CITY HALL — A proposed new Parson's Chicken & Fish outlet in a former Halsted Street auto-parts store won quick approval from a City Council committee Thursday.
The Zoning Committee approved a zoning change for Parson's Chicken in the former LeMay Auto Parts location at 2435 N. Halsted without opposition from aldermen or the public. It will allow the restaurant to operate a bar as well.
Ald. Joe Moreno (1st), whose ward includes the original Parson's in Logan Square, called it "an amazing addition to the neighborhood," adding, "I congratulate them on going into Lincoln Park."
Moreno also lauded Parson's co-owner Peter Toalson for his philanthropy, saying he's "always there" when needed.
Ald. Michele Smith (43rd) said Toalson had already displayed those qualities in dealing with the concerns of local residents in Lincoln Park. "He's been very responsive to our neighbors," Smith said.
"We're delighted," she added, "and very excited" about the new Parson's outlet.
Parson's attorney Joseph Gattuso said the new restaurant had also earned the support of the Park West Community Association.
Toalson explained at a community meeting last month that the down-trodden nature of the former auto-parts garage actually made it "a good fit" for Parson's and its intentionally funky decor.
"Historically, that's what we do — buy bad buildings," Toalson said. "We just like weird, bad buildings."
Toalson said plans were for the new Parson's outlet to open in the spring if all goes smoothly, and the plan certainly hit no snags Thursday. The zoning change now moves forward for final approval from the full City Council.