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JJ’s Original Maxwell Street plans September opening on Torrence

Owner also plans future Polish-style restaurant at former Hong Kong House

LANSING, Ill. (August 30, 2023) – The Lansing Planning and Zoning Board of Appeals has recommended the approval of double drive-thru windows for a JJ’s Original Maxwell Street fast-food restaurant planned for 17310 Torrence Avenue.

The eatery that specializes in items such as Polish sausage, hamburgers, and Italian beef will have no inside seating but will offer only drive-thru and carryout service.

The location has double drive-thru windows from when it was once a Checkers restaurant, but the location had more recently housed a title loan company for which the drive-thru windows were not utilized, so the special use allowance for them became void.

JJ’s Original Maxwell Street details

Jakub Jasnak spoke before the Board and said he started the company in 1993 and owns several other locations, including in Dolton.

Former Dolton Mayor Riley Rogers attended the meeting and gave his support to Jasnak, citing his involvement in the community.

“I think it would be a great addition to the businesses here in the Village of Lansing,” Rogers said.

Jasnak said the restaurant will be open 24 hours, 7 days a week and will serve breakfast starting at 4 a.m. He said only the drive-thru will be open after midnight.

Board Commissioner Steve Kasper asked if there would be bulletproof glass for the drive-thru windows.

“Because that’s not the safest area right off the expressway at night,” Kasper said.

Jasnak said the windows would be bulletproof.

Jasnak said he thinks the Torrence Avenue spot is a good location for him to open another restaurant. He mentioned the QuikTrip gas station/convenience store that recently opened across the street at 17355 Torrence Ave. and said he expects the area to be busy.

Board recommendation

The Board recommended the approval of the special use request for the drive-thru windows by a vote of 8-0, contingent on the striping of parking spots near the restaurant.

Board Chairperson Grace Bazylewski said the request must still go before the Village Board and that is expected to occur on Tuesday, September 5.

“We’re a recommending Board,” Bazylewski said. “We’re not the final decision.”

Jasnak said if the Village Board gives approval on September 5, the restaurant could open as soon as September 7.

Future of former Hong Kong House

Jasnak said he will at some point come to the Board again for approval for a drive-thru window at another restaurant he also plans to open at 18144 Torrence Avenue.

The former Hong Kong House property is owned by Jakub Jasnak, and will eventually be a Polish-style restaurant with a drive-thru and indoor eating space. (Photo: Paul Czapkowicz)

 

Hong Kong House once operated from that building that is located between a Burger King and Old National Bank.

“It’s going to be a little bit different,” Jasnak said.

He said that restaurant will also not have indoor seating but will offer Polish-style food, such as pierogis.

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Paul Czapkowicz
Paul Czapkowicz
Paul Czapkowicz has served as a correspondent for the Northwest Indiana Times, so he is familiar with local politics, local business, and local goings-on in general. His training as a teacher gives him an innate sense of how to present facts in an organized and meaningful way, so readers gain understanding of complex subjects.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Can’t wait for this place to open. Been going to 95th in Chicago for years till it closed. They have the best porkchop sandwich. Always great employees also. Very reasonable prices.

  2. A bit confused. The picture states there WILL be indoor seating, but the end of the article says there will not be indoor seating.

    • There are actually two different restaurants shown in the article. The photo at the top shows JJ’s Original Maxwell, which will not have indoor seating. The second photo is of a building further south on Torrence, where the same owner plans to open a Polish-style restaurant that will have some indoor seating.

        • Hi Sherry, jumping in here on Melanie’s behalf. The Village Board heard from Mr. Jasnak at its September 5 Commmittee of the Whole meeting. Trustees will likely take a final vote on whether or not to approve the double drive-thru special use at their September 19 meeting. So that’s the soonest the business can open.

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