A fence surrounds the property. Dumpsters and work trucks fill the parking lot. It is officially summer in Chicago. Those signs posted for months announcing a spring 2014 open for the Cozy Corner (2294 N. Milwaukee Ave.) expansion, an ambitious prediction.
After Milwaukee & California Produce vacated its location adjacent to Cozy Corner in January, work began on the always-busy restaurant’s expansion. Chicago’s long, brutal winter is at least partially to blame for the delay, some say.
Owner Peter Iatreades says they are now shooting for a July 10 soft opening provided all the city applications come through. Cozy Corner has been in his family since 1980. They are expanding due to demand, as anyone who has ever tried to take advantage of a breakfast special can attest to, even on a Tuesday.
“With a bigger space, customer service will be more of a challenge, but we will try hard to do the right thing, to maintain quality, service and price points,” Iatreades says.
Cozy Corner is looking into a liquor license, specifically for weekend mimosas and Bloody Marys. The hours of operation (5 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday) will not change unless demand creates a need, but restaurant officials say they do plan to add a few new items to the menu, particularly in the breakfast category.
Cozy Corner Customer Perks
Loyal customers can continue to appreciate the service, prices and free parking, even when using the meters.
“It [paid parking] started as a gimmick, but I have no problem paying for the meter,” Iatreades says, though he mentioned that only about 15 people a month take him up on the offer.
Currently in a temporary location, Milwaukee & California Produce’s permanent spot is only a short walk down Milwaukee Avenue at Maplewood Avenue. A sign at that location announces it will open soon.
UPDATE: As anyone can see, the fences and dumpsters remain on the day we were told the diner would re-open. Calls to the restaurant went unanswered, so we rang the Diversey location where we were told they had no idea when the re-open would happen; could be one week, could be four. STAY TUNED, SKILLET LOVERS.
Photo: Adam DeRose