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Fire Destroys Belmont Snack Shop, the 25-Year-Old Avondale Diner

Plus, a Black-owned Bronzeville restaurant gets a shoutout during the Chicago Bears game

Belmont Snack Shop
Belmont Snack Shop opened in 1995.
Belmont Snack Shop [Official Photo]

A fire erupted Thursday night gutting Belmont Snack Shop, a 25-year-old diner in Avondale. Authorities say no one was hurt as loyal customers gathered to watch the 24-hour restaurant burn. The Chicago Fire Department has yet to release what caused the fire at 3407 W. Belmont Avenue.

The blaze appears to have started on the second floor in the residences above the restaurants, according to the fire department. The fire was under control by 8:25 p.m., but not before displacing four upstairs from the space.

Known for affordable meals, in an area that was once mostly industrial before restaurants like Honey Butter Fried Chicken, Parachute, and Kuma’s Corner began popping up nearby As Chicago journalist A.J. LaTrace, a long time snack shop customer, notes, it’s been a turbulent few years for the restaurant. A string of staff deaths, for various reasons, hit the restaurant in succession.

While a damage report is not yet available, the scene on Thursday night did not provide much hope. Stay tuned for updates.

And in other news...

— Black-owned soul food restaurant Pearl’s Place in Bronzeville received national attention Thursday night. The Bronzeville restaurant was featured in an ad during the Chicago Bears game on Fox as part of a national effort to encourage football fans to order from Black-owned restaurants, according to a news release. In the ad, Pearl’s employees in white chef’s coats and masks cook and lay out tablecloths in the dining room, apparently in anticipation of customers. “We’ve always prided ourselves on supporting the community, we hire from within” a voiceover intones. “We feel a responsibility to both sides of the table: we’re serving our guests and we’re taking care of these folks who work for us.”

An upscale spot that features Southern specialties for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Pearl’s is especially popular for desserts like sweet potato pie. Support for Black-owned restaurants soared around Juneteenth as protests against systemic racism and police brutality swept the country, and now some companies are trying to help keep these businesses in the spotlight. Thursday’s ad was sponsored by Bud Light and restaurant directory app EatOkra.

— McDonald’s headquarters in West Loop is slated to sell for over $430 million in a pending deal that would be the biggest for a downtown office in two years, according to Crain’s. An as-yet-unannounced company based in Pittsburgh is finalizing the purchase of the fast food giant’s 575,000-square-foot office at 110 N. Carpenter Street. Owners Sterling Bay and JPMorgan Asset Management put the building up for sale in February. It was previously part of Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Studios campus. The building not only houses McDonald’s Hamburger University training facility, but also Politan Row food hall.

— Family-owned Triple Crown Restaurant in Chinatown is teaming up with up with veteran Chicago bartender Carlos Matias (Kasama, Band of Bohemia) on a unique boozy meal for four that’s a partnership with a packaged cocktail company. Each meal includes jalapeño beef, moo shu vegetable, garlic broccoli, chicken fried rice, white rice, vegetable spring rolls, and a Party Can that contains 12 “triple spice” margaritas for $79.99. The special is available for dine-in, carryout, and delivery via Grubhub or by calling the restaurants (312) 842-0088.

— Michelin-starred West Loop restaurant Sepia has brought on Lauren Terrill (Homestead on the Roof, Boka Restaurant Group) as executive pastry chef, according to a news release. A graduate of Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, Terrill began her career at popular French cafe Le Diplomate in Washington D.C. For her first task at Sepia, she’s launched a pie to-go program that features whole, seasonal pies available for pickup weekly. Recent flavors include tart cherry and bourbon peach crumble.

Belmont Snack Shop

3407 W Belmont Ave, Chicago, IL 60618 (773) 293-6100

Pearl's Place

3901 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60653 (773) 285-1000 Visit Website

Politan Row

2445 Times Boulevard, , TX 77005 (713) 489-2546 Visit Website


123 North Jefferson Street, , IL 60661 (312) 441-1920 Visit Website

Triple Crown Restaurant

2217 South Wentworth Avenue, , IL 60616 (312) 842-0088 Visit Website

Harpo Studios

110 N Carpenter St, Chicago, IL 60607 (312) 633-1000