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SERVING HINSDALE, BURR RIDGE, CLARENDON HILLS & OAK BROOK

JULY 2019

HINSDALE’S FIRST MAGAZINE $5 US VOLUME 9 ISSUE 7

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LETTER from THE PUBLISHER

The Best of Reader Favorites & Our Greatest Generation This is our fourth annual Hinsdale Magazine Best of Reader feature on p. 64 about Korean Conflict veteran Gabriel Spataro Favorites issue, with winners in various categories, across and the fascinating story of how he waited until 2013 to dive dining, shopping, entertainment and personal services. Over the Christ statue that he brought to the U.S. in the early the past four years, thousands of HM readers voted for their 1960s. My friend and Diveheart founder Jim Elliott introduces favorite places, and we are proud to present some familiar Spataro to our readers, who will be inspired by this 86-year-old establishments, such as Café La Fortuna (best coffee) and Yia gentleman, whose journey took the Christ statue from Italy to Yia’s Pancake House (best breakfast), as well as some new Chicago and then Key Largo, Fla., where it is submerged as the recipients, Ashton Place, Devon Seafood, Eddie Merlot’s, most viewed underwater object in the world. LaMantia Design and Remodeling, Miskatonic Brewing Rock music legends Dennis DeYoung and Jim Peterik also Company, Owl & Lark, Panera Bread, appear in our Best of Reader Favorites Pete’s Fresh Market, Seasons 52, Taco issue in my exclusive interview with Grill and The English Garden. the Burr Ridge rockers. The longtime friends have been neighbors for more It is only fitting that the Best of Reader than 20 years, and now the powerhouse Favorites issue includes our nation’s best. singer-songwriters team up to produce HM introduces you to Leonard Ruzak tunes which you will hear inside the of Burr Ridge, a veteran of the Korean Hinsdale Magazine digital edition with Conflict and a longtime resident of the a direct link to their collaborative effort, village. Ruzak recently donated five “Proof of Heaven,” “East of Midnight” flagpoles in honor of his five deceased and “Run for the Roses.” DeYoung and brothers, all of whom were veterans that Peterik talk to HM about what inspires served in the U.S. military between 1941 them to continue creating music for and 1948. He is very passionate about more than five decades. the Burr Ridge Veterans Memorial, and YOUR FAVORITE PLACES TO EAT, hopes that his donation will inspire others The Clarendon Hills train station DRINK, SHOP AND MORE to make their own contributions to the has not seen an upgrade for as long memorial. as DeYoung and Peterik have been producing music. Now it is about to I first met Leonard Ruzak at the get a major improvement, as the village Armed Forces Day in Burr Ridge on May plans to construct a new train station 18 in front of village hall, and it was an starting this summer. In addition to honor to meet this humble gentleman, the construction of a new station, this who has served the Village of Burr Ridge “downtown revitalization project” will also include new gates as mayor, and is on the veterans memorial committee. He has at the Prospect Ave. railroad crossing, heated shelters along the served his village for nearly six decades since it was incorporated platform, an outbound train station to the north of the railroad in 1962. tracks, and the elimination of the curve at Golf and Burlington This patriotic issue also includes highlights from the Aves. If all goes as planned, the entire project will be completed Hinsdale American Legion Post 250’s annual Memorial Day by the end of next year. Hinsdale Magazine will feature the parade and observance in downtown Hinsdale on May 27. finished train station in an up-coming issue, along with more of The festive parade northbound on Washington Street to the the people, places and events in our surrounding communities. memorial hall included members of the American Legion post, and featured Hinsdale village president Tom Cauley and Enjoy the summer! Willowbrook mayor Frank Trilla. World War II veteran George Hogrewe, who was Hinsdale Magazine’s cover story in May 2018, recited the famous war poem, “In Flanders Field,” from Scott Jonlich memory. Founder & Publisher Be sure to read Hinsdale Magazine’s “Diveheart in-depth” sjonlich@hinsdale60521.com SERVING HINSDALE, BURR RIDGE, CLARENDON HILLS & OAK BROOK

JULY 2019

HINSDALE’S FIRST MAGAZINE $5 US VOLUME 9 ISSUE 7

BEST of 2019

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CONTENTS |

July 2019

28

10 PUBLISHER LETTER 18 TO-DO LIST

July calendar of events

22 SPOTLIGHT

Band of brothers

24 MODERN STYLE Quicksilver

28 MUSIC

Rock & Roll legends

34 INSIDE CLARENDON HILLS

Making an impression

42 COVER STORY

Best of 2019

24 48 COMMUNITY SCENE

Roaring Whirl gala HJWC It’s a Wrap A Royal Garden Party Armed Forces Day Memorial Day parade Cars, Cocktails and Planes

60 WORLD

60

Cuba

ON THE COVER: Simply prepared Sea Bass at Parkers’ in Downers Grove. Photograph by Laurie Proffit

FOR THE LATEST NEWS, HAPPENINGS AND PHOTOS, VISIT HINSDALEMAG.COM

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FOUNDER & PUBLISHER

Scott Jonlich sjonlich@hinsdale60521.com CONTRIBUTING EDITOR

Mike Ellis mike@hinsdale60521.com CREATIVE DEPARTMENT

Cheryl Chrzanowski Julia Sinogeikina CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Julie Jonlich Janis Von Kaenel Kerrie Kennedy COLUMNISTS

Jim Fannin FEATURE PHOTOGRAPHERS WWW.PARKERSAMERICAN.COM

Mark Chalabala Daniel Garcia Kyle Hampson William Evan Jonlich Jim Prisching Marco Nunez Marcello Rodarte ADVERTISING SALES

Larry Atseff Renee Lawrence Jennifer Wegmann marketing@HinsdaleMag.com

Hinsdale Magazine, Inc. 3 Grant Square, #201 Hinsdale, IL 60521 630-655-3400 www.HinsdaleMag.com Serving Hinsdale, Burr Ridge, Clarendon Hills and Oak Brook.

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No person, organization or publication can copy or re-produce the content in this magazine or any part of this publication without a written consent from the publisher. The publisher, authors, contributors and designers reserve their rights with regards to copyright of their work. Hinsdale Magazine, Inc. assumes no liability or responsibility for any inaccurate, delayed or incomplete information. The information contained about each individual, event or organization has been provided by such individual, event organizers or organization. The opinion expressed in each article is the opinion of its author and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Hinsdale Magazine, Inc. Comments are welcome, but they should be on-topic and well-expressed. Copyright ©2019 Hinsdale Magazine, Inc. All rights reserved.


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find laser dentistry to be similarly refreshing. As your dentist won’t need to numb your tooth prior to removal of decay, you’ll appreciate the ease of anesthesia-free treatment. No numb lips, needles, or post-procedural soreness: simply a restored smile. The WaterLase iPlus treats cavities without affecting the rest of your teeth, causing microfractures, or cross-contaminating. Only the decayed portion of the tooth will be removed, leaving healthy tissue intact. The iPlus aids our Hinsdale Dentistry team in providing you with ideal dental care. WHITENING WITHOUT SENSITIVITY While teeth whitening is incredibly popular, it isn’t possible for every patient. Those struggling with sensitivity find the whitening gel too harsh and treatment painful. Laser whitening changes the experience. Not only are whitening appointments briefer, they’re more comfortable for patients with twingeprone enamel. The gentle whitening laser helps activate hydrogen peroxide

whitening gel without causing sensitivity in the teeth or gums. You’ll feel relaxed during treatment without compromising dazzling, bright results. Our Epic whitening laser makes this possible. SIMPLE COSMETIC GUM CONTOURING Our gums play an important part in the aesthetics of our smiles. Sometimes they can be uneven or unbalanced, resulting in a grin that leaves you wanting. Laser gum contouring makes subtle, specific tweaks to your gum line to reshape your smile. Less invasive and less painful than traditional gum surgery, laser contouring will deliver results with minimal healing. Laser dentistry helps set Hinsdale Dentistry apart, and we’re excited to share it with you. Ready to experience pain-free, shot-free dental care? Call our office and ask for the WaterLase or Epic laser for your next dental appointment.

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Hinsdale Magazine | TO•DO•LIST

JULY

11

th

UNIQUELY THURSDAYS

Uniquely Thursdays 2018 photograph by Marcello Rodarte

Make sure to include Hinsdale’s Uniquely Thursdays in your summer plans. Every Thursday through Aug. 22, there will be live bands of various musical genres and styles performing in Burlington Park from 6 to 9 p.m. Be sure to bring your lawn chairs and blankets, and join us for the music, fun and food. Check out www.

hinsdalechamber.com/uniquelythursdays for more details.

7/10 - 8/18

7/10 - 8/7

Come thrilled to Shakespeare’s most rousing adventure. Join the brash Henry V. as he invades France to prove himself worthy of the crown. Be a part of his forces as they find themselves facing an army ten times the size of their own at the Battle of Agincourt. Come experience the greatest of English battles. https://firstfolio.org

Join us for our annual outdoor movies series, a free summertime entertainment event for the whole family on Oakbrook Center’s state-of-the-art, 32-foot by 18-foot outdoor digital LED screen. www.oakbrookcenter.com

Henry V

7/10-14 The Taste

Taste of Chicago has 40 restaurant booths, a dozen food trucks, a wine garden, a cocktail lounge and first-rate concerts (free if you sit on the lawn) in Grant Park. www.chicago.gov

Movies on the Lawn

7/10-31

Dancin’ in the Street

The Village of Clarendon Hills’ summer concert series has been a summer staple— bring your own chairs and blankets. www.facebook.com/chdits

7/12-13

Hinsdale Sidewalk Sale

Merchants from all shopping areas have their merchandise available for purchase

throughout downtown Hinsdale. www.hinsdalechamber.com

7/12-13

Ashore Thing

Watch hundreds of boats leave for the ritzy race to picturesque Mackinac Island. Thirteen states and three countries are represented by the diverse fleet of returning veterans and newcomers. www.cycracetomackinac.com

7/12 - 8/16

Concerts on the Green

Join us every Friday from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Burr Ridge Village Center. www.shopburrridge.com/event

7/13

Chicago Bears 5K

Join the official Chicago Bears 5K, with food, games, live music, the Bears Drumline, Monster Squad and Staley Da Bear at Soldier Field. www.chicagobears.com

7/13-14

Kids’ Obstacle Race

Kids 5 to 16 run through mud and over a dozen obstacles at Kids Obstacle Challenge at Danada South Park in Lisle. Parents can race for free. www.kidsobstaclechallenge.com

7/17-21

County Fair

old-fashioned fair with farm animals, a petting zoo, a midway, a demolition derby, live music and fair food in St. Charles. www.kanecountyfair.com

7/19-21

Art Festival

Shop for a wide variety of art made by 100 juried artists at the new Artfest on Michigan Ave. https://amdurproductions. com/event/artfest-michiganavenue-2019

7/20

Night at the Zoo

Join thousands for Night at the Zoo, an adultsonly event that will let guests experience the zoo’s animals and gardens. https://www.lpzoo.org/night-zoo

7/27-28

Margarita Tasting

Chicago Margarita Festival promises live music, dancing, games, food trucks and margarita-tasting on Navy Pier for adults 21 and over. www.chicagomargaritafestival.com

7/27-28

Glencoe Art Festival

Glencoe Festival of Art offers fine works from 100 artists, a band, kids’ activities and food vendors in downtown Glencoe. https://amdurproductions.com/ event/glencoe-festival-of-art-2019

Kane County Fair is an

Hinsdale Magazine’s event calendar is provided as a service to the Hinsdale area community. Hinsdale Magazine does not endorse or certify any of the community events listed herein or the accuracy of the listing of said events including dates. Please confirm dates and times with other sources. The information contained in this section is a simple listing of events happening around the area that the staff believes may be of interest to the general community.

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Hinsdale Magazine | Spotlight

Band of

BROTHERS Burr Ridge resident donates flagpoles to honor five brothers who served in U.S. military BY MIKE ELLIS | PHOTOGRAPH BY WILLIAM EVAN JONLICH

T

he Burr Ridge Veterans Memorial now has a fleet of five new flagpoles at its gateway, courtesy of longtime resident and former mayor Leonard Ruzak. Ruzak, a member of the veterans memorial committee, donated the flagpoles to honor his five deceased brothers, all of whom served in the United States military between 1941 and 1948. All of the Ruzak brothers—including Leonard—were drafted into the service, and fortunately, all of them returned home safely. "I really don't remember that much," Ruzak said. "I was just a kid at that time; but as I grew older, and them passing away, I felt that they should all be remembered."

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HinsdaleMag.com | HINSDALE MAGAZINE

George Ruzak, a veteran of The Marines, was injured during the landing of Saipan in the Pacific during the summer of 1944, while America was at war with Japan, and received the Purple Heart for his service. Ruzak's eldest brothers, Edward and Stanley, both served in Europe as part of the graves registration. "I just wanted my brothers to be remembered," Ruzak said, "so I donated these five flagpoles. ... It seems like the younger generation doesn't realize what happened in the past. Let's face it: the kids [have] it good now, and I think they should stop and think of why they have it so good." Beneath the flagpoles is a commemorative plaque, enumerating each of the Ruzaks, along with their branch and years of service.


“I just wanted my brothers to be remembered, so I donated these five flagpoles. ... It seems like the younger generation doesn’t realize what happened in the past.” — LEONARD RUZAK The memorial, which was unveiled to the public at the village's Armed Forces Day celebration on May 18, will function as a gateway to the larger Burr Ridge Veterans Memorial, located immediately to the west. This monument, which Hinsdale Magazine profiled extensively in January 2015, consists of bricks that display the names of hundreds of military veterans with connections to Burr Ridge and surrounding communities. The white circular ring, topped by an airy dome, which encompass the monument, only add to the impeccable craftsmanship and brickwork that adorn the veterans' names below it. Ruzak, who previously served as chairman of the veterans memorial committee, is passionate about the memorial and preserving its beauty. A veteran of the Korean Conflict himself, Ruzak said he was "very fortunate" to avoid combat. Having previously worked in the meter department at Western Electric Leonard Ruzak before being drafted into the army, his knowledge placed him in Yokohama, Japan, where he managed six Japanese workers who repaired meters for the use of the American military. Ruzak can truly be called one of the original residents of Burr Ridge, having moved within the village limits prior to its incorporation in 1962. "I've been here longer than the village," he said. ... "I was here when they incorporated; I think I voted for it. ... When I moved out here, there was nothing out here except gravel roads and electricity. We had no sewers, no [running] water, no well-and-septic." During his time in Burr Ridge, Ruzak has served the village in various capacities, including as mayor and trustee. Through his position on the veterans memorial committee, he would like to make improvements to the

memorial from time to time to ensure that it remains an attractive and respectable salute to veterans. Specifically, Ruzak pointed to landscaping defects around the fountain near the front of the monument and the eagle sculpture at the back. "I'm strong on landscaping," he said. "There's things that I feel that we could do to improve this." Ruzak expressed confidence in new committee chairman Mickey Straub, who served as mayor of the village from 2013 to 2018. "Hopefully, Mickey's going to make this even a bigger showcase," he said. "I've always felt that this memorial should stand out. ... I think we have one of the best memorials in the state." Ruzak would also like to create a "Medal of Honor" walk along the sidewalk that leads up to the monument, anchored by the brick commemorating Lester W. Weber, a Burr Ridge man who died on Feb. 23, 1969 in Vietnam, and accordingly received the Medal of Honor posthumously. "From what I understand, there's quite a few Medal of Honor winners in the region," he said, adding that the committee was recently approached by the Village of Westmont. Straub said he could not imagine a "better or more fitting addition" to the memorial than Ruzak's donation in honor of his five brothers. "The curved row of five flagpoles at the entrance, with flags to represent each branch of the military, stand as a living testimony to his brothers, and to Len’s countless and selfless years of contribution to the village, village board, veterans memorial committee and to the residents of Burr Ridge," he said. "It was a piece that we didn’t know was missing until [the flagpoles] were installed." Burr Ridge mayor Gary Grasso, who was elected in April and assumed office in May, said the village is "deeply indebted to Len's long history of public service." "Not only is Len still the longest-serving mayor of Burr Ridge, but he also still gives his time endlessly to our village," Grasso said. "Now he honors his brothers with this great donation that will add to the magnificence of the veterans’ memorial in Burr Ridge. Len Ruzak makes Burr Ridge 'a very special place.'" n

HINSDALE MAGAZINE | HinsdaleMag.com

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Hinsdale Magazine | Music

ROCK LEGENDS Exclusive interview with Burr Ridge’s Jim Peterik and Dennis DeYoung INTERVIEW BY SCOTT JONLICH | PHOTOGRAPHY BY MARCO NUNEZ

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Two of the world’s most prolific song writers have teamed up for the first time to collaborate on “Proof of Heaven,” a new piece co-written and recorded by former Survivor member and Ides of March’s Jim Peterik and founding Styx front-man/keyboardist Dennis DeYoung. Hinsdale Magazine readers can hear portions of the exclusive interview by publisher Scott Jonlich at www. HinsdaleMag.com in our HM+ pages, where they can also hear the rock legends through video links.

Jim Peterik and Dennis DeYoung HINSDALE MAGAZINE | HinsdaleMag.com

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Hinsdale Magazine | Music Hinsdale Magazine sat down with the rock legends recently at their home music studios to talk about the work that is reminiscent of hits in the ‘70s and ‘80s. Musicians from Peterik’s World Stage project and DeYoung’s touring group perform the song on a animated soundstage, illustrated with cosmic effects and other heavenly images. “Proof of Heaven” will appear on DeYoung’s upcoming solo album, and the new release by Peterik’s World Stage, “Winds of Change,” this summer.

THE INTERVIEW

I first visited the two legends last month with HM photographer Marco Nunez at Peterik’s home studio. The room was inspired by his collection of guitars, a Grammy for “Eye of the Tiger” and images of some of rock’s greatest artists: John Lennon, The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix. We shuffled over to DeYoung’s home studio an hour later to hear more of their collaborative work and the story behind their long-awaited piece. The two have been longtime friends. DeYoung grew up in Chicago’s Roseland neighborhood, and Peterik is from suburban Berwyn. They now live a mile apart in Burr Ridge. It was in 2018 when Serafino Perugino, president of Frontier Records, asked Peterik to write and record together. This will be DeYoung’s first album since 2009. “Can you tell that Dennis and I are having a blast singing this song, reveling in the many years we’ve known each other, and celebrating the musical camaraderie and mutual respect we’ve developed over the years?” Peterik said. “The fun we are having is unmistakable! The lyric of this song is certainly meaningful in today’s world: looking for the best in everyone, the heaven right here on earth. Peterik’s “Winds of Change” includes musical guests Kevin Cronin (REO Speedwagon), Mike Reno (Loverboy), Night Ranger vocalist Kelly Keagy, Don Barnes and Danny Chauncey (38 Special), and archival vocals by late Survivor front-man Jimi Jamison. DeYoung’s and Peterik’s collaboration “Proof of Heaven” will be on both artists’ solo albums with some variations.

SCOTT JONLICH: How did you two come together on

this song?

JIM PETERIK: We lived so closed to each other, that I can literally walk over and borrow a cup of sugar. Dennis would say, “Hey, come on over; I’ve got this idea or latest mix.” It’s a dream come to true to live near someone [with whom] we can create music together. We also started getting together socially with our wives (Suzanne DeYoung and Karen Peterik) at Topaz. Back in the day, he was Styx and I was Survivor, and we always had deep respect for each other; but in a way, there was always a little bit of one-upmanship. Of course, they (Styx) left us in the dust when it comes to the touring aspect.

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HinsdaleMag.com | HINSDALE MAGAZINE

Jim Peterik’s Grammy award for “Eye of the Tiger” at his home studio in Burr Ridge


“I like to be the conduit—the guy that supplies a lot of the song-writing, but then they see it through their vision and their producer. Just like “Proof of Heaven;” Dennis mixed that—I didn’t even know he was a mixer. When he gets into the studio, he knows what he wants to hear.” — JIM PETERIK

SCOTT JONLICH: What was the inspiration for you guys working together and producing songs like “Proof of Heaven?”

DENNIS DEYOUNG: He (Peterik) said to me, “Dennis, the world needs your music. I said, “Get the world to send me an e-mail, because I don’t think they do.” I said, “Jim, send me stuff you want to work on, and he sent two things.” The guy is a professional—he can write a song today. He’s a fanatic at song-writing. He lives, breathes writing songs. I’m the same, but its with reruns of Law & Order. He sent this song, “Land of the Living,” and it was really good. [After] Jim was in Milan, Italy, playing in Frontiers Records, Frontiers Fest, he comes back and tells me, “I wrote this in Italy.” I listened to it, and I said, “Jesus, if I can’t sing that, I can’t sing anything.” It was just that good. I just said, let’s go! Jim had this demo 20 years ago called “East of Midnight,” and we said, “That!” JIM PETERIK: I kept playing “East of Midnight,” and

[he] kept saying that song is not going anywhere. We are finishing that. It was a perfect amalgamation of the Styx sound at their height.

DENNIS DEYOUNG: What I heard was Jim Peterik with another guy singing, with a potential to be a great song. I thought, “If someone from Styx would have brought that song in, I know I can make that into a Styx song.” He had a “Jim Peterik vibe” to it. I recognized if I got my hands on it, we [could] make into a great Styx song—and we did. The song starts with, “A South Side brick bungalow in a lifetime long ago when I was just a lad of 17. I was looking for a connection to the big machine.” JIM PETERIK: What Dennis has done is, he raised both of our ships. I was starting to fall into a [condition] where

HM publisher Scott Jonlich interviews Dennis DeYoung and Jim Peterik.

I was not challenging myself. I can write a song getting out of bed, but is it going to be a great song? Dennis would say, “That’s good,” and he could improve a lyric by a hundred times, like “Land of the Living” or “Run for the Roses.”

DENNIS DEYOUNG: “Run for the Roses was the best example, because Jim had this idea—brilliant— the idea and the theme of the song; but I said, “What if?”—because I’m not like Jim; I don’t write a lot. He’s motivated to do it. I said, “Jim, as good as you are, you are better than this. I would say to him, almost like a psychiatrist, “What are you trying to say; how does this feel?”

SCOTT JONLICH: Jim, you have written a lot of hit songs. How much pleasure do get from writing for artists, and having it come forth in their own style?

JIM PETERIK: It depends on how well it’s done. Most times, I have had good experiences. I was blessed with 38 Special with “Hold on Loosely.” When I heard it on the radio for the first time, it was better than how I would have done it; the parts they added—it was a real thrill. There are stories that are not quite as happy as that. I can’t mention the name, but he was a big star in America, and he was a big star in Germany. I like to be the conduit—the guy that supplies a lot of the songwriting, but then they see it through their vision and their producer. Just like “Proof of Heaven;” Dennis mixed that—I didn’t even know he was a mixer. When he gets into the studio, he knows what he wants to hear. n

To hear the complete interview, visit www.HinsdaleMag.com.

HINSDALE MAGAZINE | HinsdaleMag.com

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Hinsdale Magazine | Inside Clarendon Hills

MAKING AN IMPRESSION Village of Clarendon Hills prepares to embark on downtown revitalization project BY MIKE ELLIS | RENDERINGS COURTESY OF LEGAT ARCHITECTS

The Metra station and surrounding vicinity in downtown Clarendon Hills is about to receive a wholesale makeover. The Village of Clarendon Hills is undertaking a downtown revitalization project that includes the construction of new stations on both sides of the Burlington Northern tracks, the installation of safer crossing gates at Prospect Ave. and the reconfiguration of the Prospect, Burlington and Golf Ave. intersections north of the tracks. Community development director Dan Ungerleider, who has been with the village for seven years, said Clarendon Hills has been exploring this concept since before he arrived. According to village president Len Austin, the current train station was constructed in the 1950s, and was intended as a temporary structure. Nearly a decade ago, the village received a grant for a study to redevelop the station, but the board rejected a proposal to renovate the site as being overly ambitious and

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costly. “It is inordinately hard to make real capital investments to the downtown business area for many reasons, one of course, being cost,” Austin said. “We set the objective of downtown revitalization a few years ago, after the results of a commissioned facility study. The study found our train station to be beyond feasible reinvestment.” In November 2014, the village board approved a new downtown master plan (DTMP) for Clarendon Hills, which included goals for the station, such as improving access, facilities and safety. After the DTMP was finalized, Ungerleider said the village began seeking grants to improve the area around the station. “We started working on grant applications to redo the streetscape around the train station, and we focused on Burlington Ave. and Prospect,” he said.


View from the village hall lawn

The critical moment occurred when the village received a $2 million access to transit grant from the State of Illinois for improvements to Burlington and Prospect Aves. Ungerleider said this grant prompted the village to start contemplating a renovation of the station itself. Since that time, Clarendon Hills has secured a $750,000 grant from West Suburban Mass Transit and a $500,000 grant from Metra, both of which may be applied to expenses related to the station. “All in all, we’ve collected $4 million in grants for this project,” Ungerleider said. “We are very pleased with the grants and outside money we have received,” village manager Kevin Barr said. Austin echoed Ungerleider’s and Barr’s sentiments. “Our village staff has done a remarkable job of producing a very professional and convincing downtown revitalization proposal that has received the backing of many of the entities

that support our vital transportation system into and out of Chicago,” he said. The grants will lessen the burden on the village, which Ungerleider said will pay for roughly 60 percent of the project, or at least $4 million. “There’s no taxes that are being raised, or being asked for,” he said. “There’s no SSAs (special service areas), there’s no dollars being asked for by the residents. What we’re hoping is this will help increase the values for the community and the downtown, and it will attract more investment in the downtown.” The downtown revitalization project is comprised of three components: the train station, gate upgrades and streetscape improvements on Prospect and Burlington. Ungerleider described the station project, scheduled to commence later this month, as “conservative,” designed with a view towards “keeping costs down,” and “limiting the amount

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Hinsdale Magazine | Inside Clarendon Hills of time that we’re working along the railroad tracks” in mind. The village worked with Legat Architects on the station design, which was ultimately recommended by the downtown design review commission, and then approved by the village board. The inbound train station, which will be built on the site of the existing structure, will feature an open design with floorto-ceiling windows at the north end, affording commuters a full view of the tracks. Ungerleider said the village settled on a building that “looks like it could be built in an arboretum.” “It’s got a green roof, it’s got bioswales, landscaping, prairie grasses all around it,” he said. A retaining wall will be installed in place of the hill that currently rises behind the station, which will be dug out. In place of the hill, rain gardens and other landscaping features will be used to mitigate stormwater collection. Shelters will be placed along the retaining wall, each of which will contain heat buttons to allow commuters to remain warm outside during the winter, and the pavement around the station will be heated as well. On the east end of the platform, an enclosure will be constructed, providing a more commodious setting for riders who would like to board near the front of the train. “If you wanted to wait to get on that first car, you’ve got a warm, dry place to wait,” Ungerleider said. In addition, the village will be redoing the station parking lot along Ann Street, which will now be comprised of 100 spaces; and all of the lighting on both sides of the tracks will be replaced to comply with railroad regulations. According to Ungerleider, the station will be heated, but will not have air-conditioning. Mark Rediehs, a lifelong resident of Clarendon Hills and vice president of the Clarendon Hills Chamber of Commerce, said he believes the station upgrades will be very beneficial both to commuters and the village. “I feel the present station is outdated and small,” Rediehs said. “The facilities for shelter are little, [and] the space to shelter all the bikes and mopeds that are driven in to the station to ride the train [is] cramped. The new station will give a new, fresh, updated look for the Village of Clarendon Hills. Being part of a three-tier project [for] the village will bring a fresh new look to the downtown business district.” Rediehs said the new amenities will be more spacious. “The facilities and shelters give more support for our Metra riders, with more shelter space to keep clear from the elements, and more shelter space for bikes and two-wheeled vehicles,” he said. “[Patrons will] even have some work space while waiting for the train, and facilities that will keep the riders safe.” The streetscape improvements, which will commence this fall or next spring, are headlined by the conversion of the GolfBurlington curve to a perpendicular, three-way intersection. Ungerleider said the curve “has been engineered out,” and the intersection will now be a three-way stop, “with an emphasis on pedestrian crossing.” Not only will the perpendicular junction increase safety,

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but the elimination of the curve will open up more space in front of Clarendon Hills village hall. The front lawn will be revamped to be used for public purposes, as a space for art festivals, farmers markets and various other events and activities. The Christmas tree, which is currently illuminated the night of the Christmas walk, will be removed to the opposite (east) side of the front lawn, as Ungerleider said the present tree is sitting on “bad soil.” The memorial at the corner of Prospect and Burlington will be reconstructed, and placed in front of the village boardroom. Meanwhile, at the Prospect-Burlington intersection, the width of both streets will be reduced, making it easier for pedestrians to cross by walking shorter distances. Traveling southbound on Prospect across the tracks, drivers will still be permitted to turn right at Railroad Ave., but the right-turn lane is being removed. “We don’t want anyone stopping those cars,” Ungerleider said. “Anyone who’s on the railroad tracks, we want them to get over and cross.” A bicycle lane is also being added along both sides of Prospect. On the north side of the tracks, where no structure exists currently, a smaller outbound train station will be constructed. The last phase of the project—the gate improvements—is also the most complicated feature of it at present. According to village trustee Greg Jordan, this component, being funded through a $750,000 grant from the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC), involves the installation of an “in-pavement vehicle detection system that would operate as part of the exit gates.” “It would be installed to detect within the crossing, whether there was someone in there, through a radar system,” Jordan said in describing the gate improvements to the village board at its May 20 meeting. Ungerleider said the new gates will prevent cars from passing between them in attempting to cross the tracks, while also prohibiting passengers departing the train from standing on the improper side while waiting to cross. “When we’re crossing the tracks, we find ourselves on the wrong side of the gates when the trains are coming; and you won’t be able to do that as easily when the new system is in,” he said. The ICC grant stipulates that it will contribute 85 percent of the funds, while the village and railroad proprietor Burlington Northern-Santa Fe (BNSF) are responsible for the remaining ten and five percent, respectively. But BNSF is contending that the true cost of the gate improvements is approximately $1.3 million, and is attempting to devolve its five-percent burden onto the village. Accordingly, the village has petitioned the ICC, which is currently in arbitration with BNSF. “Until they work it out, our gates aren’t getting fixed,” Ungerleider said. Ungerleider expects arbitration to last six to nine months, but acknowledged that the timeframe is indefinite. “The good news is that BNSF is a supporter of this


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WWW.MYHOMEWERKS.COM


Hinsdale Magazine | Inside Clarendon Hills

View from the southwest

project, and they want to see it happen,” he said. The arbitration could potentially delay the construction of the outbound train station as well. A large silver box north of the tracks that controls the crossing gates at Prospect and at the nearby pedestrian crossing rests on the site of the planned outbound station. According to Ungerleider, this box will be relocated across the street as part of the gate project. Thus, construction on the outbound station cannot commence until arbitration is resolved. “We’re working with IDOT (the Illinois Department of Transportation) to break the streetscape project into two parts,” he said, “so that way, we can get the streetscape done without the gates and the outbound station. And then, when we’re done with our petition with ICC, and we succeed, the gates will go in, the bungalow will move, and we’ll build our outbound train station.” At present, the village is awaiting bids for the sundry project components, which must be approved by the village board before construction can commence. “We are confident that the project will move us forward by remaking the Metra station and surrounding areas, [and] improve pedestrian access and safety,” Barr said. “It will also improve the appearance for all those riding by on the train. ... We are anxious to see how the bids come in so we can move forward with the project.” Ungerleider said commuters will be inconvenienced by construction, adding that the village will be setting up a temporary parking shelter, but it will still be more difficult to park downtown. “It’s going to be a very painful process,” he said. “We are

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going to have to all work together during the construction of this project; it’s going to be inconvenient and messy at times.” During construction, Ungerleider encouraged commuters, drivers and pedestrians alike to exercise patience, and for local residents to support businesses in downtown Clarendon Hills. “Keep these business-people happy, because they’re going to be sticking around while this mess is going on,” he said. Rediehs said in the long-run, all parties affected will benefit by the project. “Overall, when residents and non-residents come into Clarendon Hills, [whether] from the Metra or driving into town, they will see a what a wonderful town or community Clarendon Hills is, and what a great place to live and shop should be,” he said. “Of course, I think that this would make Clarendon Hills a better place to live, shop and open a new business, thus benefiting the downtown business and chamber members that are there now, and future businesses.” Austin expressed a similar view of the prospective effects of the project. “Personally, I believe in continual reinvestment in the infrastructure of our community,” he said. “Reinvestment in the very focal, visible downtown not only makes for a better place to live, but also creates a much more appealing place for people to consider when relocating their primary home. “Thousands of commuters each day get a sense of what Clarendon Hills is from their window on the train. I believe once these improvements are completed, the impression we will leave with both the train commuters and visitors to town will be greatly improved.” n


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BEST OF 2019

From jewelers and boutiques, restaurants and more, our readers have spoken in a survey that produced thousands of votes— here are your 2019 winners! BY HINSDALE MAGAZINE STAFF

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Food & Drink ASIAN Jade Dragon, Hinsdale Nabuki, Hinsdale Wild Ginger, Hinsdale FRENCH Little Creperie, Clarendon Hills Mon Ami Gabi, Oak Brook Vie, Western Springs

Parker’s in Downers Grove has been voted the best seafood restaurant for four consecutive years in Hinsdale Magazine’s 2016-2019 reader favorites surveys. Pictured is Parker’s Salmon Veracruz.

F

rom best steakhouse to best coffee house, for the fourth consecutive year, Hinsdale Magazine’s Best of Reader Favorites results are in. For the past several months, we’ve asked the

community to share its favorites for our annual “Best of Reader Favorites” in this special July issue. In 40 categories spanning dining, entertainment, retail and personal services, our readers have submitted their votes, and we congratulate this year’s nominees. HM readers, enjoy this insider’s guide to the best businesses and services the Hinsdale area has to offer.

What’s the best restaurant in Hinsdale for

a romantic date night? What’s the boutique you

ITALIAN Capri Ristorante, Burr Ridge Davanti Enoteca, Western Springs Il Poggiolo Ristorante, Hinsdale MEXICAN Cafe Salsa, Countryside Taco Grill, Westmont Uncle Julio’s, Lombard ROMANTIC Capri Ristorante, Burr Ridge Mon Ami Gabi, Oak Brook Vie, Western Springs SEAFOOD Devon Seafood & Steak, Oakbrook Terrace Parker’s, Downers Grove Seasons 52, Oak Brook STEAK Eddie Merlot’s, Burr Ridge Gibsons, Oak Brook The Capital Grille, Lombard SUSHI Dao, Burr Ridge Nabuki, Hinsdale Sushi House, Westmont IRISH PUB Ballydoyle, Downers Grove Irish Times, Brookfield Kerry Piper, Willowbrook SPORTS BAR Fuller House, Hinsdale Grill 89, Westmont York Tavern, Oak Brook BREWERY Emmett’s Brewing Co., Downers Grove Fuller House, Hinsdale Miskatonic Brewing Company, Darien

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PHOTOGRAPH BY JIM PRISCHING

Fuller House has been voted one of the best burger restaurants for four consecutive years in Hinsdale Magazine’s Best of Reader Favorites 2016-2019 surveys.

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Sweet Spots & More BAKERY Kirschbaum’s, Western Springs Kirsten’s Danish Bakery, Burr Ridge Toni Patisserie and Café, Hinsdale BREAKFAST Egg Harbor Café, Hinsdale Page’s Restaurant, Hinsdale Yia Yia’s Pancake House, Hinsdale BRUNCH Seasons 52, Oak Brook The Drake Hotel, Oak Brook Vistro, Hinsdale COFFEE HOUSE Cafe La Fortuna, Hinsdale Owl & Lark, La Grange Starbucks, Hinsdale BARBECUE Chuck’s Southern Comforts Café, Darien Q-BBQ, La Grange Uncle Bub’s BBQ, Westmont Toni Patisserie has been voted one of the best bakeries for four consecutive years in Hinsdale Magazine’s Best of Reader Favorites 2016-2019 surveys.

should know about? Which hairstylist is renowned for his blowouts? Who’s the tailor everyone trusts? The go-to florist for artful arrangements? The personal trainer who gets results? The groomer your dog will love? The dentist your kids will love?—It’s all here for you.

Get a closer look at the winners on our HM+

pages at www.HinsdaleMag.com for a direct link to the Web site, and book your table or appointment to your favorites.

From hair salons to day spas, dentists to

doctors, jewelers to gyms, we’ve asked a variety of well-known people in the community to share their secret spots and services. Look no further than

BURGER Country House, Clarendon Hills Fuller House, Hinsdale Vistro, Hinsdale ICE CREAM Andy’s Frozen Custard, Countryside Dips & Dogs, Hinsdale Oberweis, Western Springs SANDWICHES Fontano’s Subs, Hinsdale Jimmy John’s, Hinsdale Panera Bread, Hinsdale CASUAL Country House, Clarendon Hills Fuller House, Hinsdale Vistro, Hinsdale OUTDOOR DINING Gibsons, Oak Brook Palmer Place, La Grange Topaz Café, Burr Ridge PIZZA Giordano’s, Oak Brook Giuliano’s Pizza, Hinsdale Lou Malnati’s, Western Springs

HINSDALE MAGAZINE | HinsdaleMag.com

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Luxury & Style JEWELERS Bella Cosa, Willowbrook Merry Richards, Oakbrook Terrace Razny, Hinsdale SALON / SPA iDesign Salon & Blowdry Bar, Hinsdale Levato Salon & Skin Lab, Hinsdale Mario Tricoci, Oak Brook MANICURE / PEDICURE Bozena Day Spa, Countryside Magic Nails, Burr Ridge Mani & Pedi, Hinsdale LUXURY HOTEL Four Seasons, Chicago The Drake Hotel, Oak Brook The Peninsula, Chicago FITNESS CENTER Life Time Fitness, Burr Ridge Orangetheory Fitness, Willowbrook Spark Fitness, Hinsdale YOGA / PILATES CorePower Yoga, Hinsdale Life Time Fitness, Burr Ridge Plate28, Hinsdale DEPARTMENT STORE Macy’s, Oak Brook Nordstrom, Oak Brook Von Maur, Lombard MEN’S CLOTHING Jos. A. Bank, Oak Brook Men’s Wearhouse, Oakbrook Terrace Nordstrom, Oak Brook WOMEN’S BOUTIQUE Lepa Boutique, Burr Ridge Sweet William, Hinsdale Vintage Charm, Hinsdale

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Hinsdale Magazine for the inside scoop on all the best the Hinsdale area has to offer men, women, couples, families, kids and even pets. We’ve got it covered.

Finally, keep the conversation going, and

visit our Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/ TheHinsdaleMagazine, and let us know your favorites. You can see the published list at www. HinsdaleMag.com, and tell us how this 2019 list compares with yours. We will catalogue your responses for our 2020 Best of Reader Favorites.

Thank you, readers, for your valuable input

this year. n


Home & Lifestyle

PHOTOGRAPH BY JIM PRISCHING

FURNITURE / DECOR Linly Designs, Clarendon Hills Room & Board, Oak Brook Walter E. Smithe, Oak Brook

The Drake Hotel in Oak Brook has been nominated in three categories, for the third consecutive year, as best luxury hotel, banquets and brunch.

FLOORING DeSitter Flooring, La Grange Georgia Carpets, Westmont Yonan Carpet One, Downers Grove HOME IMPROVEMENT / CONTRACTOR Fuller’s Home & Hardware, Hinsdale The Home Depot LaMantia, Hinsdale FLORIST / GARDEN CENTER Jane’s Blue Iris, Hinsdale Phillip’s Flowers & Gifts, Hinsdale The English Garden, Clarendon Hills GROCERS Kramer Foods, Hinsdale Pete’s Fresh Market, Willowbrook Whole Foods, Hinsdale & Willowbrook DRY CLEANERS CD One Price Cleaners, Downers Grove Gateway Cleaners, Hinsdale Silk Road Cleaners, Hinsdale BANQUETS Ashton Place, Willowbrook The Drake Hotel, Oak Brook Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace FINANCIAL INSTITUTION BMO Harris Bank, Hinsdale Chase Bank, Hinsdale Hinsdale Bank & Trust, Hinsdale

Phillips Flowers in Hinsdale has been nominated best florist for four consecutive years.

AUTO SALES & SERVICE Fuller’s Service Center, Hinsdale McGrath Lexus, Westmont Mercedes Benz, Westmont

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HM | Community Scene

ROARING WHIRL GALA PHOTOS BY JIM SCHULZ AND KELLY TONE

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The Chicago Zoological Society’s (CZS) Women’s Board and Board of Trustees hosted its 38th annual black-tie gala on April 27, at Brookfield Zoo. The organization’s largest fundraiser of the year, attracting more than 600 corporate, civic and philanthropic leaders from throughout the Chicagoland area, raised more than $1.4 million. This year’s theme, “roaring whirl 2019,” celebrated the 100th anniversary of the land donation by Edith Rockefeller McCormick to the Forest Preserves of Cook County for the express purpose of creating a modern zoo. The evening also featured a paddle raise, raffle and live auction. Proceeds from the whirl support the animals at Brookfield Zoo, as well as CZS conservation, education and research programs.

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For more information about the Chicago Zoological Society, visit www.czs.org. 5

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1. DuPage County chairman Dan Cronin, CZS trustee Heidi Huizenga and Juli Cronin; 2. Gail and Kurt Vandenburg; 3. Chicago Zoological Society trustee Dr. Bonny Chen and Jim Olguin; 4. Animal care specialist Maggie Chardell, CZS Board of Trustees chairman John Grube, 2019 whirl co-chairs Barbara Bradford and Romana Malinowski, and CZS president and CEO Dr. Stuart Strahl; 5. Katherine Lewis, CZS Women’s Board member Irene Wood and Kerry Lynch


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HM | Community Scene

HJWC IT’S A WRAP PHOTOS BY DANIEL GARCIA

The Hinsdale Junior Woman’s Club (HJWC) presented checks to 18 regional non-profit organizations totaling $280,000 at its It’s a Wrap event at The Community House in Hinsdale on May 8. The HJWC modified its charitable giving format during the 2018-19 club year, moving from donating to one beneficiary to fulfilling grant requests submitted by multiple charities. The club raised its record-breaking total of $280,000, eclipsing the previous fundraising mark set in 2017, through its annual benefit, “Outside Your Element.” Charitable beneficiaries that received a check included Aspire, the Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation, The Community House and Wellness House. It’s a Wrap marking the final club meeting of the HJWC year, the 2018-19 board passed the baton to the 2019-20 board. For more information about the Hinsdale Junior Woman’s Club, visit www.hjwc.us.

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1. HJWC 2018-19 fundraising total; 2. Anne Otzen with representatives from Giant Steps; 3. Jen Lonteen and Joy Anderson

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HM | Community Scene

A ROYAL GARDEN PARTY PHOTOS BY DANIEL GARCIA

The Service Club of Chicago welcomed roughly 300 guests to its annual spring luncheon at The Drake Hotel in Oak Brook. The live auction featured a fournight stay in London, with a tour of historic sites given by Mr. Dillamore, as well as unique and rare photos of Queen Elizabeth II., Princess Diana and the White Garden, commissioned by Princes Harry and William on the 20th anniversary of their mother’s death. It was a whirlwind of a day that set a new fundraising record of more than $160,000 to support philanthropic grants for 2020.

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For more information, please visit www. serviceclubofchicago.org.

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1. Jean Antoniou and Sharyl Mackey; 2. Maria Giordano and Mary Claire Moll; 3. Cheryl Coleman; 4. April Schwartz and Kim Jones; 5. Guests at the Service Club of Chicago Royal Garden party; 6. Sherry Lea Fox

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JOIN US! Hosted with Corso Wines

Thursday, July 11 at 6:30pm Reception — Amuse 2018 Le Provencal Cotes Provence Rosé

ENROLL IN WINE SCHOOL TODAY! Wine... if you love it you might as well get to know it. Join our classes and come taste with us! THE COMMUNITY HOUSE ONCE A WEEK 7-10 PM, 6-WEEK SESSIONS Work in the city and can’t make it home in time for class? No problem, we just added a weekly class in the city! Visit our website to check out our new venue and to register for either session. Email us with any questions.

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HM | Community Scene

ARMED FORCES DAY PHOTOS BY WILLIAM EVAN JONLICH

Burr Ridge celebrated Armed Forces Day on May 18 at the Burr Ridge Veterans Memorial in front of village hall. The event included guest speaker Mark Farina, the West Suburban Concert Band and the awarding of the sixth annual Patriot’s Award to Bruce Harken. The celebration was hosted by the Burr Ridge Veterans Memorial committee.

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For more information on the Burr Ridge Veterans Memorial, visit www.facebook.com/ BurrRidgeVeteransMemorialCommittee.

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1. Marine Corps veteran; 2. Eagle sculpture donated by Straub family; 3. VFW Illinois rider; 4. Mickey Straub, Jerry and Carolyn Kostelny, Fr. Thomas Koys of St. James on the Sag Church in Lemont and Burr Ridge mayor Gary Grasso; 5. Burr Ridge Veterans Memorial; 6. Firemen and paramedics from the Pleasantdale Fire District


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HM | Community Scene

MEMORIAL DAY PARADE PHOTOS BY MIKE ELLIS

Hinsdale American Legion Post 250 held its annual Memorial Day parade and observance in downtown Hinsdale on May 27. The parade rolled down Washington Street, and in addition to members of the American Legion post, featured Hinsdale village president Tom Cauley and Willowbrook mayor Frank Trilla. The Hinsdale Central marching band and color guard performed, followed by sundry Boy and Girl Scout troops that walked the route, including Clarendon Hills Cub Scout Pack 51. The parade proceeded across the railroad tracks to the Hinsdale Memorial Building, the site of the observance. Anne Ascher of Clarendon Hills performed the national anthem, accompanied by the Central marching band. Ascher also sang solo renditions of “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” and “God Bless America” during the service. DuPage County board member Greg Hart recognized the American Legion post for its 100th anniversary, reading a proclamation on behalf of the county board. The bulk of the service consisted of local schoolchildren reading their prizewinning essays and speeches. Anastasia Gilinski, Elizabeth Tabachnikov and Rohan Chadha each read their essays, while Aiste Austrevicius and Brandon Walker delivered their speeches. All of the student pieces focused on voting in the United States, chronicling the expansion of the elective franchise from the early days of the nation. George Hogrewe of Hinsdale, a World War II veteran and past commander of Post 250, then recited the famous war poem, “In Flanders Field,” from memory.

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1. Parade through downtown Hinsdale; 2. Hinsdale Central marching band; 3. Veteran salutes during ceremony at Hinsdale Memorial Building; 4. Cub Scouts


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CARS, COCKTAILS & PLANES BMO Harris Bank, in partnership with NetJets, Loeber Motors, Ultimo Motors and Perkaus, brought together more than 100 aviation and automotive enthusiasts at the Chicago Executive Airport in Wheeling, where they were given the opportunity to tour an Embraer Phenom 300 and a Cessna Citation Latitude, as well as to see some of the latest luxury vehicles on the market. 1

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1. Joe DiLallo, Jenna Schlageter, John Perkaus and John McCormick; 2. Chicago Executive Airport hangar; 3. Aviation and automotive enthusiasts; 4. Cessna Citation Latitude and the latest in luxury vehicles; 5. Henry Munez 58

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Hinsdale Magazine | WORLD

CUBA Explore Havana like a local WORDS AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY MARK CHALABALA


C

lose your eyes and come up with three things related to Cuba. Chances are good you thought of Fidel Castro, cigars and old cars. During my two weeks in and around Havana, I had a chance to experience all of these and more, as my camera led the way. Havana is where the plane lands, but you get to decide whether to come from the U.S. or Mexico. The “U.S.” option requires declaring your intentions and other considerations. Going from Mexico required nothing more than a wave to the flight attendants as you boarded. A quick travel tip here: Cuba charges a ten percent fee to convert American dollars, the Euro and GBP to Cuban CUC. And perhaps more importantly, there is no WiFi available on the island. Not all towns have the same access to food, and the Spanish spoken here is not what you were taught in high school. But back to those main three thoughts. Fidel Castro and his compadre Che Guevara are everywhere. Posters, murals and street art— there’s no escaping the politics of the place. Most tourists who arrive by ship are guided towards the “gringo section,” a mile-long promenade from the harbor to a half-sized replica of the White House. With more time, you can see so much more of Cuba, and some of it isn’t as clean as it is along the

Havana horizon

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Havana Road Show

“gringo.” While Fidel is revered for his love of the people, the practicalities of life in Cuba make this a debatable point. If you have a day in Havana, take a city tour by vintage car. On a longer visit between cities, you’re forced to travel in a vintage car. I traveled by ’56 Dodge, and came to a painful realization on the way: your first two hours in a vintage car are magical; after that, the magic wears off quickly, bouncing along on 65-year-old springs. I went to four cities during my two weeks: Havana, Vinales, Trinidad and Cienfuegos. Each city had a featured “food” option the others didn’t seem to have, which is something you notice if you eat from local shops and not the restaurants. The old-town section of Havana was a photographer’s dream, with vintage everything, and crowded, narrow streets full of locals transacting business among the faded colors and glory of what was once a vibrant world attraction. I ended up shooting here for almost a week, and there was still more to see, but I had to move on.—Being the biggest city, I thought Havana would have access to all foods, but I was wrong. Vinales has a national park that is also a Unesco World Heritage site. You hike, horseback and load up on cigars here, buying from the manufacturers.—Vinales had cookies. Trinidad is seven hours from Vinales, and this is where

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you really experience “old springs”—I was never so glad to get out of a car in my life. Trinidad has cobblestone streets crammed with horse-drawn carts, cars, bicycles and throngs of people—it’s wonderful. The beach was almost deserted, and I had no problem getting a lounge chair and umbrella.— Trinidad had potato chips. The drive towards Cienfuegos is only two hours, and it’s another port town, with cruise ship departees mixing with more regular tourists. The old section of town may rival Havana in architectural splendor, and is probably more walkable, at about one-tenth the size.—Cienfuegos had chocolate. I left Cuba with a much better understanding of the realities the locals face on a daily basis. The camera found plenty of work, and I walked plenty of miles along the way. The sites, people and yes, the cars, make for an unforgettable experience. I never realized how much I enjoyed junk food until I couldn’t get it. When you get to Cuba, be sure to charge your camera batteries—you’re going to need them. n To learn more about Mark Chalabala world travels, please visit www.bienthere.com.


WWW.SYNERGYHOMEREMODEL.COM


DIVEHEART IN DEPTH

Gabe Spataro makes a visit to the statue of Christ that he arranged to be brought to the Keys a half century ago. The Christ statue is the most viewed underwater object in the world.

Christ of

THE DEEP

HALF A CENTURY AFTER ENSHRINING A FAMOUS ITALIAN STATUE OF CHRIST BENEATH THE WAVES, THE NOW-BLIND DIVER GABE SPATARO PROVES HIMSELF TO BE A SOURCE OF INSPIRATION

Legend and blind Korean Conflict veteran Gabriel Spataro waited until 2013 to dive the Christ statue that he brought to the U.S. in the early 1960’s. This Diveheart in-depth story is a true journey of the Christ statue from Italy to Chicago and then Key Largo, Fla., where the statue now resides as the most viewed underwater object in the world. The statue Spataro brought to America back in the 1960s has generated more than a billion dollars in tourism revenue. A humble man and member of the Italian-American Hall of Fame, Spataro will never toot his own horn, but at 86 and blind, this army veteran, who is an amazing storyteller, volunteers regularly at Shriners Hospital for Children, where he makes balloon animals, and Hines Veterans Hospital. Learn how Diveheart founder Jim Elliott met Spataro, and how this national hero finally had the

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opportunity to dive and see the Christ statue underwater for the first time for himself.

HOW DID YOU DISCOVER SCUBADIVING WHEN YOU RETURNED FROM THE KOREAN CONFLICT?

I ran a family restaurant in Chicago, and one night, I was talking with guests, and they were talking about scuba-diving. I said, what is scuba diving? They said, come and see tomorrow with us up at Lake Geneva in Wisconsin. So I went up and tried it. Back then, you didn’t need a scuba certification; you just needed to know someone with the equipment. They used to call it bootleg diving. I finally got certified with Diveheart through the blind center at Hines Veterans Hospital much later.

WHEN DID YOU FIRST HEAR OF “IL CRISTO DEGLI ABISSI?”

I was on a wine tour in Italy when I ran into the creator of the statue. He made three nine-foot bronze statues of Christ; two were put on dive sites in Italy, and the third he wanted to donate to America. But we had to figure out how to get the statue to the states. My father’s friend ran an Italian shipping company, and we got it to Chicago for free. We stored it in a national guard plane hangar until, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, we were able to get a military plane to bring it down to the Keys. It sat in a warehouse for years, and I lost track of it. It wasn’t until 2013 that I had a chance to dive the statue with Diveheart.

WHAT WAS IT LIKE TO BE IN THE STATUE’S PRESENCE AFTER FIVE DECADES?

It was very moving—like seeing an old friend. It was funny how I was able to


go down and dive on the statue after all that time. Jim Elliott was driving me home in 2013 after a Diveheart fundraiser that I went to. I told him that I was going to dive the Christ statue with a couple of my Korean War buddies. He said, “Well, you’ve probably [dived] the statue many times since the ‘60s.” I said, “No, I’ve never been diving on the Christ statue. This will be my first time.” He [asked whom] are you diving it with? I said, “My buddy Vinnie, who has one leg, and my buddy Louie, who is also blind.” Jim said, “What dive operation is taking you miles out in the ocean to dive on the Christ statue?” I said, “We’re going out on Vinnie’s 12-foot fishing boat.” He looked at me and said, “Two blind guys and one amputee, all in your 80s, are going out miles onto the ocean in a 12-foot fishing boat to dive the Christ statue?—You’re all going to die,” he said, laughing. He then picked up the phone and called his friend D.J., who owned Rainbow Reef dive center in Key Largo. D.J. cleared eight paid spots on one of his 45-foot dive boats, and we went out with Rainbow Reef and Diveheart to dive the statue for the first time. It was amazing—very spiritual. I’m glad Jim intervened, because in retrospect, it might not have been such a good idea for the three of us old guys to go out alone in Vinnie’s boat to dive the statue. It all ended well, and the Miami Herald covered the event, and did a front-page story about it. It even changed history, because the Miami Herald originally reported that the Christ statue came to America through New York—but it didn’t; it came in through Chicago at Navy Pier. The ring buoy that said New York was in the old photos of the statue when it arrived, because the Italian shipping company was based in New York; but it really came in through Navy Pier. Diveheart adaptive dive buddies kept me safe on the dive. I’ve been back several times now with Diveheart. They helped make a dream come true for this old, blind Korean War veteran. I can’t thank them enough.

WWW.VILLASTBEN.ORG

LUXURY ISSUE AUGUST 2019

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Parker’s in Downers Grove has been voted the best seafood restaurant for four consecutive years in Hinsdale Magazine’s 2016-2019 reader favorites surveys. Pictured is Parker’s Salmon Veracruz.


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Food & Drink ASIAN Jade Dragon, Hinsdale Nabuki, Hinsdale Wild Ginger, Hinsdale

www.jadedragonhinsdale.com www.nabukihinsdale.com www. wildgingerhinsdale.carry-out.com

FRENCH Little Creperie, Clarendon Hills Mon Ami Gabi, Oak Brook Vie, Western Springs

www.littlecreperieclarendonhills.com www.monamigabi.com www.vierestaurant.com

ITALIAN Capri Ristorante, Burr Ridge Davanti Enoteca, Western Springs Il Poggiolo Ristorante, Hinsdale

www.capriristorante.com www.davantienoteca.com www.ilpoggiolohinsdale.com

MEXICAN Cafe Salsa, Countryside Taco Grill, Westmont Uncle Julio’s, Lombard

www.cafesalsa.com www.tacogrillsalsabar.com www.unclejulios.com/locations/lombard-oakbrook

ROMANTIC Capri Ristorante, Burr Ridge Mon Ami Gabi, Oak Brook Vie, Western Springs

www.capriristorante.com www.monamigabi.com www.vierestaurant.com

SEAFOOD Devon Seafood & Steak, Oakbrook Terrace Parker’s, Downers Grove Seasons 52, Oak Brook

www.devonseafood.com/Oakbrook-Terrace www.parkersamerican.com www.seasons52.com

STEAK Eddie Merlot’s, Burr Ridge Gibsons, Oak Brook The Capital Grille, Lombard

www.eddiemerlots.com www.gibsonssteakhouse.com www.thecapitalgrille.com

SUSHI Dao, Burr Ridge Nabuki, Hinsdale Sushi House, Westmont

www.daosushiandthai.com/wpbr www.nabukihinsdale.com www.mysushihouse.com/westmont

IRISH PUB Ballydoyle, Downers Grove Irish Times, Brookfield Kerry Piper, Willowbrook

www.ballydoylepub.com www.irishtimespub.com www.kerrypiper.com

SPORTS BAR Fuller House, Hinsdale Grill 89, Oakbrook Terrace York Tavern, Oak Brook

www.fullerhousebar.com www.grill89.com www.yorktavernoakbrook.com

BREWERY Emmett’s Brewing Co., Downers Grove Fuller House, Hinsdale Miskatonic Brewing Company, Darien

www.emmettsbrewingco.com www.fullerhousebar.com www.miskatonicbrewing.com

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BEST OF 2019

Fuller House has been voted one of the best burger restaurants for four consecutive years in Hinsdale Magazine’s Best of Reader Favorites 2016-2019 surveys.

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PHOTOGRAPH BY JIM PRISCHING

Sweet Spots & More BAKERY Kirschbaum’s, Western Springs Kirsten’s Danish Bakery, Burr Ridge Toni Patisserie and Café, Hinsdale

www.kirschbaumsbakery.com www.kirstensdb.com www.tonipatisserie.com

BREAKFAST Egg Harbor Café, Hinsdale Page’s Restaurant, Hinsdale Yia Yia’s Pancake House, Hinsdale

www.eggharborcafe.com/hinsdale www.facebook.com/pagesrestaurant www.yiayiashinsdale.com

BRUNCH Seasons 52, Oak Brook The Drake Hotel, Oak Brook Vistro, Hinsdale

www.seasons52.com www.thedrakeoakbrookhotel.com www.vistrorestaurant.com

COFFEE HOUSE Cafe La Fortuna, Hinsdale Owl & Lark, La Grange Starbucks, Hinsdale

www.cafelafortuna.com www.owlandlark.com www.starbucks.com

BARBECUE Chuck’s Southern Comforts Café, Darien Q-BBQ, La Grange Uncle Bub’s BBQ, Westmont

www.chuckscafe.com www.q-bbq.com www.unclebubs.com

BURGER Country House, Clarendon Hills Fuller House, Hinsdale Vistro, Hinsdale

www.burgerone.com www.fullerhousebar.com www.vistrorestaurant.com

ICE CREAM Andy’s Frozen Custard, Countryside Dips & Dogs, Hinsdale Oberweis, Western Springs

www.eatandys.com www.facebook.com/DipsandDogs www.oberweis.com

SANDWICHES Fontano’s Subs, Hinsdale Jimmy John’s, Hinsdale Panera Bread, Hinsdale

www.facebook.com/pages/Fontanos-Subs www.jimmyjohns.com www..panerabread.com

CASUAL Country House, Clarendon Hills Fuller House, Hinsdale Vistro, Hinsdale

www.burgerone.com www.fullerhousebar.com www.vistrorestaurant.com

OUTDOOR DINING Gibsons, Oak Brook Palmer Place, La Grange Topaz Café, Burr Ridge

www.gibsonssteakhouse.com www.palmerslagrange.com www.topazcafe.com

PIZZA Giordano’s, Oak Brook Giuliano’s Pizza, Hinsdale Lou Malnati’s, Western Springs

www.giordanos.com www.giulianospizza.com www.loumalnatis.com/western-springs

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BEST OF 2019

The Drake Hotel in Oak Brook has been nominated in three categories, for the third consecutive year, as best luxury hotel, banquets and brunch.

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PHOTOGRAPH BY JIM PRISCHING

Luxury & Style JEWELERS Bella Cosa, Willowbrook Merry Richards, Oakbrook Terrace Razny, Hinsdale

www.bellacosajewelers.com www.merryrichardsjewelers.com www.razny.com

SALON / SPA iDesign Salon & Blowdry Bar, Hinsdale Levato Salon & Skin Lab, Hinsdale Mario Tricoci, Oak Brook

www.idesignsalon.com www.levatosalon.com www.tricoci.com/locations/oak-brook

MANICURE / PEDICURE Bozena Day Spa, Countryside Magic Nails, Burr Ridge Mani & Pedi, Hinsdale

www.bozenadayspa.com www.magicnailsalon.com www.instagram.com/414mani.pedi

LUXURY HOTEL Four Seasons, Chicago The Drake Hotel, Oak Brook The Peninsula, Chicago

www.fourseasons.com/chicago www.thedrakeoakbrookhotel.com www.peninsula.com

FITNESS CENTER Life Time Fitness, Burr Ridge Orangetheory Fitness, Willowbrook Spark Fitness, Hinsdale

www.lifetime.life www.orangetheoryfitness.com www.sparkhinsdale.com

YOGA / PILATES CorePower Yoga, Hinsdale Life Time Fitness, Burr Ridge Plate28, Hinsdale

www.corepoweryoga.com www.lifetime.life www.plate28.co

DEPARTMENT STORE Macy’s, Oak Brook Nordstrom, Oak Brook Von Maur, Lombard

www.macys.com www.nordstrom.com www.vonmaur.com

MEN’S CLOTHING Jos. A. Bank, Oak Brook Men’s Wearhouse, Oakbrook Terrace Nordstrom, Oak Brook

www.josbank.com www.menswearhouse.com www.nordstrom.com

WOMEN’S BOUTIQUE Lepa Boutique, Burr Ridge Sweet William, Hinsdale Vintage Charm, Hinsdale

www.lepaboutique.com www.sweetwilliaminc.com www.shopvintagecharm.com

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Home & Lifestyle FURNITURE / DECOR Linly Designs, Clarendon Hills Room & Board, Oak Brook Walter E. Smithe, Oak Brook

www.linlydesigns.com www.roomandboard.com www.smithe.com

FLOORING DeSitter Flooring, La Grange Georgia Carpets, Westmont Yonan Carpet One, Downers Grove

www.desitterflooring.com www.georgiacarpets.com www.yonancarpetone.com

HOME IMPROVEMENT / CONTRACTOR Fuller’s Home & Hardware, Hinsdale The Home Depot LaMantia, Hinsdale

www.fullershomeandhardware.com www.homedepot.com www.lamantia.com

FLORIST / GARDEN CENTER Jane’s Blue Iris, Hinsdale Phillip’s Flowers & Gifts, Hinsdale The English Garden, Clarendon Hills

www.janesblueiris.com www.phillips-flowers.com www.egflowershop.com

GROCERS Kramer Foods, Hinsdale Pete’s Fresh Market, Willowbrook Whole Foods, Hinsdale & Willowbrook

www.kramerfoods.com www.petesfresh.com www.wholefoodsmarket.com

DRY CLEANERS CD One Price Cleaners, Downers Grove Gateway Cleaners, Hinsdale Silk Road Cleaners, Hinsdale

www.cdonepricecleaners.com 777 N York Rd # 7, Hinsdale, (630) 789-2121 www.facebook.com/SRCHinsdale

BANQUETS Ashton Place, Willowbrook The Drake Hotel, Oak Brook Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace

www.ashtonplace.com www.thedrakeoakbrookhotel.com www.drurylane.com

FINANCIAL INSTITUTION BMO Harris Bank, Hinsdale Chase Bank, Hinsdale Hinsdale Bank & Trust, Hinsdale

www.bmoharris.com www.chase.com www.hinsdalebank.com

AUTO SALES & SERVICE Fuller’s Service Center, Hinsdale McGrath Lexus, Westmont Mercedes Benz, Westmont

www.fullersservicecenter.com www.mcgrathlex.com www.mercedesbenzofwestmont.com

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Memorial Day Parade Hinsdale American Legion Post 250 annual Memorial Day parade and observance in downtown Hinsdale PHOTOS BY MIKE ELLIS

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It’s A Wrap 82

The Hinsdale Junior Woman’s Club (HJWC) presented checks to 18 regional non-profit organizations totaling $280,000.

PHOTOS BY MIKE ELLIS

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CUBA Two weeks among the colors, cars, and cigars of Cuba

WORDS AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY MARK CHALABALA | WWW.BIENTHERE.COM

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Walking thru Havana with Camera and white beard, it’s tough to go unseen, so you sit and wait. This woman had been hanging laundry and came into frame after about ten minutes.

A Cuban Tableaux


This was my taxi “ride” from Havana to Vinales. These cars are about looks, not comfort. Vinales in Style

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The public squares in Havana are the meeting spots for all the taxis to congregate. Not all vintage cars are in the same class.

Grilling in Havana

Along Havana Street near the water, you come across this block of street art. There are at least five separate apartments behind the door near the gorilla’s mouth.

Street Art on Hanava Street


The sun was setting on another long day with the lens. The exterior of this car was pretty beat but somehow the light streaming in thru the battered windscreen gave a muted light necessary to pull this shot off. 90

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Puesta Del Sol Amarillo


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The Mercado opens around 7am daily, and the chatter among old friends seems to have begun long before that. Here’s where the real dealing is done in Havana.

San Rafael Morning Market

Capturing the street art in a given city is a great way to see, and be seen around the world. To “collect” all the art in Havana’s “old town” took almost six days. Colores en la Calle


COMIN Exclusive interview with Brian J. Moran MD, Medical Director of Chicago Prostate Cancer Center PHOTOGRAPHY BY DANIEL GARCIA

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Profile for Hinsdale Magazine

Hinsdale Magazine July 2019  

Hinsdale Magazine's annual Best of Reader Favorites July 2019 features the best of the best in dining, shopping, personal services and much...

Hinsdale Magazine July 2019  

Hinsdale Magazine's annual Best of Reader Favorites July 2019 features the best of the best in dining, shopping, personal services and much...