Black-Owned Businesses in Lake County

By: Jonathan Jones 06/05/2020

The Black Community has deep roots in Lake County. The influence of African American culture is vibrant and resonates in all facets of tourism throughout the land of lakes. Black-owned businesses are the cornerstone of Lake County. From delectable culinary cuisine to Afrocentric threads, to cultural landmarks and so much more, black entrepreneurship is an integral piece of the land of lakes.






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This young woman organized a march today and thousands showed up. #blacklivesmatter #peacefulprotest #grayslake #grayslakeillinois

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As a leader in Lake County's tourism industry, we strive to be a forum that showcases diversity and the African American community. Let's take a look at the black-owned businesses in Lake County.

This list does not include every black-owned business in Lake County, so if we missed any, let us know so we can add them!

Everett Reynolds' Art






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The City of Waukegan reigns supreme as the art capital of Lake County. Besides all of the murals in the area, the City of Progress has an extensive list of galleries and areas dedicated to all creative and cultivated mediums. Everett Reynolds has been an integral piece in the city creating much of artwork popping up around Waukegan. The artist sketched a piece called "Zira" on the side of Delia's Day Care at 1208 Grand Avenue, and the Ray Bradbury-themed mural entitled "Dream Big." The latter mural on the side of Zuniga Automotive Service and Towing on Belvidere Road. The mural is to instill the confidence and empowerment of children of color.

Dress Up & Dance! On the Move

Dress Up & Dance is the premier adult ballroom and Latin mobile dance social club. Dress Up & Dance hosts festive events, workshops and lessons year-round. Whatever your dance moves may be, the foxtrot, the do si do, steppin', "The Safety Dance," "The Electric Slide," get out and connect with Dress Up & Dance! and bust a move and/or cut a rug! The Mundelein-based black-owned business reinvented itself as a mobile dance club organization. Dancers and non-dancers alike will gather, socialize and dance at indoor and outdoor venues in various locations for residents and tourists of Lake County and the Wisconsin area.

Dining at Black-owned Businesses





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It's where bbq meets soul food at their new location in Beach Park, Illinois! Chef BBQ Johnson cooks all your favorites. The black-owned business and southern-inspired online eater has a menu that features ribs, catfish, wings, fried okra and so much more. Be sure to join the Honey Bay's for their Soul Food Sundays featuring their smothered pork chop or smothered chicken wings dinner.

Jerk N More Too in North Chicago





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The North Chicago joint serves authentic Jamaican cuisine and comfort food. Specializing in mouthwatering, award-winning jerk chicken, curry chicken, oxtails, tacos and scratch-made side items i.e. macaroni and cheese, candy yams, cabbage, rice and peas, plus desserts.

Mama Jerk n Tings in Waukegan

Spicy coleslaw that'll tango with your tongue, creamy mac and cheese that's smoother than a reggae ballad, and fried plantains that'll have you channeling your inner islander. It's a flavor fiesta that'll make you wanna say "irie" after every bite. The downtown Waukegan venue's menu features chicken, pizza, seafood, oxtail, salads, wraps, vegetarian dishes and so much more.


Honey Bay's Barbecue  Beach Park Specialties: Shrimp, brisket and rib tips. INFO»

Big Ed's BBQ  4030 Northpoint Blvd., Waukegan Specialties: BBQ, brisket, rib tips, catfish, wings and more. INFO »

Jerk N More Too 2234 N Green Bay Rd., North Chicago: serving authentic Jamaican and comfort food. INFO »

Chic-Fil-A 6550 Grand Ave., Gurnee Specialties: Chicken sandwiches, nuggets, and wraps. INFO »

Drip & Culture 2015 Grand Ave., Waukegan, Inside Supermercado Gonzalez. Specialties: coffee, teas, and specialty drinks. INFO»

Taste of Belize 2207 Grand Ave., Waukegan Specialties: Belizean and Jamaican cuisine. INFO »

C&J Gourmet Sandwiches Mobile Kitchen; Originally in Zion Specialties: BBQ, seafood, grilled pork chops and more. INFO »

Qu's Place 2744 Sheridan Rd., Zion Specialties: BBQ, wings, burgers, sandwiches, pizza and more. INFO »






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A small mild jerk catering order!

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Dada's Soul 1301 21st St., Zion Specialties: Pork chops, chicken, catfish and sandwiches. INFO » 

Hillery's Bar BQ 2021 N. Lewis Ave., Waukegan Specialties: BBQ, chicken, catfish, hot links and ribs. INFO »

Boonie Mac's Shack 4527 Route 173, Zion Specialties: BBQ pork, ribs, chicken and desserts. INFO »

Mama Jerk N Tings 29 N. Genesee St., Waukegan Specialties: Jamaican cuisine and jerk chicken INFO »

Smokin' BBQ on 45 428 N. Lake St., Mundelein Specialties: BBQ ribs, wings, catfish, and more. INFO » 

The Raw Juice Bar 202 N. Genesee St., Waukegan Specialities: Smoothies, vegan cuisine, and teas. INFO »

Supremefries and More 2109 Lewis Ave., Zion Specialities: Burgers, catfish, and specialty fries. INFO »

Shopping at Black-owned Businesses






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Love this little cutie! #babyshowercake #babyshowerbling #sonolitossweetsboutique #beachparkil #lakecountyillinois

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Deshon Wynn's Concept Art & Illustrations Round Lake Digital painting, prints, toon & character design INFO »






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The Art of Gabriel Ajayi on display now at Alternative Art, Etc...

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Alternative Art ETC. 104 S. Genesee St., Waukegan Fine African American art, unique women's fashion and accessories INFO »

Pope's Florist 2202 Grand Ave., Waukegan Flower arrangements, plants, gifts and collections INFO »

Local Hawthorn Mall 122 Hawthorn Ctr., Suite 405, Vernon Hills Clothing store.  INFO »

1313 Ave. 6170 W. Grand Ave., , Gurnee Custom apparel, accesories, beauty products and more. INFO »

Poparazzi Gourmet Treats 2823 Sunset Ave., Waukegan Popcorn, candied nuts, pastries, pies, coffee and refreshing beverages. INFO »

Black-Owned Venues in Lake County





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CAP Catering Services is Community Action Partnership of Lake County's first social enterprise, established in 2005. They offer full service off-site and on-site catering. In 2020, they opened the 250 capacity CAP Catering Banquets & Dining on Genesee venue in the heart of downtown Waukegan. They are available for all occasions, including weddings, parties, reunions, meetings, conferences and special events.

CAP Catering Banquets and Dining on Genesee 206 N. Genesee St., Waukegan Small meeting rooms, conferences, weddings, and special events. INFO »

Soiree Event Space 3563 Grand Ave., Suite C, Gurnee Small meeting rooms, conferences, weddings, and special events. INFO »

The African American Museum at the England Manor Waukegan Museum featuring exhibits and artifacts chronicling the African American experience. INFO »

Black-Owned Services in Lake County





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Minuteman Press Libertyville 113 E Cook Ave, Libertyville Print services, direct mailings, graphic design, and promtional materials. INFO »

Black-Owned Salons/Barbers in Lake County

Elegance & Style Salon Gurnee Mills, 6170 W Grand Ave., Gurnee Full serivce family haricare center. Cutting /coloring, eyelash extensions. INFO »

HairMasters, 6170 W Grand Ave., Gurnee Full serivce family haricare center. Cutting /coloring, eyelash extensions. INFO »

Visiting Black-Owned Business

Helen & Sons at the Lake County Fairgrounds and Event Center


Expo Hall is smelling delicious as Victor starts getting the Fudge Made & Set Up for the 87th Annual Lake County Fair! This is his Grandmother's Homemade Recipe & she has been a part of the Fair for over 50 Years! #summersbestfest #lcf2015 #lcf #lcfairil #lcfairgrayslake #lcfair2015 #countyfairs #countyfair #fudge #visitlakecounty #Illinois #visitillinois #expo #food #candy

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If you’ve never tasted Helen & Sons Old Fashioned Copper Kettle Fudge and Salt Water Taffy, you haven’t lived yet. These treats have been featured at the fair inside the expo center for 52 of the 91 years of the Lake County Fair’s existence. The fudges and taffy are made fresh for consumers daily.

For more information on black-owned businesses not just pertaining to tourism, click here. For ways to support black businesses in Lake County and in the Land of Lincoln, continue here.

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