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Silver Room owner to open Bronzeville Winery this summer

Eric Williams says the new eatery space will include music, a full wine list and an outdoor patio seating about 70 guests.

An interior rendering of Bronzeville Winery, slated for a summer 2021 opening.
An interior rendering of Bronzeville Winery, slated for a summer 2021 opening.
Eric Williams

Eric Williams, the owner of Hyde Park’s Silver Room, announced Monday that plans for a new venue may lift the spirits of South Siders — and foodies, alike.

Williams revealed plans to open Bronzeville Winery, which will be located in a new building development in the 4400 block of South Cottage Grove Avenue., he told the Chicago Sun-Times.

Williams, who says the doors will open this summer, made the announcement Monday on the podcast “Randomly Selected” along with confirming the cancellation of the 2021 Silver Room Block Party and its possible move from the area for 2022.

The eatery that will specialize in comfort food.

“For me, it’s important we have a permanent, cultural space; it’s a sister restaurant concept to the Silver Room is how I can put it,” said Williams, a Bronzeville resident. “I’m excited about this neighborhood and what we can do around here, so that’s what I’ve been really focusing on also.”

Williams says the eatery space will include music, a full wine list, an on-site sommelier, and an outdoor patio seating about 70 guests.

— With the announcement Monday of the cancellation of the 2021 Silver Room Block Party — a staple on the calendar of many Black Chicagoans — Williams has shifted his focus to the eatery’s opening.

“Between the store and opening up this restaurant, I didn’t have the capacity to actually fill in this other event also,” said Williams. “And honestly, we still don’t know where things are going to be, and I know the city is trying to open things up but it is way too much uncertainty for me to say: ‘OK, things look better look now; let’s put this event together in two months.’ That’s impossible.”

Eric Williams, founder/owner of the Silver Room.
Eric Williams
Rohan Ayinde

Bronzeville Winery isn’t Williams’ first foray into the eatery space. In 2001, he started “Square One,” a Wicker Park-based restaurant, juice bar and magazine shop.

Williams says he wants South Siders to have the same amenities often seen downtown, in the West Loop and on the North Side.

“I live in Bronzeville, and we shouldn’t have to go out of our neighborhood to have quality spaces if we want to go out somewhere,” said Williams. “We need something in Bronzeville. … How can we create something now? That is what they had back in the day in some ways, and we need something today. Continuing the legacy of the history of the rich culture of Bronzeville is what I’m looking to do with this new stage.”