By Ryan Kupperman, Copy Editor
“When we found out Eros closed, one of the guys was up there eating lunch with his wife and he called me and says ‘You won’t believe it. I got here at Eros and there is a sign on the door, says ‘last day. We are closing as of today,’” Fred Lussow Sr., retired district 214 coach and teacher, said.“[So] I went up there and joined him,” Lussow said.
As of Tuesday Oct. 30, Eros, local Arlington Heights ice cream parlor and diner, closed after nearly 50 years of business, or according to Lussow, since the early 1970’s when he used to take his children there for ice cream.
Lussow taught and coached football at Forest View, as well as Rolling Meadows, before retiring in 2004. Despite this, he was a part of, for the most part, the same coaching staff throughout his entire time coaching in the district. After retiring, his coworkers and friends for 20 plus years decided to meet once a week at the same place. Since some of them, including Lussow, still had to leave their day open for substitute teaching.
According to Lussow, the group continually met at Eros every Friday for 15 years at 6 a.m. with an average turnout of six to nine guys, with the least ever being three and the most being 17. Lussow also notes that throughout the years, two of the group members have deceased.
“The commonality that we had was that we were all coaches,” Lussow said. “We had sports to talk about, and then it got into politics. We had some really heated arguments at times because [there was always] someone to the left and someone to the right.”
As Lussow met with the same guys for 15 years, he also had the same waitress for 13 years and the same coffee pourer the entire time he had gone there. He also says that one of the guys in the group taught the waitress biology at Forest View back in the 70’s.
Once Eros closed however, the group decided to have a meeting, which Lussow called the “executive board meeting of the CEOs of the breakfast club,” to decide on a new meeting place. Lussow notes that they wanted to keep the place local, so they currently meet at Uptown Cafe in downtown Arlington Heights every Friday from now on at 6:30 a.m. Their same coffee pourer also now works at Uptown.
“It is really a tight-knit group. The help. The guys that come… the fact that we are all teachers,” Lussow said. “It was a friendly place. You [almost] started to get to know everybody that went there.”
Although Lussow does feel bad about the “abrupt” way that Eros closed, he and his group have moved on.
“The fact is we keep this thing going. The thing that made it neat was it was just a neighborhood diner place,” Lussow said. “It’s just like moving to a new school I guess, but we are not losing friendships… 15 years is one thing– that started when I retired in 2004 and that’s when we started eating. As far as the friendships of the guys that come– that goes back to the late 60’s and 70’s.”
Although Eros has been a local staple for many, Lussow believes the relationships with people at Eros are much more valuable.
“Everybody has an interest [in the same things]. We google a lot, we research things, we talk about athletes… we talk about a lot of things and it’s a lot of fun,” Lussow said. “Between that and subbing, that’s what keeps me going.”