Most of you know that the Dunes Theater was torn down and is no longer there, but what ever happened to that little shop called Primetime Sportscards & Collectibles? The shop had to abruptly close down early last year, due to flooding caused by a bursting pipe. That was it! Bill Schiller was heartbroken! He had opened the shop on July 1, 1995, then, without warning, the small storefront was closed 19 years later. Bill originally started his card-collecting shop in his father's (Art Schiller) sporting goods store in 1990. It was a hit right away! Bill was excited, and saw a future in the card-collecting business, eventually taking over the store.
When he opened up his second shop in Zion, in 1995, there were over 30 card shops in Lake County. But running 2 shops was too difficult, so Bill decided to stay at the Dunes Theater location, and moved his family to Zion in 1996. He continued running this shop, until he was forced to close down last year, due to the flood. But that is not the end of the story! Bill, being determined, found a new location at 1711 Lewis Avenue, just south of 173.
Now, Primetime Sportscards & Collectibles is up and running again, bigger and better than ever! Bill's place is now one of only 2 card shops in the county. The phone number (847-746-CARD) is still the same, prices are still good, but now the shop is opened 7 days a week. Bill hosts tournaments for Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh! and Magic The Gathering every week. Whether you want to buy, sell, trade, or just to say hi, stop in... Bill would be glad to see you! Hours are Monday - Friday, 1-6 pm, and Saturday - Sunday, 12-4 pm. See his ad in this issue of The Town Sound!
By now, nearly everyone knows that Harbor Foods is closing up. Owner Ed Ambrose, who is feeling terrible about the closing, issued a statement: "I'm sorry to report that our store had a major refrigeration breakdown, causing loss of all frozen and most refrigerated food. The cost for such a great loss and replacing the system is too high for this small family business to absorb. I would like to thank the large number of loyal employees and customers that have become our dearest friends over the last 45 years."
That would date back to 1970, the same year that Ed Ambrose and Tom Wallace made a deal to acquire the old IGA store. Ed was 23 years old at the time and Tom was a little older. Ed is still the owner, but Tom has moved on and lives in Florida. Tom's son, Rich Wallace, 50, took over for his dad as head butcher, and has been a major part of the daily operations. Rich remembers in the very beginning, at 6 years old, helping with whatever he could in the store. He has been with the store ever since. He said that he knows over half the customers by name, and that the customers make the job enjoyable. Rich is hurting over the decision to close, and even feels responsible to a certain degree. He said, referring to the store, "It's like losing a family member."
The store's name changed from IGA to Centrella Harbor Foods, but not much else has changed. Many of the customers, including Micael Perini, still refer to the store as IGA. Micael wasn't even born when IGA was in business, but he said that is what his mom always called it. He referred to Harbor Foods as a "good old-fashioned, home-town store." He said that many people are devastated, and said, "I don't know what this town is going to do without this store." Another loyal customer, Dirk Ostrander, whose dad managed the A&P store in Zion until it closed, said, "It's very sad." He was perplexed, and said, "What am I going to do now? Where am I going to go?!" He said that Harbor Foods was a big part of the community.
Rich said that Ed is feeling bad about letting down the community, and that Ed is taking this very hard. In his statement, Ed said, "We may be back in a smaller capacity and new location with the same quality meat and produce our customers have come to expect." Debbie Coan, insurance agent for American Family, has been in business for 15 years, in the same plaza as Harbor Foods since 2006, and has known Ed for 25 years. Debbie said that Ed has done so much for the community. He has always been willing to help anyone who asks, and he has never expected anything in return. She went on to say, "We need to have more people in the world like him!"
Jody Robison, 47, who started working at Harbor Foods at the age of 16, said that Ed was very big-hearted. Since 2009, Jody has been committed to the store, and has been the grocery manager for some time. He said, "We had no choice but to close up... it's very unfortunate!" It's uncertain if they will open up again. Ed and Rich did meet with the landlord, Bobby Teligadas, on February 18, but nothing was settled. Rich remains very optimistic, and hopes for the best. He said that Ed really feels bad for the customers, especially for the ones who rely on their delivery service, and also for his employees. Who knows... maybe there will be an IGA in Winthrop Harbor's future. For now, stop in and say your goodbyes and take advantage of the markdowns.
Kyle Wenzel is the service manager for Wenzel's Automotive Service & Tire Center located at 1101 Sheridan Road in Winthrop Harbor. But it all started 60 years back in 1955, with his grandfather, Joseph Wenzel. That is the year that Joseph opened Wenzel's Automotive & Gas in Waukegan (2503 Washington Street). He had 9 children and Kevin (Kyle's dad) was one of them.
Kevin took over operations in 1985. Wenzel's doesn't sell gas anymore, but they have a complete auto maintenance and repair service. Kevin opened another shop in the Harbor in 2001. Kyle at 12 years old did whatever he could to help out, and at age 16 worked as a mechanic after school, from 3-5.
Kyle went to WYO Tech in 2006 and in 2007 participated in the elite BMW Step Program. He graduated at the top of his class, achieving master status. Kyle is now BMW Master certified as well as ASE Certified. In 2010, Kyle became service manager of the shop in Winthrop Harbor, while his dad, Kevin, continued taking care of the Waukegan shop. Both currently reside in Winthrop Harbor.
Certifications line the wall of the shop. Kyle said, "I strive to be the best at what I do. I take pride in fixing what other shops can't." They have a 24 month warranty on all their services. If there is ever a problem, just talk to Kyle... he'll take care of you! Come in and say hi and help celebrate their 60 year anniversary! Don't forget to take advantage of this month's specials! (See coupon in this month's issue.)
My Father's Business presents... Zion Oasis! That's right, the same store that started as My Father's Business has reopened under a new name and is bigger and better than ever! And who are the people behind it? Us! Let me introduce myself, formally. My name is Will Schultz. My wife, Karen, and I, with 4 children moved to Zion in 1992. We moved to our current location on Sheridan Road in 2002, with 5 additional children. We opened a small shop called My Father's Business in September, 2003. We closed in 2007 so that we could do some remodeling and open the back part of our store in addition to expanding the front. Due to unforeseen circumstances, we haven't been able to reopen until now... 7 years and 5 more children later! If you lost count, that makes a total of 14 children!
Now that our store is bigger and my children are older, we have so much more to offer. The store itself has many more items for sale. In our "new" section we have crafts, books (20-50% off retail), Bibles (25% off retail), greeting cards for 50¢ each, and gifts and jewelry at low prices. We also have a natural foods section and the best kid's store around where you can get toys for a quarter or less!
In our "thrift" section you'll find jeans and other clothes at great prices. You could pick up a gift, book, household item, toy, etc. at a fraction of the cost. We also have a Bargain Tool place with new tools priced to sell.
But that's not all! We have a number of services to offer. You can rent out a DVD at Family Flicks for only $1. Get anything fixed at our fix-it shop, from electronics to toys, clothes to jewelry...pretty much, if you can break it, we can fix it. At Zion ebay Zone we can buy or sell something of value for you. And at Targeted Access we do web design and graphic arts and have the best prices on business cards, flyers, brochures, signs, etc. Need some fast copies or something faxed... come on in. And you can always pick up copies of the Town Sound here, at Zion Oasis (open Mon-Sat, 10-6).
Stop by on Saturday, Dec. 6, for our Grand Opening from 10 - 6. We will have gifts, coffee, tea, and healthy - but still yummy - homemade cookies and other goodies... all free! Stop by and check out our new store and meet the family. There's plenty of parking in the back!
Omni Salon Spa & Fitness Studio, located at 1910 Sheridan Rd, and owned by Ken and Kathy Henke, has been around for thirty years. But the building was built 50 years earlier (1934) by Ken's dad, Kenneth Henke Sr., and opened as Henke Bros. Auto Parts. The new business had not been opened long when a young woman dropped off her dad's Ford to get it worked on, and Kenneth Sr. met his wife-to-be, Marjory. Years later, their son, Ken Jr., met his wife Kathy and they were married in 1972.
Kathy Henke ran a beauty salon in the basement of her house for several years until Ken Jr. remodeled the building to make way for Omni Salon which opened in November of 1984. They shared the building with Galaxy of Books (now on 7th St.) until 2006 when Omni expanded and became Omni Salon Spa & Fitness Studio. But before that, Ken wanted to be sure that his daughter, Krissy, was 100% on board. She was!
Krissy January, 36, has been managing for the past ten years and loves it! She said her mother (Kathy) was the foundation and her dad had the vision. Omni only hires the best... courteous, knowledgeable, and client-caring staff. Many have been there a long time. If you ever have a problem, let someone know and you will be taken care of.
Krissy takes pride in saying that Omni has always been family owned, operated and focused, and that they are a full-service salon! In Krissy's own words, "Everyone who comes in the door matters!"
Come in this November and help celebrate their 30-year anniversary... they would love to see you! And check out their incredible specials below!
Debbie Leable is the owner of Cornerstone Realty Group located at 735 Sheridan Rd., in Winthrop Harbor. Cornerstone is a full service realty office and can do what any real estate company can do, only better. Every agent is licensed in Illinois and Wisconsin and there is always an agent to greet you when you come in... not a receptionist. Since Cornerstone is independent they can be more relaxed, personable, and flexible.
Debbie was born and raised here until she was 13. Her family moved but stayed in Lake County. Before the move, she met a boy named Ed. He was to become her future husband, although neither one of them knew that at the time. In 1981 she moved to Florida. She eventually got married and shortly after that she had a son, named Joseph (Joe) after his father. But Debbie's husband was not ready to settle down, and she found herself a single mother. She never forgot about Ed, though.
Debbie was determined to give her son the best possible life she could. She opened her own title company and it was successful. Debbie eventually moved back to the area in 1996. She found Ed, struck up a friendship, and in 1998, they got married. They have a daughter named Emily, and Ed has 2 sons, Erik and Brent. Lumpy, their basset hound, rounds out the family!
Cornerstone began in 1982. Debbie came on board in 2010, becoming owner, with Ed, 2 years later. She said, "I love real estate and helping people." Debbie also loves doing a lot for the community and for charities, such as Wounded Warriors. Look for "Mr. and Mrs. Claus" this year as well. She would love to see you. Also look for Cornerstone in the parade... last year they won "Best Theme"!
Welcome to Baba's Mediterranean Grill, located at 2384 Sheridan Road in Zion. The owner is Raed "Ray" Gabbon. He was born in Jerusalem, Israel, and stayed there until he was 12 years old. Throughout his teens and early 20's, he lived in Tel Aviv. That is where he learned how to cook.
Ray came to Chicago in 2002 and opened up his first Baba's there, in 2007. He is a proud father of 4 boys and is a very hard worker. Ray loves to cook authentic Mediterranean cuisine. He likes to make people happy with his food. Ray said, "You can feed a family of 4 or 5 with a healthier choice than most fast food, for under $20!"
I learned from Ray that a competitor of his had made some false allegations about his place earlier this year to try to discredit him. An investigation by the health department found the charges to be baseless, and Baba's passed with flying colors. I personally have seen his establishment and I know firsthand that he runs a very orderly and clean ship! Ray didn't want to disclose the name of the competitor because he did not want to "go down to their level". I commend him for that.
After remodeling a bit, Ray has reopened with a new vision and a new manager, Eduardo. Ray said that "Eduardo can cook everything like me!" He is happy with his new staff and is looking forward to giving his customers a great experience.
Ray said that he has the best gyro and beef sandwiches around, and is offering a special right now - buy 1 gyro combo and get 1 gyro free, for a limited time. He has lamb, beefsteak, chicken, and falafel plates. He also has shrimp, 3 kinds of fish, and even gizzards. Come in and see what you've been missing!