Chicken & Waffles coming soon. No, really

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By Marty Stempniak

Staff Reporter

OK, it looks like for real this time. The long-awaited and oft-delayed chicken and waffles restaurant on Madison Street in Oak Park looks like it should open by the end of this month.

Tonya Johnson and her family have been working for more than a year, turning a vacant insurance office at 543 Madison into the second location of Chicago's Home of Chicken & Waffles (the first one's in Bronzeville). But the project has been marred by construction delays, as it was originally supposed to open as far back as spring 2009. Johnson and her family decided to be a little more ambitious in their build out than originally planned — adding everything from exposed brick walls to fancy chandeliers.

"The design in there is a lot different from what people might expect in a soul food restaurant," she said. "It's going to be nice."

Worst-case scenario, Chicken & Waffles will open by the first week in December. The sit-down restaurant will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. Besides the signature dish, they'll offer other soul food staples, such as macaroni and cheese, collard greens, and candied yams.

Reader Comments

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Dorothy Morley from River Forest  

Posted: December 6th, 2010 11:43 AM

I took the family to the Bronzeville spot the day after Thanksgiving (2010). They assured me the Oak Park location would open 12/3. I'v been watching the web to see if any notices have been posted. We're really looking forward to a nearby "Chicken and Waffles". Elizabeth is right. A great place for young and old.

Elizabeth Rees from Oak Park   

Posted: November 11th, 2010 10:58 AM

There is a village-wide watch alert on for the real true opening of Chicken and Waffles. Seriously- I have friends who drive by and leave me texts or messages about the changes in the signage, decor (it looks really nice inside now, BTW) and making feverish plans to get in line when it opens up. Apparently what the village really does need is more chicken and/or waffles to bring young and old together. Even my friends' teenagers are willing to eat with us in public if we will just take them!

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