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5 Questions Is Back! With Pizzeria Aroma’s Jim Dababneh

Jim_DababnehFor over 15 years Jim Dababneh has been tossing up some of Edgewater’s favorite pizzas at Pizzeria Aroma, 1125 W. Berwyn.  He has since opened the popular Chicago Grind Cafe nearby at 5256 N. Broadway and celebrated their one year anniversary. Jim is a straight talker with a sincere passion for local businesses and keeping them successful.

Dababneh admits that it is crucial to make a profit, but equally important to make your customers happy. He says on his website, “Motivation has to run deeper than money. After 15 years, it still feels great to see customers satisfied with their meals, and loyal to our business. This is the way it has to be. This is the way it is here. We’re here to make a living, not a killing off the people who support us.”

1. So what’s the secret to good pizza?

JD: “The sauce. The best crust without killer sauce is worthless.”

2. You own two businesses: Pizzeria Aroma and Chicago Grind Cafe.      What is the most challenging aspect in managing multiple stores?

JD: “Finding good employees and keeping them happy while managing     egos and emotions. It is like a second marriage.”

3. Outside of your establishment, is there another area eatery that you like to frequent?

JD: “Calo does a really great job. Flavor and quality are excellent. Some good value as well. Pearl’s has been a great addition. My standards for ribs are very high. Their food is very good.”

4. How concerned are you about the red line reconstruction and the closure of Berwyn station for two years?

JD: “Very concerned. My locations are golden because of the train traffic. Without, it will be a legitimate struggle. But with age, you learn to frett when the crap hits the fan, and not before so. Ill market aggressively to get us through.”

5. Everyone needs time off from business. Where is your favorite vacation destination and why?

JD: “Probably Las Vegas and I really do not gamble. World class golf. Lots of sun and some great pools. An amazing array of restaurants in under a three mile stretch. Great people watching and a chance to see World Class entertainers via a five minute walk from your room. Ive seen Santana, Elton John, Rod Stewart, and Seinfeld. That is hard to beat.”


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