New Development Welcomes Historical Tenant

Chicago’s oldest restaurant has a new home. On Thursday March 7, Daley’s shuttered its longstanding location on Cottage Grove Avenue and moved a few feet North into the shining Woodlawn Station development. As the neighborhood’s, and arguably the city’s, go-to breakfast spot, there’s no one better to occupy the 5,900 square-foot endcap.

While the move isn’t far, the space is certainly an upgrade for Daley’s. This $30 million redevelopment complete with high-efficiency, environmentally friendly building systems and modern feel give the new Daley’s restaurant more space and greater visibility. The local eatery added new booths, wood accents and unique lighting features to add character to this otherwise contemporary building.

Scott Levinson, Senior Broker for Matanky Realty Group and the leasing agent for the property, is ecstatic to have such a historical occupant in the space. “Daley’s Restaurant will make for a strong anchor in the new Woodlawn Station building,” said Levinson. “They are not only the oldest restaurant in all of Chicago, but they are also a staple for the Woodlawn neighborhood. The upgrade and relocation to their new store will hopefully keep them around for many more years.”

Daley’s Restaurant was established in 1892 by John Daley, a young Irish iron worker. He opened the restaurant as a response to the hungry construction crews staffing the University of Chicago, World’s Columbian Exposition and Rapid Transit Line builds. Daley sold his establishment to two Greek immigrants: Tom Kyros and Paul Emmanuel. The duo continued to prosper and decided to swap their outdated digs for a new build I 1932. However, the bank financing the deal failed and Daley’s lost it all. Eventually, Kyros and Emmanuel were able to reopen as New Daley’s Restaurant. Though, the new site had a mere 16 stools and 7 booths, patrons came rushing back, making the restaurant an immediate success. Alex Vlahos and Michael Zee now own the eatery. As the Woodlawn neighborhood continues to experience massive urban redevelopment, it seems that Daley’s is returning to its roots of feeding local laborers.

Daley’s is the first tenant to open its doors in the station, but it’s not the only big name joining the Woodlawn neighborhood. Just a few blocks down, Jewel-Osco also celebrated its grand opening. As another part of the Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH) redevelopment, this addition comes with much anticipation. The new store is expected to alleviate some of the vacancy felt by the closing of Hyde Park’s Treasure Island as well as to eliminate the area’s food desert status.

Woodlawn Station feeds into the City’s greater plan for the neighborhood. In addition to new housing and an updated Green Line station, Woodlawn also has a new park district facility and school. In a recent Chicago Sun Times article, Mayor Rahm Emmanuel noted that the success of the neighborhood isn’t dependent on just housing, but also the introduction of schools, libraries, transportation and other amenities. With these additions, along with the new Barack Obama Presidential Center, Woodlawn is well on its way to becoming a booming success.

About the Development

Completed in late 2018 and developed by POAH, Woodlawn Station is located at the entrance of the CTA Green Line station at 63rd Street and Cottage Grove Avenue. It features 70 mixed-income units along with 15,000 square feet of first floor retail and off-street parking. Thus far, Blue Lotus Yoga and UPS have also committed to joining Daley’s.