light of day 3The strip mall is still on Barrington Road in Streamwood and 29 years ago on March 26, 1986 the Break-Away Lounge was a staple in the mall.  And on that day, amazingly enough, actor Michael J. Fox was in town filming a new movie.

Fox was 24 years old at the time and had already released his top-selling movies, Back To The Future and Teen Wolf the prior year.  So, the fact that he was on Barrington Road filming scenes for a new movie was BIG news for local residents.

The Break-Away Restaurant and Lounge opened around 1977 at 116 N. Barrington Road.  In the early days they were open for lunch and dinner as evidenced by an ad from October 12, 1979 in the Daily Herald.  They offered lunch time delivery and “Lunch Time Entertainment” that featured a Fashion Show on Wednesdays and Fridays.  At that time they also had live entertainment on Wednesday through Saturday evenings, along with a Friday Fish Fry.

In 1984 the owner was listed in a September 20 issue of the Daily Herald as John Cartuccio and the name of the bar had been shortened to the Break-Away Lounge.  It was reported that Mr. Cartuccio generously opened his bar to Nebraska Cornhuskers fans on Saturday gamedays and, in what we would consider a very low-tech time, carried the game broadcast through a piped in phone line on the bar’s sound system.  So, no video.  Just audio.  Doesn’t that take you back?!?light of day 1

Two years later in 1986 Michael J. Fox and Joan Jett were in town filming scenes from their new movie, Just Around the Corner To the Light of Day.  Apparently the film crew slipped into town without much notice and very little hoopla.  Jack Buttitta, president of the Streamwood Chamber of Commerce, said town officials were unaware of the filming “until the last minute.”  Not too surprising since they were only there a half a day.

The following weekend the Break-Away was back to having live, local music acts like top-hits band Schome and easy rock band Justin Case on Fridays and Saturdays.  But, they certainly had their moment in the sun!

And, in case you’re interested, the movie title was shortened to The Light of Day and was released in 1987.  It’s based on a song written by Bruce Springsteen and performed by Joan Jett and Fox in the movie.  To this day, according to Wikipedia, Joan Jett continues to perform the song in her concerts.  In fact, it is the highlight of her concerts.  Plus, Springsteen featured it quite a bit in his own concerts after the release of the movie.  The movie may not have much of a following but that song sure does!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

[I don’t stray too often from the boundaries of Schaumburg Township for this blog, but this story was just too good and one I had not heard of.   I couldn’t pass it up!]

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