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3 Things We Love About ... Hegewisch

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1. Saving a trip to the North Woods by checking out the Friday Night fish fry at Club 81 Too, 13157 Ave. M. There’s a small lake out back; keep a watchful eye and you might see the occasional deer that come visiting.


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Pam Austin, a field associate with the Field Museum, holds a toad discovered at the William Powers State Recreation Area. (Sun-Times file)

2. Taking in the 580 acres of William W. Powers State Recreation Area, 12949 Ave. O. The marsh area here is full of wildlife and fauna you wouldn’t exactly expect in the city.

3. Enjoying every gut-busting bite of “Bob’s Mistake” pizza — an avalanche of sausage, garlic, fresh tomatoes, and fresh red and green peppers — at Pudgy's Pizza, 13460 S. Baltimore. Would that every “mistake” was so appetizing!


HEY! YOU GOT THREE BETTER ONES?
Tell us your three favorite things about Hegewisch!

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41 Comments

Grew up in "Arizona", Best times were the Bus Stop Pizza! during teen age times. Playing Polka's at Club 505 and Steve's Hall (still great food)Hanging around and playing B-Ball at the "little Park" on M. Really miss Hegewisch fest, met many old friends there.

I feel so fortunate to have grown up in Hegewisch. It was the best of everything. It's hard to come up with just three things I liked, there are so many more. This is going way back: Stanley Dry Goods; Magic Oven Bakery; Hegewisch Bakery; Reliance; Milans which became Cousins; Kluckers Pharmacy; the witches; Helens House of Fashion; the store across the street from St. Florianon Baltimore (I can't remember the name), they had great penny candy and champagne popcicles; Vienna hot dogs on Baltimore (great hang out w/a juke box. Someone stole a 45 out of the juke box for me and I still have it); walking to Mann Park and Baltimore from 128th & Saginaw; some of us that lived on Saginaw used to say "Saginaw runs it". Going to Henry Clay and taking the CTA to CVS (for freshman year) then to Washington; living across the street from the Ford Plant; Joe & Kerry's on 130th; living in the trailer court for a few years before moving to Avalon Trails. I can go on and on. The people there are the best. The best friends I've ever had are from Hegewisch and a few of them still live there. I don't get back as often as I would like but it's still my favorite place in the world to visit. Love it!

I loved everything about growing up in Hegewisch. Walking from 128th & Saginaw to either Mann Park or Baltimore. Always finding someone to hang with. There was always someone out. Going to Cousins in the winter for coffee and to warm up; hanging out at Vienna's listening to the juke box (someone even stole a 45 out of the juke box for me and I still have it); going into Lou Ellen's for cigs and junk food. Reliance for penny candy; Magic Oven bakery; Stanley Dry Goods; reading the score board; taking the CTA to school. The best friends I ever had and ever will have are from Hegewisch, and they still live there. My favorite place to visit. Love it.

Wow....definitely Hegewisch fest. Looked forward to it every year. Taking the CTA to school is another memory.....swimming in the green lakes every summer in the trailer park. It just seems like such a small place now though. I moved in 1988. I don't visit as much as I like but I try. Washington HS c/o 85'.

The 3 things that made hegewisch great were
1.) Great friendly people
2.) playing baseball on the weeknds
3.) fishing at Wolf Lake

everyone mentions pudgys i guess everyone forgot about mama d`s how about bowling at penguin lanes or shopping at reliance&kurnic`s how aboutsnagging in the river and walking in the tar pits or even skating at mann park every night with 40 or so kids. those were the days

I too grew up in Hegewisch and it was great to be a part of "Mayberry". I agree with Mrs. Couston (hello). Even now in the paper we know each and live miles apart. I used to feel so safe there because it was the good old fashioned neighborhood. I still have to go back for the Dragobobs, Steves, Club 81 fish and most of all Pudgys pizza.

Yes. There are a lot of great things about Hegewisch. I love it here. It's quiet and the people are great. Everyone should check out Baltimore foods. They are well known for their shish kabobs. I would like to point out that this community is diminishing. Downtown Hegewisch has some storefront properties that have not been occupied for years. It's really sad. This town has so much potential and we cannot get any businesses here. I am a parent and I communicate with as much people as possible. Being that the town is mostly below the poverty line, it is in dire need of a resale shop. There is also a youth center that wants to move here to our community. I know one of the people there personally and he is a great guy who wants to bring his center to our community. Which the older kids who are constantly walking the neighborhoods aimlessly will have somewhere to go. The current community center, from what I hear, only takes 20 kids at a time. Which is not fair on the other 2 or 3 thousand. I love Harbor Point Estates. This is where I live. We are the only trailer court in Chicago. In 20 years, we will be of no more. The place has been sold and will be redeveloped. www.134thstreet.com. The park office does background checks so there is no "bad people" living here. I know that people think trailer court, trailer trash. That's not true. I am a single mom who does on her own with no help from the dad. I live here because it's a step towards owning a real home. We the community should take a stand and come together to make this place as best as possible for our children so the history of the town can stay alive. I think that this town is great and yes, it's the part of chicago that is a hidden treasure. LOL I called 311 before to talk about some permits and they couldn't even find it at first.

Yes. There are a lot of great things about Hegewisch. I love it here. It's quiet and the people are great. Everyone should check out Baltimore foods. They are well known for their shish kabobs. I would like to point out that this community is diminishing. Downtown Hegewisch has some storefront properties that have not been occupied for years. It's really sad. This town has so much potential and we cannot get any businesses here. I am a parent and I communicate with as much people as possible. Being that the town is mostly below the poverty line, it is in dire need of a resale shop. There is also a youth center that wants to move here to our community. I know one of the people there personally and he is a great guy who wants to bring his center to our community. Which the older kids who are constantly walking the neighborhoods aimlessly will have somewhere to go. The current community center, from what I hear, only takes 20 kids at a time. Which is not fair on the other 2 or 3 thousand. I love Harbor Point Estates. This is where I live. We are the only trailer court in Chicago. In 20 years, we will be of no more. The place has been sold and will be redeveloped. www.134thstreet.com. The park office does background checks so there is no "bad people" living here. I know that people think trailer court, trailer trash. That's not true. I am a single mom who does on her own with no help from the dad. I live here because it's a step towards owning a real home. We the community should take a stand and come together to make this place as best as possible for our children so the history of the town can stay alive. I think that this town is great and yes, it's the part of chicago that is a hidden treasure. LOL I called 311 before to talk about some permits and they couldn't even find it at first.

the best thing about hegewisch??? seeing it disappear in the rear-view mirror as im getting away from it as fast as possible!!!!

The best of Hegewisch includes the small town atmosphere that makes it a closely connected community; the great food available at a variety of eateries (including ethnic food and local favorites like the famous shish-ka-bob meat at the former Drago's - now Baltimore Foods). Another gem is Aniol's Hardware on Baltimore Ave., where you can find any part you need, along with expert instruction on how to fix whatever needs repair.

Grew up in Hegewisch and spent 25 years there. Went to St Florian and Henry Clay Schools. I now reside in El Segundo California. Another great place to live. My three favorites were; 1.The good times spent at Wolf Lake & Clay Hills. 2. All the fun summer events and field trips provided by the Hegewisch & Arizona Youth Centers. 3. A great community to raise a family and attain life long friendships. One of my friends who also wrote in this column is Bob Ziemek my locker mate at good old CVS.

Three great things about Hegewisch:
1) I can still run into guys I know who I grew up with. Graduated from St. Florian is 1963.

2) Yea, Pudgy's Pizza and Bob and the guys there are great.

3) Just strolling along Mann Park

Honerable Mention - the new hot dog stand on Brainard Ave just off Excanaba Ave. Nice people, good food.

I lived in Hegewisch from l923 to l956. Never forgot it. I now live in Arlington Heights, Ill.Occasionally I take a run through Hegewisch, stopping at places I once lived. Loved St, Columba, my first parish. I'll get some of Steve's Polish sausage!!

I still and always will love Hegewisch. I'm 4th Generation here. We have nothing but great memories raising our 3 boys here. I remember my son would walk to Wolf Lake to Fish with his Fishing Pole on his shoulder and having to chuckle because he reminded me of Opie ;} My 3 favorite things:
1) PUDGY's Pizza, but it's the man behind the Pizza that makes it the best.
2) Mann Park which I absolutely love, and to see everyone enjoying a nice day reminds me of a Norman Rockwell picture.
3) The People that live and have lived here. No better, can you find anywhere.

Club 81 Too's Chicken and Perch are the best in town and around!! I loved growing up in Hegewisch and its sad to see how it has changed and I blame that on the greedy people (we all know who they are)..who will do anything to make a buck and have turned "up-town" into a ghetto. Hope they are happy living on the North Side after they trashed Hegewisch and are still doing so.

1) Growing up in the trailer courts.

2) Celebrating Hegewisch Fest with the love of my life Dee Dee.

3) Hangin at the Honeybear lounge.

1. Steve's Lounge. It has a top notch Fish Fry on friday afternoons. The catering is above and beyond the norm. Steves will jump thru hoops to make sure you get what you want and special orders are welcome. The bar is a good place to kick back and relax and catch a game on tv and run into old friends. Oh and I think everyone has been to a wedding there....
Sausage and kraut are addicting. Make sure to say hi to the lil ole sausage maker 'Pops'

2. The fact that I could run into friendly and familiar faces from wayyyy back in grammar school, seems like we never left sometimes.

3. the late HegewischFests

My three things.

1. The stained glass windows in St. Florian Church, some of the prettiest in Chicago.

2. That old time feeling you get when you walk into Steve's Lounge.

3. Pudgy's Pizza. Nothing quite like home town pizza.

Hard to stop at three things when you have Darcy's Hot Dogs, Aniol's hardware store, the most bio-diverse wetlands in the Midwest and some of the friendliest people in Chicago working and living in Chicago's best kept secret.

I grew up near St. Columba and I'll never forget playing baseball in the lot next the portable (old school hall) on Greenbay Avenue. I use to ride a homemade motorized 20" bike to Wolf Lake and Powerhorn lake to catch snapping turtles.
There was a penny candy store at Brandon and 134th street with a stern lady at the counter...we loved going there for squrrel chews, Mary Janes, and pixie sticks! Iwan grocery store at 134th and Avenue N always had our daily needs. Reliance Dry goods near the old library was the place to go for the latest model car assortment and modeling clay...penny candy too! At Cluckers pharmacy at 133rd and Baltimore, I used to buy 5 cent cigars (for my grandpa, ya right) and we would go smoke them in back of Burcharts music store. I bought my first car at Sczareks Auto Mart on avenue O. it was a 1974 Mustang II and lasted me until I got out of the Navy. When I came home, Hegewisch changed for the worst and I left, never to return. It will never be as it was back in the mid to late 60's. Those were the days!!!!

MANCINI'S PIZZA HAS THE BEST BROASTED CHICKEN IN HEGEWISCH ALSO THEIR BABY BACK RIBS,LAKE PERCH,SHRIMPS AND MANY OTHER DINNERS AND SANDWICHES.THEY HAVE BEEN NUMBER ONE IN MY FAMILY.GOOD JOB LARRY AND YOUR EMPLOYEES.

The best thing-- the memories. Growing up where everybody knew you, and knew who your parents were. Playing in "the prairie," where homes hadn't sprouted up yet. And boyhood adventures at Wolf Lake and other wetlands. The tidy neighborhood remains the same today, only with different people making new memories.

1. Hegewisch was the Mayberry of Chicago.
2.. the days of fast Eddie...
3..the hard working people...

1) Growing up in the trailer courts.

2) Walking with the love of my life, Dee Dee at Hegewisch Fest. Oh the memories that brings back. She was my first and last love.

3) Sharing a smoke with all the guys & gals at the Beacon & HoneyBear lounges.

I love Hegewisch for all the good memories of growing up there,come on where else could you walk to everything you needed, only left due to economics structure. My children were lucky in the early part of their life to enjoy this little Mayberry as I did. Best pizza I have ever eaten, to date haven't found anywhere as good. Wish more people could experience such a great place to grow up. Don't get back there much since my parents have passed, Really miss the Hegewisch Fests, was a great time to reconnect with old friends. Someone should create a Website or have a reunion so we could all see old friends again. Hey! Look for me on facebook.

3 isn't enough.

Living on Saginaw with excellent neighbors - we were like family.

Mann Park

Playing ditch all night and hardly being able to walk in the morning.

1. Little Park
2. 13410
3. The erstwhile Stan & Kay's

Several years ago I attended a festival in Hegewisch with my Nonny, who lived there for all 81 years of her life. I still have the t-shirt they were handing out there, in which "Da Mountains" was listed as one of the reasons "Why I wish I was in Hegewisch." Mount Trashmore is definitely not one of my favorite things about Hegewisch! I was born in Hegewisch and my parents, brother, sister and I lived there before moving to the suburbs when I was 5. The three things we love most are (1) Steve's sausage (the absolute best in the world!!) (2) Mann Park, where we spent many an afternoon playing, and still have an occasional game of tennis when we have the chance and (3) this one is purely personal: my grandpa's house. It reminds me of my childhood, of good times and laughter, and also of my Nonny, who made the best cheesecake, had the kindest soul, and thought Hegewisch was the best place on earth.

Please check out the following website:
http://hegewisch.net to learn more about our town!

My 3 favorite things about Hegewisch are the Polka Bands and Dancing at the "Club 505" located on the intersections of Baltimore and Brainard Avenue.
The banquets, food, and the old-charm bar at Steve's Lounge, located at 13200 S. Baltimore Avenue. The food is the best around, the fresh Lake Perch is scrumptious, not to mention the homemade Polish Sausage and Sauerkraut, and the Fried Chicken is the best there is. Make sure you stop in for a cold beer and see all the Jim Beam collector bottles that line the walls of the bar.
Another find in the Hegewisch community is Aniol's Hardware Store. A very quaint store that reminds you of yesteryear. Friendly employees that have all been there for many years, who can find you parts for items that haven't been made in ages.

As a young teenager I enjoyed riding my bike to Hegewisch to buy fresh vegetables from a woman at her house.

I loved to swim in Wolf Lake off Avenue O.

I lived on the east side in the l950's.

Here are my three favorite things about Hegewisch.

1)It is the neighborhood the rest of chicago does not know exist.
2)The Hegewisch Little League and Babe Ruth Fields.
3)Hanging out at Mann Park


Pudgy pizza has sponsored each of my kids in baseball and in softball. How lucky we are to still have people that care and want to be involved. A full story and tribute to Pudgys pizza is long long overdue. Ask him about the pumpkin patch if you.

I'm familiar with every one of these places.I know Bobby Zajak,and Frank at 81 and I know Wolf Lake. Theres no finer guys in the worlsd and no better place to live. God bless Pudgys and Club 81

Lived there my whole life. I agree with what Elaine said, all her points are true. City living in a suburban type of atmosphere. We are close to anything and everything.

To add three favorites about Hegewisch, one would have to mention Steve's Lounge located at 13200 Baltimore Ave.

1)Steve's Fish Fry on Friday evenings- Best fried shrimp and perch around!
2)Steve's sausage and sausage maker ; )
3)Steve's sour kraut. So good, they can't ever keep it stocked! We still love ya Stevie.

Steve's Lounge - The homemade Polish Sausage and Sauerkraut can't be beat, unbelievable great! The banquet and carryout foods are the best in the city and surrounding suburbs! Newly Remodeled Banquet Halls and a Great Fish Fry on Fridays offer the best Fresh Lake Perch and Jumbo Shrimp around.

Baltimore Foods - Don't let the Shishkabob Meat go untried, it is to die for! Great little convenience/liquor store, right in the heart of the community. Fresh Deli Sandwiches daily.

Seven Seas Pet Shop - Friendly neighborhood store offering Live Pets, supplies, and the sweetest animal groomers around. A wonderful place to board your pet when you leave for a vacation!

I agree with the above and to add to that, 1. garlic butter pizza's from Pudgy's, (Pudgy's again, they are the best)! 2. Shish-ka-bobs from Drago's (can't find any better, trust me I've looked) and 3. karaoke Wednesday nights at the Green Olive (starts early and has a good party atmosphere. Cheap drink specials too).

Hegewisch is the Mayberry of Chicago. There's no other place like it. Your top three couldn't be more right on. Good friends,and really good pizza.

3 Things I love about Hegewisch are: 1) Steves Lounge food!! 2)Memories of attending Clay School and how just driving by can evoke such memories. 3)All the friends that I have from growing up in Hegewisch and the bond we all have from growing up in a close knit community!!

Only age and health and the necessity to be closer to the children convinced us to leave Hegewisch. I agree with the 3 favorites in today's paper and add 3 more: 1) The comradery of neighbors having conversations while leaning on the fence separating the two yards; 2) The convenience of walking to shop, to go to church or the post office, to see a doctor, etc., etc., without needing a car to do so; 3) having the railroad (South Shore) and bus facilities to get as far north as downtown, the mall in Michigan City, the casinos in Indiana, etc. -- some by bus and others by rail, all available to get to (either the train or bus) by walking to them. Can't beat it.

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