EDGEWATER — A new family-owned Italian ice and popcorn shop is set to open right as the summer is kicking off in the heart of the Bryn Mawr Historic District.
Tina's Italian Ice will set its anchor down at 1050 W. Bryn Mawr Ave. next to a pair of empty storefronts neighboring Redtwist Theatre had been eyeing for expansion.
The business is owned by Alex Sarros of Cool Refreshments LLC, who will run the store alongside his wife, son and daughters, who live suburban Berwyn.
His caramel, cheese and Chicago-mix popcorns are all sugar-free and made with family recipes, but "big boys" like Garrett's don't scare Sarros.
"We have popcorn, cheese corn, just like the big boys in Chicago — everyone's gonna be talking about us," Sarros said. "Just like Garrett's does."
Other menu items include Chicago summertime favorites lemon shake-ups, while classic flavors like blue raspberry, mango, strawberry, cherry and more will be available for Italian ice lovers.
His flavored ice, which comes from a supplier in Park Ridge, is made with real fruit and sugar — no corn syrup or artificial sweeter — he said.
Earlier this month, Sarros was issued a permit for a $20,000 renovation of the corner storefront, including minor updates on electrical and plumbing systems, which should be finished around the end of April.
This weekend, he plans to go in to lay down floors and paint walls.
By mid to late May, Sarros said his shop will be ready to open.
He said he's excited to move into the neighborhood after starting his business last year and working the suburban and Chicago street festival scenes.
After being approached by Ald. Harry Osterman's (48th) office, Sarros said he was urged to take up shop in the vacant store and set down permanent roots.
"[Edgewater] seems like a mini-downtown to me, lots of tall buildings and high-rises, lots of people and high density — but that's what I love about it," Sarros said. "We're very excited to come to the neighborhood, there's nothing else like us around."
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