White Eagle hall being sold
by SEAN KEENEHAN
The White Eagle banquet hall and restaurant, 6839 N. Milwaukee Ave., Niles, is under contract to be sold.
The 6.48-acre property that houses the 70,000-square-foot facility will be sold to Victoria Banquets, a banquet and catering company that was established in 1937 and that operates Victoria Beau Jolie in Schiller Park, Victoria Rosemont in Rosemont and Victoria in the Park in Mount Prospect. Victoria plans to take over operations next week, and it will keep the White Eagle name, its recipes and its employees, according to White Eagle co-owner Vivian Przybylo Kolpak.
"It was important to keep the White Eagle name in honor of the business and to keep the staff working," Klopak said. "We wanted the employees to have jobs."
Klopak’s father, Ted Przybylo, founded the White Eagle in Chicago after he returned from the Army after World War II, and he moved the operation to Niles in 1967, where it has been a popular venue for weddings and events on the Northwest Side. After Ted Przybylo died in 1992, the ownership of the business was split among Klopak and her five siblings, including Niles Mayor Andrew Przybylo.
The sale of the hall has been expected since the property appeared in online real estate listings in 2013 following the death of the Klopak’s eldest sister and business partner, Althea Przybylo Kroger, in 2012.
According to Klopak, the decision to sell the business has as much to do with the economic struggles of the banquet business as it does with settling her sister’s estate.
"The business is not what it used to be," Klopak said. "We’ve had a wonderful business and our customers have been loyal and supportive. We have had a very happy life here. That’s the sadness, but we have to move on."
"The White Eagle is a symbol of Poland, and my father wanted it to be a home for the Polish people, but as the city has gentrified, we have had all nationalities’ functions and we average around 3,000 patrons each week," Klopak said. "We are thankful and grateful for all of the loyal customers."