- 7062 183rd Street
- Tinley Park, IL 60477
- (708) 342-2244
Since we didn’t have enough time to make a trip to my parents house south of Chicago, I talked them in to meeting us for lunch a little closer to the city. It had been over two months since J got a chance to see my niece, so I sweet talked my dad and brother with pizza. J and I got to the restaurant about 15 minutes before they did and when we pulled in, we noticed a candy shop a couple storefronts down.
Messana’s Candy Land is near the corner of 183rd and Harlem Avenue not far from I-80. The store is in a mixed used building that looks to be pretty new. There are a row of stores on the bottom floor and a few floors of apartments above them.
When we walked in, we didn’t know what kind of candy store we were walking in to. It was just before noon on a Sunday and we were the only ones there. There was a man and a women working behind the counter making popcorn and stocking shelves. I didn’t really have an intention of buying anything, but some of the things were just too good to pass up.
Like most candy stores, they have some throwback candy that were popular when I was a kid. J found something she wanted and since she was grabbing some candy, I decided to pick up a package of Fun Dip. They were reasonably priced at $1.15 and who doesn’t like raw sugar?
After checking out the commercial selection, J started looking at the gummy bears from the bulk section. They were behind the counter, so you had to have someone else get them for you. While we were looking, the man behind the counter told us he’d give us a sample if we wanted something. J ended up getting a 1/4 pound of a couple different kind of gummy bears.
Before we paid, we took a quick look at the popcorn display and were intrigued by the bacon flavored popcorn. J said something to me and the guy making the popcorn asked if we wanted a sample. We weren’t going to turn that offer down. The popcorn was really good. It’s not something I had ever had before. As we were eating that, the same guy asked if we wanted to try the cheese. Again, a really great tasting popcorn. J decided she was going to get a small box of a cheese/caramel mix….or Chicago Style Popcorn. Yup, Chicago even has a popcorn style. You know those big tins of popcorn you get at Christmas time? After I eat all the butter, J pulls the cardboard divider out so the cheese and caramel mix. This is a pretty common way to eat popcorn in Chicago. I don’t really like caramel, so J checked with me before she actually bought it. I didn’t really care. I could pick the cheese out if I wanted some.
We ended up leaving with quite a bit of candy, but we only paid a little over $11. After lunch while my dad, brother and I were playing with my niece, my mom, aunt, and J walked back down to Messana’s to get some candy for themselves.
As the day went on, we noticed more and more people stopping in for a treat. Even though most things in this area are strip malls, Messana’s stands out from all the usual strip mall businesses. When we pulled up for lunch, we had no intention of going in for candy, but I’m almost happy we beat my family to the restaurant. Messana’s is a throwback in a modern setting.