New Coffee Shop Opens In South Shore In Hopes Of Bettering The Community

Mike Krauser
October 26, 2018 - 1:24 pm

WBBM Newsradio/Mike Krauser

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Its not every day that a new coffee shop makes news, but this is one with a mission in a neighborhood that's been lacking in investment.  

A pair of career educators celebrated Friday a ground-breaking of sorts for a new coffee shop in Chicago’s South Shore neighborhood.  

South Shore Brew, at 7101 S. Yates, is in the building that once housed the offices of Jesse Jackson Junior and his then-wife, Sandy, an alderman.    

Jennifer and Cory Barnes hosted a coffee-shop-warming party, thanking those who helped make it happen, including Aarti Kotak with the city, who helped with financing the shop with the Neighborhood Opportunity Fund. 

“This program at its best is about love,” Kotak said. “It’s not often what you hear about a government program, but it is.  For us, we don’t want to only give you the money which we think of as family money.  We also want to surround you and connect you to each other.”  

Cory Barnes said they’re hiring 17-to-24-year-olds from the neighborhood “and giving them job-readiness skills.  We’re really investing in the community and want to see what’s next for South Shore.”   

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He said they’ll also host events and their goal is to improve the neighborhood. 

The logo said “Coffee + Pride.” 

“We’re really focusing on neighborhood pride,” he said.  “We saw an issue in the neighborhood, divestment in the community, not a lot of coffee shops or restaurants in South Shore, so we thought, why not move to South Shore and build something that the community can be proud of.” 

The Executive Director of the South Shore Chamber of Commerce, Tonya Trice said, "a business like this is exactly what the South Shore community needs,"   adding, "coffee shops uplift communities" where there has been disinvestment.  

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Neighborhood residents and Alderman Greg Mitchell were among those in attendance.   

“I am very proud of them,” Mitchell said. 

He said he’ll do everything he can to make sure the business is a success. 

Financing also came from the Community Reinvestment Fund.   

South Shore Brew is expected to open in the coming weeks.