To show appreciation for the 20,000+ dedicated homeowners who have joined as members of CBA in 20 years, we are posting one blog each month in 2020 listing 20 things of interest to bungalow and vintage home owners. #Bungalow2020!
Last year, we asked our members to tell us their favorite neighborhood businesses and received literally hundreds of responses! This Black History Month, we’ve pulled some of those responses and added a few of our own personal favorites to honor 20 of the best Black-Owned Businesses in Chicago.
Batter & Berries, 2748 N Lincoln Ave, Lincoln Park
This Lincoln Park restaurant is often crowded for a reason, or many reasons—crab cake benedict, Moroccan shrimp omelets, and a super flight of French toast being just a few. Bring some champagne to go with the OJ at this BYOB establishment, which prides itself on using fresh, all-natural ingredients.
Dat Donut, 8251 S Cottage Grove Ave, Chatham
Dat Donut, known for the famous Big DAT, has been a Chatham neighborhood institution since 1994. Owners Darryl and Andrea are known for offering fresh, fast, and friendly service, and their bakers consistently serve up the best hand-cut donuts in Chicago.
The Delta, 1745 W North Ave, Wicker Park
This popular Wicker Park eatery specializes in Mississippi Red Hot tamales and craft cocktails. Owner Eldridge Williams, a Memphis native, wanted to bring the eclectic yet rich soul of the Delta to us here in Chicago.
Ethiopian Diamond, 6120 N Broadway, Edgewater
Since opening its doors in 1996, Ethiopian Diamond has been a neighborhood staple both for long-time residents and each new crop of Loyola students. Executive Chef & Owner, Almaz Yigizaw (Almaz means “diamond” in Amharic) has created and maintained a welcoming and comforting atmosphere for her customers as well as a kitchen known for its extensive menu of authentic Ethiopian dishes.
Give Me Some Sugah, 2234 E 71st St, South Shore
Known for their potato chip cookies and key lime pie, this cozy bakery in South Shore specializes in homemade, small-batch baking with real ingredients. Parking is easy, prices are reasonable, and if you’re looking for savory, they also serve breakfast, lunch and dinner items!
Grace’s African Restaurant, 4409 N Broadway, Uptown
The Ghanaian menu features waakye, or rice and beans with fish, chicken or beef, and kenkey, fermented cornmeal dough served with fish, among other traditional favorites. Many customers eat the traditional Ghanaian way (i.e., with their right hands) and receive, along with their food, a bowl of water for washing up.
‘Laine’s Bake Shop, 756 E 111th St, Pullman
'Laine’s is located inside of One Eleven Food Hall, Chicago's first south side food hall in Pullman, and specializes in cookies, pies, brownies, cakes, baking classes, and bringing people together. The family-operated artisan baking company comes with a social mission to connect people through good food as a way to revitalize urban communities.
Luella’s Southern Kitchen, 4609 N Lincoln Ave, Ravenswood
Named after the chef’s great grandmother, expect to feel like you’re hanging out and relaxing with family when you come here at the end of a long day. The atmosphere is casual and BYOB and the food is bursting with flavor from the BBQ Brisket Mac N. Cheese to the beignets.
Majani, 7167 S Exchange Ave, South Shore & 756 E 111th St, Pullman
Majani Restaurant is a low-key spot full of reclaimed and recycled building materials and serving a range of plant-based cuisine and vegan offerings. The ingredients are fresh—“Majani” is Swahili for “green”—and the owners believe in healthy eating options and hiring locally.
Nicole Jordan Catering creates custom menus using the freshest ingredients for gatherings ranging from small intimate holiday meals, to large themed events. The menu options are extensive, by all accounts incredibly tasty, and able to meet dietary restrictions. Her service is known to be off the charts.
South Shore Brew, 7101 S Yates Blvd, South Shore
A neighborhood staple that brings residents together around high-quality coffee, tea, fresh smoothies, and a panini & pastry menu. They hire locally, providing job readiness training to 17- to 24-year-old employees, and host monthly events across varying topics with the goal of bringing people to South Shore to celebrate the good the neighborhood offers Chicago.
Sweet Maple Cafe, 1339 W Taylor St, University Village
Check out Laurene Hynson’s modest 1940s-inspired storefront café for some good old-fashioned meals based on family recipes and her own creative cooking. Known for menu items like sweet milk biscuits and Dr. Glenn’s Scramble (farm fresh eggs, bone-in-ham, Wisconsin cheddar and vegetables), this café has the uncanny ability to bring people together from every background.
An Orange Moon, 2418 W North Ave, Logan Square
North Kenwood residents Lynn and Ty McDaniel own this award-winning vintage furniture store in the Humboldt Park neighborhood, best known for its stunning Mid-Century Modern pieces. In addition to furniture, you can shop a range of items including vintage lighting, textiles, mirrors, art, and more.
King’s Hardware, 4415 W Madison St, West Garfield Park
King’s Hardware is an institution created by Johnny King, formerly affiliated with Ace Hardware, who was the chain’s first black franchisee in Chicago in the late 1960s. This family-run hardware store with fiercely loyal clientele is known to have everything you need, and is appreciated for its extraordinary customer service.
The Silver Room, 1506 E 53rd St, Hyde 1302 N Milwaukee Ave, Wicker Park
The Silver Room redefines traditional retail operation by taking a community focus that provides a gathering place, event space and artist gallery for the neighborhood. Located in the heart of Hyde Park, the store is an eclectic mix of locally- and internationally-sourced handmade jewelry, accessories, clothing, artwork, home goods, , and also features a curated selection of music. (Check out their Wicker Park pop-up location too!) For 16 years, they’ve also hosted the Annual Silver Room Sound System Block Party, which is hands-down one of the city’s best neighborhood festivals!
Soap Distillery is a small company founded by Danielle Martin, who was fed up with the lack of diversity between scented soaps found at her local health food stores and decided to take things into her own hands. Soap Distillery's team of four creates a myriad of uniquely scented products that can be found at shops in Chicago and beyond.
Black Ensemble Theater, 4450 N Clark St, Ravenswood
The Black Ensemble Theater and performing arts center has been a Chicago institution for more than four decades. Founded by performing arts maven Jackie Taylor, the theater itself is prized for its original performances, outstanding productions and continued community and educational outreach programs city-wide.
Red Clay Dance Co., 331 W 45th St, Fuller Park
Founded by activist, artist, and dancer Vershawn Sanders-Ward, Red Clay Dance Co. brings the art and movement of the African Diaspora to Chicago. This company aims to transform cultural and socioeconomic inequities both locally and globally through their classes and stunning performances
When your company chooses to book an event with this mobile salon, it will also help residents of Illinois who are considered low-income or who have mobility issues. CHOP CHOP will set aside a portion of the sales to fund their mission to provide complimentary grooming services for the communities that need them the most—sometimes something as simple as a haircut can make a big impact on how people think and feel.
PupStars Pet Care, 2337 W Lake St, West Town
PupStars was established in 2006 by Tara Robertson as a home-based dog walking company that grew into a 10,000-square-foot daycare, boarding, and grooming location. Complete with UV lights and air purifiers, luxury boarding suites, low human-to-dog ratios, and indoor/outdoor play spaces, this has become a favorite pet care service on the West Side.
When small businesses flourish, so do their communities! Supporting Black-Owned Businesses is an important step in helping to close the racial wealth gap, strengthen local economies, foster job creation, and create more resilient neighborhoods. But beyond that, why wouldn’t you want to patronize some of the most community-centric, culturally interesting, and just plain delicious places in Chicago?
Want more recommendations? We don’t blame you. Check out some additional lists here: