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A week after being shut down by city health inspectors after someone called 311 complaining of feeling ill after a meal there, the Heartland Cafe has reopened and--according to owners Michael James and Katy Hogan--is in better shape than ever.
From their press release, also available on their Web site :
"The inspection was fair and we immediately set out to address the issues raised and some that weren't. We basically rebuilt the joint from the inside out. Laid new kitchen and dish room floors, patched and mortared endless nooks and crannies of our 100+ year old building, scrubbed every single piece of equipment till it shone like new, and generally took this crisis and turned it into an opportunity.
"On the heels of our passing the city reinspection yesterday, the Heartland family feels both relieved and blessed; relieved that we are again serving our 'good wholesome food for mind and body' and blessed by the generosity, spirit and loyalty of our workforce, neighbors and friends from all over.
"We want to especially praise the Heartland employees, who showed up and contributed hours of hard work to get us into better condition than we've ever been. We know this results in folks feeling even more ownership of the Heartland and their role in it. Not sure if a small business could ask for more in these very challenging times for staying viable.
"We ask you to come and check out the refreshed and renewed Heartland--with spring in the air, and hope in our hearts, we recommit to doing the best we can for our business, neighborhood and planet!
"And we say THANK YOU!"
The Heartland's been around since 1976; the Reader profiled the Rogers Park miniempire back in 2001.