Wood Dale IL Digital Magazine

Chamber President Welcome

Welcome to the Wood Dale Chamber of Commerce

Dear Wood Dale Community,

Each year I have the privilege of writing on behalf of the Wood Dale Chamber of Commerce to present the newest Wood Dale Chamber of Commerce Community Guide & Business Directory. We hope you will use this informational piece as a guide to assist you with your business needs, and support our community by patronizing and shopping local within Wood Dale. Inside this guide you will find information about Wood Dale Chamber of Commerce business members who help support our community and residents.

2018 was another exceptional year for Wood Dale, with new businesses joining the Chamber, new developments within the city and exceptional accomplishments by our schools, library and existing businesses. As always, the Wood Dale Chamber of Commerce was at the center of things, working to connect people within the business community and beyond.

Each year the Chamber hosts multiple events, such as the annual golf outing and monthly luncheons, to provide opportunities for networking and socialization. For over 46 years, the Chamber of Commerce has served its citizens as a liaison to local businesses, assisting with development and growth, and strengthening our community from within.

We’d love to have your business join the Chamber of Commerce this year, if you haven’t already. Please feel free to reach out to us by calling (630) 595-0505 or visiting us online at www.wooddalechamber.com. We have some exciting things in store for our members in the coming year.

We hope you will enjoy this directory and use it to shop locally and support our members.


Caterina Aiello
Wood Dale Chamber of Commerce

Chamber Services

About the Chamber

The Wood Dale Chamber of Commerce is organized for the purpose of advancing the economic, industrial, professional, cultural and civic welfare of the businesses in Wood Dale. Also to give assistance to new firms or individuals seeking to locate in Wood Dale; to support activities beneficial to the community and to oppose those believed to be detrimental. In general, to promote the welfare of all citizens following those policies intended to accomplish
the greatest good for the greatest number.

New business contacts

Monthly membership luncheons
Programs and items of interest to the business community. Luncheons are held the second Thursday of every month, excluding summer break (July & August). Call (630) 595-0505 to RSVP.

Networking with other Chambers
Joint meetings and events throughout the year with neighboring Chambers of Commerce.

Annual Golf Outing
Usually held in June

Publicity & exposure

Community Guide & Business Directory
Distributed to more than 4,000 households and businesses, this guide lists Chamber member businesses alphabetically and by category. Advertising opportunities are available.

Monthly Chamber publication highlights new members, lists chamber events, provides additional advertising opportunities and up-to-date business news.

New resident packets
Welcome packets sent to new businesses featuring information on Wood Dale as well as advertising materials by our Chamber members.

When receiving requests for goods and services, the Wood Dale Chamber refers members.

Mailing lists & labels
The current mailing list (approximately 600 companies) is supplied at no charge to Chamber members and is available for purchase by nonmembers. Labels are also available at a nominal charge.

Chamber website
Free link on the Chamber website is available to all members. Visit www.wooddalechamber.com today. If you are not a member, you can view the monthly newsletters online to see current events.

Chamber seal
The use of the Chamber seal, for the purpose of making country of origin documents, is offered on a restricted basis and requires both an application and Chamber
board approval.

Community involvement

Working together with the City of Wood Dale, the Chamber provides scholarships to local high schools with senior students who live in the town of Wood Dale.

Annual fundraiser
Annual Chamber event to help raise funds for our scholarships and the local food pantry. This event provides great advertising opportunities for local businesses. The theme changes from year to year to keep it fun.

Economic development
The chamber has representation on the Wood Dale Economic Development Commission, which has numerous business support services and incentives.

Annual city tree lighting
Every year during the holiday season, the Chamber volunteers to help with the city’s annual tree lighting event and provides materials for the children’s Christmas party.

For more information on any of these services, call the Chamber office at (630) 595-0505, email info@wooddalechamber.com or visit www.wooddalechamber.com.

Organizations and Phone Numbers

City of Wood Dale
404 N. Wood Dale Rd. • Wood Dale, IL 60191
(630) 766-4900 • www.wooddale.com
Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday

Wood Dale operates under the council/manager form of government. Elected officials serve four-year terms, with the mayor, city clerk and treasurer elected at large and eight aldermen from four wards serving staggered terms. The city council meets at 7:30 p.m. on the first and third Thursday of each month at city hall. The city is governed by a mayor who is elected on an at-large basis and two alder-men from each of four districts. The city also employs a city manager who is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the city and its employees.

Fire / Police Emergency 9-1-1
Fire Non-Emergency (630) 766-1147
Police Non-Emergency (630) 766-2060
City of Wood Dale (630) 766-4900
Chamber of Commerce (630) 595-0505
DuPage Forest Preserve (630) 933-7200
Fenton High School #100 (630) 766-2500
Metra Service (630) 322-6777
School District #4 (630) 628-2502
School District #7 (630) 595-9510
School District #88 (630) 530-3988
Wood Dale Park District (630) 595-9333
Wood Dale Public Library (630) 766-6762


Dunklee’s Grove, Lester, Sagone, Salt Creek – by any other name, Wood Dale has a colorful past.

Even a veteran Wood Dale resident studying a map of the area from the 1800s might be excused for thinking, “I don’t understand what I’m looking at.” That’s because the roads and locations – even the town itself – have changed their names over the years.

The area was first settled in 1833 by Hezekiah Dunklee and Mason Smith. But Frederick Lester, who arrived two years later with his father and four brothers, is often considered  the city’s true founder because only after he arranged for the Chicago and Pacific Railroad to come through town in 1873 did Wood Dale really begin to take off.

Dunklee and Smith called their stand of prairie and forest “Dunklee’s Grove.” Another town developed just north of there was named Sagone. The Chicago and Pacific’s train station and the area around it became known as Lester Station, or simply Lester. But in 1874 the U.S. Post Office granted the area a postal franchise under the name “Salt Creek, Illinois.”

In the 1890s, a developer planned a subdivision named “Woodale Acres” near the center of town. Historian Mary Lou Mittel writes that residents liked that name so much that they changed the train station’s name from Lester to Wooddale. Finally, in 1928 the village incorporated and asked Washington to change the name of their village and post office to “Wooddale.” But because there already was another “Wooddale” in Southern Illinois, they compromised on the name “Wood Dale.”

Some other tidbits about Wood Dale names and faces noted by Judi Ryan, who succeeded Mittel as curator of the Yesterday’s Farm Museum:

  • Today’s Irving Park Road originally was known as Plank Road because it only had a surface of wooden boards to keep travelers from sinking into the mud.
  • Today’s Wood Dale Road was originally named Forest Avenue. Thorndale Avenue was named Pierce Road and Lawrence Road.
  • The Chicago and Pacific Railroad soon took on the nickname “The Milwaukee Road.” The tracks between Chicago and Elgin, running through Wood Dale, are now owned by the Metra commuter rail service, which calls them the Milwaukee District West Line. During the later 1900s, the Milwaukee Road’s freight operations fell into the hands of the Soo Line, then I&M Rail Link, then the Iowa, Chicago & Eastern Railway, and now the Canadian Pacific Railway. Canadian Pacific operates its main Chicago-area rail yard in Bensenville, right across the Wood Dale border.
  • Dunklee and Smith discovered it was actually easier to cut down trees in their forest and plant crops in the soft soil left behind than it was to hack through the dense mass of roots below Dunklee Grove’s prairie plants. Those plants stood as high as the shoulder of  a man on horseback.
  • Winnebago Indians based in Beloit, Wisconsin, kept a signal hill at what is now Army Trail Road and Lake Street. Passing through the area, they would set up a camp along Salt Creek and burn the prairie. That would force deer and other game into the woods, where other hunters would kill them.
  • Dunklee and Smith journeyed to the area along a trail made by Gen. Winfield Scott’s army on its way to fight Indians in the Blackhawk War. That trail became what is now Grand Avenue and the appropriately named Army Trail Road.

The Wood Dale Historical Society is based at the Yesterday’s Farm Museum, at 850 N. Wood Dale Rd.
For information, visit www.wooddalemuseum.org or call (630) 595-8777.

Community Events

City Events
  • Arbor Day Celebration
  • Green Fair
  • Bike With A Cop
  • Memorial Day Parade
  • Public Works Open House
  • Prairie Fest
  • Police Night Out
  • City-Wide Garage Sale
  • Festravaganza
    Wood Dale Park District at Franzen Grove
    Saturday, September 8
  • Scarewalk
    Park District at “The Beach”
    Water Park
     Saturday, October 27
  • Turkey Trot Golf Outing
    Salt Creek Golf Club
    Saturday, October 27
  • Veteran’s Day Ceremony
  • Tree Lighting at City Hall
    Park District & City
    Saturday, December 1
  • Breakfast with Santa
    Salt Creek Golf Club
    Sunday, December 2
  • Senior Citizen Holiday Party
    Park District at Salt Creek Golf Course
    Wednesday, December 5
  • Santa Train
    Wood Dale Park District
    Saturday, December 8
  • Breakfast with Santa
    Salt Creek Golf Club
     Sunday, December 2
January 2019
  • Winter Movie Night
    Wood Dale Park District
     Friday, January 25
  • Daddy Daughter Princess Night
    Park District
    Thursday, February 7
  • “Egg-cellent” Egg Hunt
    Wood Dale Park District at Franzen Grove
    Saturday, April 13
  • Doggie Egg Hunt
    Wood Dale Park District at White Oaks Park
    Saturday, April 13
  • Mother Daughter Tea
    Park District
    Saturday, May 4
  • “The Beach” Water Park
    Opening Day
    Saturday, June 1
  • Wood Dale Night Out
    Police & Park District at “The Beach” Water Park
    Tuesday, August 6

Business and Economic Development

A recent survey of Wood Dale business owners found that three things attracted them to Wood Dale to live and start a business:

  • The city offers a perfect location within easy range of transportation for their supplies, products and people.
  • DuPage County tax levels are substantially lower than taxes in nearby Cook County (which includes the City of Chicago).
  • The Wood Dale city government shows a business-friendly attitude, which includes such support as two tax increment finance districts and a facade improvement program.

And there’s a fourth factor, too, said Kelley Chrisse, assistant director of community development for the City
of Wood Dale.

“We are also what a lot of people refer to as a small town,” Chrisse says. “They like the atmosphere here – the feeling that they’re part of a family.”

When the farm towns west of Chicago began turning into suburbs in the 1950s and 1960s, Wood Dale grew rapidly because it offers ideal transit options for both residents and businesses.

The Wood Dale train station on Metra’s Milwaukee District West Line is right in the middle of town, near the new clock tower and garden. With almost 60 trains a day stopping there, the line takes riders to Chicago’s Union Station in 35 to 45 minutes. About 600 people a day board Metra trains at Wood Dale.

Only 82 percent of the parking near the station is used each day. That is good news for riders but is seen as a challenge by the city’s leaders to improve ridership and capitalize on one of the city’s assets.

“In the new Wood Dale Comprehensive Plan that was approved in August 2018, we identified that we could make even better use of our train station,” Chrisse said. “We’re expanding access to the station by improving sidewalks in the depot area and by encouraging employers to start shuttle-bus service between their plants and the station.”

Meanwhile, businesses enjoy access within minutes by road to the air freight facility at O’Hare International Airport – one of the world’s busiest airline hubs – and to Canadian Pacific and Union Pacific intermodal rail yards.

An extensive system of super highways connects the Wood Dale area to neighboring states in every direction. But big changes are coming in that network thanks to what is known as the Elgin-O’Hare Western Access Project.

For years Illinois planners have been working on this effort to improve auto and truck access from the west Chicago suburbs to O’Hare. In 2017, the controlled-access, two-lane Illinois Route 390 (formerly known as the Elgin-O’Hare Expressway) was extended several miles right through the north side of Wood Dale. In coming years, this super highway will be extended from there to the airport’s western edge, providing a shortcut directly to the Jane Addams Tollway/Kennedy Expressway (I-90) and Tri-State Tollway (I-294). Passenger cars, buses and taxis will be able to drive from Wood Dale to the airport in just a few minutes.

The city government is working to encourage reinvestment along the new stretch of Route 390, which Chrisse described as “the front door to our community.”

Restaurants in Wood Dale

Restaurant options are big in this small town

From authentic Italian and Polish cuisine to sports bars, from wedding receptions with white tablecloths to dining outdoors on a deck next to a golf course, Wood Dale’s restaurants offer something that appeals to anyone with a stomach.

At Marino’s Pizzeria and Cafe, Wood-Fired Pizza is a signature dish. But the menu also includes a cavalcade of other authentic Italian fare in what owner Tony Selvaggi describes as “a casual Italian eatery serving brick-oven pizzas and other traditional dishes in a rustic setting.” Established in 1982, Marino’s is right in the center of the town’s business district, along Irving Park Road between Wood Dale Road and the Metra line.

Besides its dining-in tables, Marino’s offers carry-out service, delivery and catering. There also are daily specials. Wednesdays, for example, is Boneless Vesuvio with Roasted Potatoes and Salad for $12.50. Call (630) 350-7560 or visit www.marinosonline.com.

A block away, at 200 E. Irving Park Rd., Gus Frentzos has been dishing up more traditionally American food for 34 years at Christy’s Restaurant and Pancake House. He named the eatery for his late Aunt Christy, who provided recipes for many of the restaurant’s dishes.

“Our atmosphere is casual and family-oriented,” Frentzos said. Besides a huge breakfast menu (Christy’s offers 21 types of omelettes alone), diners can choose from a variety of burgers, melts and hot and cold sandwiches. In the Age of Convenience, he adds, delivery is becoming a bigger and bigger part of the business. Diners who don’t want to dine in can order a delivery through www.grubhub.com or they can call ahead and have their order ready for carry-out. Christy’s also offers catering. Call (630) 595-4845 or visit www.christyspancakehouse.com

Farther up Wood Dale Road, White Cottage Pizzeria and the adjoining La Dolce Vita Italian restaurant are a longstanding Wood Dale institution. Italian immigrant Tony Uroni, who owns the eateries with his brother Tom Scianna, said the restaurant was in business for 32 years even before he and Scianna took over – 33 years ago.
“We’re a happy place where people can come and relax,” Uroni said. It includes a full bar and patio tables outside.

Delivery and carry-out are available. “Catering is a big part of our carry-out business,” Uroni added. “We have prepared food for 400 people, for 75, for 40. In the dining room we don’t do banquets or weddings but we can handle rehearsal dinners and small parties for up to 70 people.” For menus and information, visit www.whitecottagepizzas.com or call (630) 766-7617.

Even Wood Dale’s golf courses offer food. At the 18-hole Maple Meadows Golf Club, the Maple Grill is open to the public seven days a week during golf season (unless there is a private event), said Business Manager Tom Sheppard. The headline item is the third-pound, never-frozen, black Angus burger. But the grill also offers a 7-inch Vienna hot dog on an Alpha Bakery bun, Johnsonville Stadium brats plus various wraps, melts and salads. The bar features a variety of craft beers made right here in DuPage County.

Maple golfers can order ahead on their cellphones and pick up their order mid-game. Sheppard joked that “we know how fast each golfer is and how long it will take them to get here from whatever hole they called from.” Visit www.dupagegolf.com or call (630) 616-8424.

At Salt Creek Golf Club, the Salt Creek Bar and Grille not only attracts golfers but also draws a lunch crowd from workers in nearby businesses who like to eat in a country club atmosphere – and perhaps wish they were going to follow up lunch with 18 holes instead of returning to work. The menu includes wraps, sandwiches and a variety of salads. Salt Creek also offers wedding-reception packages. Visit www.saltcreekgolfclub.com or call (630) 773-0184.

Fans of pro sports – or anyone throwing a party – may stop at Crossroads Sports Bar & Restaurant at 396 W. Irving Park Rd. Fans can catch the big game on TV while enjoying wings, 10-ounce burgers, a variety of other sandwiches and beer. The staff can cater private parties at the customer’s home or organize a private party at the restaurant. Video gaming also is available. Visit www.crossroadseatery.com or call (630) 860-0055.