Representatives of several South Side-based agricultural organizations agreed that one of the most important, and least often discussed, facets of sustainability is workers’ right to a fair wage.
And if the decorations don’t alert you to the fact that you’re in an African restaurant, your ears ringing at the sounds of French, Wolof, Yoruba, and other West African languages definitely will.
“And in many cases, these restaurants are located in historically black communities and often we don’t get the level of positive recognition that [we] should.” –Bernard Loyd
“The South Side don’t need this kind of exploitation.”
“It’s what he loves to do, it’s what I love to do.”
“I got sent to jail for aggravated vehicular hijacking, by the graces of the universe.” – Darius Jones
“I figured I would open the café just to have something here and hopefully spark other entrepeneurs to come out this way.”
Honest pastries that do not convey any hint of pretension
“If we can inject food, quality food, into the area, then we’ll be able to feed people quality food, encourage people to come back [to Bronzeville], and bring jobs into the area as well.”
I am seated at Matthias Merges’s favorite table in A10, a relatively recent addition to Hyde Park. The decor is tasteful and clean, filled with crystalline glass and warm colors. The space is mostly empty, yet buzzing with espresso machines and blenders as the staff preps for the busy Friday dinner rush, when the restaurant will be filled with diners largely oblivious to the local origins of their meals—the Cook County Jail.