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Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce
Photograph: Courtesy Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce

A guide to Chicago Alfresco's neighborhood programming

Here's what to expect from 15 neighborhood organizations offering outdoor dining and programming this summer.

Emma Krupp
Written by
Emma Krupp

Last summer, in an effort to bolster business for the hard-hit local restaurant industry, Chicago launched an expanded outdoor dining program that brought street dining to neighborhoods across the city. This year's iteration of the program, called Chicago Alfresco, builds on the outdoor dining component to include new neighborhood-centric features designed by local chambers of commerce, community organizations and other local stakeholders—everything from art installations and beautification projects to moveable dining pods. Fifteen organizations were chosen to kick off the initiative, though city officials say they're still accepting applications on a rolling basis.

Wondering what to expect from your neighborhood project? Right now, only a handful of the 15 orgs have announced dates for when their projects will launch (many are still meeting with city officials to nail down plans, funding and other specifics). Here's the lastest on what you can expect from each program—we'll keep this list updated as more information, including opening dates and planned events, rolls in. 

RECOMMENDED: Find more of the best outdoor dining spots in Chicago

Chicago Alfresco neighborhoods


Where: West Madison Street and West Chicago Avenue

What to expect: Outdoor dining in the neighborhood will be beautified by large, flower-filled planters and cordoned-off areas for eating, live performances, art installations and other events.  

Back of the Yards

Where: West 47th and South Honore Streets

What to expect: The Back of the Yard Caminata will offer space for outdoor dining, gathering, public programming and other event-based opportunities. 



Where: East 75th Street, East 79th Street and East 71st Street

What to expect: The Greater Chatham Initiative is expanding on its 75th Street Boardwalk project—which turned plywood into a series of parklets for outdoor dining, shopping and other community activities—to create more moveable parklets that can pop up around the neighborhood this summer.

Lakeview East

Where: Broadway from Belmont to Wellington, plus parts of Sheffield

What to expect: Dine Out on Broadway returns for its second year, bringing outdoor dining, takeout and summery decor on select dates to a stretch of Broadway in Lakeview East. Participating restaurants on Broadway include Dry Hop Brewers, Roebuck Pizza, Chilam Balam and more; on Sheffield, diners can eat at Cheesie's Pub, Figo Wine Bar, Trader Todd's, Sheffield's Bar and Grill and Barangaroos Aussie Pies. Both Dine Out on Broadway and Dine Out on Sheffield are open Fridays 3pm–11pm, Saturdays 9am–11pm and Sundays 9am–9pm—for a full list of dates, check out the Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce website here.


Little Village

Where: Manuel Pérez Jr. Plaza, 4345 W 26th St 

What to expect: Last year, the Little Village-based nonprofit Un Nuevo Depertar ("A New Awakening" in English) launched Mercado de Colores, a biweekly farmers market selling organic vegetables, paletas, honey, Mexican folk art and other locally-made goods at Manuel Pérez Jr. Plaza. The market returns starting June 5 this year and will run every Saturday through September, bringing tons of sustainable and environmentally-friendly goods to the plaza. Grant money from Chicago Alfresco will be used to support programming at the market and fund renovation work at the plaza.

Logan Square

Where: Woodard Plaza, Kimball and Diversey Avenues

What to expect: The small plaza area, located near the border of Logan Square and Avondale, will be jazzed up with LED fixtures and picnic tables to help spur outdoor dining and other programming like performances, craft markets and gatherings. 



Where: 103rd and Wood Streets

What to expect: A grass parkway at the intersection of 103rd and Wood Streets, located near Ohana Ice & Treats, will be transformed this summer into an outdoor dining area and gathering spot, complete with concrete seating, planters, ambient lighting and a mural. Visitors and locals can grab food from the nearby Calabria Imports Italian deli and other neighborhood joints; plus, local businesses and religious groups will eventually be able to host events and other community programs there. 

Belmont Cragin

Where: Fullerton and Grand Avenues

What to expect: The Northwest Side Community Development Corporation and local aldermanic offices aim to create a central gateway to Belmont Cragin that showcases the neighborhood's Latinx community by turning the intersection of Fullerton and Grand Avenues into a plaza full of local street vendors selling goods like elotero, paletas and other Latin American street foods. Potential vendors can fill out applications; if necessary, organizers will help walk folks through the process of getting vendor licensing from the city.


Humboldt Park

Where: Paseo Boricua on Division Street

What to expect: The Puerto Rican Cultural Center is planning a series of themed hubs running along Paseo Boricua in Humboldt Park—featuring everything from art and murals to outdoor dining—to attract foot traffic and provide space for community events.

Rogers Park

Where: West Jarvis and North Glenwood Avenues

What to expect: Outdoor dining areas along Jarvis Square and Glenwood Avenue will be boosted by additional landscape design, lighting and public art installations; both areas will also host more public programming throughou the year.  


South Shore

Where: East 71st Street

What to expect: The neighborhood's chamber of commerce is planning a "walk, shop, dine" program that will include decor like planters and umbrella-clad patio sets, plus biweekly events such as live music performances, fitness classes, outdoor movie screenings and other attractions.  

South Chicago

Where: South Commercial Avenue 

What to expect: The "Who Tells Your Story" installation creates space for art events, outdoor seating and other programming along a block-long stretch of Commercial Avenue.



Where: West Argyle Street between North Broadway and Sheridan Road

What to expect: The historic Asia on Argyle strip will get expanded outdoor dining options via existing park space along the street. 


West Ridge

Where: West Devon Avenue

What to expect: Small, easily moveable plazas called "Devon Potluck Plazas" will pop up on side streets along Devon, allowing for folks to hang out with takeout food while enjoying public programming and other events. 



Where: East 62nd Street and South Ingleside Avenue

What to expect: An "underutilized" plaza in the neighborhood will be turned into a gathering spot and host public events from local businesses this summer

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