One Eleven is the hall’s name. It’s located at 756 E. 111th Street in the 111th Street Gateway Retail Center on Chicago’s South Side, about 25 minutes from Gary and 20 minutes from the forthcoming Obama Presidential Library in Chicago.
The hall features three restaurants: Majani Soulful Vegan Cuisine, Laine’s Bake Shop, and Exquisite Catering and Events. What makes this hall extra special is that all three food eateries are Black owned, Laine’s and Exquisite are also woman owned.
Additional new Black-owned eateries opened in Gary, Foody’s Carryout and J’s Breakfast Club. The latter is also woman-owned. All five restaurants are minutes off Interstate 80/94.
The One Eleven food hall concept is a manifestation of “cooperative economics,” a way for Black entrepreneurs to pool resources and share costs. This particular development is important in that it gives Black entrepreneurs, in a Black neighborhood, opportunity to capitalize on the growth and development anticipated from a monument commemorating a very important chapter in the history of Black people: The Pullman rail car factory and neighborhood.
Pullman porters were exclusively Black until the 1960’s and have been credited with helping to develop the Black middle class in America, under the leadership of A. Philip Randolph. Randolph was the architect of the March on Washington movement, which called for “jobs and justice,” for Black people. With this new development Black entrepreneurs have more opportunity to create those jobs.