WIN: Chicago Legacy Business Margie’s Candies to Continue Into Fourth-Generation After Death of Owner

“The third-generation owner of Margie’s Candies died last month, ushering in a new chapter for the beloved neighborhood institution.

“Peter George Poulos died of cancer April 26, his family said. He was 86.

“Poulos had run the old-fashioned ice cream and confectionary shop for decades, hand-dipping candy and joyfully helping customers just as his mother, Margie, had for years before him.

“Now, Poulos’ son, George, is taking the reins as fourth-generation owner and operator, carrying on the family legacy.

“George Poulos said he plans to keep Margie’s the exact same, from the menu to the old-school kitschy decor. He sees himself running the ice cream shop for years and passing the business down to his children when he’s older. He has a 5-month-old son, Kai.

“The plan applies to both Margie’s: the original shop along the Logan Square-Bucktown border at 1960 N. Western Ave. and the Ravenswood outpost at 1813 W. Montrose Ave.

“My dad’s wish was always to keep everything the same that his mom had it, so I’m just following the way,” George Poulos said.

“Peter Poulos’ father and grandfather opened Margie’s Candies — then called Security Sweet Shop — in the 1920s at Armitage and Western avenues. The shop was known for its homemade ice cream and candy, and as the kind of place the whole family could cram into a booth and share a massive sundae.

“Peter Poulos’ mother took over the restaurant some 30 years later after her husband died of an ulcer.

“Margie Poulos was a “visible figure” at Margie’s for years, according to an old Reader story. When she wasn’t helping make ice cream and candy, she sat in back and watched a little Magnavox TV.

“The family renamed the business after the matriarch.

“‘In 1933, when I got married, everything in the neighborhood was ‘Security,” Margie Poulos told the Reader in 1987. ‘The real estate people used to be called Security Real Estate, the bank used to be Security Bank. Since 1933, we’ve been Margie’s. After my husband and I bought it from my father-in-law, we thought for candy a woman’s name would be best.”

“Margie’s has a long and storied history: Al Capone, The Beatles and Aretha Franklin have all reportedly patronized the old-school ice cream spot.

“‘Obviously, there’s a lot of pressure. I still want to make sure I live up to my dad’s expectations,’ he said. ‘I’m excited about it. I just want to keep everything going.'” (Bloom, Block Club Chicago, 5/5/23)


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