Chicago

Ofrenda honors Lakeview store, restaurant’s family

There’s related imagery, skeltons, spirits, and sweets, however for a lot of Chicagoans with Mexican heritage, the day after Halloween is a vacation that’s extra non secular than spooky. 

And for a family with deep roots in Lake View, this year the Day of the Dead is all about remembering a really particular life.  

Cafe El Tapatio in Lakeview.

If “memory serves” then at Café el Tapatio, the reminiscence of a distant place is all the time on the menu.

Julie and Jose Parra emigrated to Chicago from Guadalajara, Mexico and opened the lake view restaurant within the mid-Nineteen Seventies.  

Julie and Jose Parra.

El Tapatio is an anchor of the block, and a mirrored image of the long-time proprietor’s persona.  

But after twenty years within the kitchen, Julie Parra cooked up one other business concept.

“My mom was getting tired of the monotony of cooking every day and wanted to get into retail,” Julie’s son Mauricio “Joe” Parra stated.

Just a couple of half of a block south on Ashland Avenue, she opened a kids’s boutique that grew to become a dress store that will assist weave Mexican tradition into Chicago type.   

Eventually Julie’s daughter Ivette Parra took over the dress store along with her personal daughter Mia.

Ivette Parra and her daughter Mia at their family dress store.

About six months in the past, Julie Parra died of issues with Alzheimer’s Disease on the age of 74.

But her reminiscence lives on.

 “She’s always here with me. Always. Always. Always,” Ivette Parra stated.

And it’s why this year, some of the necessary Mexican holidays is extra poignant for the Parras. 

Día de Muertos or Day of the Dead mixes Mexican mysticism and Catholic custom. It’s believed the spirits of the useless are welcomed again to the world of the residing for in the future every year. 

Ivette Parra constructed an ofrenda, or an altar, for the vacation, a sort-of monument to the reminiscence of her mom and different departed family members, full with their favourite objects to assist them have fun.

At the restaurant there’s one other altar with Julie Para’s  picture smiling down on the eating room simply as she had achieved for greater than 40 years.  

On the Day of the Dead, it’s a legacy that lives on Ashland Avenue and on reminiscence lane.  

 “As long as you can remember all of those times that you were with them, they’re always going to be alive with us,” Ivette Parra stated.

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