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Lincoln Square, North Center, Irving Park

Strip Mall Fire Forces Closure Of Churro Waffle, Other Irving Park Businesses

The fire impacted a restaurant, nail salon, martial arts gym, physical therapy center and dental office.

Multiple businesses at the strip mall at 2845 W. Irving Park Rd. closed after the 2018 fire.
Alex V. Hernandez/Block Club Chicago
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IRVING PARK — A fire at a strip mall on Irving Park Road led to the closure of several businesses this week.

The Facebook page for Churro Waffle, 2845 W. Irving Park Rd., posted an update around 6 a.m. Tuesday announcing they’d be closed for the foreseeable future.

“Good Morning. It is with heavy hearts that we wish to inform our friends, family, and loyal customers that we will be temporarily closed due to fire damage inside the Churro Waffle,” the post said. “We hope to reopen quickly as we have been busy planning our holiday season. Our family appreciates your support in this difficult time. We have worked so hard to bring you the Churro Waffle and look forward to reopening bigger and better.”

The restaurant just opened at the location in June.

The fire was caused by the “spontaneous combustion” of rags at Churro Waffle that had chemicals on them sometime between late Monday and early Tuesday morning, according to Larry Langford, a fire department spokesperson. No other information was immediately available Thursday.

Credit: Photo by Alex V. Hernandez.
Apparent fire damage visible Tuesday night on the building at 2845 W. Irving Park Rd.

The windows for Churro Waffle were boarded up this week and there appeared to be smoke damage near the business’s sign.

The restaurant’s owners did not immediately respond to a request for more information about the closure. 

A sign posted on the door for Rio Jiu Jitsu, which is a few storefronts down from Churro Waffle, said classes at the space would be postponed until Saturday. A person who answered the phone for Rio Jiu Jitsu around 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday night said the business was covered in soot.

Credit: Photo by Alex V. Hernandez.
Interior of Athletico’s Irving Park location. Ceiling tiles had been removed and put inside garbage bags insdie the physical therapy center.

Athletico Physical Therapy in Irving Park also appeared to be damaged from the fire. Physical therapy patients were being directed to other Athletico locations. 

A sign on the door of the Irving Park Athletico said, “Due to the fire we are closed until further notice.”

It’s unclear when the fire started but the Irving Park location had been seeing patients for physical therapy on Monday as late as 6 p.m.

The person who answered the phone at Cat Hospital of Chicago, which is also in the strip mall, said they were open but had no additional comment at this time.

The woman who answered Vera Nails & Spa Chicago, also in the strip mall, said the business would be closed until Saturday as well while they cleaned up all the smoke and water damage from the fire. 

Messages left with Midwest Family Dental, which is also located at the strip mall and had a boarded-up door, were not returned on Wednesday.

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