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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

People You Should Know: Joe Angelastri

Six Corners +

People You Should Know: Joe Angelastri


Dominick M Maino 

The City Newsstand started as a shack on a Six Corners corner in 1978. It was an old-school newsstand until 2000 when a decline in the sale of newspapers and more stringent city rules regarding newsstands made closing this curbside business a necessity. This prompted Joe Algelastri (owner and well known Six Corners supporter) to open a brick and mortar store in what used to be an old book store on Cicero Avenue just north of Irving Park Road. The decline of newspapers was accompanied by an increased interest in magazines, so City News specialized in making available more than 5,000 magazines. People from all over the country (mostly the Midwest) visit City News to buy one or more of these magazines. 

Hattie's Truffles!
A café was then added (City News Café) so that customers could enjoy a great cup of coffee and Hattie Portage’s handcrafted, homemade      chocolate truffles  while  listening to live music and perusing a magazine they just purchased. More recently, Joe has added books. That’s right, no battery needed to read them, books.  

He has also brought in Seinfield’s Soup NaziLarry Thomas, to talk about and autograph his latest book (Confessions of a Soup Naziand Thomas Tresser to discuss Chicago’s financial state and to autograph his latest text, Chicago is Not Broke. Good sized crowds attended both presentations. To compliment the addition of books to the City News Café magazine selection, their Facebook page features book reviews by area readers as well. 

Mrs. Gams (Sheila McNulty) Reading Reading Corner
City News Cafe Raised $1,100 to support our police

We have many leaders in our community and Joe Algelastri is no exception. He was instrumental in establishing SSA 28 (Special Service Area) and the Six Corners Association where he has served or is serving as chair. SSA 28 and the Six Corners Association are instrumental in making our area the best it can be in physical appearance and in providing people friendly, walk-able places for those who live and work in the area. Joe is also active within the St. Bartholomew Parish community and is now the Chair of their Finance Committee.  

Alderman John Arena, "Soup Nazi" and Dominick Maino
As a strong supporter of the arts, Joe (and City News) has worked with the Northwest Arts Connection (NWAC) and its President, Marlena Ascher, to bring in art, music and more to help establish Six Corners as an art and literary Mecca. The NWAC was instrumental in helping CN host a very successful Small Business Saturday program this past December. The Filament Theatre has also used City News for its production of Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of Portage Park productions (and he often donates coffee to the theater for its patrons during performances).  

City News blues expert (and awesome barista) Portage Hattie (AKA Donna), brings in famous blues artists like Lurie Bell (who lives in Portage Park), as well as those with a myriad of musical talents including but not limited to Stann Champion (who worked with Bob Marley and has a unique Caribbean sound), Pipes and Fiddles (Irish music), La Pompe Gypsy Jazz Band, Marianne and Her Imaginary Band and more. One fellow, Bubbles Brown, who often performs at the City News Café, was recently featured on Patti Vasquez’s WGN radio show.  

Joe is a friend of the community in many other ways as well. He is known to take in the homeless, to support his faith community and to be there when you need him.  

Lurie Bell

Joe Angelastri is a Six Corners person you should know.  

Drop by City News Café and say hello.  
Filament Theatre Folks

Have a cup of coffee.  

Listen to music.  
Coffee and more
Enjoy a chocolate truffle.  

Read a magazine or a book.  

Create a personal space and a personal moment in this very people friendly place that was built by Joe.