'World's Largest Laundromat' celebrates 10 years of business after massive fire

CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - The largest laundromat in the world is celebrating.

It has been ten years since the ‘World's Largest Laundromat’ in Berwyn reopened after a massive fire.

Since then, it has become much more than a place to wash up. It now has a play area, arcade games and more TV’s than a sports bar.

Owner Tom Benson has another word to describe his laundromat.

“Friendly…and fun!” he said. “When you see the kids get out of the car in front of the store, they run into the store.”

Why wouldn't they run in? There’s free donuts every day and free pizza on Wednesday nights.

And, did we mention the aviary? Yes, there are birds chirping next to rows of washing machines.

“The birds here are because I wanted to set a tone inside this place,” Benson said. “It’s almost like being in my house, we want you that comfortable.”

“It’s always been a good place, I’ve been coming here a long time and I enjoy coming here,” said Tony Ramirez.

Ramirez has been coming here since the 70's.

“I see people I know, friends coming in here and we talk, this is where I meet 'em,” Ramirez said.

The World's Largest Laundromat has done the seemingly impossible by turning a chore into something families look forward to.

What makes it so special, though, is the employees.

Benson got excited when he told FOX 32 about the time a young Mexican couple moved to town

“They were here 2 months and they had a baby…and the only person she knew well was one of our counter people so they asked her to be the godmother,” Benson said. “Now, that doesn't happen very often.

No it's not very common, but neither is the 'world's largest laundromat'.

One other fact that sets this laundromat apart is it uses solar panels on the roof to heat the water. The owner says out of the 22-thousand laundromats he knows of, he's the only one using solar panels.

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