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Beloved Mural from 'Pancake Cafe' Finds New Home at Village Hall

NBC 5 weatherman Andy Avalos—original owner of 'PC's Pancake Cafe'—and newest owner Lemont Trustee Paul Chialdikas thanked the community for its support and dedicated the mural during a Dec. 9 board meeting.

As Andy Avalos drove across the State Street bridge more than 13 years ago, the skyline of Lemont sparkled in his view. 

Speckled with steeples rising above storefronts, the sight was unlike the backdrop of any other locations Avalos was considering as a home for his business endeavor. 

"There was this feeling that I got each time ... so the village in its own way spoke to me, and said, 'come here, come here,'" Avalos said. 

In 2000, the NBC 5 weatherman opened Pancake Cafe, which would become a local favorite. Avalos so loved the skyline, he had it emblazoned across a wall. The mural was recently lifted from the wall of the restaurant—which closed in June 2013—and lovingly installed in its new home on the board room wall at Village Hall. 

Trustee Paul Chialdikas, who purchased the restaurant from Avalos in 2005, believed the board room would be the perfect spot for the mural. The mural was dedicated Dec. 9. 

"With Andy's blessing, he is giving us this beautiful mural," Chialdikas said. "It sat there (the restaurant) for 13 years—and it could have gone another 10 or 20, but due to the economy, we couldn't hang on."

Like the restaurant and Lemont, the mural holds a special place in Avalos's heart. 

"It wasn't just a painting we had commissioned for the restaurant," he said. "It was a part of the restaurant. ... We knew from day one, that once we had the mural, we were going to build the restaurant around the mural." 

Avalos thanked the board for carrying on the mural, even outside of its original home. 

"From Paul, from myself, all of my employees, I couldn't have picked a better place to put the mural," he said.

"'Til the day I die, there will always be a piece of Lemont in my heart, because I gave, and you gave back more than I ever gave to you."

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Bob December 11, 2013 at 08:26 PM
I miss the Pancake Cafe more than you will ever know. Paul your coffee made my Sunday and your pancakes were my children's favorite. Thanks for the 8 great years, you are truly missed

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