Joliet socialites take over downtown on ladies night

JOLIET, IL – Downtown Joliet Business Owners Amber Duffy and Elina Triantou got together and came up with a fun idea to increase foot traffic to bars and restaurants in downtown Joliet on weeknights. On October 14, the two women hosted their first monthly Downtown Joliet Ladies Night. They drew about fifteen women.

On Wednesday night, the second Downtown Joliet Ladies Night attracted more than 100 Joliet area ladies. The event started at 5 p.m. at Juliet’s Tavern. While many women stayed at Juliet’s, others walked along Chicago Street for martinis and food at Mousa Tapas Bar.

The final destination for the night was CUT 158 Chophouse. The three fine dining restaurants are within two blocks along North Chicago Street.

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“Women want a reason to dress up and get out of the house, and so we gave them that,” Duffy explained. “It’s about bringing awareness to downtown Joliet so people understand that the old stigma is officially dead, Rest In Peace. We have fine restaurants here, museums here, arts and thriving small businesses .”

Duffy and his family own the Jitters Coffeehouse. She is also a real estate broker with Koenig Realty, which has an office in downtown Joliet along Chicago Street.

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As for Triantou, she and her husband own Juliet’s Tavern, CUT 158 and Mousa, as well as Hamburgerseria and Rosemary’s Cafe on Essington Road.

“It will be a monthly event,” Duffy pointed out. “Our next will be December 14.”

Image via Hope Shelby/Shelby Shots Photography

Duffy said she couldn’t believe how popular Wednesday’s second Downtown Joliet Ladies’ Night was, considering it snowed most of the day. Besides Joliet, women traveled from Shorewood, Plainfield, Channahon, Minooka and Wilmington, she noted.

Joliet Patch interviewed a Wilmington resident Kayleigh Condon, which is depicted in the photo below. Wednesday marked her first appearance at ladies’ night and she was glad she did.

Condon is a Joliet-area realtor who works for Century 21 Pride Realty.

“It’s fabulous. It gives everyone a reason for women and businesses to come together and we want to bring downtown Joliet back to life,” she said. Condon said she graduated from Providence Catholic High School and graduated in downtown Joliet at the Rialto Square Theater.

Although she now lives in Wilmington, “my heart lives in Joliet,” Condon remarked.

Left to right: Britny Duffy and Kayleigh Condon enjoy the second monthly Joliet Town Center Ladies Night on Wednesday at Juliet’s Tavern. John Ferak/Patch

The Quinta Johnson also attended Wednesday night’s Ladies Night.

Johnson is arguably the most influential person in Brian Bessler’s Facebook group, Joliet Area Bar and Restaurant Guide; Johnson frequents and comments on his visits to several Joliet restaurants several times a week. Johnson also attended the first-ever downtown Joliet ladies’ night in October.

On Wednesday night at Juliet’s Tavern, Johnson told Joliet Patch that the second event was even more successful than the first.

“It’s more of a mixed group this time around, culturally, and I like that,” Johnson remarked. “I think it’s a great way to bring the women together. We talk online, but it’s good to see each other face to face.”

Johnson grew up in Joliet, so she saw downtown on her bleakest days. “I think it was a ghost town before, and now I feel like it’s livening up a bit.”

LaQuinta Johnson, Joliet’s most active restaurant commentator on social media, gets a hug from CUT 158 owner Bill Diimitroulas. John Ferak/Joliet crest

Johnson expects to remain a regular monthly attendee and she plans to attend the next event, scheduled for December 14.

“I think it’s going to get better every month,” Johnson said.

Duffy said participating downtown Joliet restaurants will donate a portion of Wednesday night’s proceeds from ladies’ night to the Illinois Rock & Roll Museum, which will open on Cass Street across from The Forge, another nighttime attraction. bustling downtown Joliet.

Each month, the Downtown Joliet Ladies Night group will select a different Joliet nonprofit organization for donations. The December event will benefit the Joliet Boys and Girls Club, Duffy said.

As for the state of downtown Joliet, Duffy said the “old stigma” is that it’s overrun with crime, it’s desolate and there’s nothing to do.

“You can safely enter now,” Duffy pointed out.

She has lived in downtown Joliet for a year.

“The (Joliet) Chief of Police (Bill Evans) also lives here,” Duffy said. “It’s the heart of the city. There’s gastronomy, museums, the Rialto, The Forge.”

In recent months, first-year Joliet Police Chief Bill Evans has also assigned two duty officers to conduct foot patrols in downtown Joliet, primarily along the North Chicago Street corridor. Foot patrols take place on Wednesday evenings, Thursday evenings, Friday evenings and Saturday evenings.

On Wednesday evening, the Joliet police Brian Montello and Adam Stapleton mingled with people visiting downtown. The two officers were based in the parking lot directly across from the Rialto Square Theater and CUT 158 Chophouse.

Joliet police officers Brian Montello and Adam Stapleton and police dog Nevil were assigned to foot patrol downtown Joliet on Wednesday evening. John Ferak/Patch

Duffy told the Joliet Patch that having the new nightly foot patrols in downtown Joliet was exceptional; officers give everyone a great sense of security, especially visitors from surrounding communities who come to downtown Joliet for the first time.

Either way, the theme for the monthly ladies’ night is “Rediscovering Joliet” and all events are centered around downtown North Chicago Street, where police officers patrol.

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