The Village of Oak Park | 123 Madison St.  Oak Park, IL 60302 |

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Johnson Awards

The Oak Park Department of Public Health sponsors the annual Johnson Awards, which are named in memory of Oak Park’s first lunch room which began operation at 124 Lake St. in the early 1890’s. The Johnson Award is part of the Health Department’s ongoing efforts to encourage restaurants to consistently meet or exceed mandated responsibilities in providing safe food and promoting community and employee health.

Eligibility and criteria for the Johnson Awards are listed below. The recipients of these awards will be recognized by Village of Oak Park leadership, the Public Health Department and the Board of Health.

Businesses who qualify can nominate themselves by filling out the information and providing the required documentation described below.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for a Johnson Award, a facility can be: a Category I (High Risk) or Category II (Medium Risk Facility), examples of which include restaurants, bakeries and grocery stores. 

To qualify for consideration as a Johnson Award recipient, a facility must:

  • have less than 5 Priority or Priority foundation violations within the last year
  • be under the operational supervision of a certified food service manager at the time of inspection
  • ensure that all food handler personnel are certified food handlers

Additional consideration will be given to facilities who meet the criteria below. Nominees must submit documentation of:

  • a written employee illness policy that excludes or restricts ill employee as specified in the Food Code
  • paying employees a living wage, which for Cook County in 2023 is $19.23 per hour
  • any policies that promote Diversity, Equity and Inclusion efforts 

Click here to submit a nomination form

For questions, contact the Health Department at or 708.358.5480.