Profile of a local business in Beverly or Morgan Park

Promoting Community through Creative Collaboration 

By Kristin Boza 

When sisters Meg’n Barba and Katie Schickel founded Tranquility Salon Co. 12 years ago, they may not have understood the future impact they would have on the community. The salon, 9908 S. Walden Pkwy., has exploded in its drive to make a creative contribution to Beverly/Morgan Park by connecting people and being a touchstone for so many — plus offering great hair styles and unique products rarely found on the southside.  

“We feel so privileged to have this platform to get to know so many awesome people and be a connecting space for people and things,” Barba said. “I was 22 when we opened Tranquility, and it’s a completely different ballgame now because we really have owned our creative freedom. Katie and I are both single moms, and we’ve learned to be conscious and self-empowered in our business.” 

Tranquility is focused on staying up-to-date on the latest in health, wellness, and hair products. They are one of only two locations in Chicago that carry Mary’s Nutritionals, a CBD (cannabinoid) product that is naturally derived from hempCBD products from Mary’s Nutritionals are great for overall health and general wellbeing. I know people who use it for anxiety, sleep issues, pain relief, and other health issues,” Barba said. “We love carrying products that are beneficial to our customers; we’re really intentional and conscious about what we promote.” 

While interacting with so many people each day in the salon, Barba saw an opportunity to build a stronger community and find ways to make an impact beyond the salon. “We’re obviously doing things we love, and with the studio space across the street, we’re able to host concerts and art installations. We will continue to use our platform to help artists in the community thrive,” she said. 

Barba and Schickel realized they can be unique entrepreneurs and aren’t limited to what goes on within the salon’s doors. “When you first open a business, it’s about what your customers want, but also it’s about achieving your own goals,” Barba said. “I advise people to focus on what they love while owning their self-confidence and giving themselves permission to go after their dreams.”  

Everyone is welcome to be a part of the Tranquility experience, whether they get their hair done there or not. “The connectiveness and relationships are what make this business worthwhile. It’s been truly such an honor to get to know so many people and connect them with others to produce and create amazing things. We want people to know how awesome Beverly is and we want to help others get the word out about the cool and unique things that are going on here.” 

 

Cooking Healthy Summer Meals on the Grill 

 

By Kristin Boza 

Since Whole Foods Market opened three months ago in Evergreen Plaza, 9600 S. Western Ave., the neighborhood rejoiced to finally have fast access to the popular organic and natural grocery chain. 

The concept for Whole Foods Market is twofold, according to Kristi Malicoat, Store Team Leader at the Evergreen Park location. “There’s a misconception that everything is really expensive here, but I can feed my family a really nutritious meal that’s easy to make and also very filling for under $30,” she said. Malicoat encourages new shoppers to simply ask a team member for help when they shop, as they are trained to “build a basket on any budget,” according to Malicoat. She also encourages budget-conscious shoppers to check out Whole Foods’ 365 line, which is the company’s value-priced products. 

Shoppers should also know that not everything at Whole Foods Market is organic; in fact, the store has both organic and natural options. “Natural means the product contains no artificial ingredients, like colors or sweeteners,” Malicoat said. “Our organic products are properly certified as organic. Any team member can help shoppers find what’s right for them.” 

Malicoat grew up in South Bend, Ind., and worked in retail for years before landing her position at Whole Foods Market. One of the best things about the Evergreen Park location is that her team members, many of whom worked all over the city and suburbs for Whole Foods Market, can now work close to home.  

“We had about 15 team members transfer to our store from other locations — now they’re coming to work much closer to home. Many of them used to commute up to two hours, and now they have a neighborhood store that’s 10 minutes from their house. Their passion during the interview process was incredible; they’d been fighting for this store location and waiting for it to open. Their passion about the community is what got me excited to work here, too!” 

Summer grilling is easy with the help of Whole Foods Market products; Malicoat’s favorite is the Tequila Lime Spice. “It’s so good on shrimp, salmon or chicken, and you can also turn it into a dressing for a delicious salad,” she said. “You can get really creative with grilling, especially throwing vegetables and melon on the grill. We have many pre-marinated items for those in a hurry. We have plenty of fresh seafood, and also bags of frozen fish that can be thawed during the day and thrown on the grill for a simple and filling dinner.” 

 

Grilling with Whole Foods Market 

 

Tequila Lime Marinade and Dressing 

Ingredients (amounts are specific to personal taste!) 

Tequila Lime Spice 

Olive Oil 

Lime Juice 

Water 

Shrimp, either precooked or raw 

Whisk together the first five ingredients, then add in the shrimp until coated. Heat up the grill and spear the shrimp on a kabob; grill until cooked through. 

 

Side Salad
Get creative with the ingredients!  

Romaine Lettuce 

Cucumbers 

Whole Foods’ Flavor Bomb Cherry Tomatoes 

Avocado 

Cilantro 

Dice all ingredients and pour the Tequila Lime Dressing over the top. Add the grilled shrimp for a complete meal. 

America’s Dog & Burger Opening Soon  

By Kristin Boza 

The community is getting a new hot dog and burger joint with a distinctly Chicago flair when America’s Dog and Burger opens this month at 9646 S. Western. This is the second location for the restaurant, the first located at Navy Pier. The restaurant company is owned by brothers Manolis Alpogianis and George Alpogianis, who both boast a wealth of restaurant and culinary experience.  

Manolis and George have been in the restaurant business together since 1995, and they grew up surrounded by chefs and successful restauranteurs. Their father and grandfathers owned and operated restaurants all over the city and north suburbs, and their mother is a chef. George followed in his mom’s footsteps and ultimately became the executive chef at Lawry’s, City Tavern and Rosebud restaurants — even gaining the strict foodie approval from Frank Sinatra. 

“We love the fact that the people of Beverly are so supportive and proud of their area,” said Manolis. “We share those values and we want to be a part of this community. We also believe in treating our staff right, and are proud to have the first three employees we hired back in 1996 still working for us at our restaurants.” 

The Alpogianis’ take a creative approach to traditional dog and burger fare. “We use fresh, never frozen, Certified Black Angus burgers on brioche buns, Bill Kurtis’ Tallgrass Farms hot dogs, organic chicken, fresh salads and hand-cut fries,” said Manolis. “It’s the food we love and grew up on, but we take a more farm-to-table approach and use less processed foods.” 

Customers can expect to find classic Chicago favorites, with lots of bacon and BBQ and bourbon flavors in the ingredients. While the Chicago-style hot dog is a staple, the menu features food for updated tastes, like the Louisville hot dog with a smoked cheddar sauce, beer-battered jalapenos, Cojita cheese on Texas toast and a Ghost Burger with hardwood smoked bacon, ghost pepper cheese, guacamole and onion strings. Their signature AD&B Burger comes with hardwood smoked bacon, white cheddar sauce, carmelized mushrooms, onion, pickle and the exclusive AD&B sauce.  

The spiced up food is complemented by a hip restaurant design.  

Aside from the great food and lively environment, America’s Dog and Burger is committed to establishing itself as an excellent neighbor. “We’re getting involved in local schools, churches, Little League teams and more; we know it’s important to give back to the community and be a part of it,” Manolis said.  They plan on being involved in the Beverly Breast Cancer Walk and other local events 

America’s Dog and Burger will open soon and each Saturday in May will feature special guests and fun events.  

Foodie Fridays at Cork & Kerry

By Talie Leeb 

It’s that time of year again, when the spring flowers are blooming, playoff hockey is on, and all up and down Western Avenue the restaurants and bars are opening up their patios and rooftops for customers who want to enjoy the breeze alongside their pint.  

At Cork & Kerry, 10614 S. Western, the beginning of spring also means the return, and revamping, of their popular Food Truck Fridays, now Foodie Fridays. That’s right, every Friday, May 3 through Aug. 30, the Cork will host a variety of not just food trucks, but pop-ups from some local restaurants. The food events will be in the Beer Garden, with food service from 5 to 8 p.m. and music 6 to 9 p.m. Customers will be able to grab a drink from the bar and food from the featured eatery while listening live local bands or Beverly Records on site to spin vinyl 

The Cork & Kerry team is excited to carry on their weekly Foodie tradition, so this summer when Friday night rolls around why not head over to the Cork’s Beer Garden for a pint and a bite. The May food line-up will feature the Corner Farmacy, May 3; The Fat ShallotMay 10; Calabria Imports GrillMay 17; Happy Lobster, May 2;, and Cheesies, May 31.  

Keep an eye on the Cork & Kerry’s Facebook page for the food calendars for the rest of the summer. 

 

 

Time for a Closet Makeover 

By Kristin Boza 

Spring cleaning is in full swing this time of year. If a complete home overhaul is too overwhelming, start small and focus on a closet. Just Organized Closets, owned by Sha’Ron Pruitt, is a professional closet organization service in operation since 2006. Pruitt assists her clients to get organized and stay organized by focusing on maximizing the potential of closet space — which is particularly effective for the small closets seen in many older Beverly/Morgan Park homes.   

The company was founded when Pruitt decided to make some simple and effective changes to her own closets. “One year, I could not find my winter gloves,” she said. “I realized that searching aimlessly for my gloves would continue every winter unless I started putting all like items together. I became obsessed with containers and I started with organizing all of my seasonal garments; eventually, everything had a place in a bin or basket.”  

Now, she teaches her clients about key organizational concepts, including streamlining their stuff and controlling the clutter. She also can design a closet space and helps her clients determine which types of shelves, bins or baskets can alleviate the stress of an overflowing closet. 

One small detail that makes a big difference is buying matching hangers. “Using the same type of hanger, like wood or flat velvet, will instantly change the aesthetics of your closet. You can then easily see all of your clothes,” Pruitt said. “Another tip is to take advantage of vertical wall space. Install hooks to hang purses, scarves, and hats to maximize your space.” 

The biggest issue Pruitt deals with is too many items crammed into a closet, particularly clothing. She advises her clients to take a hard look at their wardrobe and eliminate what they don’t wear. “People like to keep clothes that they haven’t worn in many years. Most people only wear 20% of their clothes 80% of the time! If you have not worn an item for over a year and you don’t have a sentimental attachment to it, then donate it or sell it to free up your space,” she said.  

Pruitt helps clients conduct a thorough inventory of their wardrobe and develops a wardrobe plan to eliminate duplicate items and prevent clients from buying clothing that they don’t need.   

Follow Pruitt on Instagram @JustOrganizedClosets or call 773-620-6711 for a free estimate. 

Americanos Brings a Fresh Twist to Neighborhood Diners 

By Talie Leeb 

Whether it’s a date for Taco Tuesday or an any-day-of the week craving for empanadas, Beverly/Morgan Park residents can visit Americanos, 11060 S. Western Ave., for the flavors of authentic traditional Mexican American cuisine. 

Americanos offers a delicious connection to a rich history of Mexican American culture and cuisine, using “ingredients and flavors that are very authentic, traditional Mexican American, but with a new, modern twist” said owner, A.J. Castillo 

Castillo, a lifetime South Side resident and St. Rita alum, returned to the neighborhood to open the restaurant last year, bringing what he describes as “a new flair” to the culinary scene.  

When diners come to Americanos they can begin their meal with an order of chips and guacamole  standard Mexican restaurant fare. From there the menu choices expand to include entrées that feature selections such as grilled shrimp served with rice and tequila-guajillo salsa to the popular a la carte taco bar that enables people to selection from tacos filled with steak, chicken and pork as well as fried sweet potato and chorizo, each topped with a unique salsa crafted to celebrate and elevate the tried and true classic dish. 

Americanos also offers a full bar, stocked with over 30 varieties of tequila as well as other spirits, wine and beer. They also serve a variety of margaritas including their signature Jalapeno Strawberry Margarita, and wide selection of other mixed drinks.  

Americanos recently became a BAPA Business Member and is offering a BAPA Card discount to other members.  

In just a year Castillo has worked to create a destination dining experience for the neighborhood and he said he can’t wait to get more involved. 

“It makes it fun when you get people who become regulars, and with joining BAPA we’re looking forward to being a part of the community.”  

The crew at Americanos is looking forward to its first Southside Irish Parade on Mar. 17 and will be open for hungry and thirsty parade goers.  

Head on over to Americanos Tues.-Thurs., 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; and Sun., 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.  The full bar features specialty house cocktails and margaritas. For BAPA members, show your BAPA card and get a discount on tacos with purchase of a margarita pitcher (offer not valid on Tuesdays). 773-941-6787, www.americanosrestaurant.com 

 

Say I Love You (Local) for Valentine’s Day

BAPA LOVES our business members and sponsors! We hope our neighbors will also show them some LOVE for Valentine’s Day. Here are a few ways to show some love to several of the businesses that support BAPA and our community.

Say it in the Morning

B-Sides Coffee + Tea

Metropolis coffee, Rishi organic tea and classic love tunes on vinyl.

9907 S. Walden Pkwy. – 773-629-6001

 

Original Pancake House

One apple pancake, two forks. Mmmmm.

10437 S. Western – 773-445-6100

 

Beverly Bakery & Café

Cuddle up and share the Irish breakfast.

10528 S. Western – 773-238-5580

 

Ellie’s Café

Breakfast – simple to sublime – all day.

10701 S. Hale – 773-941-4401

 

Say it With Appetite

Americanos

Delicioso! Authentic Mexican ceviche, taco bar, craft margaritas! Specialty plates for 2 on Valentine’s Day, 5-10pm.

11060 S. Western – 773-771-0743

 

Franconello’s

Spice things up with Italian specialties. Mangia!

10222 S. Western – 773-881-4100

 

Fox’s Beverly PIZZA

The Fox family bought the place from Al Capone’s sister. How’s that for a Valentine’s Day connection?  Guys and dolls can dish up great pizza and lots more.

9956 S. Western – 773-239-3212

 

Top Notch

Burger, fries, shake: Love for generations.

2116 W. 95th St. – 773-445-7218

 

Home Run Inn

Pizza fans love this Chicago signature pie.

10900 S. Western – 773-432-9696

 

Say it With Style

Everything’s Relative

Complete Aveda concept salon services. Love to be pampered!

10548 S. Western – 773-941-6565

 

RMH Design + Boutique

Designer + vintage clothes + accessories.

1802 W. 103rd St. – 773-233-5811

 

Sally Ann Corset Shop

Did we mention unmentionables?

10500 S. Western – 773-298-1031

 

Say it On the Go

County Fair

Find the perfect items for your romantic dinner for two.

10800 S. Western – 773-238-5576

 

Milano’s

Heart shaped pizza delivered to your love nest.

10945 S. Western – 773-445-4010

 

Swanson’s Deli

We love a hot, home cooked dinner!

2414 W. 103rd St. – 773-239-1197

 

Calabria Imports

  1. Step off the train. 2. Stop at Calabria.
  2. Savor with your sweetheart.

1905 W. 103rd St. – 773-396-5800

 

Waldo Cooney’s

Love this: Order online, dinner meets you at the door.

2410 W. 111th St. – 773-233-9781

 

Say it With Flowers

The Blossom Boys

Elegant gifts and florals, plus fun classes!

1810 W. 103rd St. – 773-779-4400

 

Plump Chicago Florals & Events

Do you hear bells ringing? Plump offers wedding planning.

1834 W. 95th St. –  773-614-8225

 

Steuber Florist & Greenhouses

Exquisite florals and plants, and 75 years of local love.

2654 W. 111th St. – 773-238-2013

 

Say it With a Toast

Barney Callaghan’s

Say cheers at a cozy table for two.

10618 S. Western – 773-233-6829

 

Open Outcry Brewing Company

Craft beers, crafty cocktails, yummy menu.

10934 S. Western – 773-629-6055

 

Say It to Music

Beverly Arts Center

Choose from a great schedule of concerts for date night.

2407 W. 111th St. – 773-445-3838

 

Dance Gallery

Get cheek-to-cheek with ballroom dance classes.

10628 S. Western Ave. – 773-445-8910

 

Say it in Good Health

Beverly Yoga Center

Relationship Karma: Take a yoga class together.

1917 W. 103rd St. – 773-239-9642

 

Light House Yoga & Wellness

Recharge: Yoga, Massage, Meditation

11240 S. Western – 773-569-1015

 

Blazin’ Cycle

Take a spin class side-by-side.

10227 S. Western – 708-669-6476

 

Southtown Health Foods

Love is organic! Healthy from head to toe.

2100 W. 95th St. – 773-233-1856

 

Little Company of Mary Hospital

Love is holistic! Resources for health and wellness.

2800 W. 95th St. – www.lcmh.org

 

Say it On Wheels

Mike Haggerty Buick GMC

Nothing says I love you like a new set of car keys!

9301 S. Cicero – 877-879-8868

 

Say it Before You Say Goodnight

Hilton Oak Lawn

Call the babysitter! Book a night away from home.

9333 S. Cicero – 708-425-7800

 

Say it Every Day

SHOP BEVERLY/MORGAN PARK

Support the businesses that support our neighbors! Check our Business Directory for more BAPA members.

 

Going Green: Ellie’s Takes Plastic Off the Table

By Abby Johnson

Cathy Stacey couldn’t get the image out of her head. It was of a baby sea turtle, struggling to breathe, the plastic straw descending further into the reptile’s nostril with every attempted intake of air.  

This disturbing story is becoming the norm for our ocean’s marine life, as a study performed by the Marine Wildlife Society shows that 70 percent of sea birds and 30 percent of sea turtles have some amount of plastic in their ecosystems. 

Doing what she can to turn around this ecological tragedy, Stacey, owner of Ellie’s Cafe, 10701 S. Hale, recently made the decision to eliminate the use of plastic straws at the restaurant. 

“I had been hearing from people for a while that plastic waste not only harms animals, but kills them,” Stacey said. “I like to think of myself as a strong candidate for animal rights, so I couldn’t just continue to listen to this stuff and then do nothing.” 

A little over one month ago, Ellie’s Cafe made the switch that so many in the conservation world have been encouraging: Her business now provides customers with paper straws, instead of plastic ones. It’s a necessary change, as the World Economic Forum predicts the amount of plastic in the oceans will outweigh all the fish in the oceans by 2050 if the accumulation rate isn’t curbed. 

“It wasn’t something I had to think about much,” she said. “The bottom line is that straws are a convenience for us. We don’t need them to survive. So why wouldn’t we use an alternative that doesn’t harm animals?” 

The reaction from customers to Stacey’s decision? Stacey said a lot of customers don’t even notice the change. But those who do, for the most part, have been positive. 

“People like the idea of bettering the environment,” she said.  “I’m happy that people understand why it’s important to make this change. It sounds cheesy, but I can always count on this neighborhood to guide me to do the right thing.”  

Steuber Florist Celebrates 75 Years

By Abby Johnson 

For more than seven decades, Steuber Florist and Greenhouses, 2654 W. 111th St., has been providing the community with beautifully cut floral arrangements and plants for homes and gardens. The business, which has been family owned and operated since 1943, celebrates its 75th anniversary this month. 

Scot Steuber is the store’s current owner and the third generation to run the business. He said today’s customer base is different from that which his grandmother and grandfather served in the early 1940s. 

“At the time, our customer base was primarily for cemetery decorations, due to the fact that the streetcar line ended nearby,” Steuber said. “It was more common in those days to honor loved ones with fresh cut flowers and grave plantings.” 

Today, Steuber continues his family tradition of growing quality bedding plants and poinsettias. Since 1990, the business has worked to expand the fresh flower business. While some flowers are shipped to Steuber from other parts of the world, the business also grows an abundance of plants in its own greenhouse. 

“Almost everything you find at Steuber’s is grown onsite,” Steuber said. “We get a lot of our plants from plugs that are already rooted. Like our tomato plants, begonias and petunias.” 

Cultivating plants directly from seeds is unusual these days, and it’s what sets Steuber’s apart from other area floral centers. While growing seeds is relatively cheap, the process can be quite lengthy, Steuber said. It takes a while to germinate the seeds and grow them into plants that customers can easily be transplanted in gardens, he said.   

Along with beautiful floral arrangements, Steuber Florist and Greehouses is known for exceptional customer service with daily floral deliveries to local funeral home and hospitals.  

“Along with our staff, we pride ourselves in providing exquisite floral designs for every occasion and keeping up with the ever-expanding trends in all aspects of the floral industry,” Steuber said. 

The business is also known for its the dedication to the neighborhood. Steuber has for many years donated floral pieces for BAPA’s Home Tour and for the past two years, has been the exclusive floral sponsor of the tour. Last month, the business donated plants along 99th and 103rd Streets during for the Sip and Shop.  

Steuber Florist and Greenhouses is open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Mon. through Sat. 

That’s Hot Fashion Boutique

By Kristin Boza 

Approaching its one-year anniversary in October, That’s Hot Fashion, 9925 S. Wood St., offers fashionable clothing and accessories sure to become a staple in every woman’s wardrobe.  

Jointly owned by the mother-daughter team of Selena Griggs and Selena Griggs, the pair is dedicated to offering styling advice to each customer. Previously, That’s Hot Fashion was located in River Oaks Mall, but the Griggs’ felt destined to open a boutique in Beverly/Morgan Park.  

In an interview with Griggs, the mother, she said, “Beverly has always been a target for us. I love the community — the people, the homes, the community feel — it’s nice to see people walking past the store with their families and pets. It’s just a great place to be.”  

That’s Hot Fashion stocks contemporary casual wear for women in both regular and plus sizes. “We carry the trendy fashions of today, including tops in the popular asymmetrical cut,” Griggs said. “We try to suit everyone’s fashion needs by carrying clothes that fit into daily life.”  

Griggs invented the What A Scarf, a multi-functional winter scarf made from fleece that is fastened with Velcro at the back of the neck, allowing it to be worn as a face mask, ear muff or around the neck. The What A Scarf is available in kids and adult sizes with a variety of pattern options.  

The store also carries a variety of jewelry accessories made from denim, as well as the trendy customized sweatshirt that includes front cut-outs so a cute tank top can peek through underneath. 

The Griggs devote a lot of energy to ensuring their customers have a great experience. “Our customers really enjoy coming into our boutique; the atmosphere is open and it’s a truly loving place to be in,” she said. 

That’s Hot Fashion is open Tues. through Sat., and by appointment only on Sun. and Mon. Visit them at Facebook.com/ThatsHotFashion or call 708-510-8791.