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Pita Inn To Fill Barnum and Bagel Space On Dempster

Skokie favorite The Pita Inn will knock down the deteriorating Barnum and Bagel building and put up a new restaurant.

Pita Inn, pictured at its current location, will construct a new restaurant on the site of the former Barnum and Bagel. Patch file photo.
Pita Inn, pictured at its current location, will construct a new restaurant on the site of the former Barnum and Bagel. Patch file photo.


Pita Inn, a longtime Skokie staple which serves Middle Eastern food in a casual setting, will be moving into the long-vacant space where Barnum and Bagel restaurant used to stand, Skokie Mayor George Van Dusen said Wednesday.

Pita Inn will have the current building torn down and build a new restaurant, much larger than its current spot at 3910 Dempster Street, said Luz Adonce, office manager.

The Skokie Appearance Commission reviewed the plans Wednesday, said Leslie Murphy, the village's economic development specialist.

Adonce said the menu would remain the same, but the new, bigger location may include a party room. She said construction may start fairly soon, but did not have a timetable on when the new restaurant would open.

"The architecture will be complimentary to Oberweis, which is just down the block," Van Dusen said. "That area is starting to percolate, with the Jewish funeral home, Oberweis and (the remodeled) Kaufman's Bagel Bakery."

Barnum and Bagel was once known across the northern suburbs as a prime place to go for hearty Jewish specialties, such as matzoh ball soup and corned beef sandwiches. But it changed owners, and eventually closed in 2007. The inside of the building had deteriorated, Patch reported in 2011. 

Earlier: Developer Faces Challenges Filling Empty Barnum and Bagel space.

Pita Inn's menu features chicken, beef and lamb kebabs, shawarma (gyros), hummus, baba ganoush, a variety of salads and more. 

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Linda Garza Hansen September 13, 2013 at 08:43 PM
That's marvelous new!
Eugene Salganik September 14, 2013 at 09:10 AM
Excellent!
Alexia Soutsos-Abrams September 14, 2013 at 02:10 PM
Wonderful? Can I have a piece of history when they knock it down?
LisaJoinPatch September 15, 2013 at 10:58 AM
Love Pita Inn and the idea of it accommodating more people and having a party room. I hope they will allow for an outdoor space (perhaps a courtyard so traffic from Dempster won't be a bother?) As for tearing the old place down, it just seems wrong to knock something down and replace it like that. Is there nothing to be done with the facade and gutting the inside of the current building? Seems environmentally wrong to knock something down like that. Then again, I don't know anything about construction . . . As for the new place looking like Oberweiss, why? Pita Inn has its own look and style and it should be allowed to express that. Do we really want all our retail looking like "little boxes, little boxes made of ticky tacky" ?
Earl Weiss September 16, 2013 at 08:34 AM
What? No eminent domain needed? No Village $1.5 Million dollar giveaway needed? While I do not find the Oberweiss design objectionable, I also see no need for the new owner of this property or anyone else for that matter have their ideas in the least bit constrained with any concern for that particular neighbor as opposed to the areas as a whole.
E. November 08, 2013 at 10:55 PM
Bigger space for Pita Inn is great. But I hope all the construction costs don't lead them to raise prices. One of the best things about that place is the reasonable prices and the great value they give you for your money.

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