Interest strong in downtown La Grange space
Updated: March 25, 2013 1:19AM
LA GRANGE — A slow economic recovery didn’t come fast enough for some businesses.
Mezza Mediterranean Grill operated for less than a year at 1 S. La Grange Road after opening in February. The menu featured such Middle Eastern dishes as chicken, beef or lamb shawarma, kabobs, hummus, falafel, fatoosh and tabouleh.
“They had expressed concerns early on about opening in the dead of winter and never really catching on,” said Patrick Benjamin, community development director. “They were used to Chicago locations with a lot of office workers.”
Just east of the restaurant was Glamour, at 20 E. Burlington Ave., which opened in June and specialized in hand-crafted accessories for young girls.
“It was a real niche market,” Benjamin reflected on the shop closed for two or three months.
Although some storefronts remain vacant, there’s activity behind the scenes, he said.
“We’re really betting to the point with what I know is coming into various storefronts, within the next two three months, we’ll nearly be completely filled.
In addition to five businesses planning to occupy the former Borders bookstore at 1 N. La Grange Road, Forever Yogurt is preparing to open at 71 S. La Grange Road.
Café 103, which will offer cooking classes, cater events and operate as a restaurant, is planning to open in February at 9 S. La Grange Road.
An empanada restaurant from North Riverside has expressed interest in the site of a former coffeehouse at 22 W. Calendar Ave., Benjamin said.
“The commercial market was looking for greener pastures out west and has completely reversed itself,” he said. “Business is looking closer to the city, and as an inner ring suburb east of the Tri-State, we’re benefitting from that.”