Most every neighborhood in Chicago has at least one supremely successful business and the Belmont Central neighborhood is no exception. The Lucky Barnes Pub was created in 1977 by a most unusual marketing talent, William “Lucky” Barnes. Barely above the drinking age and with a lot of help from his father and family friends, Lucky took over a dying tavern in the 5800 block of Fullerton and transformed it into the highest volume bar and grill in all of Chicago.
Shortly after opening the Pub, Lucky meets Katy McAdams; they marry and start a family. First comes Jack, then Kevin and finally the baby, Megan. Megan grows up under the watchful eye of her two ‘tough as nails’ brothers and surprises the family after high school by deciding to attend Southern Illinois University, leaving the city for four years. Jack becomes a Chicago firefighter, and Kevin runs the Pub.
Upon graduating from SIU, Megan applies for and is accepted into the Chicago Archdiocese staff as a high school English teacher. Megan quickly becomes a most highly thought of teacher at her alma mater, Notre Dame High School for Girls in Belmont Central.
One day in her sophomore class, Megan decides to assign an essay to be completed by the end of the semester. The essay is titled ‘My Life at Age 25.’ Each student is to describe her life at age 25 or what she hopes it will be like. Allison Kain turns in her essay as the final bell rings on a Friday afternoon and turns Megan’s world upside down. Allison challenges her to take a look at her own life to see if being a high school teacher is what she really wants.
Megan’s true love is decorating. She has a stunning apartment in a Greystone two flat owned by her parents. She stumbles on a classified ad in the Sunday Chicago Tribune offering a home décor business for sale in Harbour Cove, Georgia. She calls and talks to the owner and decides to fly down and have a look.
Megan’s life takes a major shift when she decides to move to Harbour Cove. She becomes good friends with Harbour Cove’s wealthiest widow, Gretchen Morgan, who plots a strategy to make Megan a part of her family.
Success beyond her wildest dreams comes to Megan, and also true love. Gretchen’s world traveling son, Thaddeus, visits his mother one weekend, falls head over heals for Megan, and never leaves the Georgia coast.
This is a romance novel but it is also a story of possibilities. The reader will be inspired by seeing what can happen when this young, Chicago native decides to take a chance and do something she really loves with her life.
Lots of kids from Marquette Park, the Lithuanian enclave of Chicago, work in gas stations while they are in high school, but very few get picked to work at Zip’s. Not only does Zip run a first class operation, but he caters to the elite of the city. He trains his staff to treat customers with the utmost consideration, not only for his own benefit but eventually for theirs too. In return Zip looks out for his guys. He acts as their guardian and mentor in life. You don’t work at Zip’s long before you meet a judge or a politician. Zip knows them all.
Young Eddy Pasko doesn’t look forward to leaving Zip’s after graduating from St. Rita’s. He will go on to DePaul University soon but leaving Zip’s, which had been his rites of passage, is hard. Zip has many rules at the station, one of which is his part time employees must move on after high school.
Eddy is an ambitious young guy. Grounded in the solid work ethics and values of his ancestry he has been further refined by his tutelage under Zip. Eddy has earned the respect of all Zip’s customers and is looking for the next door to open in his life. And, of course, Zip plays a part in opening it.
Eddy has a couple obsessions, one mainstream, the other not so much. First he wants to be self-employed and run a successful business. Less mainstream is his romantic desire. Unlike most in his age group, Eddy has little interest in sowing wild oats and is consumed by finding the right girl.
The story takes the reader through the myriad characters that inhabit Eddy’s neighborhood from Zip himself to the fearsome Cunningham twins.
When Eddy starts a relationship with the beautiful Judy Meade he is enthusiastic but knows he needs to complete college before any serious commitment. But nevertheless the relationship blossoms into true love only to have a tragic ending that seemingly comes out of nowhere.
One of Chicago’s most legendary restaurateurs recruits Eddy as a weekend bartender. Buzz Vincenti owns one of the highest volume restaurants in the city just a couple blocks from where Zip lives in Little Italy. Eddy learns the art of mixology from Buzz himself, and his grooming begins.
Before his mid twenties Eddy is wildly successful and has his own list of influential contacts. All he needs now is the girl of his dreams. He does finally meet her in the most unlikely place, at the most unlikely time. He is enraptured of her and seizes the opportunity with all he’s got.
Deep Eddy is a love story, but it is more. It’s a tale of motivation, determination, and faith.