Chicago Dough Company in New Lenox was one of four south suburban businesses that closed their doors in December. (Supplied photo)

Chicago Dough Company in New Lenox was one of four south suburban businesses that closed their doors in December. (Supplied photo)

Comings & Goings: End of year brings end of 4 south suburban businesses

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By Bob Bong

The end of 2023 also brought the end to four longtime businesses in the south suburbs.

The Tender Trap

First to close was The Tender Trap in Chicago Heights, which shut its doors for the last time on December 23 after more than four decades in business.

The former sports bar and grill at 109 N. Halsted St. opened in 1982.

No reason was given for the closing in a note left on the door thanking patrons for their business and saying they will be missed.

The closing comes a year after Tender Trap co-founder Michael Galderio passed away from cancer. Galderio was affiliated with the Tender Trap until 1990. He later opened Balagio restaurants in Homewood and Mokena.


December 31 brought the end of a Tinley Park landmark when Dendrino’s Restaurant and Cocktail Lounge closed literally minutes before the new year began.

Originally a restaurant and lounge when it opened in 1969 at the corner of 183rd Street and Oak Park Avenue in unincorporated Cook County, Dendrino’s had increasingly gone downhill over the years and had devolved into a classic dive bar.

In May, the village finally was able to annex the property and promptly issued a list of improvements the business was ordered to comply with including fire sprinklers, building codes, and water and sewer connections.

Ultimately, the business owners concluded the cost of making the improvements was not worth the trouble.

“Following the lack of options and heavy cost burden presented by the Village at our meeting earlier this month, we had no other choice but to close our establishment after 54 years of serving the Tinley Park community,” the family said in the email to the village announcing the closing.

Recently, the business was not opening until the early evening even though it had gaming machines. It did have a 4 a.m. closing time under its Cook County liquor license, which made it a popular spot for those leaving local watering holes that had to close at 2 a.m.

Dendrino’s would have had to give up the county liquor license and would have to close at 2 a.m. weekdays and 3 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays under village ordinances.

Chicago Dough Company

Chicago Dough Company, which operated three locations, announced it was closing its New Lenox pizzeria on December 31.

The company said other locations in Richton Park and Bourbonnais would remain open, but the location at 1080 E. Lincoln Highway was closing.

No reason for the closing was given in its Facebook message: “To all of our friends, family, and customers. Thank you for your support and business throughout our years in New Lenox! Unfortunately, our last day in business will be December 31, 2023, but fear not Chicago Dough lovers! The Richton Park and Bourbonnais locations will continue serving the pizzas and all the favorite dishes you love. We hope you have a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year!”

J’s Peapod

A popular Chinese restaurant with two locations in Lansing announced both were closing after three decades in business because its longtime owner had passed away.

“Due to the sudden passing of J’s Peapod’s owner, Jeff Lo, we are sorry to inform you that both J’s Peapod locations on 171st Street and Burnham Ave. will be closed effective January 1st, 2024.

“J’s Peapod is extremely proud of its 32 years of service and would like to express our gratitude to the many loyal customers within the community and your continuous support throughout the years.

“We wish everyone a Happy 2024!”

J’s Peapod had been operating at 3212 E. 171st St. and 19285 Burnham Avenue.

Mr. Lo had passed away suddenly on December 15. He was 61 years old.

If you see a new business in town or wonder what happened to an old favorite, drop me a line at

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