welcome to cermak ROAD
The streets you walk and drive every day have shops and restaurants you love. They may also have centuries of stories worth hearing. Take Cermak Road, long heralded as Berwyn’s Main Street. Today, Berwyn’s Cermak Road corridor boasts locally owned small businesses, national favorites, a rich history, and a bright future.
A Diverse Community Flourishes
While its roots might be in Bohemia, Berwyn was long popular with Italian-Americans, Greeks, Lithuanians, Poles, Yugoslavians, and Ukrainians, too. Today Berwyn is home to a growing Latinx, African-American, and Asian-American population, and everyone’s taste buds benefit.
Enjoy Zacatacos or El Nuevo Vallarta Sports Bar & Grill, Las Islas for ceviche or famed La Lupita Restaurant named WGN-TV’s “Chicago’s Best Mexican Restaurant.” Their tacos and pozole are top-notch, and they offer tortillas made in-house. Whether you crave a savory elote, a sweet paleta, or what’s called by customers, “the absolute best ice cream,” head to La Michoacana Classic,where patrons report generous portions, spot-on flavors, and affordable prices.
Las Vegas Vietnamese Restaurant’phõ, broth, and fresh spring rolls—as well as the service—get rave reviews from loyal diners.
Celebrating a Great Czech Heritage
Cermak Road honors Chicago’s mayor from 1931-1933. On February 15, 1933, an assassin took aim at then-President Franklin Roosevelt during a rally in downtown Miami. Killed instead was Chicago’s mayor, Anton J. Cermak, who was in Florida visiting the President while he vacationed before his inauguration.
Small Businesses Make It Big
The rich Czech influence, along with many savings and loan businesses, earned Cermak Road the nickname “The Bohemian Wall Street.” Today, spots like the beloved Vesecky’s Bakery, where savvy locals have popped in for houska and rye for over a century, carry that tradition. Czech Plaza Restaurant is famed for its breaded pork tenderloin and stuffed fruit dumplings.
A welcome addition is Flight 22 wine bar, where knowledgeable staff pour wine and mix cocktails.
Other independent businesses have been Cermak Road staples for generations. Old Fashioned Candies family-owned since 1969, is famous for offering “Chicago’s Best Sweet Treats,” tempting holiday creations, and chocolate-covered strawberries.
Beyond food and beverages, Cermak Road is a small business shopper’s dream. Coco’s Boutique has been a beloved Berwyn destination for gowns and dresses for celebrations from baptism to first communion, proms to wedding gowns. For 18 years, Craig’s Shoes has fitted men, women, and children. Customers appreciate the knowledgeable and friendly staff, top-named brands, and the frequent shopper rewards available.
National Chains Come to Cermak Road
In recent years, Berwyn’s award-winning corporation and business incentives enticed popular national retailers and emerging chains to stake a claim in the community.
Cermak Plaza was an early example of a modern shopping center, opening in 1956 as suburbs expanded west. Today, it’s one one of the near west suburbs’ premier shopping hubs. Anchored by Tony’s, a family-owned supermarket with specialty imports, a much-anticipated addition to the plaza, it also includes Ross, Avenue, Gap Outlet, Shoe Carnival, Discovery, K & G Fashion, and Marshalls. Newer shops like locally-owned Pet Supplies Plus and Old Navy add even more reasons to stop in.
One for the Record Books
No mention of Cermak Road—or green technology—would be complete without the 13,500 square-foot World’s Largest Laundromat. Not only has this father-and-sons business been honored by the Guinness Book of World Records, but it is also famous for its award-winning eco-initiatives. A 36-panel solar thermal system is one of the largest green installations in the state.