Bechstein Construction of Tinley Park is in the midst of cleaning up the site of the Old Barn Restaurant at 8100 Parkside Ave. after tearing down the former Burbank landmark.
The Burbank City Council approved a $478,000 contract with Bechstein at its June 28 meeting. Demolition began late last month.
Burbank took possession of the property in 2015 through a no-cash bid after it sat empty for seven years. No taxes had been paid on the property since 2007 and the delinquent tax bill was $3 million.
City officials tried hard to find a new restaurant or banquet hall owner to revive the site. After that failed, it tried to find any business to breathe new life into the site.
The original building dated to 1921 and was a speakeasy during Prohibition. Famous people such as W.C. Fields, Al Capone and Charles Lindbergh were said to have frequented The Old Barn. That building burned down in 1932, but it was rebuilt and reopened in 1933.
Instacart expands in southeast Cook County
San Francisco-based Instacart food delivery service expanded last to southeast Cook County and northwest Indiana.
The delivery service started in the Chicago area more than three years ago in Downtown Chicago and slowly expanded outward, said Chicago-area GM Dave Osborne. In June, Instacart added 70 new ZIP code areas in the southwest suburbs.
Instacart uses personal shoppers to hand pick and deliver items from a variety of local stores including Strack & Van Til, Costco, CVS, Meijer, Petco, and Jewel-Osco.
The customer sets up a delivery window ranging from one hour to seven days.
“The shopper picks out the items from the designated store and they are delivered right to your door,” Osborne said. Delivery hours range from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.
He said customers can sign up at www.instacart.com or use the Instacart mobile app on their smartphone.
“When they sign up, their ZIP code will allow the system to show them what stores and items are available,” he said.
Not all items at the stores are available through the service. “You can’t buy a TV from Costco,” Osborne said. “The shoppers are using their own cars. They aren’t driving delivery trucks.”
“The prices are the same that the customer would pay himself at the store with a couple of exceptions,” he said. Instacart charges $5.99 for delivery on orders of $35 or more.
The shoppers operate much like ride-hailing services such as Uber.
“Our shoppers come from all walks of life,” Osborne said. “Some do it full time and others use it as a side job. They drive their own vehicles and are paid commissions.
“We’re always looking to add shoppers,” he said. “We have 1,000 shoppers and are looking for at least 200 more.” Interested shoppers can apply at careers.instacart.com.
“All you need is a car, clean driving record and insurance,” he said.
The expansion will include an additional 315,000 households and also bring more than 100 new jobs to the area, Osborne said.
New delivery areas include Calumet City, Chicago Heights, South Chicago Heights, South Holland, and Burnham. Indiana communities include Valparaiso, Dune Acres, Chesterton, Lake Station, New Chicago, Hobart, Hobart Township, Portage, Merrillville, Ogden Dunes, Hammond, Munster, Highland, Whiting, Westhill, Dyer, Griffith, East Chicago, Cedar Lake, Lowell, Crown Point, Schererville and St. John.
Panera coming to Lockport
Groundbreaking was last week for a new building at the southeast corner of Adelmann Drive and 159th Street in Lockport at the Lockport Square shopping center.
The 7,940-square-foot building will be home to a new Panera Bread restaurant and Aspen Dental office.
The Panera will have an outdoor seating area (weather permitting) and a drive-through lane.
Panera officials said they hope to be open in time for the holidays.
Halloween Land stores now open
A Chicago-area Halloween seasonal store called Halloween Land is now open at 16839 S. Torrence Ave. in The Landings shopping center in Lansing and at 7455 S. Cicero Ave. in Chicago’s Ford City shopping center. For hours and information, visit myhalloweenland.com.
White Barn joins Bath & Body Works
The newly remodeled Bath & Body Work store is now open at Chicago Ridge Mall and it features a sister White Barn store.
The stores feature body care products and candles.
Clark Street Sports now open
A newly revamped Clark Streets Sports apparel store is now open at Louis Joliet Mall in Joliet. The store is across from Windsor and right next to New York & Company.
News updates from the south suburbs delivered every Monday and Wednesday
Hormel acquires Fontanini Italian Meats
Hormel Foods Corp. announced it has acquired McCook-based Fontanini Italian Meats and Sausages, a branded food service business, from Capitol Wholesale Meats Inc.
The company specializes in authentic Italian meats and sausages, as well as a variety of other premium meat products including pizza toppings and meatballs.
“This is a strategic acquisition for our high-growth foodservice division,” said Jim Snee, president and chief executive officer at Hormel Foods. “The Fontanini brand is highly regarded, and the addition of these products to our portfolio will allow us to accelerate growth for both Hormel Foods food service and for Fontanini through expanded distribution and new customers.”
The company was founded in 1960 by Oriano Fontanini, a young Italian immigrant, and his wife, Jennie. Originally, it was a meat company selling primal meat cuts of beef, pork, veal, fresh cut chickens, and making fresh ground hamburger.
As business continued to grow, the owners made the decision in 2008 to build a new 188,000-square-foot state-of-the-art plant in McCook.
Bob Bong is a freelancer.