Hi-Way Bakery's 70-year-old neon sign debuts its new look

SOUTH CHICAGO HEIGHTS, Ill. (WLS) -- Hi-Way Bakery's antique neon sign is back in its, near, original condition. The sign depicts a female baker wearing a chef's hat and was made during a time that female chefs were less recognized.

For months, two local repairmen have been working to restore the 70-year-old sign. Mick Bowen, at the Orland Park-based Artisan Signs and Lighting and Charlie Wood, Charlie Wood who works at Neon Works Sign Studio.

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"It's kind of the omen of the sign that's trying to keep this thing alive," Hi-Way Bakery Owner John Koester said. "It's worth it though, she's worth it."

The sign was completed Saturday, Sept.21, but Koester decided to wait and "officially" turn on the sign Friday, Sept. 27 - National Bakery Day.

"Bakeries have been a cornerstone for communities for hundreds of years so having a sign that's over 70 years old relit in all of her glory is just perfect," said Bernadette Haas, Retail Bakers of America director.

To help cover the $25,000 required to fully restore the sign Koester started a GoFundMe page called "Saving Ms. Hi Way."
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