By Nona Tepper
Nearly a year after a fire tore through its interior, Charlie's Restaurant will soon be back in business, with doors to the totally-rehabbed diner scheduled to open at 6 a.m. on April 24.
"We are beyond excited to announce, after 13 months, we are finally set to reopen," manager Maria Philippou said in a Facebook message to the Review. Philippou's father, Charlie, is who the restaurant at 7427 Roosevelt Road is named after.
After the fire, the entire building had to be gutted. Charlie's interior has been redecorated with white and grey walls, colorful flowers hanging from the ceiling, and sleek leather booths.
Charlie's — which was known as Andrea's Restaurant, pre-fire — is known for its breakfast dishes and senior discounts.
The restaurant will be open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., 365 days of the year, and offer such specials as a free glass of wine with every dinner purchase; a free meal for kids with the purchase of an adult entrée from 5 to 10 p.m. daily; and 10 percent off for all residents of Forest Park every Thursday, according to Charlie's website.
At one point, the diner was named Torpedo Tap, in reference to the old torpedo factory that operated on the site of Forest Park Plaza across the street. Torpedo Tap was later changed to Armory Lounge. It served as an unofficial headquarters in the 1950s and '60s for Chicago Outfit mob boss Sam Giancana, who lived in neighboring Oak Park.
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