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Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas

Face of the 'hood: Bridgeport

Written by
Clayton Guse

Ed Marszewski, 47

Maria’s Packaged Goods & Community Bar

If you took everything that’s fringe, hip and hard-working about Chicago and mashed it together, it might look something like Ed Marszewski. The half-Polish, half-Korean Bridgeport entrepreneur manages Maria’s Packaged Goods & Community Bar with his brother, Mike, and his mother, the bar’s namesake.

He also owns Co-Prosperity Sphere, an art gallery that houses his low-frequency radio station, Lumpen Radio. In 2014, he opened a brewing company, Marz, set to expand this year. In addition, he’s heading up an expansion of Maria’s that will be accompanied next door by a Polish-Korean fusion food joint, Kimski.

“It’s all an accident that anything is happening in Bridgeport,” he says, noting the changes the neighborhood has undergone over the last decade, particularly through the influx of artists who have flocked there.

Marszewski isn’t worried that the many new faces will diminish the charm of the old ’hood, though. He expects the next decade to bring Bridgeport residents better amenities and jobs and higher incomes, generating money that people will spend locally. And, ever a dreamer, he hopes it might even bring what he calls the BridgeCot Center, a “giant Dymaxion dome that hovers 60 feet in the air above the neighborhood.”

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