Elmhurst 7-Elevens Brace for Onslaught of Munchie-Seeking ‘420’ Customers

Elmhurst Celebrates 420
Elmhurst residents are expected to consume an estimated 2,500 Slurpees and 1,700 Taquitos during the counterculture holiday “420”.

by Dave Noble, City News Editor

ELMHURST – Fully staffed with two cashiers scheduled for each shift and prepared to serve a staggering number of candy bars, Slurpees and anything spinning on hot metal rollers behind the counter, local 7-Eleven stores are expecting a record-breaking day of sales Saturday as an estimated 10,000 Elmhurst residents participate in the counterculture holiday “420” by smoking marijuana.

Often referred to as “Weed Day” and observed on April 20th each year, “420” is when people are invited to celebrate the cannabis culture by smoking pot.  With only three 7-Eleven stores in Elmhurst, those who participate will have limited options to satisfy their strong urge for snacks (or “munchies”) that experts say coincides with getting high.

“We’ll be busy all day and all night,” said Spring Rd. 7-Eleven clerk Stan Jenkins, stocking an auxiliary snack kiosk with packages of Twinkies and 7-Select brand beef jerky Thursday evening.  “It’s like ‘Black Friday’ for convenience stores, except nothing is on sale, and no one is in a big hurry.”

At the First St. 7-Eleven, Assistant Overnight Manager Sanjay Thompson is also preparing for a record-breaking day in sales, despite being located only a half-block from the Elmhurst Police Department.

“We’ll probably sell about 700 Slurpees on Saturday,” said Thompson, referring to the slushy frozen carbonated beverage favored by hopheads that comes in a variety of tantalizing flavors like Pineapple-Lime and Sour Patch Watermelon.  “People like to mix the flavors together when they’re stoned, and they make a big mess.  So I’ll probably be over there cleaning up spills throughout my shift.”

Over at the York St. 7-Eleven, franchise owner Frank Strada will act as the second counter clerk from 4:00 p.m. Saturday until 3:00 a.m. Easter Sunday.

“It’s a tough day to schedule staff, because no one wants to work on April 20th,” said Strada, who noted that eye drops and disposable lighters will account for most of the non-consumable purchases at his store on Saturday. “But when you’re selling about 50 Taquitos per hour, you gotta have a second person behind the counter.  So I’m filling in.”

Other local businesses that expect to see an increase in the number of customers on “420” include Pizza Palace, The Escape Room, and the Elmhurst Police Department.

Critics Cite Traffic Concern for Location of Elmhurst Performing Arts Center

Elmhurst Centre for Performing Arts pic

by Dave Noble, City News Editor

ELMHURST – Increased vehicle congestion, a glaring lack of space outside of the building to host red carpet events, and the potentially arduous task of finding customer parking for Armand’s Tuesday night “buy one, get one free” pizza deal are among the concerns of Elmhurst residents who oppose a theater and performing arts center in the middle of town.

Slated to be built at 109-119 W. 1st St. and completed by early August, The Elmhurst Centre for Performing Arts will be a 50,000-square-foot, multistage facility and a “vibrant gathering place” that showcases tolerable homegrown talent, finer area talent, and hosts events like the yearly Elmhurst Mime Theatre Awards.

While critics welcome a new venue suitable for regional pantomime productions, area rap artist performances and local awards shows, they are opposed to its location along the single-lane, one-way street already teeming with vehicles in search of parking or taking the “drive of shame” to the Robert T. Palmer underpass after getting stopped by a passing train while traveling on Addison St.

“There’s nowhere near enough parking in downtown Elmhurst for a venue like this,” said local resident Cindy Sommers, seemingly unaware of four different existing parking garages within a three-block radius and a Metra train station directly across the street from the future performing arts center.  “I can’t imagine how chaotic that area will be when the Elmhurst Armpit Orchestra or some other big-name artist plays there.”

While many Elmhurst residents remain critical of the performing arts center location, proponents and artists point to a projected $809,000 in annual tax revenue and a study prepared by Chicago-based Johnson Consulting indicating that the average patron visiting the theater will spend $49.50 a night in restaurants, bars, and stores and an additional $25 in parking tickets.

“                                                                                      ,” said local mime Marcel Podgorski, indicating his excitement to perform at the arts center through a series of body motions, hand gestures and facial expressions.

In related news, the City of Elmhurst announced that the privately-funded arts center will result in a $150 tax increase for every homeowner in Elmhurst.