Joe Donut filling a hole on Mount Prospect's Rand Road corridor

Joe Donut is filling a hole along Mount Prospect's Rand Road corridor.

The business operates at 720 E. Rand, the former home of Frankie's Fast Food, which closed after nearly two decades. Given the line of cars at its drive-through, Joe Donut could be in for a long run as well.

Inside the store, which is open from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, are shelves filled with a variety of doughnuts, including what they call the "usual suspects" - like strawberry- and vanilla-glazed, chocolate cake and sprinkled cake. Other offerings include Oreo, pistachio and lemon poppy seed, and "show offs" like Nutella banana and strawberry cheesecake.

"We try to bring new flavors every month, so then everybody's going to have something to try," co-owner Zeno Popa said.

The store also sells raised doughnuts with a square shape - a kind of doughnut slider.

"We make all the glazes and everything from scratch," Popa said.

Besides doughnuts, the eatery offers a full breakfast and lunch menu. Among its burgers is the royale with cheese - an obvious nod to the film "Pulp Fiction." Breakfast items include waffles, French toast and omelettes served with thickly textured hash browns that contain a spicy secret recipe.

Big Shoulders and Intelligentsia coffees also are on tap.

Village officials, including Mayor Paul Hoefert, and Mount Prospect Chamber of Commerce members attended a ribbon-cutting Wednesday then sat down and sampled some of the goods.

Popa, who came to the U.S. from Transylvania, opened North Branch Pizza and Burger Company in Glenview in 2012, along with business partner Nick Philippas.

It was in the backroom of North Branch that the idea for Joe Donut was hatched, and the two opened the first Joe Donut in Glenview in 2016. Building on its success, Joe Donut launched other locations, including in Niles and Deerfield.

Now it is among several new eateries along Mount Prospect's Rand Road corridor.

"Rand Road has seen a lot of investment over the last decade," Mount Prospect Community Development Director Bill Cooney said, noting that businesses along the corridor account for about 75% of the village's retail sales tax revenues. "This is our most important commercial district."

  Zeno Popa, co-owner of Joe Donut, which recently opened on Rand Road in Mount Prospect. Steve Zalusky/
  Kelvin Zander, 4, enjoys a doughnut Wednesday morning at Joe Donut in Mount Prospect. Steve Zalusky/
  Doreen Jarosz, executive assistant to Mount Prospect Village Manager Michael Cassady, was among the village staff at Joe Donut's ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday. Steve Zalusky/
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