South Side residents restore historic newsstand demolished by drunk driver

ByYukare Nakayama via WLS logo
Thursday, December 31, 2020
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Mike Owens along with other contractors rebuild one of Chicago's last independent newsstands after a drunk driver demolished it earlier this month.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A beloved newsstand on the South Side of Chicago is rocking a new facelift thanks to community members after hearing a drunk driver incident demolished it.

The newsstand can be found on 58th and Indiana Avenue. Owner Beatrice Flowers said it's been a staple in the community and in her family for many years. She said it's one of the last independent newsstands in Chicago.

The family business almost came to a close when a drunk driver slammed into it earlier this month while Flowers was inside.

"I was shook up I was inside," said Flowers.

Amazingly, Flowers did not suffer any serious injuries. To her surprise, a longtime customer rebuilt the newsstand with the help of the community. Flowers said the business was passed down to her by her mother.

"The way I was raised from my grandparents to my parents, I feel like it was necessary. Like I know I could put my own time in and it's like I'm just gonna try," said Mike Owens of Smart Moves Restoration and Contracting, LLC. He's also a resident of the South Side.

Owens is a contractor himself and contacted Melvin Henley of PAC Leaders LLC, Tytus Henry of Lion Heart Construction, and other contractors to help him rebuild the newsstand.

All material was donated and the project was completed in two-in-a-half days.

"I was ecstatic. I watched every minute of it. Even when I got out of the hospital I came and sat in my car, sold newspapers while they did work on it just to watch the beginning to where it is now," said Flowers.

In trying times like these, Owens said helping others out is more important now than ever.

"If you feel, feel it. And if it's the right thing to do, man, just follow your heart and try," said Owens.