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Rooting for Taurus Flavors and a family legacy in Avalon Park

We sure hope Kecia Perkins gets an insurance check soon, so she can reopen her shop and get back to selling hoagies, just like her folks before her.

Taurus Flavors at 85th Street and Stony Island Avenue.
Taurus Flavors at 85th Street and Stony Island Avenue.
Stefano Esposito/Sun-Times

Back on Aug. 28, 1990, a tornado ripped through Will County and left a trail of destruction and death in Plainfield.

The next day, insurance adjusters hit town. They walked through the rubble and made estimates of what it would cost for homeowners and businesses to rebuild and recover. The best adjusters were quick to write checks and help Plainfield get back on its feet.

That’s the job of insurance companies — helping people who dutifully pay their premiums get back on their feet.

With that in mind, we sure hope Travelers Insurance quickly settles Kecia Perkins’ claim for Taurus Flavors, the Avalon Park sandwich shop that’s been her family’s business for decades.

It would be great to see Perkins get back to carrying on the family tradition, selling as many as 1,000 Hoagy Supreme and Hoagy Supreme Steak sandwiches every day, from inside a refurbished shop.

Not selling a “BACK DOOR SPECIAL” prepared on a flat-top grill in a kitchen hastily cleared of rubble.

Which is what Perkins had been doing since her shop was severely damaged by a car that crashed through the front door and windows back in May. Luckily, no one was hurt.

But late last week, the city Building Department shut down Taurus Flavors for the second time since the crash, citing concerns about sanitation and the building’s structural soundness.

We’re rooting for Perkins. We wish her the best in working things out with the city, getting that insurance claim and returning Taurus Flavors to its stature as one of those small cultural touchstones that give a big city character.

Perkins’ mother and father opened the place, now at 8534 S. Stony Island Ave., at a location a couple of miles to the northeast in 1966, and it’s been Kecia’s whole life.

“Two weeks after I was born they put me in a bassinet and put me next to the pop cooler,” she told the Sun-Times.

That’s Chicago for you.

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