Tom Demacopoulos is accustomed to
The Oak Lawn restaurateur handles big breakfast and lunch crowds seven days a week at Stacked, the eatery he opened nearly two years ago at 5273 W. 95th St.
But on Saturday morning, Demacopoulos’ restaurant will be the location for a Thanksgiving food drive as well as a remote radio broadcast hosted by WGN’s Mr. Fix It, Lou Manfredini.
Plans for the food drive have been in the works for some time, as members of the Cobras Hockey Club, of which Demacopoulos’s son is a member, decided to use the restaurant as a base for their charity initiative.
The food drive will benefit the food pantry at Together We Cope, the Tinley Park-based organization that provides food, housing and other essentials to individuals experiencing a crisis.
WGN Radio called Demacopoulos later on asking if he’d like to host On the Road With Lou, the bi-monthly remote broadcast hosted Manfredini. The broadcast at Stacked is the last remote for 2013.
The show will be broadcast from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m., but the food drive continues until 2 p.m.
Demacopoulos said WGN Radio was aware of his restaurant because of recognition in local media and because it was a favorite of John Williams, a former WGN radio host. Williams, who now hosts an afternoon show in Minneapolis, is expected to call into Saturday’s show, Demacopoulos said.
WGN will set up a large tent for the remote broadcast on 53rd Avenue, which will be shut down near the restaurant during the food drive. The show has promoted the event for a few weeks, and Demacopoulos is expected hundreds of people to stop by.
In fact, he’s called all his cooks and servers to be on hand hours before the event to prepare. WGN Radio technicians are expected to arrive at 3 a.m. to begin setup, he said.
The Cobras Hockey Club is a high school team made up of students from Andrew, Tinley Park, Oak Forest, Oak Lawn, Shepard, Stagg, Richards and Evergreen Park high schools.
Approximately 40 members of the team’s varsity and junior varsity squads will be on hand to collect non-perishable food, turkeys and monetary donations, which will be loaded onto a truck and taken to Together We Cope.
“It’s going to be a huge event,” he said. “Anybody is welcome to come by.”
Demacopoulos said the food drive is way for him and member of the Cobras to give back to the community.
High school hockey is an expensive sport and players are fortunate to have parents who can afford equipment and other related expenses, Demacopoulos said. Meanwhile, other families worry about giving their children a hot meal, he said.
“They need to understand the importance of how fortunate they are,” he said. “It’s huge. We are so fortunate. It’s going to give me a great feeling.”
Demacopoulos, a Hickory Hills resident, operated Stacked at 143rd Street and LaGrange in Orland Park for seven years until development forced him out.
He said he’s experienced considerable success in Oak Lawn.
“Oak Lawn has been an amazing transformation for me and my family,” he said.
For more information on the food drive or to make a donation, visit www.cobrashockey.org.