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Flap-jack’s closes, to reopen in Oak Lawn

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Updated: January 9, 2014 6:43AM



As pile drivers pounded in the background, Nick Stamos and his brother, George, were busy inside the building that until recently was home to their Flap-jack’s Restaurant.

Oak Lawn residents and others for the past 18 years had flocked to the northwest corner of 111th Street and Cicero Avenue, where they knew the Stamos brothers offered hearty meals at a reasonable price. And if they were smart, they’d order some of the soup that George prepares from scratch.

But Flap-jack’s closed its doors Nov. 29, the day after Thanksgiving.

Nick Stamos knew the end was near because the restaurant sits on property owned by the village, land that Oak Lawn wants to redevelop. At a village board meeting a few weeks ago, it was announced that Oak Lawn is paying Nick Stamos $2.1 million for his property.

Several employees decided to not come to work Nov. 29, knowing the restaurant was doomed, so Stamos decided to shut the doors.

He and George are busy going through the building, salvaging what they can for storage until they open a new restaurant in the village, with a March opening planned.

“We are excited. We have a place in mind,” Stamos said. “It’s in Oak Lawn, and I can’t say where yet because we are still negotiating the lease.”

Some customers can’t believe the restaurant is closed, including “one lady who stopped by and was crying,” Stamos said.

He said he told most of his 30-some employees to find new work, even if it’s part-time, to hold them over until the new Flap-jack’s opens.

Extra food at the restaurant was donated to Evergreen Park’s food pantry at the Maher Community Center, 3450 W. 97th St., Stamos said.

Meanwhile, the other business on the site, chiropractor Rory Marrello, of Worth, said he and the village remain far apart regarding the future of Platinum Chiropractic, which is in a small strip mall just north of Flap-jack’s.

Marrello said he’s not happy that the village is not willing to buy out his lease with the previous landowner and has offered only $15,000 for moving expenses. He said $450,000 would be a good starting point for negotiations.

“I’m the easiest one to get rid of because I’m not asking for millions of dollars. I don’t own the property,” Marrello said. “I have a 13-year lease here (at $3,000 a month). If they want it, (the village should) buy it. ... I’ve been told that when I step off this land I’ll never afford to come back here.”

Village manager Larry Deetjen has said negotiations are underway with Marrello, whose practice has remained open despite his entrance off Cicero Avenue being partially blocked with construction fences. Marrello hasn’t talked with village representatives in a while, saying the “attorneys are handling this.”

Marrello has not been given a deadline to leave.

“In fact, they (village officials) said I could stay here until the new office is open, which is great and I would not have to shut down at all,” he said, adding that “I’m not trying to be greedy, but this is my business and my family relies on it.”



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