PM
I've experienced Lou Malnatti's in Elk Grove Village many times and was always happy. Now I'm looking forward to Lou's Deep Dish here and in my home. George Burbank


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