West Town, Chicago IL
The West Town neighborhood of Chicago is one of the city’s appointed community sectors and a somewhat untapped part of the Windy City.
West Town is neighbored by other, similar, neighborhoods including the Ukranian Village and East Garfield Park. Unofficially bordered by Bloomingdale on the north, North Branch on the east most side, Kinzie street on the south and a western border that some argue can go all of the ways to Kedzie.
Currently, West Town houses one of the cities most diverse populations as a string, and healthy mix inhabitants call West Town their home. Initially inhabited almost exclusively by eastern European immigrants, the area became home to more Latinos and African Americans throughout the latter half of the 20th century. As a result, the area posses robust variances of shops and cultural offerings. West Town is also still a relatively affordable option for many in a desirable part of the city which remains accessible by public transportation and car.
In more recent times, the area is again changing and becoming more notable as a ‘hip’ part of town. As such, young artists, musicians and all types of artsy types are moving in and causing a change in demographics.
As such, new businesses have popped up to cater to the new demographic. New food options, bars, and clothing shops have popped up and are now an integral part of the identity of West Town. A visit down Chicago Avenue while in West Town will give visitors a variety of small businesses that cater to almost every need without the presence of bix-box businesses. Because of this, West Town feels like a distinctly “Chicago” neighborhood and avoids some of the suburban feels of some other areas which host a plethora of big, national brands.
We’d also like to take a moment and highlight a few of the ‘can’t-miss’ food and entertainments options if you’re visiting West Town.
With a supremely non-descript exterior, Bari would have most passers-by thinking the place is just a hole in the wall establishment, but they’d be sadly mistaken. Inside, you’ll find some of the most delicious sandwiches in the city with fresh meats and cheeses on offer. Bari is a favorite of sandwich lovers, and you’ll do yourself a disservice to not try one of their Italian subs if you get the opportunity.
The Beauty Bar is a flashy bar on historical Chicago Avenue that took over from another local favorite spot, Sonotheque, a few years back. Beauty Bar is likely the most trendy bar in the area and has a fun ambiance which sets the mood for the good times to be had once you’re inside. A unique feature of this establishment is that it doubles as, you guessed it, a beauty bar and you can get your nails done along with a drink before you hit the large dancefloor.
Open since 1990, the Chopin Theatre is the home of a wide variety of unknown music, film and bookish events. A unique feature of their featured work is that it highlights many stories and experiences of Easter European descendants. Thankfully, the work is inclusive and can be enjoyed by anyone who ensures into this beautiful establishment and looking for some cultural exposure.
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