Englewood could soon see 1st sit-down restaurant in nearly 20 years thanks to grant

Jasmine Minor Image
Wednesday, March 6, 2024
Englewood could soon see 1st sit-down restaurant in nearly 20 years
E.G. Woode Food Hub aims to be Englewood's 1st sit-down restaurant in nearly 20 years thanks to a We Rise Together grant.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- It's been nearly 20 years since Chicago's Englewood neighborhood has seen a sit-down restaurant. That will soon change.

Millions of dollars are going toward real estate developments, revitalizing Black and brown neighborhoods.

And one of those developments is looking to make history.

A food hub is coming to the neighborhood, after receiving a portion of a $7 million grant.

"A project like this costs a stupid amount of money," said Deon Lucas, E.G. Woode president.

It cost $40,000 just to clean out clothes from the building, which used to be an old clothing store.

"Always ask my team is 'what's the risk of not doing anything?'" Lucas said.

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The risk, Lucas said, is Englewood spending another 20 years without a sit-down restaurant.

The owner of E.G. Woode Food Hub said transformation is coming, with a bar and grill soul food restaurant and Englewood Kitchen.

"It's important to understand how to translate that good food, that good product that you have into being a lucrative business," said Jessica Holmes, owner of Englewood Kitchen.

Holmes will also offer training for business plans and budgeting, right on the second floor of the hub. It's in part thanks to the half-a-million-dollar grant from We Rise Together.

"What we see is that what you can make on rents here doesn't add up to the cost of renovating the building," We Rise Together Director Christen Wiggins said.

Wiggens said that can make it hard to change the trajectory of a neighborhood.

"Access to capital is the most pressing issue facing their business," Wiggins said.

It's why We Rise Together gave eight different organizations a total of $7 million in grants, so that neighborhoods like Englewood are revitalized.

"It's about those individuals, the residents, the community, the people that want to see something special happen in and around that is designed for them," Lucas said.

The Food Hub is looking to be open by the spring of 2025.