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Business Comings & Goings: Planet Fitness Opens in Oak Lawn

Big Pappa's feeds the hungry, Rainbow opens in Ford City, and Horse Thief Brewing Co. is coming to Beverly..

Planet Fitness health center opened earlier this month at 9503 S. Cicero Ave. in the Green Oak Shopping Center in the former Oak Lawn Fresh Market.

Work on the 17,400-square-foot health center began in the summer, said Steve Kant, vice president of Robin Realty, the company that owns and manages the mall.

"We already have 700 members," said Annie, one of the center's managers. "We have a good crowd."

The center is open 24 hours and features an array of exercise equipment such as ellipticals, spin cycles, free weights and resistance-training equipment along with a massage zone and tanning beds. The center has locker facilities and showers for both men and women.

Planet Fitness operates more than 500 fitness centers in 46 states and prides itself as being a Judgment Free Zone. Centers hold monthly pizza nights and give away Tootsie Rolls to members.

"Our first pizza night will be New Year's Eve," said Annie.

For information, call 708-529-3237 or visit Planet Fitness Oak Lawn.

Rainbow Kids opens at Ford City

Rainbow Shops, a national retailer that caters to juniors, opened this week at Ford City Shopping Center, 7601 S. Cicero Ave. in Chicago.

The company, founded in 1935 in New York City, has more than 1,000 locations under the Rainbow, 579 and Marianne brands.

Rainbow offers a wide assortment of clothing for juniors, plus sizes and children, as well as an extensive shoe collection.

Big Pappa’s tops 1,100 free dinners

which is gearing up for its third annual Christmas dinner giveaway, announced this week that is has received more than 1,100 requests for the free meals.

“We are very blessed,” said owner Sandi DiGangi on Facebook. “I would like to say thank you to those of you that help is to help those in need.”

DiGangi said anyone can sign up at her restaurant for a holiday dinner but she especially wants to hear from senior citizens.

“I like to help out seniors because they aren’t going to make themselves a nice dinner,” she said.

DiGangi said she will also distribute toys to needy families that sign up to receive one of her turkey dinners complete with mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, rolls, gravy, cranberries, soup, salad and dessert.

Any food left over is given to PADS for their homeless shelters, she said. Any money left over after buying everything needed for the meals is turned into gift cards and delivered to needy families with their food.

Tonight (Thursday), Oak Lawn Patch will be joining the St. Linus Men's Club at the will be collecting toys and donations for Big Pappa's from 6 to 9 p.m.

People can sign up at Big Pappa’s to volunteer or to get one of the meals or they can call 708-741-4014.

Horse Thief Brewing nears opening

The new Horse Thief Hollow Brewing Co. said recently on Facebook that it expected to open at 10426 S. Western Ave. in Beverly around Jan. 7, and in anticipation is selling gift certificates for the brew pubs handcrafted food and beer. Certificates are available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Panera to donate food for every baguette sold

For the next week, when you buy a baguette at three people will get a free meal.

Through Dec. 23, Panera will donate the equivalent of three meals to the Greater Chicago Food Depository, the Northern Illinois Food Bank and the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana for every baguette purchased in one of its 88 Chicago locations. The loaves of French bread range in price from $2.79 to $3.39.

If you see a new business in town or wonder what happened to an old favorite, drop me a line at bob@chicago-patch.com.

You can also catch up on Comings & Goings in other parts of the Southland at www.southlandbusinessnews.blogspot.com.

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