Downtown Downers Grove features a number of interesting buildings, each with its own story and history. The buildings and properties featured here have been researched for the 2021 History on Tap event.
|Gatto's Italian Bar and Restaurant||5123 Main St|
|Pierce Tavern||5135 Main St|
|Cellar Door||5150 Main St|
|Ballydoyle Irish Pub and Restaurant||5157 Main St|
|Orange and Brew||1027 Burlington Ave|
|Cadence Kitchen and Company||5101 Mochel Dr|
Gatto's - 5123 Main St
In 1940, Herb Karroll opened Herbert’s for Men and Boys at this location. It was briefly owned by Goldblatt’s before being purchased by Laurie Handelsman around 1945. Keeping the name Herbert’s, the store expanded taking over the neighboring Sovereigns Bakery space. With Handelsman’s retirement in 1990, long-time employee Duane Baker purchased the store and continued to operate Herbert’s until 2007. In 2008, brothers Frank and Chuck Gatto remodeled the space and opened Gatto’s Restaurant and Bar. For more information, click here.
In 1892, the Farmers and Merchants Bank opened Downers Grove’s first bank. It shared its space with a post office, library, barber shop, and several doctors/dentists over the bank’s lifetime. However, shortly after the 1929 stock market crash, the bank was forced to close. In 1947, the building became home to Muriel Mundy Apparel Store and was a mainstay of the downtown for over 60 years. Max Logan’s Home Accents filled the space from 2012 to 2017. Then in 2018, the Vlahos Family added Pierce Tavern to the downtown landscape. For more information, click here.
On this spot, years ago, the St. Joseph Creek flowed through the Downers Grove downtown. In the early 1960s, the creek was rerouted underground by way of a huge pipe. In 1964, on the reclaimed land, Herman Geische, Jr. relocated his shoe store, Geische Shoes to this new building. Every Day’s a Sundae, opened in 1995 after the building was split into three parcels. Ten years later in 2005, Sean Chaudhry opened Cellar Door, a wine shop and bistro. For more information, click here.
In August of 1951, a brand new ultra-modern Jewel Food Store opened at this location with over 6500 people attending a grand opening celebration held in the parking lot behind the building. After Jewel moved to the corner of 63rd and Main Street, George and Kathleen Hotchkiss opened Grove Premium Sales, a variety store offering food, toys, scout uniforms, and everything else. With the Hotchkiss’ retirement in 2000, local businessman, Phil Cullen purchased the building and in 2004 Ballydoyle Irish Pub and Restaurant opened. For more information, click here.
In 1892, a two-story wooden frame building was erected at this location. Among the early businesses here were the Downers Grove News Agency, W. R. Cole Plumbing and Heating, Chas W Friedrich Mortician/Ambulance Service, Moore Tailor Shop and a billiard hall. Sometime after 1927, the current building was built and followed the tradition of being home to local businesses over the years. The building is currently divided into two locally owned businesses, Pinecone Cottage established in 1990 and Orange and Brew, a bottle shop and tap room operated by Eric and Carrie Schmidt. For more information, click here.
Before the addition of Mochel Drive in 2006, this location was 945 Burlington Avenue. In the 1940s, Eichmann Motor Sales sold Nash automobiles here. From the 1950s through 1970s, this location became headquarters for the Downers Grove Police and Court. When the building was torn down, the site became a parking lot until 2006. At that time, Acadia on the Green, a 124-unit condo development was built on this and surrounding land. In 2010, owners Tim Canning and Shaun Black opened Lemon Tree, as a combination grocery store and restaurant. Lemon Tree was later replaced in 2016 by Cadence Kitchen with owners Tim Canning and Todd Davies. For more information, click here.