Who would have thought the nice square building located at 2704 Harlem Ave. in Riverside would be a cannabis dispensary? Going back to when the building was constructed, cannabis was not even a word that was used. The word we used was “dope” and “marijuana” was also used, but that was a different time. 

The building was originally a Prince Castle ice cream store. It served hamburgers, too, but the ice cream was the best. It was not served in scoops, they were cube-shaped and served with a special scooper. They also serve “Top Hat” sodas and sundaes. Don’t know why they left but it was a sad day. 

Arthur Treacher’s Fish and Chips restaurant next took over. Great fish and chips. Arthur Treacher was an English actor who most often played a British butler. His demeanor was very stiff.

The restaurant served a good menu that seemed to do well. Once again I, and others, were disappointed when it was closed. 

Probably the best use of the building was as a Sara Lee outlet store. “Nobody doesn’t like Sara Lee,” right?

Everybody liked Sara Lee and the business proved it. It was busy. The parking lot was always crowded. There was a senior discount day once a week. Then to make it even better, Market Day, a fundraiser used by schools, joined forced with Sara Lee. 

Everything was very good. I could go for some of those blueberry muffins now. Wonder what happened to those two businesses? They would do well if they came back. 

But in 2023, that building will see its biggest change. It’ll be transformed into a cannabis dispensary later this summer or fall.

The village of Riverside will profit from the 3% local tax on all sales, in addition to the 1% state tax on all local retail sales and the 1% non-home rule sales tax. That should turn out to be a good chunk of revenue, and that building, which has been unsightly for the past several years, will get an upgrade.

So good luck to the two Joudeh brothers whose company is known as Star Buds IL. By the way, if you ever decide to serve Sara Lee cheesecake, I think you can buy one at Riverside Foods.