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Local News

Quarry blast knocked out ceiling tiles at Countryside restaurant

COUNTRYSIDE – Angela Beccara was at home Nov. 4 when a 3.2 magnitude tremor that felt like a light earthquake shook the western suburbs.

She rushed to Little Joe's restaurant on Plainfield Road, the hot dog and beef joint her family has run since 1969. Upon arrival, she learned the tremor had knocked six ceiling tiles to the floor and shifted the building's air conditioning ducts. 

"My sister and our employee, they ran out the door because they thought the walls were crumbling down," Beccara said.

So did the 20 or so customers who were in the restaurant. It was 12:35 p.m., lunchtime. Luckily, no one was beneath the tiles that fell, which were above an area where customers often wait for their food. 

"But someone could have been," Beccara said. 

The customers and employees returned soon after, and Beccara said isn't worried that the restaurant will lose any customers, as many of them are regulars. In fact, a few new customers have stopped in after learning of the restaurant on a WLS-Ch. 7 report. 

A city inspector from Countryside stopped by later in the week to see if everything was OK, and Beccara said a company recommended by the restaurant's insurer will soon visit to check for cracks in the building's structure. 

"Nobody got injured," Beccara said. "That was our biggest thing."

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