The neighborhood coffee shop is often thought to be a hub for local college students, rising entrepreneurs or even a place for community figures. A place to convene, develop and garner relationships. For some that can be the local Starbucks or bistro of choice. Some neighborhoods within Chicago such as Lincoln Park, Uptown, or even Pilsen have a plethora of options and cafe preferences. While others like the South Shore neighborhood are just becoming familiar with the presence of cafes being rooted in their community. One such as South Shore Brew.

South Shore Brew located at 7101 S Yates Blvd of South Shore is serving a population upwards of 51,000 people.  South Shore is thought to be that cornbread fed community in the way that it embraces and fosters brilliance, creativity, and familiarity. The familiar embrace radiates through each member. For them, this home is where the pride is. Love is here. Passion, presence, and artistry can be found within each of the natives. Some of which is none other than Michelle Obama, Noble Peace Prize winner James D. Watson and Kanye West.

The newly opened cafe has taken roots in the South Shore neighborhood not only to embrace the natives but also to foster positive involvement while serving the community.  At the moment, South Shore is considered to be in a coffee dessert due to the presence of only one coffee-based establishment within the community. Owners Jennifer and Corey Barnes, opened South Shore Brew to give the area more variety to coffee. While also seeking to open a space that is specifically for the community that can provide a communal space to gather. As career educators, they share a commitment to education, youth empowerment, and South Shore pride. They possess a unique enthusiasm surrounding ownership which has led them to open South Shore Brew.  For them. . .

“South Shore Brew is a reflection of the community. We pay homage to those who have come before us. To the people of South Shore, our promise to you is to carry the legacy of this great neighborhood forward.”

A legacy that has been ingrained with understanding the value of business ownership among African Americans. Becoming apart of and furthering the notion of black business is very important.  It proves the value of occupancy as well as the power of the black dollar. This neighborhood is being fueled and funded by its members, which resonates generational pride among the natives.

Aside from the obvious benefit of business ownership, the motivation behind their latest investment surrounds their enthusiasm about assisting in revitalizing the commercial corridor. While also being able to provide access to healthier food options that aren’t provided by the other local eateries.   Having created a nutrition-rich menu they look forward to making timely additions that reflect the cultural pallet that is relevant to the area.

A noble motivation from a couple just as in love with their community as they are with each other. The South Shore power couple seems to be just the people South Shore needs. With a history of excellence behind them, the progress and future of South Shore Brew lie in the cafe’s promise.

“We seek to establish a neighborhood staple that brings local residents together around high-quality coffee, fresh smoothies, and a brunch menu.  We will hire locally, sourcing our team through a partnership with South Shore International High School. Artwork from South Shore International High School serves as interior decor, and are for sale. 100% of sales funnel directly to the high school’s college tour fund. We will display paintings of African-American influencers that have left their footprint in South Shore.”

Such a deep-seated goal that embodies an ambition that aims to nurture the south shore neighborhood holistically. Having learned the lessons taught by their community, the opening of South Shore Brew has been a pure act of Sankofa. Since opening their doors the community seems to have opened its arms to its newest establishment. As they look toward the future, great things can be expected from both the owners Jennifer and Corey Barnes as well as South Shore Brew; especially with the community behind them.