Two longtime Jefferson Park businesses close





Browns Chicken in Jefferson Park closes

by BRIAN NADIG

Two longtime Jefferson Park businesses — an upholstery store and a chicken restaurant –recently closed.

Ernest Meyer, owner of Ernest Meyer Interiors at 4908 N. Milwaukee Ave., died last summer at age 86, and fabrics and other materials were recently cleared out of the one-story storefront.

It is believed that Mr. Meyer operated the store for about 50 years. He was often seen in the store with his dog, and for many years he was a regular attendee at networking events sponsored by the Jefferson Park Chamber of Commerce.

At one time the upholstery shop occupied two adjacent storefronts, but a two-story building at 4906 N. Milwaukee Ave. was demolished in 2010 due to its deteriorating condition. The building was not replaced, and the vacant lot is used for parking.

The future of the 7,000-square-foot site, which is located across from the Jefferson Park CTA Terminal, is unknown. The site’s existing B3-2 zoning allows for a variety of retail uses and up to seven residential units on the parcel.

The neighboring commercial property at 4900 N. Milwaukee Ave., where Edward Fox Photography was once located, is part of a mixed-use project that calls for second- and third-floor additions with a total of six living units. A construction permit for the project was issued in November.

Meanwhile, Brown’s Chicken at 5601 W. Lawrence Ave. closed at the end of December after operating there for more than 30 years. Portions of the restaurant’s exterior signage recently were painted in an apparent attempt to cover the restaurant chain’s name and logo.

In the late 2000s the chain reportedly had about 40 locations, but in recent years several of its restaurants have closed, with only one left in Chicago and about 20 in the suburbs.

The Lawrence site measures about 20,000 square feet, and its B3-1 zoning allows for retail and restaurant uses and permits up to eight residential units on upper floors. The site’s one-story building includes a drive-through facility.

Before Brown’s, a bakery, a liquor store and a pizza shop reportedly were among the site’s occupants.

Also in Jefferson Park, a Comcast customer service center at 4851 N. Milwaukee Ave. and Battery Giant Chicago at 4837 N. Milwaukee Ave. recently closed. Both businesses were located inside the Veterans Square office and retail complex at Milwaukee and Higgins avenues.

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