BAPA residential member profiles

We’re BAPA Members. Are You?

Bookie’s

Bookie’s has brought together the community for 28 years; the last three under the helm of owner Keith Lewis and now at a new location on Western Avenue. “BAPA ties things together in our community,” Lewis said. “BAPA makes it seem like there’s always something happening in the community. From the Cookie Crawl to the Cycling Classic, the community is more vibrant for the activities BAPA puts on.” Lewis believes supporting BAPA as  a business member is essential to continuing to grow the sense of community. “BAPA helps get the names of the businesses out there. They make sure people are thinking about the area,” he said.

Sharon & Gary Jenkins

“We are very proud to be members of the Beverly Area Planning Association. We support this community organization, and feel supported by them. They are in partnership with stores that we patronize. We love the discounts we receive as BAPA members through the use of our BAPA Card. We are also members of the Vanderpoel Improvement Association (VIA), which BAPA supports by copying the flyers and newsletters that are distributed to VIA members. When we attend the monthly CAPS meetings, a member of BAPA is usually in attendance. They realize the importance of knowing what’s going on in the community and the concerns they may be able to help address. BAPA is about partnership and caring for all the residents of Beverly/Morgan Park We will always be members of such a supportive organization. Will you?”

 

Jeff and Michele Pettiford

“Jeff and I are ‘transplants’ to the community. I really love BAPA’s tag line, “come for a visit stay for a lifetime” because that is our family. Jeff and I used to come this way from downtown to visit his grandma. We would drive down Longwood Drive, looking at all of the beautiful houses and Jeff would say, “Pick one.  Any one you want!”  I would laugh – I wanted to pick ALL of them!  My personal favorite BAPA event is Home Tour. I love how people open up their homes to welcome others from all over, share a piece of them, their house history, and why we love to live here. BAPA brings the community together in a modern and family orientated way. That is a community. That is Beverly/Morgan Park.

 

Frank J. Williams

“I moved to Beverly/Morgan Park in 1974. I’ve seen a lot of things in our neighborhood, and, years ago, a lot of it was not so good. But I have also seen a steady improvement in our community’s ability to deal with our diversity on all levels — political, ethnic, economic and educational. This is a community that needs a strong organization like the Beverly Area Planning Association, and needs neighbors who make their diverse opinions known to their association. The beauty of BAPA today is that the folks heading it have the sensitivity to deal with all aspects of our community.”

Marilyn Stone and Linda Lamberty

“Our family has roots on the Ridge that go way back, and we know it has always been a very special place.  The ethnic make-up here has evolved considerably over that time, but what has remained the same is that everyone continues to care so deeply.  They love the place; they support their neighbors; they give of themselves to the community. Even after moving away, this is still HOME and it turns out that you CAN go home again, because while faces may change, the neighborliness here remains the same. BAPA has been a constant here for many years.  It has supported us and helped us navigate the tricky waters of racial change, and it keeps us on our toes as times change in other ways. You see BAPA’s hand everywhere, and in the smiling faces of people who are always working to help us preserve this wonderful place to live. Oh, and we love The Villager!”

Aaron and Leslie Chenoweth

“BAPA creates a true sense of community for the neighborhood. It acts as a convener whether that be its big events like the Ridge Run, its information forums like High School 101 or simply opening up its community room to other local organizations. BAPA is a partner with local businesses, arts organizations and schools.  BAPA makes Beverly/Morgan Park feel like home.  It embodies the motto ‘Love Where You Live.’ We strongly believe in being active members of our community.  For many, this involvement starts with supporting their church or kid’s school.  BAPA should be at the top of that list as well.  Making our community a great place to work, live and play is in all of our best interest.  BAPA’s work takes financial support and volunteer support. It truly takes a village.”

Barney Callaghan’s Pub

Bernard and Mary Callaghan have owned the spot now known as Barney Callaghan’s Pub for over 30 years. Avid supporters of BAPA, the Callaghans appreciate BAPA’s efforts to bring a greater awareness of local businesses to the community. “I love all the new and exciting things BAPA is doing, like the Sip & Shop,” Mary said. “It’s great that they’re trying to creatively drum up business for local businesses.” Mary is looking forward to being a part of this year’s Cookie Crawl. “From the Cycling Classic to the Ridge Run, BAPA does so many great things. Every one of these events bring business our way and new life into the community,” she said.

 

Baird and Sal Campbell

“We feel lucky to live in a beautiful, unique, diverse, thriving neighborhood. If you love where you live, you should support BAPA — it is a simply a smart way to invest in the continued success of our community! BAPA is our community’s biggest cheerleader, celebrating the unique character of our neighborhood and the wonderful people who live here. They help local businesses thrive and connect with the community, which helps both the character and economy of our neighborhood. As a founder of the Beverly Area Arts Alliance, a local non-profit organization, I am extremely grateful for the assistance we’ve received from BAPA over the last four years. They have been there for us many times – often at a moment’s notice. It’s these little things BAPA does every day that have the biggest impact on our community.”

Matt and Ellen King

“My husband Matt and I have lived in the Beverly/Morgan Park area on and off for over 40 years with the exception of a few years on the north side.  We feel strongly about preservation of our neighborhood and keeping an eye on the future Beverly/Morgan Park that we are passing on to our kids. With its forward-thinking leadership and willingness to create events and programs that meet the needs of the people living here, BAPA is an organization that is perfectly aligned with this desire. Becoming a part of BAPA has really opened our eyes to the positive impact that a dynamic neighborhood organization can have throughout the community. For us, supporting BAPA is crucial to feeling like we’re part of the bigger picture. Being BAPA members strengthens our pride in where we live. We’re very grateful that BAPA exists!”

 

Become a BAPA member today! Click here 

 

 

The Neighborhood is the Gallery Beverly Art Walk Day

Start seeing art in unexpected places throughout Beverly/Morgan Park. The 4th annual Beverly Art Walk on Sat., Oct., 7, 12 to 7 p.m., will feature work by more than 200 artists in over 60 alternative exhibition spaces. The Beverly Art Walk is a free family-friendly event. Walk, bike, or park and jump on one of the three free trolleys to experience all the Art Walk has to offer.

Event planners, the Beverly Area Arts Alliance, work with local small business, organizations, and artists to transform the neighborhood into a temporary gallery district. Art is housed in storefronts and restaurants, vacant buildings and outside courtyards, as well as schools and churches.  Not to be missed highlights include an East Beverly yard, which will be transformed into a performance and sound space for artists Cecil McDonald and Brother El; the currently vacant Olivia’s Garden building will be a hub of art from Bridgeport, Blue Island, Pullman, and Cleveland; and the historic Ingersoll-Blackwelder house will return to its artistic roots in displaying work by eight artists, including former owner Jack Simmerling.

Events and activities abound for people of all ages. Trinity Unites Methodist Church, 99th and Winchester, will open its stage for music and performances; at Ridge Historical Society, photographer Mati Maldre will demonstrate how a Deardorff Camera, which uses 4 x 5 sheets of film, is used for architectural photography; and five talented artists in Beverly/Morgan Park, Judie Anderson, Ray Broady, Jomo Cheatham, Pat Egan, and Brian Ritchard open their home studios for an insight on the artistic process, their inspirations, and the work they produce.

Clissold School will host the popular Children’s Park on their front lawn, 110th and Western. Artist Cindy Wirtz and Clissold student and family volunteers will offer a variety of children’s art activities, including kite making, creations from recycled materials, origami peace cranes, and more. Live music, storytelling, a food truck, the Peaceful Playground, a performance by the Pack Drumline, and an interactive public art project will all be featured.

Venues, inside and out, will also be alive with music. More than 30 local music performances will occur throughout the day, including acoustic acts, classical quartets, blues, rap, and rock-n-roll. Chicago’s vibrant music scene will be showcased across the neighborhood and at the Horse Thief Hollow main stage for featured acts. The Beverly Art Walk is also thrilled to host Front Porch Concerts, a pop-up concert series set on front porches throughout Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods. Their goal is to create a unique live music experience while building community and promoting city exploration. FPC will perform in Beverly/Morgan Park—for the first time—at two locations, Brian Ritchard’s and Judie Anderson’s home studios.

For more information about Beverly Art Walk events and activities, view the program book and map online at www.beverlyarts.org. Program books will also be available at each participating venue on October 7th.

The Beverly Art Walk would not be possible without the generous financial support of local small businesses and families, as well as countless volunteer hours by the Alliance board, artists, and neighbors. Support the local arts community: purchase art, shop participating venues, and attend Alliance events. They are driven by a love for art and the people who make it, and are thankful for local businesses and organizations who embrace the arts. The Beverly Area Alliance is a 501c3 not-for-profit organization.

 

AND Hosts 2017 Benefit

A New Direction Beverly Morgan Park (AND), the local domestic violence agency, will host its 2017 fundraiser on Sat., Oct.  21, 7 to 10 p.m. at Ridge Country Club, 10522 S. California Ave.  Live entertainment provided by the Megan Curran Combo, open bar and hors d’oeuvres highlight this annual event, along with a grand raffle and silent auctions.

A highlight of the evening will be the presentation of the ANDi award to The Quilter’s Trunk, 10352 S. Western.  The ANDi award is an annual partnership award given to an individual, business or agency that helps AND fulfill its mission “to provide counseling, education, support and advocacy to individuals and families affected by domestic violence.”

Since opening The Quilter’s Trunk in 2015, owner, Katie Nathwani, and store manager, Lisa Wilberding recognized that giving back to the community is an important facet of their business. They became active participants in Quilting Magazine’s One Million Pillowcases program, which encourages quilt shops around the country to collect handmade pillowcases for donation to charities.

The Quilter’s Trunk expanded the scope of the program by hosting sewing events to create pillowcases, as well as to collect quilts for donation.

The quilts and pillowcases donated to AND are given to women and children served by the agency. Through daily contact with The Quilter’s Trunk customers, word spread about Nathwani and Wilberding’s program and the response has been remarkable. In its first 18 months with the program, The Quilter’s Trunk donated more than 200 pillowcases and 50 quilts.

“Quilters quilt out of love and are very generous with their time,” said Wilberding.

Kristy Arditti of A New Direction, views the program as a way for men and women in the community to connect with and support the agency’s survivors. “Making things by hand is a lost art and we have been witness to the tremendous comfort these quilts and pillowcases have brought our clients.” Arditti said. “The feeling that they are worthy of such beautiful and painstaking creations is not to be undervalued. They also serve as a physical reminder that our clients are not alone and that they deserve safety and comfort.”

Jessica McCarihan, AND Board president agrees. “Our agency depends on community involvement like this to be successful. We are so grateful to The Quilter’s Trunk for supporting our agency in this way.”

The Quilter’s Trunk is the sixth recipient of the ANDi award. Others are The Women of the Castle; Amy Moran, Alphagraphics; Julie Partacz, Standard Bank; Katie and Patrick Murphy, Sweet Freaks; and Jean Catania and the Morgan Park Juniors.

This AND benefit grand raffle first prize is a week vacation at the Playa Grande Resort in Los Cabos, Mexico and an $800 voucher for airfare.  Second prize is two Southwest Airlines round trip tickets anywhere Southwest flies in the continental United States.  Third prize is an Amazon Echo and three Amazon Dots. Featured silent auction items are: jewelry including a beautiful diamond bracelet; sports tickets; tech items, wine and other gourmet items.

AND provides confidential counseling and advocacy services at no charge to clients as they navigate their journey to safety.  AND’s vision is to have every home be safe and free of domestic violence and abuse.  The goal for the 2017 fundraiser is to increase the amount of funds generated through last year’s event in order to continue to grow and provide services to those affected by domestic violence.

AND invites businesses and individuals interested in sponsoring the event or donating items for the silent auctions to contact Monica Carey, monica@anewdirectionbmp.org.  For more information about A New Direction or to purchase tickets visit www.anewdirectionbmp.org.

Home Cooking: Swanson’s Deli

By Kristin Boza

Swanson’s Deli and Catering, 2414 W. 103rd St., has been a neighborhood staple for over 50 years. Under new ownership since December, Swanson’s continues to offer Swedish specialties and American fare, and it is important for new owners Todd Thielmann and Greg Dix to continue the neighborhood tradition.

“Swanson’s was historically a Swedish deli, and we continue to offer Swedish items like Limpa bread, Gottenburg sausage, Bondost cheese and potato sausage,” said Thielmann. “The Swedish offerings are expanded during Christmas.”

Thielmann said that customers expect their delectable best sellers, including potato salad, chicken salad and the ever-popular cheeseballs. “My idea of a perfect sandwich is chicken salad on a buttercrust roll with lettuce, tomato and red onion,” Thielmann said. “Throw in a side of potato salad and it’s heaven.”

Dix and Thielmann grew up in Beverly/Morgan Park and felt it was essential to continue the Swanson’s role within the community.

“Whether it’s news at the different parishes, talk about local sports teams or the goings-on around town, it feels like Swanson’s is in the middle of it all,” Thielmann said. “Customers always thank us for taking over and continuing the legacy. It’s sad when a long-time business closes their doors, and we are excited about breathing new life into a community cornerstone.”

Fresh, high-quality food is essential to the pair as they retain the community favorites and enhance their menu.

“Greg and I look at it like we are now the caretakers of a loved and established deli. Customers have high expectations of the quality and consistency of the food we offer,” Thielmann said. For example, the chicken used in the chicken salad is cooked in-house and cut by hand, and the potatoes are peeled and diced by Dix and Thielmann.

“Our customers are very loyal because they know that we work very hard to present the best product,” Thielmann said.

Try to capture the best of Swanson’s flavors at home by making your own version of their chicken noodle soup. Or if all else fails, stop in for a cup to enjoy at home.

Chicken Noodle Soup
Makes approximately 3 quarts

Ingredients:

2 quarts chicken stock

1 1/2 cups carrots, diced

1 1/2 cups yellow onion, diced

1 cup celery, diced

1 Tbsp. garlic, chopped

2 cups cooked chicken, diced

2 cups egg noodles

1 Tbsp. parsley, chopped

Salt & pepper, to taste

2 Tbsp. cornstarch

1/4 cup water or chicken stock, cold

Bring chicken stock to a boil and immediately turn down heat to a simmer. Add vegetables and garlic. Simmer until vegetables are soft (about 7 to 10 minutes) add noodles and simmer another 5 to 7 minutes. When noodles are cooked, add chicken, parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Remember to never let soup reach a boil. Adjust seasoning, if needed, and serve hot with crackers or crusty bread.

Shop at Swanson’s Mon. through Fri., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sat. Order ahead by calling 773-239-1197. More info: www.swansonsbeverlydeli.com.

Sculpt and Shred Offers Nutrition and Fitness Programs

By Kristin Boza

Sculpt and Shred, 1741 W. 95th St., a fitness studio dedicated to ensuring healthier lives and helping people battle specific diseases and conditions, opened in May with a hard-hitting program to improve the overall health of participants.

“We train from the inside out,” said owner Andrew Sanders. “We cater to people who are dealing with diabetes and high blood pressure. We also cater to the elderly and anyone dealing with severe joint problems, sciatica or kidney disease. The foundation of Sculpt and Shred is to deal with those diseases.”

Sanders is a dietician, nutritionist and fitness expert. He works with his clients to create specialized meal plans that focus on their particular ailment. The fitness program is designed to build muscle and quickly lose inches. “You’ll never do the same exercise twice at Sculpt and Shred. When you work those muscle fibers differently, you’ll get different results,” he said. “We are creative and completely hands off the book — we put together workout plans from our skill sets and the gift we possess.”

Through the Sculpt and Shred weight loss programs, Sanders said that his clients can lose 15 or more pounds per month, depending on their individual goals. “We have been so successful at it. We guarantee those results and, if you don’t achieve it the first time, we will train you for free until you do achieve that success,” he said.

In October, Sculpt and Shred is offering an unlimited class package for $79/month. For information, visit their website at SculptAndShredFitness.com.

Sanders’ background in fitness ranges from body building to power lifting to martial arts. He is certified with the National Academy of Sports Medicine and a certified EMT.

The Way I See It: Importance of Neighborhood Schools

By Meg Burns, Principal, Sutherland Elementary

As a Beverly/Morgan Park resident for 25 years, I have a profound commitment to the success of my local public school. We are privileged in this neighborhood to have outstanding educational choices. One of those choices has always been Sutherland Elementary.

I have been privileged to have many conversations with parents and community members about the future growth of Sutherland. There is so much this wonderful school has to offer, and I’m proud to have been given the opportunity to enlist the trust of the community who for years has revered and respected the Sutherland name.

Despite recent challenges, Sutherland has always had a core of unwavering community support and dedicated parents, talented teachers and staff who have worked hard to keep the school moving forward.  The goal of any neighborhood school is to be filled with children from the community it serves. As the new principal of Sutherland, my pledge is to make Sutherland a viable and desirable choice for Sutherland neighborhood families.

Sutherland is where my own children attended and thrived. As a Sutherland parent, it’s where I was inspired to begin a career in education. My continuing goal will be to ensure that Sutherland is a place where local children can receive an outstanding education, connect with neighborhood families and grow to become strong members of our community.

Frank Williams Named to CAR Hall of Fame

This month, Frank J. Williams will be inducted into the Chicago Association of Realtors Hall of Fame. A community activist and fair housing advocate, as well as a successful real estate professional, Williams is fine candidate for this honor.

It’s not Williams’ first recognition, by far!  In spring, he was awarded the 2017 Gale Cincotta Community Visionary Award by Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago. The award is presented annually to a person who exemplifies leadership, innovation and passion in the making their community a better place to live. Williams, owner of F. J. Williams Realty, 9730 S. Western, received the award for his longtime efforts to ensure fair housing practices throughout Chicago.

Williams opened his realty company in 1969 and moved to Beverly/Morgan Park in 1974. At the time, organizations like BAPA were fighting for fair housing and open communities. Williams advocated for fair housing legislation in Springfield and Chicago following the Civil Rights movement.

Working to desegregate historically white neighborhoods, he found homes for black buyers on the Southwest side, including in Beverly/Morgan Park. His dedication to civil rights and fair housing came at a price: Williams was the target of harassment and threats, including having a bomb set off at his front door.

Williams is active with the Chicago Association of Realtors, and served as the organization’s second African American president. In 1991, he was first recipient of the Illinois Realtors Distinguished Member Award for Community Service, and in 1992 was named Realtor of the Year by Chicago Association of Realtors.

Williams’ personal and professional emphasis is on mentorship, education and the hiring and placement of minorities in real estate careers. He has taught for the Realtors Real Estate School, engaging and influencing people starting in real estate.

In addition to his important work on behalf of fair housing, Williams served as president of the Southside Chicago branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) from 1979 to 1985.

Women-Owned Businesses Thrive in Beverly/Morgan Park

By Kristin Boza

It’s no secret that some extraordinary businesses call Beverly/Morgan Park home. Many of these businesses, from hair salons to clothing stores to restaurants to fitness studios and more, are owned by women. The entrepreneurial spirit is strong within this group of women who all found a way to fulfill a need within the community.

RMH Interiors + Design, 1800 W. 103rd St., is a unique lifestyle brand creating beautiful interiors for functional living. “Our approach is to use and reinvent existing pieces, working them into a fresh vision that captures a client’s lifestyle,” owner Robin Harmon said. “We also have a 3,800 square foot showroom featuring new and vintage furniture, clothing, global art and one-of-a-kind accessories for home and body.”

Harmon says that the biggest challenge she faces is doing everything herself. “Moving furniture and inventory boxes and working long hours has become a norm for me,” she said. “But the process of owning my own business has taught me patience, persistence and perseverance. Nothing is given to you in life; if you want it, you need to get it!”

Harmon says her business has survived over five years without any financial start-up gifts or loans. “As a small, minority-owned, female-gendered business, I began with my own money that I saved for four years; that in itself is a unique contribution to my ethnic culture and dialogue,” she said. “I have become an example that many minorities and women appreciate; people often visit my showroom to show their kids what is possible if you work hard enough.”

She advises female entrepreneurs to “be realistic as to what [owning a business] will take. Hire a mentor who has already done what you want to do,” she said.

Belle Up, 1915 W. 103rd St., positions itself as a one-stop shop specializing in women’s contemporary apparel and maternity wear. Owner Jamenda McCoy established the boutique in 2009 and now has locations throughout the city. McCoy advises other women business owners to always listen to their customers and adapt as necessary.

“We’ve always tried to be very sensitive to other women business owners,” McCoy said. “I was one of the founding members of the Southside Women’s Business Alliance, and we carry products by women and from other women-owned businesses in the neighborhood. Women helping women has been important in our business community. Women in our neighborhood come together to partner and find new and different ways to help develop our business corridors. Bringing a diversity of perspectives to the table is always rewarding.”

McCoy advises others to take the leap to own a business; despite doing research and calculating the risk, you may never know how it will go unless you take the plunge. “Beverly is a special community, but you have to know it. You have to invest in it and that takes a lot of work.” McCoy is always available to her customers, which is sometimes a misunderstood fact of owning a small business. “I get calls or texts in the middle of the night sometimes, but living in the community and being accessible to your customers is the life of a small business owner. As a small business, you have to be willing to commit to your customers.”

Capsule, 9915 S. Walden Pkwy., is opening on Fri., Sept. 8. Owner Maura Conine offers women’s apparel, accessories, jewelry and select gift items all around the theme of a “capsule wardrobe” — meaning an edited collection of clothes and accessories that are versatile and don’t go out of style. “Our focus at Capsule is to carry wearable pieces that offer a diverse collection of items that are thoughtful and well-made,” she said.

Conine is new to owning a business, and foresees her main challenge to be work/life balance, as she and her husband juggle caring for their two young boys. “As much as it will be challenging, I am proud to have my children see my drive and determination to fulfill my dreams of opening my own store in the neighborhood we call home,” she said. “I’m most excited to share my point of view with the community. Our goal is to get to know our customer’s needs and lifestyle in order to guide them to build more edited and effortless wardrobes. I dream of Capsule being a space that celebrates the strength and creativity of women.”

As her dreams become a reality, Conine advises other potential business owners to take their dream and make a plan. “Writing my business plan allowed me to see past the frills and fun of opening a boutique and understand the facts and figures of starting my own business,” she said. “Once that is finished and you’re still passionate about your idea or business … jump!”

In just 50 minutes, clients at Treadfit, 10458 S. Western Ave., experience calorie-melting cardio interval training and strength training. Owner Jenny Harkins says her biggest challenge as a female business owner is balancing the responsibilities of her business and her family.

“My focus on Treadfit begins when I wake up and often extends until late at night,” she said. “The hard work is rewarded when I see the amazing changes my clients go through, becoming more confident, stronger and leaner.”

With a location in the heart of Western Avenue, Harkins feels that Treadfit plays a role in highlighting what other businesses have to offer in Beverly/Morgan Park. “Many of my clients come from the surrounding cities to take classes at Treadfit. Hopefully, they will stay to shop, eat and enjoy all of our wonderful community events as well!”

Bev Lynch, owner of Running Excels, 10326 S. Western Ave., agrees with Harkins on the positive benefits her business has for other local shops. “I consider Running Excels a destination place. We draw customers from other communities, which gives Beverly some exposure,” she said.

Running Excels is the perfect place to find athletic shoes and accessories to fit the needs of any athlete — from amateur to professional. Like many other women business owners, Running Excels owner Bev Lynch understands the pressure of balancing a business and a family. “The flexibility in my schedule as a business owner allows me to leave when I need to attend to my family’s needs or events,” she said. “As females, we have learned to be organized and multi-task, handling our homes and businesses alike.”

Cakewalk Chicago, 1741 W. 99th St., specializes in baking and pastry supplies, including cookie cutters, candy molds and icings. Owner Lori Parrett sees the unique role Cakewalk Chicago has in our community and she is proud of her business’ reach. “Many of our customers are bakers who sell their products right here in Beverly/Morgan Park. Cakewalk Chicago supports the economy of these bakers, who then spend money in the community too.”

Parrett says that a significant challenge is competing with big box stores. “But it’s our personal touch that provides so much to our neighborhood,” she said. “We greet our customers by name; we celebrate birthdays, christenings, weddings and more with families while helping them make beautiful edible memories.”

She sometimes wonders if the long hours and stress are worth it. “But then a customer shares a story or a photo of a cake you helped them to make and you remember why you love what you do,” Parrett said. Overall, Parrett says the rewards are awesome and she advises other potential female business owners to “believe in yourself, do what you love, and support each other. We are stronger together.”

Sip & Shop Showcases Women-Owned Businesses

From retail to writing, interior design to salon services, women entrepreneurs and their businesses will be showcased at the Sip & Shop Girls Night Out, Thurs., Sept. 14 in the train station business districts on 103rd and 99th Streets.

The event begins with shopping, food and beverage tastings, demonstrations and more from 6 to 9 p.m. Check in at Calabria, 1905 W. 103rd St., to get a free souvenir wine tote, then start visiting participating businesses: Belle Up, Beverly Barre, Beverly Yoga Center, B Sides Coffee, Cakewalk Chicago/Markland Hubbard, Capsule, Chicago Writers Studio, Heritage Gallery & Gifts, New Beginning Alterations, Pizzeria Deepo, RMH Design, Root, Running Excels, Sweet Freaks and Tranquility.

A BYOB after party will be held from 9 to 11 p.m. at Tranquility, 9908 S. Walden Pkwy.

Admission is $10 in advance or $15 at the door and includes a souvenir wine tote. Buy advance tickets at participating businesses, get your tickets online! 

Sip & Shop is sponsored by Beverly Area Planning Association (BAPA), Southside Women’s Business Alliance and Morgan Park Beverly Hills Business Association.

Beverly Bike and Ski Sponsors Cyclocross Event

By Kristin Boza

Over 700 cyclists will descend upon the Dan Ryan Woods for friendly competition in the 9th annual Chicago Cross Cup Cyclocross bike race event on Sun., Oct. 8. Sponsored by Beverly Bike and Ski, 9121 S. Western Ave., the event is also a draw for spectators as it showcases the beauty of the Dan Ryan Woods to those from the community and from around the country.

Paul Weise, owner of Beverly Bike and Ski, sponsors the event and the Beverly Bike Racing team, which coordinates and participates in Cyclocross and other road races throughout the year.

Weise and his wife, Kathleen, have owned the popular bike business since 1996 — the store originally opened in 1921.  Weise recounts many tales of the history of the shop. “One of the most common stories I hear from customers is how people in the 1920s and ’30s would spend their Sundays grabbing a Rainbow Cone and stopping into the shop to look at the Schwinns,” he said. “When I first bought the shop, I realized the basement had a whole section filled with unicycle parts, including stacks of tires and seat pads. I asked the old owner what that was about and he said the shop used to be the official repair center for Ringling Bros. circus.”

Beverly Bike and Ski sells quality bikes for all ages that are fitted to the riders. The expert staff of mechanics keeps all makes of bikes in top condition, providing tune-ups and repairs. The store also services cross country and downhill skis. Before buying the store, Weise was head mechanic of the bike and ski departments for Erehwon Mountain Outfitters. Beverly Bike and Ski store manager Mike Wurster has 20+ years in the biking industry.

Weise likes to see his Beverly/Morgan Park neighbors staying active, biking in spring, summer and fall, and skiing in the winter. The store rents and sells cross country skis and snowshoes, and support the Beverly Improvement Association’s winter ski outings in the Dan Ryan Woods. Weise’s community spirit does not stop there! The shop sponsors the American Cancer Society Walk and Roll, and is the major sponsor of BAPA’s Beverly Hills Cycling Classic.

Perfect Fall Spectator Sport

Cyclocross has a long history, dating back to the 1910s and ’20s. Tony Rienks, Beverly Bike Racing team member and coordinator of the local races for the annual Cyclocross event, which features a variety of racing challenges as riders compete on trails, up and down hills, and across an obstacle course-worthy variety of terrains.

Rienks is looking to make this year’s event bigger and better. “In the past, the people who came to our Cyclocross event were a part of the cycling community. Now, we’re trying to open it up to everyone in Beverly as a spectator sport,” Rienks said. “Our race is one out of a 12-race series, and we’re the one that has the hills. The best part is the spot in the race at 87th and Western, when you can see the downtown skyline from the top of the hill. It’s a beautiful feature for our riders.”

The races officially run between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., and spectators can enjoy watching during any period of time. But Rienks thinks the best time to come out is between 2:30 and 4 during the slower-paced adult race. “When the beginners are out there, you will really see how well-supported these racers are. It’s truly a sport for everybody who might want to try something competitive.”

One unique Chicago tradition during Cyclocross is what is known as Hand Ups. Spectators can “hand up” an item — from a dollar bill to a jelly donut — for the riders to grab as they pass by.

“Some of the most common hand ups are bacon and Twizzlers. Why do we do it? Who knows why, it’s just because! It’s about the spectators recognizing the rider making an effort and trying to give them something silly; the crowd starts cheering once the rider takes the item,” Rienks said.

Find details and a race schedule for the local Cyclocross events at chicrosscup.com/race/dan-ryan-woods/. Shop at Beverly Bike and Ski 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mon., Tues. and Thurs.; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sat.; and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sun. Closed Wed.