Taco John’s – Bradley, IL

20 12 2008
  • 484 S. Kennedy Drive
  • Bradley, IL 60915
  • (815) 939-3064
  • Website
  • Menu
Taco Johns on Kennedy Drive in Bradley, IL

Taco John's on Kennedy Drive in Bradley, IL

There aren’t many chain restaurants that I miss, but Taco John’s is one of them.  Everyone always thought I was crazy for preferring Taco John’s over Taco Bell, but I loved Taco John’s. 

When I was growing up, they used to give free tacos for A’s on your report card.  You’d bring in the report card, they’d give you a taco then mark the report card so you couldn’t try to use it again.  As stupid as it sounds, it was always an incentive to get A’s.  We knew if we did, we get a trip for tacos.

Once we got too old for that, we would always hit up the store on Tuesday for “Taco Tuesday”  All tacos were half price and my mom could feed two growing boys for half price.  Not a bad deal.

Taco John’s kind of fell out of my life until I moved to Peoria.  I worked in one of Peoria’s suburbs and right down the street was a Taco John.  I know this is going to surprise most people, but folks working in small town television news make about the same as fast food employees who don’t have thousands of dollars in student loans to pay off, so anytime I could pick up a cheap meal, I did.  Every Tuesday, you could find me at the Taco John’s where I could get six hardshell tacos for under $4. Read the rest of this entry »


Jewel-Osco – Kankakee, IL

20 12 2008
  • 446 S. Washington Ave
  • Kankakee, IL 60901
  • (815) 935-2040
  • Website
The Jewel-Osco store on Washington Avenue in Kankakee.

The Jewel-Osco store on Washington Avenue in Kankakee.

When you grow up in a small town, the closest supermarket isn’t always just around the corner.  In our case, the closest supermarket is a half hour away.  My family doesn’t have the luxury of deciding what they want for dinner then running to the store to get it.  I grew up in a time where there were no hypermarkets and supermarkets were a once a month trip.  The only one of those big chains that is still around today is Jewel-Osco.

Jewel-Osco started life and Jewel Food Stores and Osco Drugs.  Somewhere along the line, they merged to become Jewel-Osco.  The weird thing was, they were almost always in the same building and connected.  Osco was more like Walgreens with some items and Jewel did the food thing.  When other supermarkets started doing pharmacy’s along with some merchandise, Jewel and Osco just merged together.  I remember how this store used to be set up and it always seemed dumb.  There were two separate entrances and a hallway connecting the two stores, but you had to pay for each stores merchandise in their store.  Now, pretty much all Jewel-Osco stores are in the same building even though both brands usually have their own management teams and marketing identity. 

Jewel is pretty unique to Illinois although you can find stores in eastern Iowa and Northwest Indiana.  The homebase is in Melrose Park. Read the rest of this entry »