Ukrainian village restaurant gives kids free ice cream for flags of support

CHICAGO – In the heart of the Ukrainian village of Chicago, children know better than anyone the fate of a country on the other side of the world but deep in their souls.

That is why the primary students of St. Nicholas Cathedral School arrived at Joey G’s Mac Cheese to get a tasty ice cream from owner Joey Glorioso.

“I felt there was a lot of commotion among the kids, probably, right? Lots of nervousness, anxiety, right? said Glorioso. “They don’t know what’s going on. I don’t want to tell you how old I am, but I don’t even know what’s going on. So sometimes you’re a little worried and I felt bad for the kids.

Joey G’s has been a mainstay in the Ukrainian village for years. But in recent weeks, he says he has never been closer to his Ukrainian-American neighbors.

Joey G’s Mac n’ Cheese has been a mainstay in the Ukrainian village for years. (Photo: WGN)

Several children arrived at the restaurant on Tuesday from the now war-torn country after Russia invaded.

“The director told me she had refugee families who came there with just their clothes on their backs and their families are still there and I said ‘wow,’” Glorioso said. .

The students walked from school on Tuesday afternoon and along the way stopped to sing for any neighborhood residents who would listen.

By the time they were able to get some of Joey G’s ice cream, the students delivered Joey’s only request: Ukrainian flags and some signs to get the message across.

“You can’t find a Ukrainian flag, so I said I’d have the kids make me one and trade them, so I traded each child who brought a flag a scoop of ice cream and that made their day a little bit better, you know?” Glorioso said.

Anyway, for a few moments they had to be what a child should be: happy and carefree.

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“Do you have a present for me?” Glorioso jokingly asked a child with a signature before fulfilling his promise of a free scoop of ice cream. “It’s nice doing business with you.”

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