One of the many items available by shop owner Corie Luckett at Englewood Branded, 1546 W. 63rd St. Credit: Englewood Branded

CHATHAM — In the spirit of Hallowthanksmas — that time of year where the days blur together and the chill keeps you indoors — local South Side businesses have piled up their finest clothing, coffee and desserts to make the holiday season as sweet as can be for neighbors in a giving spirit. 

Miss Purl is offering gift cards for aspiring and skilled knitters alike, and Afro Joe’s is kicking off a 12 Days of Christmas celebration for constant cheer (and coffee). 

Block Club Chicago rounded up a few South Side neighborhood gift options to help you shop local. 

Here’s what you can buy:

Auburn Gresham

Credit: Afro Joe's

Afro Joe’s, 8344 S. Halsted St. Website.

When husband-and-wife team Kendall and Aisha Griffin opened Afro Joe’s, the dream was to bring a coffee shop — something North Siders had an abundance of — to the South Side. One year later and the coffee shop continues to be a beacon of hope in the community

This year, the shop is holding a 12 Days of Christmas celebration Dec. 8-23. Each day, the shop will offer a treat to customers, like discounts on holiday drinks and custom clothing.

You can also bring a good cup of Joe from the shop to your home with custom coffee blends like Afro Spice, DuSable and Harold Washington (whole bean only, $12). 

All coffee blends are available for pickup only at this time.

Afro Joe’s is open 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Sundays. 773-234-1308. Instagram.


A lone patron watches a matinee of “Don’t Breathe 2” at the newly opened Cinema Chatham on Aug. 19. Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago

Cinema Chatham, 210 W. 87th St. Website.

If you’re in need of a gift for a movie lover who’s sick of streaming, a gift card to Cinema Chatham Powered by Emagine might do the trick. 

The theater opened in August after the building’s previous tenant, Studio Movie Grill, closed the business. Now, the new and improved theater is open to the public with luxury seats and cheesy popcorn to appease any moviegoer. 

Shoppers can buy gift cards at the Chatham theater or purchase an eGift card worth $20-$200.

Cinema Chatham is open 12:30-10 p.m. daily. 612-707-2684.

Credit: Brown Sugar Bakery/Facebook

Brown Sugar Bakery, 328 E. 75th St. Website.

Is there anything better than receiving a box of chocolates in the mail? The answer is always no. 

Chatham’s award-winning Brown Sugar Bakery has premium chocolates, including a chocolate turtle assortment ($14.95), raspberry meltaways ($14.95) and sea salt caramels ($14.95) available for nationwide shipping. 

Buy the original 15-piece assortment or spend an extra $10 for a 24-piece custom-wrapped box. 

Brown Sugar Bakery (Chatham) is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and noon-5 p.m. Sundays. 773-224-6262. Instagram.

Fish swim in a display at Aquatic Oasis, 1700 E. 87th St., in Avalon Park on Aug. 25, 2021. Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago

Aquatic Oasis, 1700 E. 87th St. Website.

Brandon Holmes used “every dime in his pocket” to open an aquatic shop that fosters tranquility. 

At Aquatic Oasis, an array of colorful fish, plant life and aquarium supplies are for sale for anyone hoping to gift someone their first goldfish or expand a loved one’s at-home aquarium. 

This season, Holmes is bringing the holiday cheer with an aquarium deal. For $100, you can buy a fish of your choice, paired with a tank, cleaning supplies and instructions for care. 

If you’d rather leave the shopping up to your giftee, the store also offers gift cards. 

Aquatic Oasis is open 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sundays. 773-595-3176. Facebook.


Credit: Englewood Branded

Englewood Branded, 1546 W. 63rd St. Website.

Englewood Branded is more than your typical clothing store. Owner Corie Luckett has created a store that celebrates the rich culture of Englewood with custom shirts, sweaters, hoodies and sweatshirts in all sizes for all ages. 

This season, shoppers can grab button packs ($5) and custom hoodies in colors ranging from navy to peach ($60) at the store. 

The peach and black EDUB hoodies ($65) are available for online shipping. All other items are available in-store only for now. 

Englewood Branded is open noon-6 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. 773-912-6721. Instagram.

Ethiopia blend coffee from Kusanya Cafe in Englewood. Credit: Kusanya Cafe

Kusanya Cafe, 829 W. 69th St. Website.

A gift of fresh-roasted coffee from an Englewood mainstay doesn’t get any better until you remember every dollar spent goes toward supporting the nonprofit coffee shop. 

Phil Sipka opened Kusanya Cafe in 2013 to “honor and amplify the positive energy that has been in the community all along.” 

You can grab a fresh 12-ounce bag of Guatemalan, Ethiopian or Wolf Blend coffee (whole bean or ground, $12) from the shop, or have the bag shipped. 

If the coffee lover in your life is adventurous, choose the Origin of the Week bag ($12) for a pleasant surprise. 

Kusanya Cafe is open 7 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday-Friday 773-675-4758. Instagram.

Did we miss your favorite neighborhood spot? Not to worry! Add it to our Block Club reader guide, which will come out in early December.

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Atavia Reed is a reporter for Block Club Chicago, covering the Englewood, Auburn Gresham and Chatham neighborhoods. Twitter @ataviawrotethis