Bagel, anyone? Tinley Park Metra station debuts
Kathy McCabe and Mary Tyrus have a new place to visit for bagels and lunch.
Michael Papandrea hopes more people follow their lead.
McCabe and Tyrus both work at the Tinley Park Public Library. About 11 a.m. Monday, they took a short stroll to the 80th Avenue Metra station to check out the new tenant, Parmesans Station, a restaurant owned by Papandrea.
They liked what they found, enjoyed the bagels and took a box of pastries, courtesy of Papandrea, back to their coworkers.
”It’s wonderful, delicious, very good,” McCabe said. “It’ll be nice to walk over here in the summer.”
Tyrus, whose husband rides the train every day, said she plans to visit Parmesans Station for lunch.
Hearing those glowing reviews made Papandrea smile.
His crew was there early Monday for the restaurant’s debut and had fresh-baked bagels, doughnuts, pastries, $5 egg sandwiches and plenty of hot coffee ready for commuters.
“In the morning, (commuters) are kind of asleep at 5 a.m. And then, at 7:30, they were as hungry as can be,” he said.
Free samples were handed out to commuters to whet their appetites for what Parmesans Station offers.
“It went pretty good. We got our feet wet and we’re very happy to finally be in here. We spent six months planning this, and then, finally, you can see what it’s like,” Papandrea said.
Parmesans Station does its baking on-site. Cinnamon buns and muffins were offered along with the bagels and doughnuts.
Eventually, there will be a pizza oven in keeping with his other restaurant, Parmesans Wood Stone Pizza in Frankfort. He wants to eventually serve dinners.
“Our focus is on the catering and ordering (food) from the train. That’s such a huge thing,” Papandrea said.
Parmesans Station has a license agreement with the village in which Papandrea pays $1,100 in monthly rent, along with 2 percent of gross sales for the first $400,000, which increases to 2.5 percent after $500,000 is reached.
It will be open at 5 a.m. weekdays and 11 a.m. weekends.
The early opening may take some getting used to for Zack Newhuis, 18, of Crete, who fills orders as he works the counter.
“I was here by 4 o’clock. There were about two cars on the road coming here. It was pretty surreal,” Newhuis said.
With his shift ending at 1 p.m., he planned to go home for some much-needed shuteye in anticipation of another early start Tuesday.
“But I’ve drank enough coffee, so I don’t know if I’m going to sleep,” he said with a laugh.