Park Ridge Insider Heather O’Grady on Nonno Pino’s gnocchi, haircuts at Anthony Valentino’s, and weekends in Milwaukee’s historic Third Ward
Milwaukee Third Ward photo courtesy of VisitMilwaukee.org
What you do for a living: I manage Edie Boutique and Marigold in Uptown Park Ridge.
How long you’ve lived here: Basically all my life. Around 43 years.
What you like best about Park Ridge: The community and the small-town feel, even though we are growing.
Best meal you’ve had recently: Nonno Pino’s in Edison Park. I had their gnocchi, and I’ve been avoiding carbs, so life was good.
Favorite restaurant in the area: Harp and Fiddle. All my friends can attest to that. They make a mean corned beef and an even better margarita!
Favorite “hidden gem” restaurant: Sweet and Tart! People think they just have desserts, but they also have a killer bar and savory menu items, as well as a fabulous occasional bartender, William (my son).
Best bar to grab a drink or to catch the game: Tie between Harp and Fiddle and Sweet & Tart. I don’t do sports, but can karaoke a tune like no other!
A great night out with friends usually includes… cocktails at a few places in town, a couple apps and laughs, of course.
The best way to spend a Saturday in the winter: I work most Saturdays, so working and helping the awesome customers I’ve had a privilege to get to know since I was a teen working in town. Then, walking to one of our local restaurants for dinner and drinks. If I’m off work, it’s all about getting my hair done at Anthony Valentino’s on Main Street. They rock and always make a girl feel great!
What’s something you look forward to every winter?
Seeing Park Ridge lit up and decorated, the kids visiting when they come home from college, and the fun events our town has.
If you can’t find something fun to do with the Park Ridge Park District — no matter what your age — you aren’t trying! … I hope the young parents out there realize what a gem our Park District is in our community.
Favorite local store or best shopping area: Edie and Marigold… duh! The owner, Amy, and I have worked on and off together since high school — we graduated Maine South together! Edie has a great collection of on-trend clothing and accessories at friendly price points, and Marigold is the perfect place to find a gift or put those special touches in decorating your home.
And guess what? Everything on the Marigold side fits! Also, Hill’s Hallmark here in Park Ridge — those ladies are always so helpful and kind.
Secret Park Ridge spot: Well, I would say Whole Foods bar, but it’s been closed since Covid. There’s kind of a theme here, isn’t there? So I’ll go with the tamale guy at the Park Ridge Farmer’s Market.
Underrated activity in the area: The Park Ridge Park District. If you can’t find something fun to do no matter what your age, you aren’t trying! They have something for everyone — from mom-and-tot classes and trips for seniors to dance classes, cheerleading, soccer, Halloween parties, arts and craft classes.
And, on certain days when school is closed, they have all-day activity workshops for children so they can be kept busy and not in front of a TV all day. And as a working mom, I always appreciated that! I hope the young parents out there realize what a gem our Park District is in our community.
People think Sweet & Tart here in town just has desserts, but they also have a killer bar and savory menu items.