New restaurants headed for Lake and Oak Park Ave.

Amerikas and Courageous Bakery and Caf? to open on high-traffic corner

September 25th, 2017 5:13 PM

Courageous Bakery and Cafe owner Laura Pekarik says her restaurant at the corner of Oak Park Avenue and Lake Street is set to open on Thursday, Sept. 28. We peeked through the butcher paper still covering the windows last week and got a preliminary look at the restaurant's new look. | Photo by Timothy Inklebarger

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By Timothy Inklebarger

Staff Reporter

It's almost go time for Courageous Bakery and Café, according to owner Laura Pekarik.

The restaurant, located at the corner of Oak Park Avenue and Lake Street in the site of the old Red Hen Bread, is set to open on Thursday, Sept. 28, Pekarik said in a telephone interview. It will focus primarily on breakfast and lunch trade.

Pekarik said she's in the final stages of completing inspections with the village and everything's almost ready to go.

"I hope that we live up to everyone's expectations. The pressure's on. I'm feeling the heat," she said with a laugh.

Pekarik described the launch set for Thursday as a soft opening, but added that she's preparing extra pastries and menu items to be ready.

"I'm just excited to finally open," she said.

Courageous Bakery and Café, 736 Lake St., will soon be joined by a new next-door-neighbor, a Latin-food restaurant known as Amerikas, which will occupy the former Novo restaurant at 734 Lake St.

The Oak Park village board approved a liquor license for Amerikas earlier this month, and chef Hermano Gonzales said the menu will include "Latin food with mixtures from all over the world."

He told the board that he aims to have the restaurant opened by the end of the month.

"I really love the people in Oak Park – the diversity and the opportunity," Gonzales said in early September.

"The concept is Amerikas because America is a melting pot of diversity," he said.