Black-Owned Businesses in Lake County - Visit Lake County - Blog

Black-Owned Businesses in Lake County

By: Jonathan Jones

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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Visit Lake County stands in solidarity with the protest, while aiming to quell this ongoing conflict. As a leader in Lake County's tourism industry, we strive to be a forum that showcases diversity and the African American community.

While we endure social inequality and still the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, 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 in Mundelein (Closed Indefinitely)

This former Mundelein facility is the premier adult ballroom and Latin 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 to Dress Up & Dance! and bust a move and/or cut a rug! Unfortunately, they have closed their facility. However, the Mundelein-based black-owned business has reinvented itself as the new 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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We're officially on Instagram now! #BigEds #BigEdsBBQ #Chicago #Barbeque

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

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

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

Drip & Culture Co.  2015 Grand Ave., Waukegan, inside Supermercado Gonzalez Specialties: Coffee 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 chop and more. INFO »

Qu's Place 3467 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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Hillery's Bar BQ 2021 N. Lewis Ave., Waukegan Specialties: BBQ, chicken, catfish, hot links and ribs. INFO »

Superb Grill 4433 22nd Ave., Kenosha Specialties: Ribs, fried chicken, catfish and brisket INFO »

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

Honey Bay's Barbecue  Waukegan Specialties: Shrimp, brisket and ruin tips INFO»

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

Caribana Grill 453 U.S. Route 45, Lindenhurst Specialties: Caribbean fare tacos, seafood, ribs, jerk chicken and more. INFO »

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

Shopping at Black-owned Businesses


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

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Sonolito's Sweets Boutique Beach Park Specialty cakes for all occasions INFO »

Deshon Wynn's Concept Art & Illustrations Round Lake Masterclasses, Digital painting, Prints, Toon & Character Design INFO »

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


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

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

Urban Kettle Beach Park Hand Tossed Small Batch Kettle Corn INFO »

True G Fragrances 2923 Ezra Ave., Zion Beauty products, perfume and cologne INFO »

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

Black-Owned Services in Lake County

Smitty's Construction LLC Zion Specialty: Interior and Exterior construction like kitchen and bath, basement and windows, decks, porches, garage, roof installation, door installation and solar power paneling. 847.401.9246

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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