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What's Up with Bobak's Naperville?

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For about a week, the Naperville Bobak's Sausage store has had a cloth sign reading Frank "B" covering every outdoor sign where "Bobak's" appears. Inside the store is a disclaimer that says Frank B's is not affiliated with Bobak's Sausage. When I asked a deli person, she said it's still the same owner. Otherwise, everything seems to be same: weekly food ad in the Tribune still shows Naperville store as "Bobak's", food products haven't changed.

We ate dinner in their buffet restaurant Saturday, Oct. 14, and I noted that the food selection was not as extensive as it used to be: mostly pork and chicken dishes, no veal stew, no oxtails.

Does anyone know what's going on at the Naperville store or other Bobak's locations?

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  1. I talked to a friend who works in the Bobak's Signature Events group. No hard info, but rumors abound of a family split, where one family member owns the Bobak's name and the Chicago store, another owns the Burr Ridge and Naperville stores, and the future of the Signature Events group is undecided.

    I just checked the Bobak's website ( www.bobak.com ), and all mention of the Burr Ridge and Naperville stores has been removed. So something is definitely up...

    4 Replies
    1. re: markh

      Signature Event group is only related by family name to Bobak s sausage company, not as a business group. Signature Events is the banquet facility not to be confussed with Bobaks sausage company. And the posters question below about "Frank", he is the original creator of Bobak sausage.

      1. re: kasia77

        As I mentioned, the person I know there wasn't sure about much of anything last week, except that there was a family split. She did mention a couple days ago that nothing would change where she worked, but that something would be happening with the Signature Room in the Hancock building.

        Since you seem to know what is going on, can you elaborate? Bobak's is a Chicago-area institution, and a lot of people here would like to know how the family split will affect the stores in Chicago, Burr Ridge, and Naperville. (I'm intentionally leaving out the Orland Park store since it never had the "Bobak's Sausage Company" name on the door.)

        1. re: markh

          The Naperville Sun had a detailed article about the split. You can search the Naperville Sun wbsite... here is the link.


          1. re: markh

            I guess to sum it up the Naperville Sun had said it pretty well.

            The thing about Signiture Events... it is in no way related to the Signiture Room in the Hancock, the woodridge location was bought from the same owners that own the Signiture Room downtown, they have gone through great lengths to distinguish themselves in their own right. Bobak's Signature Events is the name of the newly owned Banquet facility that is in Seven Bridges, which was once owned by the same people that own The Signature Room.

            Good Luck to everyone involved in the Sausage dispute hope it works out well.

      2. Interesting. There's now a www.frankbobak.com web site with the address of the Orland store. But still no mention of Burr Ridge or Naperville.

        1. I heard it will be the same products, just different name so that all the stores, Orland Park, Burr Ridge and Naperville will be named the same. I also heard it is all the same owners.

          1. Was into the Naperville store today. The meat products are definitely not the same and now we can't get real Bobak's specialties: Hunter Bacon, Roaster Bacon with Herbs, King's Choice Pit Ham, etc. The help is not friendly, the place has gone downhill in a hurry as a shopping experience. Anyone wanting to get a real taste of Bobak's can't find it any longer in Naperville. What a shame we lost this place so soon.

            1. Ok bottom line, which of the BObaks locations do i have to go to in order to purchase the Bobaks corned beef., and other Bobaks deli meats. Naperville? Burr Ridge?

              1. Article in last weeks (Nov. 11) Chi Trib.

                Basically, one brother owns the manufacturing facility and the Archer Ave store. The other brother owns the suburban location.

                The suburban brother was starting to manufacture his own sausage under the Bobak moniker.

                The Chicago brother slapped a lawsuit on the suburban brother. The suburban locations can no longer sell Bobak products.

                The original Bobak products can only be found at the Archer Ave. location.

                  1. Bobaks? I heard that they were fighting over the old man's $$$. We were there for Christmas and the deli has much to be desired compared to the original on Archer Avenue in Garfield Ridge. The prepared deli items were half empty bowls. Also, there was an unattractive attitude amongst the staff of the deli. Whew! They really need to take some lessons from Archer Avenue. They think that I don't understand them because I don.t sport the traditional hook nose and the confused look. Believe me ---- I understand what they are saying. What a shame ... they make a little bit of $$$$ and they are fighting like cats and dogs.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: kielbasa queen

                      The ongoing Bobak's saga continues. Last week I stopped into my local Bobak's in Burr Ridge to buy a $1.99 rotisserie chicken for dinner, which was advertised in the Frank Bobak sales ad e-mailed to me weekly. The price was $3.29 in the store, still a very good price, but it prompted me to ask why it wasn't $1.99. I was told by the person handing me the chicken that the store had been sold.

                      I hadn't noticed going into the store, but the outside signage has all been taken down, with no Bobak name left.

                      The Burr Ridge store is now named "Farmer's Fresh Market", a generic name if I ever heard one.

                      Apparently,, there's the original Bobak's Chicago store, then there are stores in Naperville and Orland Park called Frank Bobak's, and the Burr Ridge store, which may no longer have any Bobak family connection at all. I don't know, and the employees either don't know anything, or were instructed to remain silent about the sale.

                      I have shopped at the Burr Ridge Bobak's store since it opened. It was often my store of choice for their bread, soups, Polish items, fresh meat and cold cuts. If the new owners drop the Polish ethnic identity, I will be really disappointed.

                      1. re: redchile

                        I visited the Burr Ridge store today. With the exception of the deli chicken salad, I was quite disappointed. I bought strawberries that were moldy inside the container and bagels from the refrigeration section that were completely stale. Yuck. I'm going to stick to Brookhaven in Darien.

                        1. re: donna5657

                          Produce had never been a Bobak's in Burr Ridge strongpoint. To me it was a sausage, deli, fresh meat, Polish specialty stiore, with a Polish buffet restaurant attached.

                          I'm hoping they retain their ethnic identity. Hopefully, they're only undergoing a bumpy ownership transition phase.

                          1. re: redchile

                            It's all over in Naperville! The former Bobak's, then Frank B's has now closed and a sign saying Coming Soon - Garden Fresh Market. I knew they had to close down because fewer and fewer people were in there each time I went in. Greed destroyed what was a great addition to Naperville when the real Bobak's came here.

                    2. Not a huge loss especailly since Caputos has a location out in Naperville. I like Caputos produce better, as well as the folks working there. The deli at Caputos is a little different, but still excellent. I wont miss Bobacks too much.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: swsidejim

                        Caputos in Naperville is not the same as when it first opened. Whenever we go there to shop, I have to go 3 to 4 more times after our initial purchase to return items that have expired and spoiled. I cannot say the same for Caputos and refuse to shop there. I do miss Bobaks though...they had the best prices on deli and meats.

                      2. When I became aware of this, I presumed it was a change of hands, with some minor rebranding. As I read around in the news and talk to people, I realize it is more of a complicated thing. I called each location, and received the most awkward responses.

                        We used to shop at Bobak's because they carried products for Hungarians as well, especially as Hungarians are part of the general eastern Europe cuisine. I had a review that was positive, and now, feel the need to recommend my site visitors to Bende (bende.com) if high quality sausage and eastern European products are desired. Bende really is a great store (one in Glen Ellyn we love), even though a bit smaller.


                        1. Having moved from Naperville to Sacramento in 2004, I have tried to visit Bobaks every time I am in town, and take a cooler full of items on the plane home (good Polish food cannot be found in Sacramento). I started noticing the changes everyone is describing and researched what was going on. It appears that there are only two stores left - Bobak's on Archer (owned by Stan Bobak) and Frank's Fresh Market in Orland Park (owned by John Bobak and his wife). Only the Archer store is the original Bobaks. The stores in Burr Ridge and Naperville have been sold to a company totally unrelated to Bobaks or Polish food. They are now part of a small chain that specialized in fresh produce. However, the family spat has appeared in my opinion to have affected the original as well, as the quality is not as good and the prices much higher. In addition, every time I have visited, the store seemed empty, when I always remembered the place as always packed will people. It is truly a shame. Recently, I heard the feud continues as Stan has been trying to close Frank's place in Orland Park because the sausage sold is supposedly not inspected. The landlord claims to want to evict Frank. The saga continues and we suffer.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: drichrx

                            Glad to see some posts still being made here. My wife sometimes talks to John at the Orland deli and he doesn't like to talk too much about what is going on when my wife asks. After all it's a family matter which is no ones business. Let me relate what I have been able to find out.
                            All of this centers around the use and rights of the family surname. I believe earlier this year the courts found no objection to allowing all parties involved to continue with the use of the family surname. However Stan, at the Chicago location, has been very active on insisting that Joe and John, at the Orland location, stop using the family name. After reading the “Disclaimer” link at the Archer Avenue deli website even I will refrain from the use of their surname in this posting. A further “snub” at the Archer Avenue deli website is on the “Our history” link. While mention is made of the four locations that existed back in 1974, no mention is ever made of the existence of the Burr Ridge, Naperville, and Orland Park locations; all of which came into existence after 1999 and being managed by Joe and John!
                            This family feud has deeply hurt both the Chicago and Orland stores. Burr Ridge and Naperville had to be sold off. I have seen comments on the web stating that people should not shop at either of these delis because of all the confusion as to which one is the “real” deal. If there was no feud there would be no confusion because both would have been the “original” deli.
                            Why not try both delis and decide for yourself which one you like? Both stores are in the same family! However, if one *must* shop at *only* the “original” deli, consider the below points and decide for yourself which is the "original" store.

                            1.Both Frank and Angie (the original owners) have a vested interest in the deli at the Orland Park location.
                            2.Joe and John have been very willing to comply with dropping the use of the family name even though legally they didn't have to. By the way, the Orland store is now called “Frank and Angies Simply Fresh Foods” ... a change which has occurred since the November 10th posting just above.
                            3.Inside this weeks “Frank and Angies” flyer there was an insert, a letter to their customers, stating that Frank still has an active interest in the Orland deli. He inspects the meat products himself and, apparently, has handed over the family recipes for use at the “Frank and Angies” location.
                            4.It appears that the Chicago location has become some business conglomerate (based on comments in the "Disclaimer" link at the Archer Avenue website) which is capitalizing on the reputation of the family name.

                            Well, again, let me ask why not try both locations and decide for yourself? Most know the link to the Archer Avenue deli website. Let me give you the link to the Orland Park location on the web: