The Cozy Shop
The Cozy Shop was one place to go to socialize and get a bite to eat in La Mott in the 1940’s and 50’s. Once located at the corner of Keenan Street and Willow Avenue (the 1500 block of Willow Avenue), across from (then) McConnell’s, the shop was owned by William Deck and Paul Giles and serviced the community. The menu included everything from hot dogs, hamburgers, and cold sandwiches to pies, cakes, and ice cream. The Cozy Shop also had a jukebox so you could listen to your favorite tune while munching on a sandwich and chatting with friends.
In the village, as La Mott is considered, was a printer, two grocery stores, a taproom/beer garden (that apparently had good food), a modiste (dress maker), a confectionary store and other businesses. You could purchase candy, butter, eggs, milk, luncheon meats, get your car serviced and your shoes repaired all without leaving the neighborhood. Years ago, I read that the dollar went around 11 times in a neighborhood of Chicago before it left the area. As I learn about La Mott, I wonder if a similar principle applied there. Now, people leave the area for groceries, locating a restaurant and the like.
Before The Cozy Shop existed, the same space was formally an ice cream parlor owned by Mr. Olvis (who lived on Butcher Street). He ran the place complete with little round tables and chairs with heart-shaped backs. Later it was an eatery owned by Ruth Dorsey where single and widowed men often came for some serious home cooking. I read an ad written in 1952 for Ruth’s Grill, an eatery located east in the same block as The Cozy Shop, and I wonder if it is the same Ruth Dorsey who moved her establishment after The Cozy Shop closed. The same facility eventually became a barber shop and an artist’s studio; it is now an apartment.