Nightlife & Entertainment

Pat Mac’s Trash to Treasure, Sat., Nov. 8, 7-11pm. Calling at DIYers! Pat Mac’s hosts an upcycled auction at the Cork & Kerry, 10614 S. Western Ave.  All proceeds from this event support families and cancer research at Lurie Children’s Hospital and Northwestern Memorial Hospital. $10 admission. Info: lucy.beemer@gmail.com. 

Caution at Blue Island Beer Company, Sat., Nov. 9, 8pm. One of Chicago’s favorite Grateful Dead cover bands, Caution performs at the Blue Island Beer Company, 13357 Old Western Ave. 21+. Tickets $10/ www.brownpapertickets.com$15/door  

“Rumble: Indians who Rocked the World,” Weds., Nov. 13, 6pm.  Beverly Branch Library, 1962 W. 95th St. Celebrate Native American Heritage Month with a movie screening from indigenous filmmaker Catherine Bainbridge whose work exposes a critical missing chapter in contemporary music history, how indigenous musicians helped influence popular culture. Free. 312-747-9673. 

BACinemaCoco,” Weds., Nov. 13, 7:30pm. The Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St., screens a family holiday movie that comes with a lot of ghosts and skeletons, Pixar’s Coco explores the mythology surrounding Dia De Los Muertos. Tickets $6/ $5 BAC members. 773-445-3838, www.beverlyartcenter.org 

Open Outcry’s Harvest Fest & Bazaar: Sat., Nov. 16, 11-5pm. Open Outcry’s, 10934 S. Western, annual holiday bazaar returns for its 3rd year and will feature the best of local businesses and artisans. And while you’re shopping enjoy the exclusive Harvest Fest beer, or a seasonal cocktail with a bowl of artisanal chili. Free admission, 773-629-6055. 

The Road to Now with Bob Crawford & Ben Sawyer: Sun., Nov. 17, 7pm. The Road to Now, a podcast about the history behind important events comes to the Beverly Arts Center for a special live event. Hosts Bob Crawford and Ben Sawyer will be joined by special guest Erin Welsh of “This Podcast Will Kill You”. Tickets: $30/ $27 BAC members773-445-3838, www.beverlyartcenter.org. 

BACinema: Planes, Trains, & Automobiles: Weds., Nov. 20, 7:30pm, Beverly Arts Center.  John Hughes was the quintessential Chicago filmmaker, a writer-director who explored the nuances of the Chicagoland area and the character of its people like no other. Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987), is a screwball comedy for people from all walks of life. Tickets $6/ $5 BAC members. 773-445-3838, www.beverlyartcenter.org. 

CJ Chenier & The Red Hot Louisiana Band: Sat., Nov. 23, 8pm, Beverly Arts CenterC.J. Chenier, a Creole born, musician delivers soulful vocals along with masterful accordion driven Zydeco and Blues at the Beverly Arts Center this month, tickets $30/ $27 BAC members. 773-445-3838, www.beverlyartcenter.org. 

 

Nightlife & Entertainment

BACinema: Chicagoland Shorts, Weds., Sept. 4, 7:30 p.m. The Chicagoland Shorts Film anthology comes to the Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St., this month with an all new collection of short films spanning genres and worlds to celebrate the diversity of the Chicagoland experience.  $6/ $5 BAC members, www.beverlyartcenter.org  

Up in Smoke: Sat., Sept. 7 & Sun. Sept. 8. Live music, BBQ and more at Americano’s 1st annual Up in Smoke BBQ festival. Swing by the Americano’s parking lot, 11060 S. Western, for tacos, margaritas, cervezas and performances from local rock bands.  The fest promises to bring a scorching good! $10 for both days. Info: Americano’s Facebook page.  

Friday Night Lites at Cork & Kerry. Every Fri., Sept 6- Oct. 25, 6-9 p.m. Don’t miss the game of the week! The Cork & Kerry will be hosting Friday Night Football watching parties as they cheer on all their favorite local high school teams. $12 buckets of light beer and free pizza at halftime for all those watching.  Family Friendly. Info: @CorkandKerryChicago on Facebook. 

Beverly POV Documentary Screening: Thurs., Sept. 12, 1:30 p.m.  Beverly Branch Library, 1962 W. 95th St., hosts a screening of “306 Hollywood” from filmmakers Elan and Jonathan Bogarin. The film follows the magical-realist excavation of their late grandmother’s home and the things left behind. Free.  

Great Moments in Vinyl: Paul Simon’s Graceland. Fri., Sept. 13, 8 p.m. Join the Beverly Arts Center and Great Moments in Vinyl as they bring the music of Paul Simon to the stage. The evening will feature songs from Simon’s early career in the opening set, and then all the tracks off Graceland” accompanied by a chorus of voices designed to capture the vibrant sounds of Ladysmith Black Mambazo.  $30/ $27 BAC members, www.beverlyartcenter.org. 

BACinema: Eleven P.M. Weds., Sept. 18, 7:30 p.m. A medley of “sentimentality, spirituality and the supernatural,” and a rare surviving work from pioneering African American independent filmmaker Richard Maurice, this 1928 silent film survives as a surreal melodrama and a love letter to 1920’s Detroit. Co-presented with South Side Projections, this screening at the Beverly Arts Center will feature live musical accompaniment from organist Jay Warren. $6/ $5 BAC members, www.beverlyartcenter.org. 

BAC: World Music Festival. Thurs., Sept. 19, 7 p.m. The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events brings this free music festival to the Beverly Arts Center with performances by the Yandong Grand Singers, a choir from China’s Guizhou province, and Lankum, a contemporary folk quartet from Dublin, Ireland.  Free.  Info: 773-445-3838,  www.beverlyartcenter.org.  

Cork & Kerry Comedy Showcase. Thurs., Sept 19, 8 p.m. The Cork and All That Good Stuff Comedy are bringing local jokes to a local audience with their South Side comedy showcase! Kick back with cold beers, white claws and great laughs. Doors open at 7:30 p.m., seating is first come first served. Free. Info: @allthatgoodstuffshow on Facebook. 

BAC Stand Up Comedy Night. Fri., Sept. 27, 8 p.m. Chicago comedy stars take the stage at the Beverly Arts Center for a night full of hilarity. Join WGN’s Steve Cochran, host of Chicago’s #1 morning radio talk show, John DaCosse, as seen on NBC and Comedy Central, and host Tim Benker as they captivate with comedy for one night only. $30/$27 BAC members, www.beverlyartcenter.org 

Midnight Circus In the Park. Sat., Sept. 28 & Sun., Sept. 29, 2 and 5 p.m. The Midnight Circus returns to Ridge Park, 9625 S. Longwood, with a wildly eclectic ensemble of acrobats and eccentrics that will defy gravity, tickle the funny bone and tug at the heartstrings. Presented as a part of the City of Chicago’s Year of Chicago Theatre. $25, www.midnightcircus.net. 

Documentary Film: The Area. Sat., Sept 28, 7:30 p.m. PullmanArts presents their 2nd annual documentary film screening at the Beverly Arts Center with “The Area,” the five-year odyssey of a South Side Chicago neighborhood where more than 400 African-American families are being displaced by a multi-billiondollar freight company. Screening followed by a Q&A with filmmakers Deborah Payne and Brian Ashby. $6/$5 BAC members, www.beverlyartcenter.org. 

BoundaryDavid Heo Opening Reception. Sat., Sept. 28, 6-9 p.m. Boundary Art Space, 2334 W. 111th Pl., hosts the opening reception for Chicago painter David Heo’s installation “Leviathan,” which explores the complexity of Asian-American identity within American culture and the misunderstood human interactions that one experiences during the night. Exhibit runs through Oct. 26. www.boundarychicago.space. 

Y-Me Softball Tournament Celebrates 25 Years 

By Kristin Boza 

The Ginger Rugai Y-Me Softball Tournament returns to St. Christina Fields/Mount Greenwood Park, 3724 W. 111th St., for the 25th straight year on Sat., Aug. 24. This annual event raises tens of thousands of dollars in a single year that is gifted directly to a University of Chicago breast cancer researcher, Dr. Kay Macleod. This is one of the most collaborative neighborhood events, and honors the 19th Ward’s former alderman, Ginger Rugai, and the struggle of every breast cancer survivor, their families, and those who have lost their lives to the devasting disease.  

Dr. MacLoed’s U of C research lab works on how the metabolism of cell organelles that break down nutrients is linked to the spread of breast cancer with the aim of finding a way to block cancer from advancing. Funds from last year’s Y-Me Softball tournament paid for a centrifuge, a piece of equipment that’s essential to MacLeod’s research.  

The softball tournament is the brainchild of Kathy O’Shea, a former Rugai staffer and owner of Schools R Us in Mount Greenwood. O’Shea had the idea to honor Rugai’s battle with breast cancer; Rugai is now a 30-year survivor.  

“We had eight teams that first year,” Rugai said.  “I can’t recall how much we raised, but it was a great day and a lot of fun. The next year, we had 16 teams, and now we’ve grown to 64It’s unbelievable. We operate on a very lean budget; only t-shirts, insurance and sanitation are paid for by us — everything else is donated by the great local businesses. We offer food and water and pop to the players; and even the little things like golf carts to get the food to the players on various fields are donated to us by the Ag School and Marist High School. It’s those kinds of little things that make it all work.” 

Despite the fun, the day has a lot of ups and downs for the players and their families. “It’s wonderful to hear the success stories of people who are doing well, but it’s also so sad to hear about the diagnosis of a player or someone’s relative,” Rugai said. “The great thing is to see the families of survivors on the sidelines during our ceremony with tears in their eyes and joy in their hearts. They’ve all fought with their faith and tenacity. It’s also great to see the generosity of the women who play who are just there to support the cause and compete and have fun.” 

Local businesses have been in on the action since the start. This year, Open Outcry brewed a special beer, and the proceeds support breast cancer research, and countless other small businesses have donated money or goods.  

“It is always awesome to see a small business donate to the cause. It means so much and we’re lucky to have so many local supporters,” Rugai said. Another new addition to the event this year is local business associations that are encouraging their members to participate in the Shining a Pink Light on Breast Cancer initiative. The 95th Street Business Association, the Morgan Park Beverly Hills Business Association, and the Mount Greenwood Community and Business Association are all taking part. 

“We can celebrate all the advancements and treatments, but we still can’t celebrate a cure,” Rugai said. “That’s why we’re still moving along to raise money to get that cure.” 

To sign up or donate, go to Y-MeSoftball.com. 

On the Spot 

By Claire O’Malley 

Ohana means “family” and you should definitely bring your family to Ohana Ice & Treats as soon as possible. Ohana is a cute little frozen treats shop near the 103rd Street Metra station.  It’s great for commuters and puts other ice cream shops to shame.  

I recently took the kids that I babysit for there and they loved it! One of them ordered Superman ice cream on a sugar cone and the other got strawberry shaved ice. For those of you who aren’t familiar with shaved ice, it is a​ dessert made of very thin shavings of ice, flavored with syrup or other sweet things. Some shaved ice places that I have been to serve treats that consist of crunchy ice, but Ohana’s shaved ice is more like a giant snowball. They have 24 shaved ice flavors. You can even get more than one flavor on the shaved ice; I love the combination of mango and pineapple!  

When I was looking at the menu, figuring out what delicious treat to order I wish I had skipped lunch and had room to order everything off the menu, which even I would be able to afford. In addition to the shaved ice and ice cream, they serve smoothies and milkshakes and more  

Now, every time I babysit, the kids beg me to take them to Ohana! We love it, and you will too. Ohana is located at 1800 W. 103rd St. 773-253-8533.  

(The Villager’s new teen correspondent, Claire O’Malley is an 8th grader in the Academic Center at Lindblom Math and Science Academy. Her interests include art and theatre, and she has been a student at Second City for several years.)  

Song and Service: Morgan Park Presbyterian Church Welcomes New Music Director 

By Kristin Boza

A church is one of the most beautiful, acoustically attuned places to listen to music. Anyone who has been to a church service knows the importance of the music to the celebration. But what many people may not know is the amount of planning that goes into the service’s music each week. To lead the congregation in its spiritual music, Morgan Park Presbyterian Church (MPPC)11052 S. Longwood Dr., hired Nicole Murray as its new Music Director since Dec. 2018. 

Murray is an accomplished musician and Green Bay, Wisc. native who first came to Chicago when she was accepted into the DePaul University School of Music’s piano program. After earning a BA in Music in 2015, Murray moved to Los Angeles and taught piano with Mixon Music and worked as an accompanist and music director at Calvary Presbyterian Church in LA.  

“This was my first experience being completely in charge of the music, and I realized how much I love this job; I’ve always loved administrative work, and being able to combine that with my musical talents was a perfect fit for me,” she said. 

When Murray moved back to Chicago in 2018 she worked with a variety of piano studios as a teacher, then founded her ownNicole’s Piano Studio. Aside from her duties MPPC, Murray instructs 32 piano students each week.  

At the church Murray is in charge of selecting the weekly music, leading choir rehearsals and directing the choir.  She also hires guest musicians to play at services, and she is responsible for coordinating ongoing community outreach through musical activities. “I collaborate with Pastor Ben [Heimach-Snipes] to plan services that are thoughtful, caring, and meaningful,” she said. “Planning the music in accordance with Pastor Ben’s sermons, in addition to what season we are in, is important because many people connect with scripture through music. I hope to add my own personality to the church community through my background in multiple music genres, and to influence our congregation with my music choices and guide them on their spiritual paths.” 

Since joining the Beverly/Morgan Park community, Murray is impressed with the deeply-rooted traditions in the neighborhood. “I admire that many members of this community have been here for their entire lives and continue to contribute ways to continually improve and enrich their home,” she said. “This tight-knit community has welcomed me with open arms and I can’t express enough how much I appreciate that. I look forward to further immersing myself in the MPPC and Beverly/Morgan Park culture.” 

MPPC is looking ahead to its annual summer concert, Jazz N Q, held on Sun., Aug. 25. Once again, the Lowdown Brass Band will be featured performers, and Murray will also perform with a quartet. For more information on upcoming events and the church, visit MorganParkPres.org. 

Beverly CoLab Fitness Festival  

By Kristin Boza 

There’s a Beverly/Morgan Park fitness program for everyone, thanks to the numerous local small businesses that are dedicated to enhancing athleticism, flexibility and health. Jenny Harkins, owner of Treadfit, is bringing the fitness community together in a unique way during the inaugural Beverly CoLab Fitness FestivalSat., Aug. 10, Morgan Park Academy, 2153 W. 111th St. 

Attendees will buy a ticket for $35 ($25 for students age 16 to 21) that gives them the opportunity to choose three 30-minute fitness classes to sample. Between workout sessions, numerous local restaurants, salons and retail businesses will offer samples and a few items for sale for attendees to browse. Additionally, there will be live music, a tennis clinic and a recovery zone. 

“I have learned since opening Treadfit four years ago the importance of building relationships with other business owners and how collaborating and supporting each other can have a positive impact on your business,” Harkins said. “I wanted to create an event that highlights all of the amazing family run businesses in the Beverly area under the umbrella of health and wellness.” 

Participating trainers and fitness studios include: Barre It All, Beverly Barre, Beverly Yoga, Blazin’ Cycle, Core Pilates, Fit Code, Froyo to Fitness, Live and Believe, Monica Bright, Morgan Park Sports Center and Treadfit. 

Participating retailers, restaurants and services include: Bani’s Beets, Belle Up, Beverly Bank, Beverly Ride On, Beverly Tennis, Brow Boutique, Capsule, County Fair, Devin Nutrition, Home Run Inn, Horse Thief Hollow, Impact Physical Therapy, Keir Foot and Ankle Specialists, Little Company of Mary Hospital, Live and Believe (LAB), Marathon Sportswear, Marlo, Mrs. King’s Art Camp, Murray’s Browse and Brew, Nicky’s Grill, Open Outcry, Relaxation Station, Running Excels, Solution Graphics, Southtown Health Foods, Tranquility, True North Acupuncture, Turkey and You Glow Girl. 

All of the vendors will engage attendees in a fun way; for example, Marlo hair stylists will demonstrate how to use dry shampoo, and You Glow Girl is going to demonstrate how to create some fun hair braids.  

“Our area is so lucky to have so many small fitness businesses. When you step out of this neighborhood, it’s all franchises; we have this cool niche going on and we need to continue to highlight all the great things people are doing here in our neighborhood,” Harkins said. 

Harkins isn’t worried about losing her Treadfit clients to a competitor after they sample a new class. “It’s just not my mindset! I feel like when you positively support each other, it creates such a great and positive environment, as well as a better community. Our clients will feel that!” Harkins said. “When I first opened Treadfit, I was hesitant to do things with other gyms, but now I see that we can work together; we even offer reciprocal classes with other studios, like Beverly Yoga.”  

To get your tickets or find out more, visit www.TreadfitBeverly.com. 

South Side Summer: Local Entertainment 

 

Castle Benefit Concert 

When thinking in terms of memorable Beverly/Morgan Park architecture you’d be hard pressed to find a building more iconic than the Givins Beverly CastleLooking as though it would be more at home on some craggy moor, or perhaps a TV set, rather than at the corner of 103rd and Longwood, it’s hard to imagine our neighborhood without our beloved Castle on the hill.  

For over 130 years the Castle has stood tall against Chicago winters, it has been a meeting place and a sanctuary, it’s been the site of markets and marriages. But while the spirit of the Castle is still willing, it needs a bit of help to continue to be able.  

Earlier this year the Castle Keepers estimated a need of over $800,000 in order to complete all the restorations necessary to save the turrets and roof. Half that goal has been met, and the Castle Task Force has turned to the larger community to ask for help.  

For local musician John Devens the Castle is more than just a neighborhood landmark. “I’ve always loved the castle,” he said. “Julia and I were married there. I’m part of South Siders for Peace, who have events there. My daughter went to pre-school at the castle as well.”  

When John and Julia, his wife and musical partner, heard that the Castle was raising money for the restoration fund they jumped at the chance to be able to  give back to the place that has been such a huge part of their lives. “I have always thought the castle would make a wonderful setting for concerts,” Devens said. Devens has planned and presented a popular series of fund-raising concerts at the Castle over the past several months. 

On Sat., July 20 John and Julia, along with a number of other local musicians, will be returning to perform for the season’s culminating Castle Benefit Concert, a night of music, celebration and community.  

Joining John and Julia Devens will be jazz bassist Larry Gray, songwriter and guitarist Michael Smith, folk singer Jamie O’Reilly and celebrated folk and Americana singer songwriter Anne Hills. The concert begins at 7 p.m. Wine, cheese and other refreshments will be served during intermission. Tickets are a suggested donation of $35, with proceeds going to the Castle building fund. Find tickets and information at www.heritagecastleconcerts.org 

 

Summer Swelter 

July brings barbecues and sidewalk games, and you can enjoy the best of both at Horse Thief Hollow’s Summer Swelter, Sat., July 13 starting at noon. The award-winning brewery and restaurant at 10426 S. Western will combine its popular summer street party with a bean bags tournament this year. As always, the event will raise money for charity, and this year’s recipient is Gigi’s Playhouse. Admission is free; food and beverage tickets will be available for purchase. 

Watch teams compete for the $500 top prize in the cornhole tournament. Horse Thief Hollow craft brews will be flowing, including the debut of two sour beers from new head brewer Jake Nelson.“It’ll be a sour Summer Swelter this year, to reflect Jake’s brewing expertise, and we’re really excited to showcase his talents,” said Horse Thief owner Neil Byers. One of the sour beers will be a mango goze, Byers said, and the other may be infused with habañero chile 

The Hawaiian themed menu will feature a pineapple BBQ pig roast with Hawaiian potato salad and vegetarian poke bowls, available at 6 p.m.  

At 7 p.m. blues sensation Larry McCray will perform on Horse Thief’s outdoor stage, courtesy of State Farm’s John Harrell, the event’s music sponsor. For details, visit www.horsethiefbrewing.com 

Showtime Calendar 

Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St., continues its Live Music Mondays summer outdoor concert series with contemporary folk with John and Julia Devens, July 1; Return 2 Soul Motown, R&B and soul, July 8; Irish tradition meets bluegrass with Far Too Close, July 15; classic rock and originals by the McGinniss Brothers July 22: and upbeat Latin tunes with Caliente, July 29. In inclement weather, the concert moves indoors. Cash bar. Bring lawn chairs or blankets. $5 donation requested.  

Movies in the Park, “Jaws,” Steven Spielberg’s classic about a great white shark terrorizing a resort town beach, Tues., July 2, 8:30 p.m., Ridge Park, 9625 S. Longwood Dr. Free.  

Keep your picnic blankets, lawn chairs and coolers close at hand! The 19th Ward Youth Foundation and Chicago Park District will host free outdoor concerts in neighborhood parks Thursdays, 7 p.m., July 11 through Aug. 22. Complete schedule at www.the19thward.com 

Grant Park Music Festival presents an interactive children’s concert exploring music and theater in Chicago, Mon., July 8. 11 a.m.- 12 p.m., Ridge Park, 9625 S. Longwood Dr. Free. Details: www.grantparkmusicfestival.com 

BACinema, “Coraline,” 3D and stop-motion animation is about  a young girl who discovers an alternate dimension with a dark secret, Wed., July 10 and “The Hate U Give,” a biting commentary based on the acclaimed YA novel about a girl who witnesses the shooting of her best friend by a police officer, Wed., July 24, 7:30 p.m., Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St.  $6/ $5 BAC members.  773-445-3838, www.beverlyartcenter.org 

Concert in the Park, Allison Wonder Band performs a free concert of classic and current, Sat., July 13, 3 to 4 p.m., Beverly Park, 2460 W. 102nd St. Bring lawn chair or blanket. 312-747-6024. 

Night Out in the Park, Cars,” family friendly movie about a cocky hot rod stuck in a small town, Tues., July 16, 8:15 p.m., Beverly Park, 2460 W. 102nd St. Free. Bring lawn chairs or blanket.  

 

 

 

Crashes, Stories and Scars: Conine Ready to Ride in Beverly Hills Cycling Classic

By Grace Kuikman

When the riders in the Beverly Hills Cycling Classic line up for the Masters’ race on Fri., July 19, Beverly/Morgan Park neighbor Dr. Brandon Conine will be making his debut in criterium racing. How does Conine manage to switch gears from his demanding job as an Emergency Room physician at Metro South Hospital and busy family man and father of two to a demanding training schedule for an elite cycling event that draws rides from around the globe?

It seems like he’s as adaptable as he is hardworking.

Conine and his wife, Maura Conine, owner of Capsule Chicago clothing store on Walden Parkway, have two sons, Liam, 5, who just finished kindergarten at St. Barnabas and will start 1st grade at Sutherland in the fall, and Jude, 3, who will be enrolling in preschool in the fall.

The whole family bikes, just for fun and to get to neighborhood destinations like Maura’s store and out to dinner. But Brandon has taken riding to a higher level – that level is known as Cat 3.

Race categories are set by USA Cycling determine the events for which competitors qualify. The lower the category the higher the qualification. The Beverly Hills Cycling Classic stages Cat 1, 2, 3 races — the highest levels.

Conine started out riding for enjoyable exercise toward the end medical school. “The Tour de France or something like it must have been going on because I thought I’d like to give [cycling] a try.”

When he moved to Ohio for a four-year residency in Emergency Room Medicine at the University of Cincinnati, Conine found friends to bike with and started on his way to becoming an avid rider. He and Maura, who grew up in Beverly/Morgan Park, moved to Chicago four years ago. Following the move, Conine changed his focus from cycling as a sociable form of exercise to training for and competing in races.  He has competed in more than 100 racing events. “It’s a lot of fun if you’re doing it well,” he said with a smile.

Motivated by the change in the race course for BAPA’s Beverly Hills Cycling Classic last year that now brings the racers zooming past his house, Conine decided to work hard to meet one of his goals: to qualify as a Cat 3 rider and participate in the Classic.

The Beverly Hills Cycling Classic is the first of ten days of racing in the Prairie State Cycling Series Intelligentsia Cup. Conine not only qualified as Cat 3 rider for the local race, he qualified to compete in the omnium — all ten days of the race series.

Criterium road races like the Beverly Hills Cycling Classic are lapped races done on closed circuits that range from one to two miles – the local race is 1.54 kilometers, slightly under a mile. Conine will be racing in the Masters’ race, starting at 5:45 p.m. and lasting 40 minutes. At times, he will be riding at 30 to 35 mph on straightaways, and even faster going down the hill.

He expects a crowd of family, neighbors and friends to be cheering him on from his front yard.

In order to be ready to compete on July 19, Conine has been training about 10 to 12 hours a week since March, fitting in his riding around his work and home schedules. He has been practicing on the local route, up and down the hills, and making the sharp turns that will be required in the race which could attract more than 100 professional and elite amateur riders.

The speed at which these steely-nerved competitors are riding is stunning when you’re standing on the sidelines feeling the breeze as they go by in a blur of brightly colored jerseys. Isn’t that scary? Conine says no. “It’s scarier to go slower than faster,” he said, explaining that the faster the cyclists are going, the better the momentum keeps the bikes straight and upright. In his racing experience, Conine has crossed handlebars with another speeding bike and managed to get free without consequence. “Of course, there have been plenty of crashes, stories and scars to get this far,” he said.

Conine has competed in road racing, cyclocross (including the races at Dan Ryan Woods) and a little mountain biking. His competition history includes a 110 mile race at 10,000 feet elevation in Colorado and a 105 mile race on all gravel roads in the middle of Kansas.

Competing in the Beverly Hills Cycling Classic is a thrilling new challenge. “The best part of this ride is that it’s fun to do something you’re not sure you can do,” he said. “I’m really excited. I’ve worked a long time on this.”

Pizzeria Deepo Reopens with New Owner

By Kristin Boza

One of the neighborhood’s favorite deep dish pizza places is back! Pizzeria Deepo,1742 W. 99th St., was recently reopened by former staff member Karlie Hernandez.

Hernandez, a Beverly/Morgan Park resident and graduate of St. Barnabas School and Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School, began waitressing for Pizzeria Deepo in 2013, figuring it would be a great place to work throughout high school. After leaving for college, she always came back for a few shifts during the summer and school holidays, until she transferred to UIC and began working more regular hours.

During Hernandez’s last semester of college, former owner Jeanette Dixon told her she planned to sell the restaurant. “I always had a great relationship with Jeanette; she’s so kind and generous and always made Deepo a fun place for all of us to work,” Hernandez said. “As I got older and wanted to take on more responsibilities, she was happy and eager to show me what it takes to run the place.”

When Hernandez heard the news about the upcoming sale, purchasing the restaurant was in the back of her mind. “It took a lot of time and thought to make this decision, but ultimately, it was an opportunity that came at the perfect time and I just couldn’t pass it up,” she said. “Jeanette built a great local deep dish pizza place that the neighborhood loves. I felt confident taking over, especially with the trust that the neighborhood would be back to support a local business and have their favorite deep dish back.” Customers are also thrilled that the reopening came in time for dining on the outdoor dining patio!

Patrons will be happy to know the original pizza dough recipe, made fresh daily, is back. The restaurant remains a BYOB, but there is a $2/head charge, which will support the minimum wage increase this summer. “We provide glasses, openers, buckets and ice to service your choice of alcoholic drink,” Hernandez said.

The good news continues! “We also offer a vegan pizza served without cheese at 25% off the regular price,” Hernandez said. “The crust contains no eggs and you can add your choice of fresh veggie toppings.” Other new menu items include caprese salad, Caesar salad, Italian beef and Italian sausage sandwiches, and a deep dish cookie dessert topped with ice cream.

Pizzeria Deepo is closed Sundays and Mondays, and open for private parties and events. “We have hosted birthday parties, communions, graduations, wedding showers, baby showers, retirement parties, and more. I look forward to hosting these parties for the people in the community and creating good times and good memories,” Hernandez said.

Call 773-840-3087. Hours: Tues. through Sat., 4 to 10 p.m.

 

 

 

 

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.”