By: Rachel Krzesinski (Loyola Junior)
It’s a beautiful autumn day at Loyola University Chicago; the air is filled with the sounds of students conversing as they leave their class buildings, and are deciding how to spend the remainder of their evenings.
With myriad local businesses providing food and entertainment, current Loyola students were asked about their favorite small businesses to visit in Rogers Park and Edgewater.
Especially after the pandemic, the neighborhoods have made a strong effort to revitalize small shops and restaurants.
The Rogers Park Business Alliance is a non-profit organization that assists with the development of local establishments in the Rogers Park neighborhood. The university also offers its support by promoting local businesses through its “Ramblin’ Around Guide”: a comprehensive list of places to eat and shop at each of its Illinois campuses.
When asked, many students centered their answers around food.
21-year-old Loyola Junior Ian Quinn said, “I love going to Devon Market [1440 W Devon Ave, Chicago, IL 60660]. I just enjoy supporting a small business as opposed to the Target or even the CVS or the Aldi down the street. It’s nice to try some new foods that don’t exist at those other stores.”
Other students second Quinn, but explained that the perks offered to students are really what draws them to the store.
Mia Brady (22), a Senior, shared, “I’m really a big fan of Devon Market. I go there for my groceries because they have a lovely-looking produce section and a 10% Loyola student discount which is awesome.”
Another respondent based her decision on the nostalgic feeling the business gave her rather than the price reduction.
“I like Lickity Split [6056 N Broadway, Chicago, IL 60660],” said Senior Megan Bouchard (21). “They have the old candy that you don’t see anywhere else.”
However, the majority of people interviewed chose their favorite small business simply because they love the food served.
Junior Genevieve Kallmeyer (20) said, “My favorite small business is this burger restaurant that’s actually in a gas station. It’s called Burger Bite [1500 W Devon Ave, Chicago, IL 60660] and it’s the best burger and shake I’ve ever had in my life.”
It wasn’t just the food that businesses served, it was also their beverages that attracted students.
Senior Bridget Meyers (21) said, “My favorite small business is Hops & Grapes [6816 N Sheridan Rd, Chicago, IL 60626] because they have some really great selections of wine.”
While the food and drink businesses dominated the bulk of the conversations, one interviewee shared an unconventional shop she likes to visit.
“I Like ChiTown Magpie [6443 N Sheridan Rd, Chicago, IL 60626],” said Junior Cecilia VanZyl (20). “It’s a small gift/goods store that’s Chicago themed and I like going there to get my friends from home Chicago-themed gifts.”
Whether it be a grocery store or Chicago-themed stop-and-shop, the diversity of small businesses in Rogers Park and Edgewater make the communities such a unique place to live.