Afternoon edition: February 16, 2022


Good afternoon. Here’s the latest news you need to know in Chicago. This is an approximately 5 minute read that will educate you on today’s biggest stories.

Editor’s Note: The lead article in yesterday’s newsletter incorrectly referred to Louis Armstrong’s wife as “Lin Hardin”. Her name was Lil Hardin. We apologize for the error.

This afternoon will be mostly cloudy with highs near 54 degrees, wind gusts up to 45 mph and a 70% chance of precipitation. Tonight there will be showers and a winter mix with a low around 28. Tomorrow there will be snow with a high near 29 and a further accumulation of 2 to 4 inches. A winter weather advisory is in effect until 9 p.m. tomorrow.

top story

Two Greektown favorites torn down, exposing an old mural — and changing the face of the neighborhood

In 1990, Yiannis Melidis hired a painter to create a mural that would stretch along an interior wall of Pegasus, the Greek restaurant he was building.

The artist came the night after the construction workers left. Yiannis and his wife, Maria, provided him with a picture book of the Greek Islands for inspiration and made the artist provide him with an Old Style six-pack and several Polish sausages from vendors on Maxwell Street every night. neighbor.

“After a week he hadn’t started anything,” recalled the couple’s son, Ceasar Melidis, who said his parents thought, “This guy just eats, drinks, sleeps and stares at the walls.”

Once he started, however, he was finished in three days. The mural has become a well-known feature at a restaurant that has become a Greektown mainstay for nearly three decades. It closed in 2017 following a rent hike.

This week, the building was reduced to rubble. The mural, which shares a wall with an adjacent building, was all that remained.

It shows the evolving face of Greektown. Panhellenic Patisserie also closed in 2017, while two other must-visit eateries, Roditys and Parthenon, closed about a year after Pegasus closed. Costa burned down more than ten years ago.

Santorini, which was right next to Pegasus, closed in fall 2020 after 31 years of operation. It was also demolished this week.

Many other businesses and restaurants along Halsted are Greek-owned and retain a decidedly Greek character, but most of the Greeks who lived there have left the area, often to the suburbs.

And the development that has transformed much of the West Loop, particularly the expensive Fulton Market neighborhood just to the north, is also changing the face of Greektown.

Despite those who lament the changing face of Greektown, business owners agreed that an influx of young urban adult professionals coming to the area would mean more customers.

“We are not threatened by new developments,” said Tessie Koumi, owner of Spectrum Bar & Grill in Greektown, who checked off a list of other Greek restaurants that continue to make the neighborhood a destination, such as the very Greek Islands. appreciated. . “We are here to stay and there will always be a strong Greek element here.”

Mitch Dudek has more on the Greektown changes here.

More news you need

  1. The body of an Antioch man who was reported missing after a crash last month on I-94 has been pulled from the Des Plaines River near Libertyville. Thomas “Tommy” Howe, 24, was involved in a crash with another vehicle Jan. 22 along I-94 near Route 176, according to Antioch police. Witnesses saw him walk away and he had not been spotted since.
  2. Illinois players wagered nearly $61 million on the Super Bowl, a 33% increase from last year when the big game was legally on the board for the first time in league history. ‘State. The biggest day on the sports betting calendar saw Illinois sports betting come out on top at $9.5 million, according to figures released by the Illinois Gaming Board.
  3. The decade-long process of redrawing Chicago ward boundaries based on the latest census data took a dramatic turn today with the potential to tip the scales in an election referendum — even if it does not change any vote of the city council. Fran Spielman has more information on an alliance between the Latino Caucus and the CHANGE Illinois Action Fund that Latino Caucus adviser Victor Reyes called a potential “game changer” in the upcoming remapping referendum.
  4. Farmstead, a new online grocery service, now offers nearby delivery of a variety of local and national branded food items, in addition to fresh, local produce. The service delivers within a 50-mile radius of its Franklin Park warehouse, including the entire city of Chicago, extending almost to the Wisconsin border and as far south as Joliet.
  5. Registration is open to participate in the annual Chicago Polar Plunge, with this year’s plunge scheduled for March 6 at North Avenue Beach. Among the divers you’ll see this year: Chicago Party Aunt creator Chris Witaske.

A bright

Dom Flemons’ Old Songs Celebrate the Many Traditions of American Music

Dom Flemons is a walking encyclopedia of old-time American music. Singer, multi-instrumentalist, historian, scholar, collector and anthropologist are all part of his decades-long devotion to discovering and presenting music that might have been lost without his efforts to preserve it.

Flemons concerts are a unique cultural history lesson that will open your ears to the classics as well as his original songs written with a flavor of yesteryear. His repertoire spans over 100 years of American music based on African American culture. He is considered an expert player of banjo, guitar, harmonica, jug, percussion, quills, fife and rhythm bones.

Flemons’ most recent album, 2018’s “Black Cowboys,” was recorded as part of Smithsonian Folkways’ African American Legacy Series. The Grammy-nominated album shines a light on a little-known aspect of African-American history.

Dom Flemons performs this Friday at the Old Town School of Folk Music.
Timothy Duff

Flemons, who grew up in Phoenix and attended Northern Arizona University, eventually landed in Durham, North Carolina, where he was a founding member of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, a string band that also included acclaimed roots artist Rhiannon. Giddens and was known for bridging the gap between old-timer, bluegrass, folk and blues music. Their 2010 album won a Grammy for Best Traditional Folk Album.

At the start of the pandemic, Flemons and his family moved from Washington, DC, to Naperville to be closer to his wife’s family. For the past two years, he’s been busy working on songs for a new album as well as performing on Tyler Childers’ Grammy-nominated album, “Long Violent History,” and “White Jesus Black Problems.” by Fantastic Negrito.

Now Flemons is focused on getting back on stage. He thinks it’s a way to give people a boost as the country tries to master a new normal.

“It’s a way of showing people that despite everything, there is resilience and power in the music that comes from this country and the multi-faceted experiences of people that go back generations. All American music has the ability to really enlighten people.

Mary Houlihan has more of her interview with Flemons here.

From the press gallery

Your daily question ☕

What is the demolished building in Chicago that you miss?

Email us (please include your first name and place of residence) and we may include your response in the next afternoon edition.

Yesterday we asked you: how do you know you’ve spent too much time on social media?

Here’s what some of you said…

“When I missed the whole movie I was trying to watch.” — Kim Riley-Richardson

“When I keep grabbing my phone and seeing the same memes.” — Julien Christophe Smasal

“When you look at a post. Then you go to a poster. Look at their page. Then go to their friends page. After looking at their friends page, you realize that a friend looks familiar to you. You go on their page and see their public post, with over 100 comments. You’ve read all 100 comments. After reading them all, it’s time to go to bed. — Kathy Vehovc

“Mind your own business, Sun-Times. —Quincy Lewis Santomieri

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