Hyde Park is the Heart of Chicago’s South Side, mixing so many cultures and people of different backgrounds. It’s the place to get a small taste of the downtown hustle and bustle while also knowing you will see a familiar face at every block. From youth to elders, everyone loves Hyde Park even our beloved 44 ;-). Hyde Park houses some of our greatest institutions like the Museum of Science and Industry, the University of Chicago and the DuSable Museum of African American History. It also houses a great amount of some of our greatest Black owned businesses.
Let’s check out 5 Black Businesses we think you should support in Hyde Park.
1. Frontline Books
Frontline Books is the soul of Hyde Park. Not only does it sell books, cultural clothes and highly sought after shea butter, black soap, incense and oils…. It’s a place for the young and powerful to be themselves, host poetry sets and book clubs on African culture and enlightenment.
I remember when the Silver Room was located on the north side of Chicago on Milwaukee Ave. A place that Dre (co founder of The Black Mall) and I would go because we thought we were cool and knew all the hidden treasures of the city. But when this exclusive shop came to the south side with all of its wonderful jewelry, housed in mobile glass cases, it took off like a rocket. It then shut the city down with its infamous block party that has had over 40,000 attendees. Check out this beautiful, chic but modern shop that features gorgeous jewelry, apparel, bags, books and more.
When you first walk into Kimbark, you might think, “wow is this really Black owned?” I know I know, I shouldn’t think that way…. we started promoting Black business to dispel the myths but this business even blew us away. The space is large and there are wine and spirits packed to the ledge on tall shelves with lots of aisles from around the world. You continue to get wowed when you see the shelf that features nothing but Black owned brands. Kimbark takes business to the next level and did you know its owner, Jonathan Swain is running for congress?!
So I didn’t even know this beautiful gem existed until I saw my newly initiated soror out and about in Hyde Park while I was filming the other 4 businesses. My soror owns Marimarshe, a beautiful salon adjacent to the plaza that Kimbark resides and is really special because each stylist has their own room. So no need to worry about prying eyes or distraction while you are getting beautified. And they have an in house nail tech that also has her own room.
If you have been apprehensive about trying vegan food, Can’t Believe it’s not Meat can surely make it easy for you to start loving it. They have devilishly delicious desserts to compliment their comforting and fulfilling foods that mimic some of our favorite guilty pleasures like spicy chicken sandwiches, pizza puffs and my new favorite the Big Mic.