Two years after what was described by described by Good Morning, America as “the nation’s oldest bridal salon” burnt down in Oak Lawn, Eva’s Bridals of Oak Lawn is about to move their second store to Orland Park.
Opening Tuesday, Eva’s Bridals International will be located at 15180 S. LaGrange Road. The site was formerly occupied by House of Brides, before HOB was evicted and moved further south on LaGrange Road behind Mimi's Cafe.
“We’ve been in our Tinley Park space for about two years, but we’ve outgrown the space,” said office manager Stacey Lynn. “The timing worked out, and we’re able to satisfy everyone’s needs.”
Lynn said their store at 18219 S. Harlem Ave. is less than 2,000 square feet.
“It’s really something to be at this point two years after everything was lost,” Lynn said.
On Nov. 17, 2010, a fire started in the attic of Eva’s Bridal’s original location in Oak Lawn at 4811 W. 95th St. The business had been there since 1982, after moving from its Chicago location that first opened in 1964 by Eva Sweis.
The fire completely destroyed the bridal salon, along with about $6 million in dresses – many of which had already been purchased for upcoming weddings.
WATCH VIDEO of the fire.
The family-owned and operated business persevered, with a little help. Palermo’s Restaurant opened its back room for their longtime neighbors to set up a temporary office.
Owner Ronia Ghusein, along with her parents Nancy (Eva’s daughter) and Sam and their staff, started rebuilding the business client by client. Six weddings were scheduled to take place that weekend, and 40 other brides’ dresses were booked for December weddings.
Women willing to donate their old wedding dresses got in touch with the Ghuseins, as did other suppliers who could help fill the needs. They then opened back up in two temporary locations before opening their new store at 5269 W. 95th St. last year. Nancy Ghusein and her son Chad also opened up the second location in Tinley Park in Dec. 2010 to maintain relationships with European designers.
“We are finishing moving Monday to Orland Park and will be open for business on Tuesday,” said Nancy Ghusein, whose mother founded the business. “Our grand opening will be over the weekend.”
On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Eva’s Bridals International will hold a Thanksgiving holiday showing at the Orland Park location of the Rosa Clara Collection, with a preview of the 2013 offerings. Drawings will be held for free wedding gowns.
Other designers’ works that will be found in the new store include:
- Maggie Sottero
- Jim Hjelm
- Aire Barcelona
- Mori Lee
- Allure Bridals
- Stephen Yearick
- Eve of Milady Bridals
Dresses will cost $1,000 and up according to Nancy Ghusein.
Eva's Bridals of Oak Lawn at 5269 W. 95th St. in Oak Lawn is also premiering trunk shows over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, showcasing the designs of Alfred Angelo's Disney Collection from Nov. 23-25.
While talking to Oak Lawn Patch in 2011, Ronia Ghusein said she looked forward to the future.
“There's a kick in my step,” she said. “2012 is going to be a great year.”