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Jefferson Park, Portage Park, Norwood Park

Man Charged With Stabbing Chef To Death At Portage Park’s Foundation Tavern & Grille

A GoFundMe has been set up to help the family of Cory Neill, 35, pay for his funeral.

The Foundation Tavern & Grille, located at 5007 W. Irving Park Road.
Bob Chiarito/Block Club Chicago
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PORTAGE PARK — A 37-year-old Elmwood Park man was charged Tuesday in the stabbing death of his coworker at a Portage Park restaurant and bar.

Jesus Martinez was charged with one count of first-degree murder in the stabbing death of Cory Neill, 35. Both men worked at Foundation Tavern & Grille, 5007 W. Irving Park Road.

Police received a call at about 6:50 p.m. Sunday saying a man had been stabbed at the restaurant. When police arrived, a man holding a knife was standing over the victim, said Chicago Police spokeswoman Sally Bown. Police ordered the man to drop the “large” knife and took him into custody.

Neill, who was identified as a chef in a Foundation Tavern & Grille Facebook post about the incident, was stabbed in the right side of his neck, twice in his arms, once in his thigh and numerous times in his head, police said. He was taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Hospital in critical condition and underwent emergency surgery. He was pronounced dead at 8:32 p.m.

Along with a knife, police recovered video footage of the attack, Bown said.

The restaurant was closed Monday as per usual but also closed Tuesday in remembrance of Neill, according to the establishment’s Facebook post.

“He was always cooking with a smile and brightening the days of all those who had the pleasure of spending time with him. He was truly passionate about his craft and always looking for ways to improve the kitchen and the establishment as a whole,” the post read.

A GoFundMe was created to help raise money for funeral expenses for Neill. As of Wednesday morning, $3,600 of the $10,000 goal had been raised.

The day after the incident, residents living across the alley from Foundation said the restaurant and bar has been “a good neighbor.”

“It had nothing to do with gangbanging or anything like that. It was just a beef between two guys that got out of hand,” said Jimmy, a neighbor who didn’t want to use his last name.

Bown said police have responded to 11 calls from the bar since Jan. 1, from things ranging from illegal parking to a fall where a man hit his head, but “nothing severe.”

Martinez is scheduled to appear in Bond Court on Wednesday.