Chicago Coffee Shops Breaking Social and Economic Ground on the South Side

Cafes on the city's South Side are more than just businesses. They also provide important spaces for community building and economic development in neighborhoods that have been historically overlooked.

1 minute read

July 8, 2019, 1:00 PM PDT

By Camille Fink


baranq / Shutterstock

Cafes on Chicago's South Side play an important role in neighborhoods beyond just offering coffee and food. They provide safe and accessible places for residents in areas where these "third spaces" are few and far between.

Adam Lukach writes that Dion and Colette Tasker Steele opened Heritage Cafe with a vision of a communal space that would foster community. "The Tasker Steeles are part of a long history of Black business owners who have prioritized growth within their local communities more than their bottom line. They are also an example of residents and entrepreneurs using coffee shops and cafes as vehicles to rejuvenate their communities."

These business owners often face challenges getting their businesses off the ground in areas where investment is low. Residents have also expressed concerns about the gentrification that can come with new businesses, and building trust is key, notes Lukach. "That 'community building' approach to hospitality can be found among many entrepreneurs — Black or non-Black — in Black neighborhoods on the South Side, [Bernard] Loyd said."

Monday, June 24, 2019 in Chicago Tribune

Large blank mall building with only two cars in large parking lot.

Pennsylvania Mall Conversion Bill Passes House

If passed, the bill would promote the adaptive reuse of defunct commercial buildings.

April 18, 2024 - Central Penn Business Journal

Aerial view of Oakland, California with bay in background

California Exodus: Population Drops Below 39 Million

Never mind the 40 million that demographers predicted the Golden State would reach by 2018. The state's population dipped below 39 million to 38.965 million last July, according to Census data released in March, the lowest since 2015.

April 11, 2024 - Los Angeles Times

Wood-frame two-story rowhouses under construction.

Fair Housing Cannot Take a Back Seat to ‘Build, Baby, Build’

If we overlook fair housing principles in the plan to build US housing back better, we risk ending up right back where we started.

April 11, 2024 - James Jennings

Renewable Energy

Just Transition: Bringing Equity to the Clean Energy Conversation

A new report from the Environmental Defense Fund offers a roadmap for countries, energy companies, and other stakeholders to navigate the complexities of transitioning to clean energy while ensuring equity at every step of the process.

5 minutes ago - Environmental Defense Fund

Black car parked in bike lane

New App Pays Users to Report Illegally Parked Cars

A Swedish company is leveraging the power of crowdsourcing and the gig economy to enforce parking laws.

1 hour ago - Euronews

Close-up of row of slot machines in dark casino.

New York Casinos Gain Zoning Change Approval

The new process will let casino projects avoid undergoing a separate land use review in certain circumstances.

2 hours ago - The Real Deal

News from HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Call for Speakers

Mpact Transit + Community

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.