After more than 60 years in Edgewater, a neighborhood diner is taking the leap into expansion with a second location in North Center this spring. Alexander’s Restaurant will take over the space at Montrose and Western previously occupied by Jeri’s Grill, which closed in May 2020 due to the pandemic.
The DiPiero family, which ran Jeri’s for 57 years, still owns the building, and they invited Alexander’s to come fill the space, says Henry Mizhquiri, who owns the Edgewater diner with his father Luis and siblings Diana and Erik: “They wanted us to take what we do in Edgewater and spread some love over there as well.”
The new restaurant will serve essentially the same menu as the current one: breakfast and lunch, with all the diner classics, like omelets, skillets, burgers, melts, shakes, and a Grecian chicken special. But there will also be a second operation in the back with a different, yet-to-be-determined name that will serve sandwiches and ice cream to go.
“[Welles] Park is right there,” Mizhquiri says. “We want to make things accessible for families and kids to come by.”
The Mizhquiris have gutted the North Center space and plan to do a complete renovation. They’re shooting for a spring opening, although the family is especially worried about construction and equipment delays.
Alexander’s opened in 1960 at the corner of Clark and Granville. Luis Mizhquiri began working in the kitchen shortly after he immigrated in the late ’80s from Ecuador to Chicago and has been there ever since. He and his children took over the business in 2019.
“We’re a family business,” says Henry Mizhquiri. “Everyone here is basically family. We’ll do the same thing [in Ravenswood] that we do here.”
Alexander’s Restaurant North Center, 4357 N. Western Avenue, Scheduled for a spring opening.