Chicago Auto Show attendees sample tasty treats from Black and brown-owned restaurants

CHICAGO (WLS) -- People attending the Chicago Auto Show on Friday got to sample great food from some of Chicago's Black and brown-owned restaurants.

Savor, the food service operator at McCormick Place, is behind this tasting experience.

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"Even if they don't see us over here or over there they are 'where are the churros? where are you at?'" said Yeltzin Rodriguez.

Rodriguez' parents started Mimi's Churros with a little warmer for churros 40 years ago. Now, it's a business with carts at McCormick Place and elsewhere.

"With everything happening it's a good time to just come, walk, buy churros," she said.

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Savor Chicago is in charge of the restaurants vendors at the convention center and this year, due to COVID, the food vendors are spread out more than in years past. But not too far from Mimi's is Robinson's Ribs.

"Come down, buy some cars and buy some food, most importantly," Charlie Robinson said.

The president and CEO of Robinson's said he sees people spending more consciously.

"They do want to spend their money with minority-owned companies for Black History Month," he said. "Along those lines, we've had a lot of special jobs at the restaurant because of Black History Month."

Savor Chicago is working to bring in more minority restaurateurs.

"I'm excited," said Josephine Wade, of Josephine's Southern Cooking. "These are new opportunities and new ideas. And we have paid our dues."

Wade started with Savor three years ago. On Friday, they were working on menus for upcoming conventions. She is eager to see more restaurants represented.

"When we work, we move the economy," Wade said. "We keep jobs and opportunities in our community."

The Chicago Auto Show runs from February 12-21, with hours from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day except the final day, which runs from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors aged 62 and older, $10 for children 4-12 and children 3 and under are free when accompanied by a paying adult.

Masks are required for all attendees age 2 and over, except when eating or drinking. Proof of COVID vaccination is not required for admission, but is required for designated food and beverage areas.
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