Walk into The S&G Restaurant and it’s as if you’ve just become part of a family.You are an instant “regular.” It’s a feeling that is familiar among Americans who have lived in a community for a long time. That feeling of a neighborhood. A place where every generation can come together and share a meal
At the counter, two older gentlemen are talking basketball with John, an owner, while 3 tiny kids stand around the giant bin of candy in absolute delight, making the all important decision on which flavor they will pick. If you called the place “Old School” you would not be wrong.
The S&G is Forward Chicago’s first local Business Partner and there simply could not be a better match. Because Forward Chicago’s purpose is to build the same kind of neighborhood feeling that the S&G puts out into the community every day. How? By letting all of us in the community know about all the great businesses, resources, & programs that are already available right here and right now. Today – who can keep track of all of the new things going on in our neighborhood? It is hard – Forward Chicago is designed to be a connector that helps people share information about businesses they care about and activities they enjoy.
Forward Chicago is a new way of thinking about community. Like, for example, promoting a business where those little kids can pick out their favorite lollipops, while the older gentleman sits at the counter smiling at the those same kids.
At the S&G, Fran wrote the check to Forward Chicago because she knows a good cause when she sees one. That, and one of her regulars at the table of 10 in the back room, a crowd of older folks who get together every Wednesday, asked her.
We all know that our country, our communities are aging. If I hear another comment about the baby boomers I’ll scream. But here is what I do know – I am committed to remaining in my neighborhood. And my money is just as valuable as the parents who come with the little league team and the new couple out for breakfast…the difference is I have places where I have been going for 30 years. And I am going to keep going to them, because I believe in supporting local businesses that help our community. And I know that businesses want to support their customers to remain vibrant and relevant as they age – so they keep coming back, every Saturday as they have for years. They are part of their business community!
This morning, paying my check after a corn beef hash breakfast (the best you’ll find anywhere) I thanked John for joining. “Oh yeah,” he said. “Fran takes care of that stuff. What’s Forward Chicago again?” I told him it was a way to promote senior citizen friendly businesses. We started out as an idea from the alderman. Now we’re on our own. No politics. Just promotion of senior friendly businesses.
“Well,” he said in that rare tone of guys who know what it means to be both a tough business owner and have heart, “I’m gonna have to have a talk with Fran. Promoting senior friendly businesses huh? Well it better bring me some business!”
But then as he closed the cash drawer, he looked up and smiled.
Because that’s what people from the same neighborhood do. They take care of each other. They welcome each other.
Oh, and the next week? When that 10 top party of older folks turned into a 12 top the next week? And the breakfast trade started inching up as ads and promotions started appearing on the Forward Chicago web site?
Fran and John noticed that too.
S&G’s Restaurant is located at 3000 N Lincoln Ave Chicago, IL 60657