AN EARLY FOOD COURT AT WOODFIELD MALL?

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Woodfield Mall has never had a formal food court.   In the early 1970s, though, there was a restaurant that came mighty close to the real thing.  It was called International Park and was owned under the auspices of International Cafes Inc.

As a result of a bit of give and take in the comments on the Woodfield Mall Opening Day posting, a couple of posters provided us with additional information.  Kassie said that stepping into the International Park restaurant on the lower level next to the ice skating rink gave you many dining choices.  A Coney Island section enticed you with a selection of hot dogs and cotton candy.  There was a hamburger grill, a counter for Chinese food, another area for standard American fare and yet another spot that gave you the chance to indulge in Italian favorites.

Peggy said the restaurant was owned by Don Linn.  Both women are former employees and, between the two of them, mentioned that he owned other stores at the mall including The Alley, Luv Is and Rags to Riches.  Cindy, who also worked for Mr. Linn, said he owned a candle store next to the The Alley called Light My Fire.  She said that as an employee in the early 70’s, they were required to work The Alley, Luv Is and Light My Fire on a rotational basis.

The chef was Joe Trocolli and he was in charge of the kitchen.  The restaurant opened in August or September 1971 and, according to their ad in the Daily Herald, International Park was their “new concept operation.”

Peggy also shared these photos with us from the International Park.  The first shows a group of employees relaxing after a long shift at the restaurant.  Clearly, red and white striped shirts and aprons were part of the uniform.

This is a scan of her pay stub.  She was paid $1.70 an hour and managed to get 34.75 hours during the pay period.  This was in January so the mall was doing well during the long winter months.  image (2)The store endured until late 1976 or into 1977.  The last mention I could find was in a November 1976 classified ad looking for new employees.  Maybe someone else can contribute more information to the story of this early food court-styled restaurant at Woodfield Mall?

Many thanks to Peggy and Kassie for sharing their memories and photos from their days of working at International Park.  Contributions such as theirs make this blog fun and valuable to the Schaumburg Township memory bank.

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

 

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3 Responses to “AN EARLY FOOD COURT AT WOODFIELD MALL?”

  1. Cindy Kunzer Says:

    He also owned the candle store attached to the Alley called Light My Fire…. we were required to work all three stores in rotation. The Alley, Light my Fire and Love Is. I worked there in 1972 or 73….and made $1.65 an hour

    • jrozek Says:

      Thank you Cindy! I’ve added your info to the blog posting. I appreciate the update.

      Jane Rozek
      Local History Librarian

  2. Mark Pettis Says:

    Met a woman whose last name is Marquardt, said she and her husband had a farm on the land where woodfield mall sits, sold eggs on the side of the road.

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