CHICAGO (SCS) — There’s a lot you can find in a shipping container, but healthy on-the-go meals aren’t usually one of them.
But that’s exactly what’s on the menu at a new cafe in Woodlawn, with a ready-made design. CBS 2’s Shardaa Gray takes us inside 7323 Chicago.
On the corner of Marquette and Woodlawn, you’ll find a thriving black business with a unique look.
“Awe yes, please come support us. We have a lot of good stuff.”
With his own hands and the help of his family and contacts, Woodlawn resident Marquinn Gibson built a 20-foot-long, eight-foot-tall shipping container called 7323 Chicago Cafe.
“I wanted something that had low overhead for one. I wanted to be innovative and do something that I don’t really see a lot in our communities,” Gibson said, adding that the name has a special meaning.
“The name and the story behind this is the first kitchen I’ve ever cooked in. This is the first property my grandmother and her mother owned when they emigrated from Alabama during the Great migration to come to Chicago,” Gibson said.
Gibson is able to open the Flying Squirrel Park beer garden thanks to a municipal program called the Alfresco Dining Grant
“I applied for this last October, September and this grant is basically provided so that we can increase outdoor dining in the city.”
Gibson chose the intersection of Marquette and Woodlawn to place its outdoor shipping container cafe to give the Woodlawn neighborhood a healthy eating option.
“I want to find a way to incorporate comfort, but also include healthy options,” Gibson said.
It still has some finishing touches before opening in the next few days, but with its cafe at a busy intersection, Gibson hopes the vibrant colors will bring business.
“My goal is to really bridge that gap and introduce people to things they probably never would have tried.”
The grand opening is this Saturday, August 6 from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.