Lill & Esther & Bill & Walter: Memories of a Lincoln Park candy shop

Geneva Belden Flats, ChicagoCrain’s Shia Kapos reports that car dealer Ed Napleton has purchased the Geneva / Belden Flats, a Lincoln Park condo complex attached to an old candy store run by sisters Lill and Esther Hayles. The development’s three units went unfinished and eventually fell into foreclosure.

When Joe Zekas thinks back on Lill and Esther’s shop, he remembers two of its most recognizable patrons, who just so happen to be back in the spotlight.

I lived across the street from Lill and Esther’s store in the 1970s and remember Lill and Esther, who lived in a six-flat around the corner from their store. Rumor was that they were born in that six-flat and had left the neighborhood only once during their lifetime. They were always friendly – and always in the store.

Bill Kurtis and Walter Jacobson co-anchored the No. 1 evening news program during my years on Geneva. Jacobson lived nearby on Belden and was an outgoing, voluble presence when he visited Lil and Esther’s. Kurtis would walk over with a kid and skulk in the alley, avoiding human contact, while the kid went inside to shop.

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