Odds and ends with some a bit odder than others:
A salute: Sylvia Trent-Adams, the deputy surgeon general of the United States, stood before a room of local business leaders last week. She had just toured the Children’s Clinic, the signature Oak Park-based health care effort of the Infant Welfare Society. And as a person who has overseen more than her share of studies of this program, that challenge, failures and wins in public health around the world, she said, “You won’t need any more studies to know that you’ve built the model that works. When I leave here, I’ll be talking about Oak Park and the work you do.”
These were the words of an enthused fan, not a bureaucrat. And to the women assembled, this generation of the 100-year march from solving the 1916 crisis of contaminated milk for Oak Park infants to the remarkable Lake Street clinic and its mobile versions serving the medical, dental and behavioral health needs of our current crop of kids, her message was a heady start to a centennial celebration.
So much we take for granted here. Last week it took a tough, gracious rear admiral — whatever the hell that means in public health! — to make plain that the clinic’s efforts in Oak Park, in Austin, in Cicero, in River Forest far exceed any norms.
Thirsty? Hungry?: It has taken a while. Yes, I’d call years a while. But some very good things are about to happen on the dining and drinking front on the Journal’s block of South Oak Park Avenue. The long, long awaited Hamburger Mary’s/Oak Park Brewing Co. is so near to opening that we can literally smell the beer brewing from our offices. Last week they had a pre-opening “family and friends” event that is earning kudos.
Across the street where it feels the corner of South Boulevard and Oak Park has been empty since the last century, the butcher block paper is off the windows, tables and chairs are being set in place and Citrine Café is near to opening. An upscale spot for dinner and drinks, Citrine is the latest effort from Oak Parker Branko Palikuca, though the first in his hometown.
Down in my new neighborhood along Roosevelt Road, Kinslahger Brewing Co. has opened a couple of doors west of Oak Park Avenue. More locals who took a drab spot on a drab stretch on the Oak Park side of Roosevelt and crafted a gem. Business looks strong in the opening days.
A month back, I noted plans for a new brew pub to open eventually at Austin and Lake, and I keep hearing reports of more such ventures lining up for limited likely spots in town.
Yes, Berwyn: Not sure I’ve ever had so much response to a column as last July’s piece about our move to Berwyn. Hear about it every place I go. “So how’s Berwyn?” Sometimes conspiratorially. Sometimes a little sarcastic. Mostly honest inquiries.
Well, life 1,000 feet south of Roosevelt Road is A-OK. Stop by and visit.
Tasty Dog to District House: The proposed mixed-use development of the vacant Tasty Dog at Lake and Euclid now has a name: District House. Sat in with the developers and their marketing team, Monday a.m., for a session with members of the board of the Hemingway District business association, of which I am one.
I’ve said before, this is a handsome effort done to scale for this quieter stretch of Lake Street. Five stories, 28 large condo units, space for two or three stores on the ground floor. The developers — two entities from the city who have done this a time or two — will host an open meeting with neighbors of the project, Wednesday evening at 6:30, in the Veterans Room at the main library.