Window Shop On 51st And Ashland – Union Stock Yard, known as “The Yards”, was once the center of the meat industry, immortalized in Upton Sinclair.
. Many slaughterhouse and packinghouse workers lived in the neighborhood immediately to the south, which became known as the Back of the Yards. The yard was closed in 1971 and became an industrial park, where manufacturers now produce tortillas and chicken sausages.
Window Shop On 51st And Ashland
Today’s Back of Yards is a reminder of many Rust Belt industrial towns that have lost major industries. Part of the shopping center surrounds the ever-shrinking central business district, and press coverage generally focuses on all things outside of the neighborhood. But many long-standing businesses still exist, and young people who grew up in the neighborhood have decided to stay and put down roots in their own form of business. Sherman Park, in the southeast corner of the neighborhood, is one of the most beautiful parks on the South Side. Back of the Yards’ is now predominantly Latino, which is reflected in its restaurants, which are usually concentrated on Ashland Avenue and 47th Street.
N Ashland Ave, Chicago, Il 60613
Starting August 20, the city ordered everyone to wear face coverings indoors. For updated information on coronavirus cases, visit the site’s COVID-19 dashboard. Health experts consider dinner to be a very dangerous activity for unvaccinated people; recent data on the delta variant suggest that it may pose a low to moderate risk of vaccination, particularly in areas of significant transmission. The latest CDC guidelines are here; find the COVID-19 vaccination site here.
Founded by two entrepreneurs who grew up in the neighborhood, Back of the Yards Coffeehouse was originally meant to be the public face of the coffee roaster, but within a week of opening, it has become the center of the neighborhood itself. : featuring local artists and musicians and a popular gathering place for students at Back of the Yards College Prep across the street.
This employee-owned company produces only one roast – medium, with a blend of beans from Brazil and Colombia – and exports it to grocery stores around the city, but visitors can also stop by the roastery’s small cafe for a cup of fresh drink, in the form of drips, lattes and cold drinks.
Garfield Gyros, a neighborhood source of American fast food, serves gyros, hot dogs, grilled cheese and pizza, and breakfast sandwiches. Grilled cheese gyros inspired writer Titus Ruscitti.
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Cecina is thinly sliced dry beef, and La Cecina serves Guerrero-style dishes with a choice of sauces and sides. The menu also includes steak, seafood and some unusual dishes such as bull testicles and frog soup.
Also known as the Back of the Yards Protein Bar, this smoothie bar offers customers three separate tiers of colorful energy drinks depending on how much of an extra boost they feel they need, as well as waffles, cookies and protein pancakes.
Atotonilco Taqueria serves fresh-baked tacos and tortillas from its own factory on the next block, but it’s better known for milkshake maker Juan Alberto Chávez, the bona fide neighborhood star known to all as El Señor de los Licuados. (For more, read this profile in South Side Weekly.)
A few blocks away from the Swap-O-Rama Flea Market, this quiet little spot serves up hearty Mexican food like tacos, gorditas and caldo, but the real wonder is the large covered patio.
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The stretch of 43rd Street immediately south of the warehouse was once known as Whiskey Row because it was lined with taverns where workers stopped at home to drink their sorrows after a day on the killing floor. Stanley’s, which opened in 1935, was the last. Longtime owner Wanda Kurek, daughter of the original Stanley, passed away in 2019, but Stanley continues to serve lunch on weekdays.
This bright and cheerful place is hidden in a single shop and serves delicious Cuban food. There are pressed Cuban sandwiches, crispy empanadas, savory and sweet ham croquettes and milky cafe con leche.
Behind this supermarket is Paco’s Tacos, a taco stand known for its carne asada that has opened two independent locations. But this one is original and, locals say, the best. Supermarkets also have great carnitas.
It’s easy to walk past this Vietnamese place in Ashland, but those who venture inside will find savory and delicious noodles, stir-fried, pho and banh mi sandwiches made to order with a certain level of spiciness.
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Slightly more upscale than your typical taqueria, Ines offers fajitas, steak and seafood plates, which are its specialties, as well as a hearty breakfast, including chili, everyone’s favorite hangover buster.
A former meatpacking facility, this facility was converted into a vertical farm in 2010, home to several small food businesses and farms, including Whiner Beer, The Great American Cheese Collection, Arize Kombucha, Urban Canopy and Tuanis Chocolate. Check out the website for more information on farmers markets and curbside pickup.
Located in The Factory, a food business incubator, Whiner specializes in barrel-aged beer and kombucha and plans to use spent grain to power the anaerobic digester that powers the building. The taproom serves pizza from Monday to Sunday. When walking through the old neighborhoods of Chicago, you can often find clues to the history of buildings that are just looking up.
In this edition of Ask Geoffrey, Geoffrey Baer looks back—and climbs—at some of the neighborhood’s architectural gems.
W Fillmore St #2, Chicago, Il 60607
I recently came across a building at 5043 S. Ashland that has an elaborate “Heinemann Studio” sign over the door. What kind of studio is it?
The building in the Back of the Yards neighborhood is a portrait photography studio called the “Home of Celebrity Wedding Photography.” From 1925 to 1949 it was owned and occupied by August Heinemann.
Heinemann is a German-born Chicago portrait photographer. A Chicago Tribune profile claims he was the first professional studio photographer to hang a shingle in Chicago in 1893.
He immigrated from Germany to the United States in 1891 at the age of 17 and began as a photographic apprentice, learning to make printed photographs. At 19, he opened a studio on South Ashland Avenue, just a block north of the visible building. His first customer was a newlywed, and soon he was producing hundreds of wedding and other portraits.
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In 1925, he had this studio built at 5043 S. Ashland Ave., where he said he did two dozen wedding portraits every Saturday.
Heinemann sold the company in 1949 when he retired (he and his wife had two daughters, but neither son took over the business, as was the custom at the time). The car dealership took over the studio, and later the tire shop was there.
And it turns out that famous wedding photographers have their own wedding stories. He is dating a young woman named Emma Schober, whom he met during his internship. Making up his own mind, he promises Emma that he will marry her if the business succeeds. Three months after opening the studio, he made good on that promise.
Emma Heinemann works as a color artist in the studio. She must have been good because, according to her husband, other photographers tried to hire her at the studio before they knew she was married to the owner.
E 26th St #404, Chicago, Il 60616
August and Emma were married for 69 years when he died in 1962 aged 89; Emma died 12 years later in 1974. According to her obituary, August’s favorite thing to do while traveling was making home movies to share with friends and family at home.
Lawrence Avenue runs right through the heart of the Albany Park neighborhood at 4800 North, just a few blocks south of us at WTTW. Most of the magnificent buildings that visitors admire were built in the years following the completion of the Ravenswood ‘L’ line to Lawrence and Kimball in 1907. The original station house, a stucco bungalow-like structure, was restored in the 1970s. Today is the last stop on the CTA Brown Line.
In many places around Chicago, the letter “L” led to the development of shopping and entertainment districts with “shining lights” such as 63
And Halsted in Englewood or Wilson and Broadway in Uptown. The area in Lawrence is not very big or well-known, but in 1920 this part of Lawrence was a bustling commercial area and still is today.
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One of the most impressive buildings is a former car dealership at Lawrence and Whipple. It was built in 1925 for the Capitol Motor Sales Company in the days when car showrooms were more like showrooms. Today is a paint workshop.
The former David Fireproof Storage and Warehouse towers over Lawrence just west of Kedzie. It was built in 1916 and is one of several built by the company throughout the city.
Many corner buildings in Lawrence have elaborate and detailed ornamentation, such as the 1926 Willis Building at Lawrence and Sawyer, which was once a shoe store.
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