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Trustees request more details for proposed soul food restaurant in Flossmoor Commons

Several Flossmoor trustees said they eagerly await the opportunity to sample menu items from what could soon be the village’s newest restaurant, Creed on Lake, but they want more details about the layout of the establishment before giving the green light for a liquor license.

At the board meeting Tuesday, Jan. 16, restaurant owner Erwin McKennie described the food his wife, chef Tina Cook, have been serving at their takeout location in Chicago since 2019, including many staples of southern soul food: catfish, chicken, collard greens, cabbage, blackeyed peas, sweet potatoes, yams, macaroni and cheese. 

And gumbo on Fridays.

“Tina does all the cooking. I do all the tasting,” he said. 

McKennie said the Chicago restaurant did well, but the business outgrew the space. He told trustees they chose Flossmoor because it’s closer to their home and colleagues who live in the South Suburbs. 

“Flossmoor is a beautiful city,” he said. “It’s peaceful, clean, a tight knit community.”

McKennie and Cook plan to operate a full service restaurant in the space formerly occupied by Karyn’s Kitchen at 3331 Vollmer Road.

Trustees were supportive of the plan, but they expressed two concerns. 

Trustee Joni Bradley Scott asked whether the menu might put Creed on Lake in direct competition with another restaurant in Flossmoor Commons.

“We want to see all of our businesses do well and not suffer from competition,” she said.

McKennie said the menu will include some special items each day to add variety.

Trustee Jim Mitros said the drawing of the restaurant’s layout was not detailed enough to give the board a clear idea where everything would be located. 

“Conceptually I think it’s great. I don’t have a problem with the license, but we need to see more,” he said. “I need to see the design.” 

He and Mayor Michelle Nelson were especially concerned about the location of gaming machines McKennie hopes to install. 

McKennie said he plans to have only two or three gaming machines and would build a separate room for gaming. He said he would submit a more detailed plan.

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