Archive for the ‘Grocery Stores’ Category


March 24, 2019

If you look at the Yelp reviews for Lou Malnati’s in Schaumburg, one of the things you’ll notice is that many people believe the building is an old house that was, at some time, remodeled into a business. Given that the early history of this building is unknown, it’s possible that it did start its life as a house, but it’s doubtful. The location is just too good.

The intersection of Schaumburg and Roselle was the heart and soul of Schaumburg Township during the rural period. It’s where the farmers came to do business in the sparsely populated area. There was, at various times, within easy walking distance of the intersection, a general store, a hardware store, a blacksmith, a bank, a garage, a grain mill, a creamery and a hotel/tavern.

While we do not know the exact year that the building was erected, the best guess we have is from the Schaumburg Township portion of the 1875 Van Vechten and Snyder’s Real Estate Map of Cook & DuPage Counties. The map shows a building directly on the corner of the intersection. Given that other buildings around it are listed as a wagon shop, blacksmith and school, it was obviously a commercial corner. Taking a look at the same map for 1870, there is nothing on the corner. So, somewhere between 1870 and 1875, the building could have been built.

Interestingly, Wayne Nebel, the longtime owner of the building during the 1960s, 70s and 80s stated in a Daily Herald article from January 1, 1975, “As near as we’ve been able to tell, it’s about 90 years old.” This would mean it was built around 1885. Given the fact that Mr. Nebel came from the German farming contingent, he might have gotten his facts from some of the locals who knew of the building either personally or from their ancestors. So, maybe his judgement is correct.

That being stated, the next time we find any mention of the building is in a 1901 article from the Daily Herald. This article mentions that on June 25, H.C. Hattendorf or Herman C., would be turning over his hotel and saloon to Henry Quindel (pictured below.) I also discovered that Hattendorf is mentioned in the 1900 census as a “saloon keeper.” His age at the time was 26 so we know he hadn’t held the job and/or owned the building for long–and that someone definitely came before him.

Another mention in the November 3, 1905 Herald states that “H.E. Quindel quit biz at the old stand Nov. 1 and turned the keys of the hotel and saloon over to Jno. Fenz who will open a hardware and farm machinery story there next spring…in [the] charge of Herman Fenz with Herman Gieseke as tinner.”

An article from the Palatine Enterprise of January 26, 1906 says that “John Fenz & Son expect to open their new hardware store, about Feb 15. Louis Menke and his force of carpenters were transforming the old Quindel hotel and saloon into a model store. A new glass front will be put in the west side fronting the prospective Palatine, Roselle & Wheaton Electric R.R. A fine large cabinet that cost $300 with counter, numerous drawers, pigeon holes and glass front, will afford a model and convenient place to display cutlery, fine tools and fancy goods. A splendidly equipped tinshop will occupy the old ball room. The business at this new establishment will include a complete line of light and heavy hardware, stores, farm implements, etc. Herman Fenz will manage the new store, and Herman Gieseke, who has served 6 years with Reynolds & Zimmer at Palatine, will be able to give entire satisfaction, in charge of the tin shop.”

This wonderful description gives us a glimpse at the building’s interior and what it was used for at the turn of the century. If you look at the photo above from 1913, the glass front looks like it was actually part of the front door. Also, it is my understanding that the ball room was on the second floor, separated from the commercial end of things. Imagine carrying all of that tin to the second floor to work on. I suspect, too, that the framed portion on the north side of the building possibly slid aside or dropped down to allow access for merchandise to be brought into the building.

The railroad that is mentioned never materialized, though there were many discussions of it in the paper. It was obviously designed to connect the Union Pacific Railroad in Wheaton to the Union Pacific line in Roselle to the Chicago and North Western Railroad in Palatine. Other potential north/south lines were also proposed at one time or another but the Elgin, Joliet & Eastern was the only one built, even though it was much further west.

This ad appeared in 1909 and, clearly, the Fenz family had sold the store to their tinsmith, Herman Gieseke. In fact, in a 1911 article, the store is mentioned as H. J. Gieseke’s Hardware Store.

This ad from July 25, 1913 throws a bit of a wrinkle into the mix, letting us know that Mr. Gieseke relocated to a new building. Unfortunately, not only am I unsure which building it was but, a year later, in the September 18, 1914 paper, it was reported that “H.J. Gieseke’s hardware and grocery store” burned.

A few years passed with no mention of who was occupying the building on the corner. The next tidbit appears in the November 14, 1919 issue of the paper where it mentions that the “first social hop of the season will be given at Freise’s Hall, Schaumburg.” Yet another mention in the May 14, 1920 paper advertises another social hop at the same place. Both record Ed. Diekman as the manager. Curiously, Mr. Diekman’s profession in the 1920 census is listed as merchant of a cigar store.  We can only assume he was operating a cigar business in the old hardware store as we know, for sure, that the Fenz store on the southwest corner of the intersection and Lengl’s tavern were definitely occupied.

The next time we meet him is in the October 17, 1924 paper that mentions “E.H. Diekman is getting lined up to start a general store in the former hardware store.” So, we presume he was expanding his cigar business and, in fact, a later article in early 1925 says, “One of those good old time programs will be given Saturday evening Feb. 16th in the Diekman hall above the Schaumburg store…” It didn’t last long because, by November 20 of the same year, it is reported that he had discontinued his business.

We then have another gap in ownership until 1930. We’ll meet more owners next week as the history of building that is Lou Malnati’s continues…

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library


March 30, 2014

JewelRecently, a person who found this blog posed a question concerning a grocery store that he remembers during his youth in Schaumburg Township.  His description was:

“What was the name of the grocery store with the big apple on the sign outside?   I remember it as a small child but only remember it being in Schaumburg but cannot remember what street it was on.”

Does this ring a bell with anyone?  Some of the grocery stores that have been in this area in the past are A&P, National, Jewel, Dominicks, Guido’s, Butera, Eagle, Cub Foods and Kohls.

If you can provide an answer, I’d sure appreciate it if you’d leave a comment below.  Here’s hoping the collective memory can come up with it!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library


February 23, 2014

Our guest contributor this week is Pat Barch, the Hoffman Estates Historian.  This column originally appeared in the February 2014 issue of the Hoffman Estates Citizen, the village’s newsletter.  The column appears here, courtesy of the Village of Hoffman Estates.

The closing of the area’s Dominick’s grocery stores brought back memories of our history with large grocery chains.

A grocery store was vital to a new community.  When our homes sprang up from the corn fields in 1955 the early residents had to travel to nearby towns like Roselle or Palatine to buy groceries.  It wasn’t the most convenient way to shop but nothing else was available.

When the Hoffman Plaza shopping center opened in the summer of 1959, it had many of the stores that were needed by our pioneer families.  Jewel Tea grocery store was more welcome that any of the other stores except perhaps for the Snyder Drug store.    There was much joy in Hoffman Estates when the residents could shop close to home in their own town. Hoffman Plaza

Jewel has been in business for 115 years and our Jewel, although it’s changed locations within the Hoffman Plaza, has offered us wonderful shopping for the past 54 years.

In 1963 the Golf Rose Shopping Center was being built.  The addition of other stores and shops gave our residents more reason to shop in their own town.  What they really loved was the addition of a National Tea grocery store on the north end of the shopping center.  At the south end was a W. T. Grant’s department store. In between was a bakery, Golf Paint & Glass, Hoffman Estates Liquors and Balas Carpeting & Furniture.

The National had been in the Chicago area since 1899 and was well known to those who moved out from Chicago to buy their first home. But the store didn’t remain for long.  By the mid 1970’s, very much like Dominick’s, the grocery chain abandoned the area leaving close to 9,000 workers without jobs.

Another memory of mine is the A & P. It wasn’t in Hoffman Estates but in Schaumburg.  Although I live in Hoffman Estates, this A & P was located on Higgins Rd. just 2 blocks from my home in the Highlands.  It faced Higgins with the back of the store facing Golf Rd. It was there in 1965 when we moved in but I can’t recall when it left that location.

In the snowstorm of Jan. 1967, it remained open only because the clerks couldn’t make it home and slept in the store which was wonderful for those of use able to walk there to buy milk and bread.  This location now has the St. Alexius Medical Center, Binny’s and the New China Buffet.

With all the competition from these stores over the years, our Jewel continues on as the first and one of the favorite grocery stores in town.

Pat Barch
Hoffman Estates Village Historian


May 22, 2011

In doing research for the Kohl’s Food Store in Schaumburg, I discovered there was actually another store in the chain that was at 7500 Barrington Road in Hanover Park.  Thinking it was in the Tradewinds Shopping Center, I looked further and found that it was actually on the west side of Barrington Road in the appropriately-named Westview Shopping Center.  And, thanks to a number of commenters on this blog, I know it didn’t face Barrington Road the way the businesses today do.  Rather, it faced Irving Park Road.

It opened in August 1977 as the anchor store of the small strip mall.  They had their work cut out for them because an Eagle and a Dominicks were also operating in the Irving Park/Barrington Road area.  Needless to say, competition was fierce.

Unfortunately, Kohl’s store itself was also hit with structural problems.  Due to the unstable soil base beneath the store, the building began to shift.  A Daily Herald article from April 2, 1982 says, “The shopping center was built on marshland, and Kohl’s said the store’s foundation was cracking and the building was falling away from the parking lot.”

With no repairs forthcoming, the grocery store’s headquarters filed a lawsuit in November 1980, three years after the store opened, against the land trust that owned the shopping center.  The problems continued to mount with insufficient repairs being done.  Finally, the situation became so bad that refrigeration problems forced the store to close on November 28, 1981.

By April of 1982, the chain decided not to reopen the store.  After closing not only the Schaumburg store the month before but seven others as well in the Chicago area, it must have been obvious that the Hanover Park store and all of its problems were not worth the effort.

The store has since been torn down and the Westview Shopping Center has been rebuilt.  Maybe you can answer a question though.  Did the Hanover Park Kohl’s Food have the distinctively arched roof and entrance that the Schaumburg store did?  If you by chance have a picture, I would appreciate the opportunity to scan it for our collection.  Contact Jane Rozek at or 847-923-3331.

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library


May 8, 2011

Think of a big box grocery store and a  square brick facade with equally square windows is immediately brought to mind. Enter a chain that appeared in the 1970s Chicagoland area that turned that design on its ear.   With its gracefully arched roof that continued to the equally arched entrance of the store, the style was very distinctive for a grocery store.   The name?  Kohl’s Food Stores.  The Schaumburg Township location?  580 S. Roselle Road, the current location for the Walgreens at Schaumburg Road and Weathersfield Way.

Kohl’s Food Stores were begun by Max Kohl in 1946.  Even though the British-American Tobacco Company gained a controlling interest in Kohl’s Corporation in 1972, the Kohl family continued to run the company.  After the family left in 1979, the Kohl’s Food Store chain opened more stores—adding the Schaumburg store that same year as part of the expansion.

The Roselle Road store—in a shopping center known as Kohl’s Plaza–joined these other stores in the area:  Chicago, Buffalo Grove, Morton Grove, Glen Ellyn, Mt. Prospect, Lincolnwood, Glenview, Elmhurst, Bloomingdale and Hanover Park.    And, for a mere three years, the Kohl’s Food Store served Schaumburg Township well as an alternative to Jewel, Butera and Dominicks.   In the spring of 1982, however, it was announced that the Schaumburg store, along with seven of the other Chicago area stores, would be sold to Eagle.

In a quick turnaround, Eagle opened their store in what is now the Farmgate Shopping Center.   Although the merchandise changed, the arched facade of the store remained throughout the ownership of Eagle and, later, Dominicks.  It was not until Walgreens took ownership of the store, that the façade changed.  You can, however, still see an example of the typical Kohl’s façade at Rogan’s Shoe Store on Dundee Road in Buffalo Grove.

Unfortunately, our library does not have any photos of the Kohl’s Food Store in Schaumburg.  Should you have any in your possession, we would certainly appreciate the opportunity to scan the photo(s) and add them to our Local History Digital Archive.  Please contact Jane Rozek at

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library


February 28, 2010

In 1963, the young village of Schaumburg welcomed the first grocery store–a Jewel–in the Weathersfield Commons Shopping Center at the corner of Schaumburg and Springinsguth Roads.  It lasted in this location until January 1989 when they opened a newer store down the road in Scharrington Square.

There have been many grocery stores in Schaumburg Township over the years–National and Byerly’s– to name a few.  Which are your favorites?  What stores are we missing?  Tell us what is/was special about the store where you shopped.


Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library