Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood has long been noted as one of the most notorious food deserts in any major metropolitan city, but one local businessman is looking to change that.
Former nightclub owner Howard Bailey says opening his newest endeavor, Dream Café and Grille, in the heart of Englewood will bring a much-needed alternative to some of the food choices presently available to the neighborhood.
With a wide mix of healthy options and creative comfort foods such as collard green stuffed egg rolls, Bailey emphasizes that all menu items will be made fresh to order.
“Everything is made here on the premises, nothing is frozen, nothing is canned, everything is made from scratch and locally sourced,” he says. “I’m not going to give someone a frozen patty and some French fries with a whole bunch of preservatives in it. Our burgers are made here, our fries are cut here, literally everything is done in-house, even our barbecue sauces and ketchups.”
Bailey says the idea for the restaurant arose when he attempted to eat better after gaining weight, but realized he didn’t have many options to do so in his neighborhood. He realized that while he could handle the business side of the venture, he knew nothing of actually running a restaurant kitchen.
That’s where chef Russell Moore came into the picture. The 46-year-old fellow Englewood resident and former finalist of the PBS show “Cooking Under Fire” was immediately on board with Bailey’s vision for high quality, creative foods that remained affordable.
“We’re trying to touch some of the best and favorite cuisines throughout the entire world and bring it together under one menu with a healthy twist to it,” says Moore.
Dream Café & Grille is located at 748 W. 61st St. in Chicago’s Engelwood neighborhood and open daily from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.