Wednesday, April 21, 2010

"Cuisine of the Diaspora": African Food Emporium for 51st Street

posted by chicago pop

"Cuisines of the Diaspora" Entrepreneur Bernard Lloyd
[Source: Bronzeville Metropolis,]

In a Sun-Times piece of February, 2009, the paper took a look at "cuisines of the African diaspora" in Chicago's various neighborhoods. Curiously telling was the fact that, of the neighborhoods mentioned, none was on Chicago's South Side or Bronzeville, its historically black neighborhood.

That may change by the end of 2010.

If all goes according to plan (a big "if", given some of the epic failures we've catalogued in the immediate vicinity), a lot at 51st Street and Prairie and adjacent to the Green Line station will become the site of a 17,000 square foot food emporium highlighting cuisines from American Southern, African, Jamaican and vegan fare, together with a much-needed fresh produce market.

Former McKinsey partner and now developer Bernard Lloyd estimates that the project will bring 130 jobs to the neighborhood. The project will be financed with the help of $3 million in city TIF funding, that very special funny-money that sloshes around plentifully no matter what the prevailing economic climate.

With a good dose of City TIF money and the business acumen of a former McKinsey consultant committed to this project, it has a lot going for it. Let's hope this one comes through.


susan said...

This a great news! I always think it is weird to live so close to Ghana Fest etc. and yet no African restaurants or food.

Zig and Lou said...

$3 million. Wow.

taya said...

Washington park is a bad area for this type of development, the area isn't gentrifying. People will have to pass vacant lots, lots of litter, gangbangers, panhandlers, and loiters to get to this place. People aren't goig to be comfortable traveling so far out of their way.
This development should be placed in a gentrifying neighborhood like douglas, oakland, grand boulevard, or kenwood. These areas provide steady traffic of professionals. This place just doesn't fit the neighborhood.

A.r.T said...

Is there an update on this project? Seems like nothing has happened...