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Bronzeville, Near South Side

Black-Owned Bronzeville Winery Will Open This Month With Afro-Chic Bohemian Vibes And Comfort Food

Silver Room owner Eric Williams teamed up with Cecilia Cuff on the wine bar and restaurant at 4400 Grove.

The 4400 block of South Cottage Grove Avenue at the groundbreaking ceremony for Neighborhood Opportunity Fund recipient Bronzeville Winery as part of the CityÕs INVEST South/West initiative on April 28, 2021.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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GRAND BOULEVARD — Bronzeville Winery is set to open April 20 after long delays caused by the pandemic, its owners said.

The restaurant and wine bar at 4420 S. Cottage Grove Ave. is accepting reservations on Tock ahead of its opening night, with most slots already filled. Spots at the chef’s table, where seats are $100 per person, are still up for grabs.

Silver Room owner Eric Williams teamed up with Cecilia Cuff on the winery, which will have afro-chic bohemian vibes, comfort food and a wine collection curated by one of few Black sommeliers in the United States. Ambient music will be provided by musicians and DJs, and a rotating gallery will feature work from local artists.

The duo hopes to also launch an incubator program to broaden access for minority entrepreneurs entering the hospitality industry. They’ll recruit students and residents who want to become restaurant owners or chefs, they said.

“I’d kind of call it the sister restaurant to the Silver Room. If you like the vibe of the Silver Room, if you like the vibe of the block party, that’s gonna be the vibe of this wine bar,” Williams said last year.

The restaurant’s plan to tap into local talent is well underway, Williams said. DJ Ron Trent will kick off his Saturday night residency this month, with more local DJs added to the rotation later on. Local artists will be featured as well; work from Krista Franklin already adorns the walls. Another artist, Norman Teague, designed all of the furniture.

“We want to create this atmosphere that touches on all the senses, from food to drink to smell to sound, so it was important that music was a part of this,” Williams said.

While the entrepreneur was coy when divulging details about winery’s menu, he did share that it will include seven vegan dishes created by executive chef Whitney McMorris.

“You’ve got to really appreciate that the fact that we’re pushing boundaries a little bit. Let’s just explore, let’s be open to new ideas and new thoughts. That’s how we’re going to approach the food,” he said.

Williams has been lauded for his commitment to the community, even catching the attention of former president and Hyde Park neighbor Barack Obama, who talked to Williams about Bronzeville Winery and his passion for community building during an interview last year.

Bronzeville Winery will be the latest business to open at 4400 Grove, which opened in October 2020. Haji Healing Salon moved into the development last year, and Ocean City Aquariums is scheduled to open this spring.

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