Jamie Abraham was born and raised in Palatine, but she never thought she would one day open a business just minutes from her childhood home.
Abraham and her husband, Brian, recently opened Happenings Family Fun Center at 519 S. Consumers Avenue in Palatine. The indoor entertainment center replaces the former Brunswick Zone bowling alley.
The Abrahams and their 11-year-old daughter, Courtney, moved to Arizona three years ago. While living there, they opened an entertainment similar to the new Happenings.
“We liked the concept of catering to kids,” Jamie Abraham said.
However, a real estate venture did not work out as planned, and they missed their friends and family. They moved back to the area and now reside in Algonquin.
The couple began looking for a new space that they could turn into a family fun center.
“We looked around for 1 ½ years,” said Abraham. “It’s kind of tough to find a place. Then this fell into our laps.”
Happenings kicked off its grand opening in early May by holding a fundraiser for District 15 schools. The 30,000 sq. ft. facility features eight inflatable bouncy houses, 100 video games, indoor batting cages, pool tables and more.
They also offer a full menu with items like pizza, corn dogs, chicken strips and funnel cake.
The concept of an entertainment center for kids naturally appeals to Abraham.
“Families can talk and gather, and you can watch your kids play,” she said. “It makes me smile to see kids having fun.”
Brian Abraham has previous experience owning his own businesses, including an auto body shop and a mortgage company. The Abrahams co-own Happenings with business partner John Livaditis of Glenview.
Since Happenings opened, the Abrahams have been visiting local schools, book clubs and park districts to help get the word out.
“We want to provide for the community,” said Brian Abraham.
The Abrahams are happy to be back in the Chicago suburbs.
“We’re really looking forward to building a family-owned business,” said Brian. “We want to provide a nice, safe place to bring the whole family.”