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08/20/2004 Archived Entry: "Negro League news: Baseball cafe opens in Chicago"
Negro Leagues restaurant opens in Chicago
By Michael Toeset
Recognition of and appreciation for the Negro Leagues seems to be growing in recent years, as evidenced by actions to have players’ gravesites memorialized and the recent opening of mini Negro Leagues museums in Cleveland and Kansas City. But although Chicago has a rightful claim as one of the most important cities in black baseball history, it has done precious little to educate the public on this front. One Chicago restaurateur, however, is doing his part.
On July 29, Don Curry opened The Negro League Café in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood. As the name implies, the restaurant/bar is steeped in Negro League history, and paintings of players adorn the inside and outside of the cafe. The restaurant goes beyond simple art tributes, however. Curry said in a recent newspaper interview that the café’s staff is well-versed in Negro League history and is encouraged to engage customers in baseball discussions.
The South Side café – where one might bump into Negro League legends like Ted “Double Duty” Radcliffe – serves a delectable offering of Caribbean-style soul food. Lunch is served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Saturday; dinner from 5:30 to 11 p.m. Monday to Saturday; and a “Sunday Gospel Buffet” is served 1 to 8 p.m. on Sunday. The café also has a bar that is open until 2 a.m. Thursday to Saturday, and on Friday and Saturday, live jazz is played from 8 p.m. to midnight.
Negro League Café is at 301 E. 43rd St., Chicago. For more information, call (312) 952-3284 or go online to www.thenegroleaguecafe.info.