Tabares makes announcement at Chamber of Commerce meeting
By Tim Hadac
Southwest Chicago Post
An Andy’s Frozen Custard shop may be coming to Garfield Ridge within a year, 23rd Ward Ald. Silvana Tabares said this month.
If all goes according to plan, the new Andy’s will be located in the vacant bank building at 6366 S. Archer (the northwest corner of Archer and Mulligan).
Tabares made the announcement at this month’s meeting of the Midway Chamber of Commerce, held Nov. 1 in the basement of Hope Church Midway. About 25 local business owners and managers attended.
She said at least six months ago, she was approached by retail developer Eric Dams, who proposed bringing a cannabis dispensary to the site.
“So I talked to [MCC President] Mary Ellen Brown and [MCC Board member] Al Cacciottolo to get their opinion, and they said no, this is not something that’s right for the community.”
Tabares said she conveyed that to the developer, who backed away from the idea, but came back with another proposal.
“He said Andy’s Frozen Custard…and I said, ‘Absolutely!’” Tabares added, as some Chamber members applauded.
“Andy’s is nesting in our neighborhood,” the alderman continued, “and it’s so great because I feel like them coming into the neighborhood is really going to attract more businesses—and we’ll really head in the right direction.
Dams agreed with Tabares’ assessment and added that Andy’s will not bulldoze the bank building at the site, but work with what’s there and transform it into an Andy’s with a drive-through.
He added that Andy’s has “some exciting plans for beautifying the property” that include landscaping and benches to make the site amenable to walk-up customers from the neighborhood.
He said they will need to apply for and obtain a special-use permit, which they hope to have by year’s end, to enable the drive-through part of the custard shop.
According to Chad Wilke, an Andy’s regional manager who also spoke at the meeting, the custard shop at Archer and Mulligan will employ about 45 people in the summer season and about 20 off-season. Most jobs at the location will be part time.
Cacciottolo asked if the local Andy’s shop will prioritize hiring locally. Wilke responded, “Oh, 100 percent. That’s the first thing I asked—where’s the local high school. I didn’t realize how close it is (referring to Kennedy High School).”
Wilke added that Andy’s “is big on community. Last year, we donated, from 14 [Chicago-area] stores, 85,000 cups of custard. The schools K through 12, that’s our wheelhouse—kids.”
The new shop is expected to be the first Andy’s situated within Chicago city limits.
"I've always said this neighborhood is every bit as good, every bit as deserving as suburban areas like Palos, Orland and La Grange," Cacciottolo added. "So why can't we have some of the good things they have? Well now, thanks to the leadership of Alderman Tabares, we can."
Founded in 1986 in Missouri, Andy’s today has more than 100 shops in 14 states.
The bank building at 6366 S. Archer was erected in 2007. It was initially home to Bridgeview Bank, which was later sold to First Midwest Bank. Prior to 2007, the site was the longtime home of Archway Café, a family-style restaurant.
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