The Grid: Beverly — craft beers, arts and classic treats
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What self-respecting South Sider doesn’t know about Beverly and its classic food spots like Top Notch Beefburger and Rainbow Cone?
Then, there’s the physical beauty of the neighborhood — the Dan Ryan Woods, the architectural gems by Frank Lloyd Wright and George Washington Maher, and the variety of stately mansions along Longwood Drive.
Beverly continues to make strides, setting its own course with residents who love the neighborhood enough to start their own businesses there. The neighborhood also has evolved as a destination point for craft beer and a vibrant art hub anchored by the Beverly Arts Center. It is also home to niche manufacturers like Optimo Hats and smaller unique boutiques.
The residents in the racially and economically diverse Beverly are most proud of the public schools and overall community involvement. The seeds of ensuring that the neighborhood remain inclusive were planted with the formation of the Beverly Area Planning Association. Founded in 1947, the association played a key role in preventing “white flight” and “blockbusting” in the 1970s. It’s still an active grassroots organization with rich resources and programming. To learn more about Beverly, I’d recommend a trip to the Ridge Historical Society.
Here’s some other places that are must-visits in Beverly in the winter:
1. Horse Thief Hollow
Neil Byers, a Beverly native, was born and raised a block away from where he opened his brewpub with the help of his family in 2013. He opened Horse Thief Hollow, 10426 S. Western, after a stint as a chef in Charleston, South Carolina. Along with award-winning beers (at World Beer Cup), the brewery features a global kitchen that specializes in Southern cuisine. It also showcases live music and performances by local artists and musicians.
2. Open Outcry Brewing Co.
Open Outcry derives its name from owner John Brand’s days working in the futures market. Open since 2017, the modern and bright brewpub, at 10934 S. Western, pairs Neapolitan-style pizza with the freshest beer served directly from the holding tanks. The casual setting, which includes heated domes (igloo-shaped tents) on the rooftop beer garden in the winter, is great for the entire family.
3. Wild Blossom Meadery and Winery
Greg Fischer first made a name for himself through his business BevArt Brewer and Winemaker Supply, which sold equipment and taught classes for home brewers. The Beverly native’s business, at 9030 S. Hermitage, is Illinois’ first meadery. (Technically, Wild Blossom is a stone’s throw from Beverly, just on the edge of Washington Heights, in order to avoid antiquated Prohibition laws that prevented Fischer from selling his mead on the retail market.)
“Instead of raising grapes, we raise honeybees. Instead of having vineyards, we have wildflower fields,” Fischer said. A beekeeper since childhood, Fischer harvests his own honey with hives located in the Chicago area and Michigan. Mead predates grape wine by 2,000 years and there are a wide variety of mead flavor profiles as a result of honey from different flowers. And, no, not all mead is sweet!
4. Ohana Ice & Treats
Ohana, at 1800 W. 103rd, is the brainchild of Kenneth and Keynn Cain. The shop features flavored shaved ice –– including a version teacher Keynn Cain made for herself as a child –– ice cream, shakes, sundaes and specialties like “walking tacos” on weekends.
The Cains were inspired to open Ohana last summer after watching a televised show on Hawaiian shaved ice.
The shop is a visual blast of tropical warmth even in the dead of winter. The ambiance — bright colors, silk flowers and beach accessories — will remind you of paradise while you enjoy your cold treat.
5. Jimmy Jamm Sweet Potato Pies
For almost a decade, Jimmy Jamm, 1844 W. 95th, has been serving up Beverly’s favorite sweet potato pie courtesy of Harold and Jimmy Ferguson. At the heart of the business is the recipe that was passed on to Jimmy Ferguson from her father. Jimmy Jamm also serves other baked goods and savory items, including sandwiches and yam-based specialties.
6. B-Sides Coffee & Tea
Want a serving of vinyl with your coffee? Since the fall of 2017, Beverly couple, Kevin and Karen O’Malley, have combined their love of music and coffee at B-Sides Coffee & Tea, 9907 S. Walden Pkwy. The business, adjacent to the the Rock Island Metra track, serves Metropolis brand coffee and Rishi tea.
7. RMH Design
RMH Design is a combination of an interior design showroom, clothing and accessories boutique and vintage furniture shop. The visual feast, at 1800 W. 103rd Street, is creation of designer Robin Harmon. Harmon prides herself on finding one-of-a-kind vintage accent furniture and accessories and mixing the old with the new. Harmon also restores and creates custom furniture for her clients.
8. The Blossom Boys
Every neighborhood needs a flower shop and devoted Blossom Boys customers are happy to see Beverly couple Steve English and Ryan Steinbach back in business with a new retail location, 1801 W. 103rd Street. In addition to custom arrangements and design, the shop carries jewelry, stationary cards and gifts.
9. Capsule Boutique
The selection of women’s clothing at Capsule, at 9915 S. Walden Pkwy., is as hip and eclectic as any store in Brooklyn or Los Feliz with many vegan and sustainably sourced textiles. Founded by Maura Conine in 2017, price points vary from affordable to splurge-worthy.
10. Belle Up Boutique
Founder Jamenda McCoy opened her store in December 2009 after finding herself underwhelmed by drab maternity clothing. McCoy’s boutique, 1915 W. 103rd, offers a wide selection for stylish expectant mothers as well as a contemporary line for women who don’t have a bun in the oven.