7pm, The Kick-off
Wine, Appetizers, and Getting Toasty
Hosted at: The Shift, 4101 N. Broadway

9pm, The Main Event
Entertainment, Dinner, and Many More Drinks
Hosted at: Michael’s, 4091 N. Broadway

The NYE menu will feature grilled shrimp, calamari pasta, arrachera, pork belly tacos, and many more house specialties!

Ticket price: $60
Includes all festivities, food, and an open bar!

Purchase tickets at Michael’s Restaurant, GNS Market, or North Buena Deli.
Tickets are limited, buy yours before they’re sold out!

100% of ALL sales will be donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

All expenses incurred will be underwritten by Michael’s Restaurant

View event flyer (207KB PDF)

El Palmar Front

El Palmar

Drop into El Palmar, just west of Sheridan Road on the north side of Irving, and you feel transported to Mexico City. Beautiful serapes and sombreros decorate the walls, and Latin rock ‘n roll may be on the juke box, or a Mexican soccer game on the television. The menu at El Palmar features more than 130 items, ranging from homemade tacos at about $2.50 apiece to Molcajeteada de Carne, at $24.95.

Proprietors Sofia and Miguel Lopez took over the restaurant when Sofia’s mother, who founded the restaurant with her daughter, suffered a stroke back in 1996. Their son, Michael, also works at the restaurant.

When she and her mother, Sofia Aviles, arrived in Chicago in the 70s, her mother, who loved to cook, started making and selling lunches for her coworkers in the factory. The elder Sofia, who had been an entrepreneur back in Mexico, spotted the available storefront that had housed a driving school. That was in 1986, and it’s been going ever since. The restaurant is open 24 hours a day, every day but Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Although Sofia’s favorite item on the menu is caldo de camaron, a tomato-based soup with shrimp, she says that the customer favorite is Sofia’a plate, the chef’s special of beef, chicken and shrimp. El Palmar’s clientele is split about half and half between Latinos and Anglos, she says, although Anglos are more prominent evenings and nights and Latinos during the day.

El Palmar features a variety of homemade soups and sauces, including homemade corn quesadillas, called “quesadillas de maiz” on the menu. The restaurant fries its own tortilla chips and makes two 10-gallon containers of green and red salsa every other day.

She says her employees are like family. Two of the cooks have been with her more than 10 years, as have several of the waitresses. “We treat people like we want somebody to treat us,” says Sofia.

Although El Palmar is in some ways a secret to many Buena Park residents, it is busy at all hours of the day and night, with customers hailing from as far as Indiana and Wisconsin. Sofia says they do not spend money on advertising. “My advertisement is my food,” she says. “Once someone eats here, they say, ‘How come I missed this place?’”

Sofia says her husband sometimes asks her if she wants to buy another property, but Sofia says no. “I’m happy the way I am. This is my place and I’m happy here.”

El Palmar
1008 ½ Irving Park Road

Sofia Lopez with waitress Marleth Apolinar, who has worked at el Palmar for 16 years.

Proprietors Sofia and Miguel Lopez in the dining room of el Palmar.

All the questions and answers come directly from Smart Love Solutions in Early Childhood-A Handbook for Parents, Teachers and Caregivers by Drs. Martha Heineman Pieper and William J. Pieper.

Q: Are my kids too materialistic?

This year I was really struck by how important presents were to my kids (ages three and six) at Christmas. It seemed like they were mainly interested in what they were getting, not in the parts of the holiday that matter most to me. We’ve tried to encourage them to get into the story of Christmas, the religious meaning and the beauty and the family togetherness, but they seem to be focused mainly on the presents. I’m sure we’ll encounter the same thing at birthdays and next year at Christmas. Any advice?

A: Like many parents you are frustrated with your children for not acting more grown up. Yet the reality is that they lack the ability to meet your expectations. The reason is that at this point their minds are nothing like the mind of an adult.

It is normal and natural for you children to focus on the fun of getting presents and not be terribly interested in the more abstract meanings of Christmas that are important to you. Their intense interest in gifts does not mean that they will grow up materialistic or unable to appreciate the religious or family significance of Christmas.

It is so important to remember that children are works in progress, and that the way they are at three and six is not a sign of how they will be at twenty-three or twenty-six (or even at thirteen and sixteen). As your children’s minds mature abstractions such as religion or family togetherness will become real and meaningful to them. So, rather than feeling disappointed in your children you can be proud of them for developing normally. Paradoxically, the best way to teach them to appreciate family togetherness and religious values is simply to love and enjoy them; they will copy your caring and compassion and become the adults you are hoping for.

All the questions and answers come directly from Smart Love Solutions in Early Childhood-A Handbook for Parents, Teachers and Caregivers by Drs. Martha Heineman Pieper and William J. Pieper.

Q: How can I get my son to wear a costume?

My 3-year-old is really looking forward to Halloween, but he says he won’t wear a costume.  He insists that he doesn’t want to “turn into someone else.”  I have suggested costumes of his favorite TV characters, such as Elmo, but he absolutely refuses.

His school has a Halloween parade, and trick-or-treating is very big in our neighborhood.  I am afraid he will be teased for not having a costume and that some people will refuse to give him treats.   This sounds like a small thing, but Halloween is really important to him.  I worry that it will be a disaster.  Any suggestions on getting him into a costume?

A: This is not an uncommon fear among the 3-and-under set.  Many children that age are afraid of what wearing a costume might do to them.  There is no point in trying to reason or argue, because your son will outgrow his fear-probably by next Halloween.  Rather, slip under his radar.  Suggest that he go as himself, put a costume on the dog if you have one, or dress up yourself.

If any part of the family is in costume, there should be no problem with trick-or-treating.  For the school parade, perhaps you can outfit a broom with a ghost costume so that he can bring the “costume” separately.  If you let your creative juices flow, we are sure Halloween will be fun rather than frightening.

Buena Park Neighbors will hold its fall Clean and Green on Saturday, October 11 at 10:00 a.m. at Dollop Coffee and Tea at 4181 N. Clarendon Avenue, which is on the northeast corner of Clarendon Avenue and Gordon Terrace.

Come out and join us for an hour or two of picking up and making our neighborhood nicer. This is a great way to meet neighbors and spend a fall morning.

October 31 Time: 6:00pm – 8:30pm

Buena Park Neighbors hosts this event every year, and it has become a great tradition.

Buena Circle Park, 1049 W. Buena, becomes operation central and from there trick or treaters head north and south on Kenmore, delightfully gathering goodies from equally delighted residents who welcome the little costumed darlings into their appropriately decorated yards. Please pass on information to your neighbors and friends. It is going to be a wonderfully spooky night in Buena Park filled with laughter, treats and little goblins.

George Ferak Award

Calling all yards – Get creative this year and get in the running to win the coveted George Ferak award for best decorations on the block. The Award comes with a special spooky prize so get planning!!!

Children in halloween costumesBecome a Safe House

Help us make it the best one ever!!
Contact us Today to be a Safety Monitor Volunteer or to be marked as a Safe House for our little local ghouls and goblins to trick or treat!

Together with your support, Buena Park Neighbors can provide a fun, safe, family environment for children to celebrate Halloween.

Candy Drive

Can’t be a safe house but want to help!! Candy collected will be distributed to participating homes to help with costs of the  event. Starting October 9th at the following locations: Thorek Hospital, Dollop Cafe, World Gym and Alderman Cappleman’s Office.


Bring your entry to the Buena Circle Pumpkin Graveyard on Halloween night where it will be on display.  A panel of expert judges will pick the winner who will receive a special treat plus a lot of notoriety.  So get going, we want to see what you’ve got. The winner will be announced at 8pm.

Ghost Stories and Spooky Crafts

New Programming!!

Have your little ones come and listen to  some of our scariest Halloween stories and make spooky treats. Readings and crafts tables will be starting at 7pm in the Pumpkin Grave Yard.


SPECIAL Thanks to our SPONSORS!!

European & US Car Service, Uptown United, Lois Scheurer Real Estate, reside, Thorek Hospital and the Chicago Park District.

Email us today with any questions: halloween@180promotions.com

General meeting

General meeting

We had a great turnout last night. 60 people attended the meeting at Brennemann School and heard from Alderman Cappleman and Bill Petty about the Medical Marijuana Dispensary proposed to go in the building formerly known as Nick’s Uptown.

We will have a fuller report on the meeting in the October newsletter,but for now we want to let everyone know the result of the Medical Marijuana Dispensary proposal. Basically there is none. The people from Advance Herbal Alternatives, who were scheduled to give a presentation, didn’t show up. We also found out that Thorek has not signed a letter of intent with them, nor have they verbally agreed to lease any space to them. At the end of the meeting it was decided that the issue was essentially dead and if it resurfaces, Buena Park Neighbors will send out a notification.

In case you are interested, Sarah Feigneholtz’s office has kindly provided the links below for those of you who would like to read the Bill that authorizes Medical Marijuana Dispensaries in Illinois.


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