MATTESON, Ill. (WLS) -- A new restaurant and coffee shop opening in the south suburbs is a welcoming sight following a year of closures and shutdowns due to COVID-19.
Red Star restaurant has teamed up with Sip and Savor Coffee to launch the new spot in Matteson.
The 5,000 square foot space is designed to bring the community together.
"We are not here to just make money. We are here to make a difference," said Trez Pugh with Sip and Savor Coffee House. "In addition, this is a community feel, a modern-day cheers. This place wraps its arms around you."
The restaurant, bar and coffee shop is just one of the new additions to this fast-growing strip mall off of Lincoln Highway.
"This village is trying to be very progressive to change the landscape. We lost Lincoln Mall and had a hiatus of big businesses that left," said Adam Shorter, with Red Star, and Sip and Savor. "We are building it back up and this is one of the bricks."
The ongoing push to get businesses to take a chance in Matteson was not easy.
"That has changed. People are looking at us differently," said Village of Matteson mayor, Shiela Chalmers-Currin.
The mayor has worked for years to bring in their new Pete's Fresh Market, which opened in February and the village said business there is booming.
"Every day I think about what can I do to bring more to the Village of Matteson and here we are now. We are not going to stop now," Mayor Chalmers-Currin said.
It's no secret local businesses were hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, with many, still struggling yet hopeful the coronavirus relief package will help them move forward.
"We passed the American Rescue Plan that will help small businesses, especially in disproportionately impacted communities and restaurants. So hopefully those that survived, we can help them thrive now," said Congresswoman Robin Kelly.
The new black-owned business is investing in the community, which is a big step in the right direction for the southland as the local business looks to expand again.
"A full strip mall and a bustling business area here and it is great to see. Our hometown being residents and have the business in our community is great," said Cliff Taylor with the new establishments.
The Village of Matteson is also vying to be chosen for a south suburban casino license. The mayor believes that will bring forth even more developments and businesses.