Focus on Grayslake

Visit our new exhibit, Focus on Grayslake.

Focus on Grayslake began as a visual art project on social media in celebration of Grayslake’s 125th year in 2020. The exhibit features a variety of photographs and stories captured by photographer, Zee Lacson, about life in Grayslake. 

One such story is that of Mike Pruitt, owner of The Vine in downtown Grayslake.

Mike Pruitt

“The past few years have been a struggle. Not just us. Any business owners. Especially in the restaurant business...

“We’ve had additional bumps in the road recently on top of all that. First there was a thousand gallon oil tank that we found in the back...We had to get rid of it, there was no moving beyond it. That felt like I threw a bunch of money in a hole and lit it on fire ...

“Then after that, literally about a week and a half right after, our main sewer line broke. And that’s because we’re dealing with a hundred plus year old building with old clay pipes...We had to close down for a few days and dig it out ...

“A lot of people came out of the woodwork to help us. A lot of friends and businesses stepped up. Our friend, Matt, set up a GoFund Me ... local people, local organizations ... the Rotary, the Masonic Lodge, Yoga Effect, The Dance Connection, Fog Cutters, Somethings Brewing ... donations were dropped off ... None of it was anything we asked for but we’re definitely grateful ...

“We knew there was support in our community. Before all this, when we’ve reached out to do things for others, we didn’t do it alone. It was really nice to know that they were there for us too when we were on the receiving end. When we were the ones that needed help ...

“It’s scary. You make a large investment hoping to build something. For your family, for our employees that have become like family, for our friends that we view as family. You doubt. But everything that’s happened has shown me that we’re not alone. We have support. And when we open our patio in the spring of 2023, a lot of those doubts will be covered ...”

Mike, resident for 8 years

Interviewed 11.08.2022

Want to read more? Visit the Grayslake Heritage Center and Museum to see the rest of the portraits and the stories behind them! 

Exhibit (2)

Exhibit (1)