Chatham | Food

Come for the Coffee

Flecks Coffee of Chatham

LUKE WHITE

LUKE WHITE

Tucked into a corner on bustling 79th Street in Chatham, Flecks Coffee Company brings in customers of all stripes for a solid breakfast and a cup of coffee with some company. “I wrote a play sitting right there,” says Sati Word, a regular. He points to a wooden table and chair against the far wall. The wall is painted deep red and embossed with the words “Dream Big” in large-font calligraphy. Flecks Coffee is “something different, that the area didn’t have before,” Sati explains (it opened in June). “It brings in a crowd I didn’t know was here, neighborhood folks.”

Continue reading

Chatham

In His Image

An interview with Joshua Robinson of After Real Truth

SIDDHESH MUKERJI

SIDDHESH MUKERJI

For Chicago artist Joshua Robinson, After Real Truth—his  clothing, toy, and comic book company—is a more than a job. It’s a futuristic spiritual world and a way of life. A Chatham native, Robinson, who also goes by the alias “J. Bot,” started After Real Truth as a hobby in 2005 after graduating from Westwood College with a degree in computer animation. It has since exploded into what Robinson describes as a community-wide “movement” toward spiritual enlightenment.  Continue reading

Chatham | Stage & Screen

Spectacular Scrooge

COURTESY OF ETA CREATIVE ARTS FOUNDATION

COURTESY OF ETA CREATIVE ARTS FOUNDATION

Ebenezer Scrooge stood aghast aside the Ghost of Christmas Past. “Why did you show me this!” Scrooge didn’t question—he accused. The audience quietly shared his hollow humiliation. We were morbidly captivated by his younger self’s self-destruction on the stage at eta Creative Arts. The young South Side version of “Scroo’ ”—as he’s referred to in this particular production—has just doused love. He refuses to dance with his girlfriend Belle, who’s serving drinks at his boss’s gala. He claims she’s the hired help, argues he’s a big shot, and narrowly misses a slap. (“You’re lucky I know and love you!”) Continue reading

Chatham | Stage & Screen

Blaxploitation on the Moon

Christopher St. John was once a chiseled and charismatic screen presence, running up the ranks of the acting world. By the early 1970s, he had acted with the Yale Repertory Theater and The Actors Studio, snagged a major role in Gordon Park’s “Shaft,” and was even prized for his performances in soft-core porn flicks. Then he made 1972’s “Top of the Heap,” and Hollywood closed its doors. Continue reading

Best of the South Side 2013 | Chatham

Chatham

Bea Malsky

Bea Malsky

When Michael Cherry takes a break from frying chicken wings and flipping burgers at Luversia’s, he and his brother Anthony’s new soul food restaurant, he likes to walk along 79th Street—the commercial heart of Chatham—and look into the windows of hair salons, clothing stores, food markets, and diners. These days Chathamites never take anything for granted. Since the recession, half-century old neighborhood staples like Army & Lou’s, a soul food diner, are suddenly hitting financial bottom, and new businesses like Garrett Popcorn and Flecks Coffee are moving into boarded-up buildings. Continue reading