I’m sure most of your readers are wondering what could possibly go into the Winberie’s space. I’ve been wondering the same thing, and I think there are only three possibilities. The first is to break it up into smaller spaces, which would be a shame.

There are two restaurants though, that I think could succeed in that space. The first would be a Lettuce Entertain You restaurant. I have many points with them and I have to drive to places such as Oak Brook, Skokie or the Loop to use them. I’ve been surprised that they haven’t opened a restaurant in Oak Park as of yet. They have such a large following that they could survive even construction.

The second restaurant that could succeed there would be something akin to the original Erik’s Deli. It was a nice, light, cheery place that invited you to bring your children. I’m sure many restaurants offer children’s menus and do other things to accommodate children, but almost all the Oak Park restaurants are primarily adult-oriented. 

If you want something that is more appealing to families you have to go over to Junction Diner in Forest Park. It was a shame that when the Erik’s owners remodeled with the best of intentions, they put in smoky windows and dark drab interiors. It made it look more elegant, but it lost its appeal to the family crowd. 

Now with Tasty Dog gone there isn’t a place that really says, “Come on in and bring the kids and they’ll have a good time.” I hope that changes in the next year or two when my grandson gets old enough to take him to places like that.

Joyce Porter

Oak Park

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