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Ashford House is 'Something We Have to Stand up for,' Customer Says

After a quiet and discouraging day for a Tinley Park business owner whose restaurant was the site of a vicious attack over the weekend, community members didn't hesitate to show their support on Monday.

After seeing the "ghost town" that was his restaurant on Sunday, Mike Winston said he never would have expected Monday to be what it was—an overwhelming outpouring of support from the community.

The Ashford House and adjacent Winston Market owner said he knew business would take a hit after . But there were few parking spots to be had around 10:40 a.m. Monday morning. Many diners said they were there specifically to show their support for Winston. 

Customers like Bob and Jeanne Gile, of Orland Park, knew Monday called for a visit to one of their most beloved Irish-rooted restaurants.  

"We came to support the business," Jeanne said around 11 a.m. with her husband, Bob, at her side. "My husband is Irish. He feels very sad and I do, too."

She said that spending money at locally owned businesses like Ashford House "preserves the character of the area." 

"We're glad to see they're doing well this morning," she said, with a smile. "Everything has been very organized. You'd never know there was an incident. We just enjoyed a wonderful breakfast."

Winston admitted he was still a bit shell-shocked from .  

"It was a scary situation for everyone," he said. "And with some of the misinformation floating around, we felt discouraged."

Some reports speculated that Winston could have been associated with the groups involved in the incident—assumptions that he says have seriously dampened his spirits. sources have said there's no evidence to suggest that anyone at the restaurant, let alone Winston, knew what was coming.

"Why in the world would I be associated with these groups?" he said. "They . When people make a reservation, we don't ask them about their political beliefs." 

Winston said he came from the kitchen area when he heard commotion in the restaurant that day and saw two men flipping tables in a dining area. Thinking the incident was isolated to the duo, he chased them and pinned one to the ground.

"If I knew there were 18 in the group, I wouldn't have done that," he said, adding that a cluster of five men began attacking him while he detained the one assailant. He had a scrape on his head while working Monday but had not been hospitalized.

Masked, black-clad attackers stormed the restaurant around 12:30 p.m. Saturday with metal batons and hammers in hand, , and diners leapt up from their chairs, grabbing furniture to defend themselves. But the group—officials have said they were targeting a meeting of white supremacists—primarily zeroed in on a table reserved for 20 in a rear dining area, Winston said. 

Ten people were injured in the attack and three received staples in their heads, prosecutors confirmed Monday afternoon. The Ashford House remained closed for what was left of Saturday. And on Sunday, Winston said they may as well have shuttered the doors again.

"The weekends are what get us through," he said on Monday. "They pay for the whole week. So it hurt. It really did. Other than private parties … showers, celebrations and other events … our Sunday brunch is what keeps us going. But yesterday, you could hear a pin drop in here." 

Aside from what court documents detail as $15,000 in damages to the restaurant, losses have stemmed from cancellations from three large groups that had scheduled events at Ashford House during those two days, Winston said. He's talking with some parties whose members are debating similar choices.

But regular customers like Mary Nolan, and her 22-year-old daughter, Kerry, were by no means in limbo about showing up at one of their favorite breakfast spots. 

"They've lost a lot of business," Kerry said Monday. "We really didn't think twice about it."

Kerry's grandfather, Sean McPartland, 75, of Hickory Hills, said he's a longtime friend of Winston's. He said Ashford House is a place he's always felt at home. 

"It's not just me who believes that," he said. "You could walk in here not knowing anyone and he would accept you with open arms. That's the beauty of a place like this. It's something we have to stand up for."

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Katie J. May 22, 2012 at 01:40 PM
Can I ask specifically why? It doesn't seem to be their fault the crazies were out on Saturday.
The Guru May 22, 2012 at 01:56 PM
Thats okay, I'll be taking my family in your place.
The Guru May 22, 2012 at 02:01 PM
How about we institute a Tinley Park Patch Meet and Greet at Ashford house?
ddebm2 May 22, 2012 at 02:04 PM
I hope you can find another place that makes you feel at home, at Ashford House does.. if not your loss.
Rick T May 22, 2012 at 02:43 PM
Then Orland Park patch will come in and attack you. j/k
cragz May 22, 2012 at 03:24 PM
After reading this, I'm sad you feel this way. This restaurant has been one that I remember fondly from when I lived closer. It has brought tears to my eyes that someone could do this to them. They don't deserve it, and they certainly had nothing to do with it. They should not be punished further for something that horrible people did to them. I think its silly to say that you would never go there, as if it was their fault. Either way, maybe it's a good thing that you are not going to be a part of a good deed to help people in need. More goodness for everyone else.
Marilyn May 22, 2012 at 03:51 PM
I will do what I can to support Ashford House, They are a small business and need support from everyone. I have friends that comes from Downers Grove and OakBrook to dine there.
Pete Zuria May 22, 2012 at 04:15 PM
you are the winner of the 'stupidest comment of the day' award !
anthony May 22, 2012 at 06:13 PM
Unless they had a connection to the "summit" very bad luck!
Cecil Norwood May 22, 2012 at 06:29 PM
Donations now being taken for the victims including the restaraunt: https://www.wepay.com/donations/tinley-park-attack-victims-fund
Carrie Frillman May 22, 2012 at 07:32 PM
Thank you, Cecil, for posting that. Are you interested in talking more about this fundraising effort?
Elvis May 22, 2012 at 07:41 PM
Cecil Norwood is a member of Storm Front - the White Nationalist group. So the money he claiming to collect on behalf of the victims will probably find its way to Storm Front and not the actual victims, those being the patrons not afflilated with either group, or the Ashford House.
Pam laub May 22, 2012 at 07:57 PM
Applause to everyone who is supporting Ashford House! A wonderful small business who ran into trouble through NO fault of theirs.
BGresident May 22, 2012 at 10:46 PM
Carrie are you serious that a fundraiser to help white supremacists is GOOD and should be promoted on the Patch? Are you kidding? Right to freedom of speech is one thing but the Patch should not be promoting their raising of money!
BGresident May 22, 2012 at 11:27 PM
http://www.stormfront.org/forum/t841152-9/ There's Cecil Norwood in case anybody's wondering about the "fundraising" efforts. Post #88.
Carrie Frillman May 22, 2012 at 11:50 PM
I'm aware of this notion, Elvis.
Carrie Frillman May 22, 2012 at 11:51 PM
Hi BGresident. Who said anything about this being good? I'm obviously interested in talking to those affiliated with either of these groups, as reporting is part of my job. No one is promoting any of this. Please don't draw such conclusions.
Carrie Frillman May 22, 2012 at 11:52 PM
Thanks for commenting again, BGresident. We're aware of the posts.
BGresident May 23, 2012 at 12:13 AM
Carrie, I am not trying to jump to conclusion. But, thanking someone (as you did) implies an appreciation for the information. Perhaps that is not what you intended, but it appeared that way from your post. In this case, the information is not an expression of opinion or news about the incident. It's asking for money. Yes, you are a reporter, and reporters are supposed to report information. But leaving up a request for MONEY is a form of promoting this fundraising for such an organization. Seeking to speak with this person is not the problem. It's that you are allowing him to ask for money via this website. That link Cecil Norwood posted is misleading especially in the context of this article which is about Ashford House and how the restaurant's business might suffer, not about the white nationalists who were attacked. I might be wrong, but I would bet that the owners of the restaurant would not be happy to learn that someone is posting here and implying that money raised will somehow help the restaurant, when that money is probably in fact going to the white nationalists or to someone who affiliates himself with them. In this case, I would think that this post would violate the terms of agreement which prohibit users from seeking to make money off of this site, though it appears I am wrong on that.
Carrie Frillman May 23, 2012 at 12:53 AM
BGresident, I thank all my commenters for their feedback. And I thank you for yours. You all are exemplifying what Patch is all about—creating a place for conversation and establishing a virtual town square. I'm sorry that you feel it "appeared that way" and that you believe that my thanking someone for posting information that could indeed lead me to additional sources "implies" I'm supportive of his or her organization or cause. However, those phrases, to me, indicate you are drawing your own conclusions. I am an editor but also a reporter. My job is to arm you with information so you can form your own opinions and as we all know, there are two sides to every story. Anyone leading me to new information when it comes to this ongoing investigation is helpful. I don't agree that leaving up the request is a form of promotion. If that's the case, I'd be promoting everything my commenters say in story threads and trust me, friend, nothing could be further from the truth. I'm quite familiar with our terms of use as part of my job is to moderate when comments are obscene, defamatory or abusive. Of course there is a litany of other actions that could violate those terms and you can read through them here: http://tinleypark.patch.com/terms.
Carrie Frillman May 23, 2012 at 12:53 AM
Yes, you would be right that "you can’t use the service to make a living unless you enter into a separate agreement with us that says you can," but I wouldn't view the post in question as making a living. It all just comes down to the fact that it's my call. I prefer to maintain an open and honest forum in which I only step in or moderate when I feel it's absolutely necessary and I plan to continue doing that. I hope you don't take my explanation the wrong way. I am happy to explain myself and my judgement calls when asked and always welcome criticism. Have a wonderful night and as always, keep Patching! :)
Mora O'Connell May 23, 2012 at 05:28 AM
Thank God Mike Winston is okay. The Ashford House is a wonderful Irish restaurant and it is terrible that 15 masked gang members attacked people in there. Every one of those masked terrorist gang members needs to go to prison for 30 years. It was heartening to read that Mike defended his property with true courage against what is obviously a neo-Marxist type of terror gang.
White Irish Heritage May 23, 2012 at 06:23 AM
When I first heard of the attack I thought it might have something to do with the IRA and The Troubles back home. But upon further investigation I found out it was the ARA, Anti-Racist Action hate group. It reminds me of the Anti-Race 1918 Soviet constitution which banned all races in the name of international communism. Anti Race or whatever they call themselves, is identical to the U.S.S.R. Marxist constitution of 1918 which banned "racial discrimination or identity" and sent well over 50 million people to the GULAG concentration camps. Here are Americans practicing their 4th Amendment of peaceful assembly and an armed terrorist obviously neoMarxist mob attacks them. 4th Amendment of the US Constitution, the right of the citizens to assemble and meet in private or public without fear or being physically attacked by fascist-marxists.
Cecil Norwood May 23, 2012 at 06:57 AM
Carrie, Yes, I am willing to discuss this further. As I stated earlier, ALL proceeds would be used for ALL of the VICTIMS and the restaraunt. BGresident is obviously a supporter of the attackers. They and their Marxist/Anti-Fascists friends attack innocent diners, including those not in the group of online friends who were meeting, and also the restaraunt staff. BGresident supports the attackers and condemns my efforts to raise money for the victims of the attack and to repair the damage to the Chicago landmark that his friends caused. That is a truly warped sense of ethics. The same site is being used to raise money for the attackers. Is BGresident opposed to that or only against raising money for victims? What beliefs does one need to have in order to not be attacked at lunch with a hammer to the head? Does a Conservitive not deserve justice? Does a Republican not deserve medical treatement? This is not a matter of ideals though BGresident is making it such. NO ONE deserves to be attacked regardless of their beliefs. Immediately after creating the donation page I notified the Ashford House of this matter via email and on their Facebook page. BGresidents accusations are slanderous and intended to take away funds for all of the victims because those victims do not share BGresidents warped sense of ethics. I do not know the political, religious, or other beliefs of most of the victims or of any of the staff. I do not care. I care for aiding victims, not the attackers.
White Irish Heritage May 23, 2012 at 07:03 AM
Imagine if this was not an Irish restaurant, but a Jewish restaurant. And a masked terror gang traveled across state lines to beat the Jewish patrons with baseball bats, including the Jewish owner, the Jewish waiters, and in particular a Jewish Heritage group? The FBI would be all over this for massive domestic terrorism and violation of Federal Civil Rights. But being that it was an ethnic Irish establishment, the media is quiet on this.
Cecil Norwood May 23, 2012 at 07:15 AM
"I might be wrong, but I would bet that the owners of the restaurant would not be happy to learn that someone is posting here and implying that money raised will somehow help the restaurant, when that money is probably in fact going to the white nationalists or to someone who affiliates himself with them." There is no "implying" about it. All funds will go to ANY victim of the attack regardless of race or beliefs. Making slanderous accusations isn't helping the restaraunt or any of the staff or patrons. The restaraunt was notified by me immediately after I set up the donation page by email and by post on their Facebook. As I stated on that donation page: "All records will be made available to those that donate". After reviewing Mrs. Frillman comments on being fair and impartial I will include her in the viewing of those records as well if she wishes, so long as the names of those that donate are allowed to be kept confidential.
Cecil Norwood May 23, 2012 at 07:19 AM
Making slanderous assumptions in order to deprive those that you don't agree with of restitution? Why no outcry against the attackers or the other diners, staff, and restaraunt? I would have to question your motives. As stated, I will make all records available to all those who donate and to Mrs. Frillman as well if she wishes.
Cecil May 25, 2012 at 06:10 AM
"Ariyana", You might want to have your "facts" double checked. While you are at it, in order to avoid having to supoena TinleyParkPatch records how about you send me your information for the libel and defamation suit? Have you done sleuthing against those raising money FOR these terrorists? No? Have you been posting comments against raising money for them? No? Hmmmmm..... Check into the criminal records of those that carried out this attack. Check into their websites if you want a scare! Of course, you will not. You are a supporter of theirs are you not?
Cecil May 25, 2012 at 06:15 AM
Though they were with the best of intentions, my efforts were not needed as there was already a private fundraising for this. In fact I was asked to let them take care of it and avoid giving a forum for the supporters of the attackers/terrorist who stormed the restaurant and assaulted everyone that they could. It is still amazing to me how asking for funds for ALL victims.... victims that I have never met, somehow makes one evil in the eyes of these "Anti-Fascists". They have sent me threats, attempted to hack my accounts and justify their support for the attackers. I attempted to do a good deed towards people I have never met and towards a restaraunt that I have never been to, however, it serves their purpose to make insinuations and connections that are false. The site raising money for the terrorists has comments from these lunatic supporters justifying not only attacks on those that do not believe in their views but against anyone else in the restaurant! Evil will make any excuse to justify it's actions apparently. As it appears that these "Antifa" will attack anyone raising money for the victims whether you have associations with them or not, I encourage all to send their donations to the restaraunt. Have a great day. -Cecil (The other Cecil)
PrettyAuntPatti May 26, 2012 at 11:54 AM
I was @ Winston 's Market the next day shopping , do not go elsewhere for fresh meat and never will. If people stopped going everywhere there was an incident, we would all be locked in our homes! The Winstons treat everyone like friends/family and I would not stop going there at all.

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