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By Dan Haley
Seventeen local businesses and property owners were honored Thursday evening for their investments in Oak Park as part of the 36th annual meeting of the Oak Park Development Corporation.
The event, held at the Carleton Hotel on Marion Street, brought together a panoply of local officials and civic leaders as well as new-to-the-village entrepreneurs who were recognized for their commitment to the village in the form of new stores, facades and expansions of their businesses.
Honorees receive a Nicholas Award, a framed certificate, named for Robert E. Nicholas, who is considered to be the pioneer of commercial real estate development in Oak Park in the early years of the last century. Honored this year with Nicholas Awards were:
Bikram Yoga Oak Park, a second floor buildout at 105 N. Oak Park Ave. Nancy Kogan Kalinowski, owner.
Chicago's Home of Chicken and Waffles, a new restaurant at 543 Madison St., Tonya and Darnell Johnson and Rosemary Malone, owners.
Doggie Day Play, the new animal care business in the old Villager Foods space at 1135 Chicago Ave. Jill and Brent Showalter, owners.
Elmhurst Memorial Clinic, for the buildout of 10,000 square feet of medical office space at 1100 Lake St.
Erik's Deli, 107 N. Oak Park Ave., for its extensive renovation. Ajay Bhatia owner.
Wednesday Journal Building, 137-149 S. Oak Park Ave., for the replacement of its 1950s façade and restoration to its more historical 1920s roots. Andrew Johnston, LaVerne Collins, Lou Scannicchio, Dan Haley owners.
Tryad Automotive, 435-449 Madison St., for its façade renovation of a long-time auto service center. Steve Mudjer owner.
R.P. Fox and Associates, and its owner Mike Fox, were recognized for commercial property leasing in key Downtown Oak Park locations and the quality of its tenants.
Garfield Family Dentistry, 102 S. Ridgeland Ave., a nine-year local business, was honored for its relocation to Ridgeland and South Boulevard. Dr. Jenny Fei, owner.
Greenline Wheels, 105 S. Marion St., for opening an "eco-happy transport" business. Tom Olis and Mary Jo Schuler owners.
The Kinderhook Tap, for its renovation of an 87-year-old corner storefront into a neighborhood bar and restaurant. Kristin Graham and Marci Hughes, owners.
Madison Street Medical Sleep Clinic, 850 Madison St. Buildout of new medical clinic specializing in sleep disorders. Dr. Estaban Linarez and Karla Linarez, owners.
Mancini's Pizza, Pasta Café, 1111 Lake St., for its expansion and relocation of a longtime popular eatery in Downtown Oak Park. Al Mancini, owner.
Petersen's Building Restoration, 1100-1106 Chicago Ave., for the complete restoration of the façade of a landmark building and the prominent relocation of Petersen's Ice Cream. Peter Skiouris, owner.
Potbelly Sandwich Works, 1100 Lake St., spent several years searching for an Oak Park location and finally found it this year in the Shaker Building. Matt Doudalis, store manager.
Rush Oak Park Hospital Same Day Surgery Suite, 520 S. Maple Ave., for its $1.8 million investment in a 24-unit, same-day surgery center at the hospital. Streamlined surgical care and added convenience for patients was the goal, said President Bruce Elegant.
Walgreen's adaptive reuse of the Collins Building, 800 Madison St. Walgreen's was lauded for its relocation to Oak Park and Madison streets and its creation of an environmentally-focused flagship store. Jay Javors, of Midwest Property Group, was cited for his work with Walgreen's in adapting the original building façade.