Meet Your Neighbor, Al.
Name: Jose Alfredo Arteaga Hometown: Chicago, IL Current Residence: Berwyn, IL
Tell us a bit more about yourself.
I am 32 years old, a Berwyn resident and a father to my 6-year-old son. Berwyn has been my home since the 5thGrade. I’m the oldest of 3 siblings. Before Berwyn, we lived in the Little Village neighborhood up until the mid-90’s. My family and I have strong roots in Berwyn. We all attended school locally, started a business, grew our family here and have contributed to the character that makes Berwyn a cool place to call home. Our immediate family is very close. Pre-Covid-19, it was a Sunday tradition to go to mass at St. Leonard’s and then come together for late lunch at our family restaurant, Guadalajara Grill and Bar located on Cermak Rd. Although we can’t come together as frequently as we would like now, we still make time to see each other safely. A favorite way to enjoy our family time in Berwyn is by visiting Proksa Park!
The Business Side
I’ve worked in the Hospitality Industry all my life. I’ve helped Manage restaurants in the River North and Lincoln Park area. From contemporary Mexican fair to traditional Mexican street food with a modern twist, my focus has always been on Mexican cuisine. Currently, my sister and I help manage the day to day operations of our family’s restaurant, Guadalajara Grill and Bar. My mom and Dad opened in 1996. We are proud to say that we are a staple in the community for great Mexican food and live premier sporting events. Our loyal customers are what drives us. We are completely family owned and operated. It’s been a privilege to serve and grow with the community over the years. As we are approaching our 25 years in business next year, we continue to be asked, “what’s next? Are you changing it up?” As far as changes, we certainly want to evolve to stay connected with our customers. From offering online delivery services to offering trending cocktails like our award winning Michelada, we want to add to the quality we offer. As far as what’s next? That’s easy! We want to be here for another 25 years minimum.
Describe yourself using 3 words.
Friendly, Determined and Understanding. I like to see myself as a friendly individual, while I feel it’s something that come naturally it’s been in great part owed to my line of work in the hospitality industry. It’s something I’m very grateful for and glad that my daily interaction with customers has made me the friendly person I feel I am today. I’m determined, because I do not let barriers get in the way of my laser focused vision. Understanding is something you have to be when working in the hospitality industry.
Which place would you like to visit and why?
The place I’d most like to visit would be Colombia. I’ve always been fascinated by its landscape, culture, and cities. I’ve always been a fan of the food. The people always have a festive and optimistic outlook on things that its almost contagious. It would be on my bucket list to visit one day.
What would your perfect room look like?
My perfect room would have a lot of natural sunlight. It would have a high ceiling and antique yet comfortable furniture. I’d have lots of books and lots of plants. No television and possibly a vinyl player. That’s my perfect room.
What's the worst hairstyle you've ever had?
The worst hairstyle I ever had was a mohawk. I was 18 when I had it and it didn’t last very long. It seemed like a good idea at the time and after much feedback the decision was made to do away with it a week later. There is a picture somewhere as proof that it happened.
What is one dish from your menu, you could make without looking at the family recipe?
Without a doubt, I could whip up our Green Chicken Enchiladas!
Berwyn can easily be described as a neighborhood of the City. We are so close to the main attractions the big City has to offer. Also, we have a nice mix of that suburban feel with city like amenities.
Where would you bring a friend to eat or visit while in Berwyn for the first time?
If my friend were hungry and thirsty, I would take them over to Cigars and Stripes. They have the best wings around! If it’s super after hours, I’d take my friend to El Meson Express. If it’s summer, we would have to go to, Gina’s Italian ice!