CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago is celebrating the groundbreaking of a new upscale eatery in Bronzeville, thanks in part to a $250,000 grant from the city’s Neighborhood Opportunity Fund.
Bronzville Winery, a Black-owned eatery, wine bar, and cultural space, is set to open at 44th and Cottage Grove at the end of the summer.
It’s opening in a storefront in a larger development known as 4400 Grove, a mixed-use project that launched seven months ago.
Area leaders said the city’s Invest South/West initiative and the money from the Neighborhood Opportunity Fund make sure Black and Brown entrepreneurs can get financing and advice to make sure their businesses succeed. That way, they can pass their success on to the next generation.
“This site shows what can be done, and how a community can leverage resources to support small minority businesses,” said Ald. Sophia King (4th).
The Neighborhood Opportunity Fund uses fees developers pay for large high-rise projects downtown to help boost neighborhood projects on the South and West sides. In exchange for the fees they get, developers of downtown high-rises are authorized to build larger projects than typically allowed for a particular site.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Bronzeville Winery will feature indoor and outdoor patio dining, elevated dining options, a culturally inclusive wine list and cocktail menu, live music, space for summertime entertainment and community gatherings, and gardens to source microgreens and produce in-house vegetables.
Bronzeville Winery is owned by Eric Williams, who also owns the Silver Room retail store in Hyde Park and partnered with veteran hospitality designer Cecilia Cuff on the new eatery.
Cuff said the support they have received from fellow Black entrepreneurs and the Bronzeville community has meant more to them than they could ever explain.
“For us, Bronzeville Winery is more than just a restaurant,” Cuff said. “We’ll have an incredible wine list, we’ll have lobster macaroni and cheese, we’ll have brunch on Sundays, we’ll have shrimp and grits and amazing French toast, and we will be here for a community space, but I think what we also want to know is that we are committed to developing the next generation of entrepreneurs through our entrepreneurial and hospitality development program.”