PORTAGE PARK — Two businesses across the street from one another — including the deli that succeeded neighborhood favorite Szymanski’s — have closed up shop after being in the Portage Park community for a short amount of time.
Volcano Express Japanese Grill & Sushi at 6011 W. Irving Park Road and Polish Farm Market, 6014-6016 W. Irving Park Road, are no longer in business..
The polish deli, which opened in July of 2022 at the longtime home of Szymanski’s, closed about a month ago. The sushi spot, which opened in October, closed sometime last month.
Market co-owner George Herrera did not respond to requests for comment Friday.
He and his brothers previously told Block Club they reopened the deli with a goal to fill the void from Szymanski’s and offer fresh, locally-Zsourced groceries at affordable prices. The shop offered fresh fruit and vegetables, a deli and hot food bar with classic Polish items made daily, as well as some Mexican items.
Herrera hired employees who used to work at Szymanski’s and other Polish people from the community to boost the authenticity of the grocery store, he said. Gina Wimiarski, who made all of the deli items from scratch every morning, worked at Szymanski’s for decades and was an employee at Polish Farm Market, she previously said.
Szymanski’s went out of business in October 2021 after more than 30 years in the neighborhood.
A big “For Lease” sign” now hangs on the window of the 7,000-square-foot deli.
Volcano Express Japanese Grill & Sushi was opened by friends and co-owners Enrique Fernandez and Jose Llangari, who collectively have more than 20 years of experience working in sushi and hibachi restaurants. They previously told Block Club they wanted to bring more food options to the Portage Park strip.
Fernandez and Llangari also did not return requests for comment, though a new Tex-Mex joint called Gwacamole is slated to open in the storefront, according to a banner outside the business.
State records show a license for the business was opened in July. It’s unclear if the same owners of the sushi spot are behind the new shop.
Before the sushi spot, the restaurant used to be Luna Empananda Shop, which closed in August 2021.
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