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Jefferson Park, Portage Park, Norwood Park

Portage Park Breakfast Place Aims To Bring Brunch To Former Fannie’s Spot On Montrose

The business owners want a zoning change to sell alcohol at brunch, a move that neighbors support.

The owners of a restaurant storefront at 5040 W. Montrose Avenue want to open a breakfast and lunch spot. It's seen Jan. 4, 2023.
Ariel Parrella-Aureli/Block Club Chicago
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PORTAGE PARK — A new brunch spot could open on a bustling Portage Park corner.

Areli Antunez and his business partner want to open Portage Park Breakfast Place at 5040 W. Montrose Ave., taking over the former Fannie’s cafe, which closed in 2019.

The restaurant and cafe will have table service and cafeteria-style dining, Antunez said.

The owners are trying to get a zoning change to serve alcohol alongside the restaurant’s breakfast, brunch and lunch options, attorney Andrew Scott said at a community meeting Monday.

The restaurant will be open 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday and serve breakfast and lunch during the week, with brunch also available on the weekends, Antunez said. They plan to open “around late April,” he said.

“We’re still working on remodeling,” Antunez said.

The owners obtained a permit in September to remodel the interior, according to public records and a notice posted on the business front door. The restaurant will be about 2,200 square feet, and the zoning change would not involve any physical changes to the building, Scott said.

The zoning change still needs to be introduced by Ald. Jim Gardiner (45th), but he signaled he supports the business and is looking forward to its success.

“We are excited to welcome this new restaurant,” Gardiner said at the meeting. “I think it will be great to welcome yet another positive energy to the ward.”

The property is zoned as a B1-1, typical of retail storefronts on low-traffic streets. The zoning proposal would change that designation to B3-1, which allows the liquor license, Gardiner said.

The change requires city approval.

Neighbors who tuned into the short meeting also shared positive comments about the business. The space was home to pizzeria Pizza by Alex before Fannie’s moved into the spot in 2015.

Alain Park, co-owner of comic book book store Howling Pages at 4354 N. Milwaukee Ave., which is kitty-corner to the new breakfast place, said he welcomes its addition to the strip. More food and coffee house options for business owners and residents are needed, Park said.

The breakfast spot “sounds awesome. We would be neighbors,” Park said. “Anything that brings more draw to that area, I am all for.”

Portage Park neighbor Anthony Hall said the zoning change would help the business be more appealing.

“I am looking forward to it; I support it — whatever helps you be successful,” Hall said.

The Portage Park corner, which borders Jefferson Park, has seen several businesses open recently. Aside from Howling Pages, which opened in May, cocktail bar Moonflower and its lower-level bar, Nightshade, opened over the summer at 4359 N. Milwaukee Ave.

Little Lulus across the street also reopened in the summer with a new business model and a nutrition bar. Next door, Triple R Gallery opened in late 2021.

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