Next I want to share with you the story of Andres Flores, the proprietor of an Italian restaurant up in Rogers Park, a small, clean joint that serves, well, a damn good barbecue chicken pizza. But Andres’s is a complicated story, and his restaurant Chiki’s is a complicated place, so first I’m going to let his daughter Michelle talk. She just graduated from high school, and works at the family restaurant. (You can listen along here.)
What do you do around here?
Whatever my parents put me up to. If they want a waitress, I waitress. Delivery person, I can’t drive yet I have to go by foot, so I walk. Luckily I’m not a dishwasher anymore because my grandpa likes doing that. Sometimes cook the food, like for my family and friends.
My dad doesn’t like the plain walls, so he has his customers bring pictures by. He really likes the Godfathers, so all the customers are like, Where’d you get the Godfathers from? My mom doesn’t like them but we have it up there ‘cause everybody likes the famous Godfathers.
When we have customers come in they ask, So what made you get a pizza place, or What made you want it Italian? Because we’re Mexican. My dad says that when he had a crush on my mom, way back when, my mom wouldn’t give him the eye. She would just be, no get away. My mom didn’t like him.