Your Neighbors and Your Neighborhoods
by Dave Noble
ELMHURST – Gas price text alerts, “Fizzfreez” frozen drinks, and a 1.2” thick glass-clad polycarbonate bullet-resistant window between you and the cashier are among the thrilling features of the new Thorntons gas station at York and Lake Street that has Elmhurst residents eagerly anticipating its opening, scheduled for 6:00 a.m. on Friday, July 15th. Built on the property formally occupied by Steven’s Steakhouse and easily accessible from I290, Thorntons expects to attract both local customers and foreigners 24 hours per day with its 30-foot pylon sign and luminaire LED canopy lights glowing over the gas pumps, convenience store, and surrounding residential neighborhood.
“We’re really excited to open a location in Elmhurst,” said Thorntons senior manager of development Jode Ballard, leading a handful of reporters on a tour of the facility Thursday afternoon. “And we feel honored to be a part of the North York Corridor project.” Approved by the Elmhurst City Council for a conditional permit in September, Thorntons will serve as the visible point of entry into town that the city has been looking for, and will reconnect the area to the architectural style in downtown Elmhurst.
“This isn’t just a place to fill your flex-fuel vehicle with our signature E85 gasoline,” continued Ballard, using a straw to pulverize a frozen chunk of blue raspberry-flavored slushy at the bottom of a 32 oz. cup. “We have donuts, sandwiches, and a ‘Free-quency’ rewards program that will keep customers coming back.”
Elmhurst residents who live directly behind Thorntons are looking forward to the supplementary benefits from having a new cornerstone business so close to their homes.
“I’m going to have a giant spotlight shining over my backyard and through my bedroom windows every night,” boasted North Addison Avenue resident Mike Dvorak, noting that he will no longer need to use his swing-arm wall lamp to read in bed, and that he will soon have the option of mowing his lawn at 3:00 a.m. “But the best part of living so close to the gas station is that after it gets robbed, I’ll definitely be able to point out my house when they show one of those overhead helicopter shots on the news.”