Twenty-three people joined us for our third summer bike tour and visited dynamic small businesses in the North Branch and Albany Park.
The ride started at Thattu, a James Beard Award nominated southwest Indian restaurant (2601 W. Fletcher Street). The owners, Vinod and Margaret, gave us a tour and discussed the restaurant’s dishes, which are the result of Chef Margaret’s love for the southwest Indian coastal cuisine of Kerala.
After leaving Thattu, we took the new bike lanes on Belmont Avenue into Clark Park. Then we took the Riverview Bridge, the longest bike and pedestrian bridge in the city, and crossed over the Chicago River from the east to the western side.
The Riverview Bridge is the first part of the 312 RiverRun Trail, which will eventually connect Clark, California, and Horner Parks and provide a connection for people walking and biking from Belmont Avenue to Irving Park Road.
This trail is part of the City of Chicago’s ambitious goal of connecting a 27-mile, continuous trail along the Chicago River.
After biking through Horner Park, our group took the Manor Greenway to Wilson Street, and then Wilson Street into Albany Park where we visited Anchor Baby Vintage, a Latina-owned vintage clothing shop with collaborations from fifteen plus vendors under one roof.
The ride continued with a stop at a. favorite design, a woman-owned, small manufacturing business that sells greeting cards, stationery, journals, planners, writing tools, and more. Riders had the wonderful opportunity to use one of the company’s presses and roll a “I biked the North Branch & Albany Park” print.
Then we returned to the North Branch and visited Hyun’s Hapkido and Taekwondo School (2743 N. Western Avenue), a fifty-two-year-old martial arts school.
Grandmaster Kwang Hyun demonstrated self-defense techniques with volunteer and NBW Executive Director, Jonathan Snyder (pictured right). Adults and children interested in taking martial arts classes at the school can call Grandmaster Hyun at 773-252-8300 or sign up for more information here.
The ride ended with lunch at Boulevard Bistro (2753 N. Western Avenue), a new, woman-owned restaurant that opened in the former Cornerstone Café space. NBW staff has worked closely with the owner and recently helped the business secure a grant from the Restaurant Strong Program.
We’d also like to thank our small businesses for hosting us and providing our group with tours and behind-the-scenes access.
Image credit: Omar Godinez, Waste Management (top)