“Let’s say you want to have a night out on the town and you want to go dancing?” Rome J. asks Teddy Gilmore in a lightning round of favorite Black-owned places in Chicago.

“Little known fact— there’s no Black-owned nightclub in the city of Chicago,” Gilmore said. 

“Whooooaaahhhhh,” Rome J. responded. 

Gilmore is a Black restaurateur, nightlife promoter, and the director of operations at Nipsey’s, a new 1990s-themed restaurant located off 91st Street and Stoney Island Avenue.

“I’ve been telling people this [Stony Island] is going to be the new Black Wall Street, because it’s all Black-owned businesses,” Gilmore added. “We’re right off the expressway. You can get there.” 

Prior to launching Nipsey’s, Gilmore has previously operated several restaurants throughout Chicago, including the now-closed DrinkHaus in Greektown and Nouveau Tavern in River North.

“I always wanted to come back [to the South Side],” Gilmore told Rome J. “There’s something to be said about when you walk down the street and you don’t have to worry about people characterizing you, or you’re a stereotype. You’re at home.” 

Earlier in the episode, Rome J. chopped it up with Karen Freeman-Wilson, president and CEO of the Chicago Urban League, about its new “Black Shop Friday” campaign with the city of Chicago.

The campaign encourages Chicagoans to buy from Black-owned businesses on Black Friday, which lands on Nov. 27 this year. More than 500 Black-owned businesses will be listed on the “Black Shop Friday” website, and the site will be updated on an ongoing basis, allowing shoppers to search businesses by category and neighborhood. 

Freeman said the campaign is an effort to put the Black back in Black Friday.

“There have been many Black businesses that have been forced to close because of the quarantining associated with COVID-19,” Freeman-Wilson told Rome J. “At the same time, the racial unrest we saw, the civil unrest I should say, impacted Black businesses. They sustained damages.”

Freeman added, “And while we have been supporting them through grant programs that have been provided through the city, the state, the county, we also know that the best way to support a Black business is to ensure they have a diverse customer base. This is what that campaign is all about.”

To find out more about the “Black Shop Friday” campaign and Black-owned Chicago nightlife, check out “We Real Chicago” on TRiiBE TV.

is a researcher for TRiiBE TV.