CHICAGO — At the corner of Belmont Avenue and Sheffield Avenue in Chicago, what is now Milio’s Hair Salon, holds a lot of history.
It was once home to one of the hottest nightclubs in Chicago. Havana Madrid was responsible for bringing names like Celia Cruz and Tito Puente to the city. It was known for energizing the Latino community through music and dance.
It was around for a decade in the 1960’s at the 959 West Belmont address. But it had nearly been forgotten.
In 2017, playwright and actress Sandra Delgado revived its story through a musical titled after the club. She spent months doing research and eventually got in touch with the family of the club’s original owner, Luis Aloma, including his daughter Carolina Aloma Gibbs.
“My dad was the founder and owner of Havana Madrid,” she said. “He was the second Cuban baseball player to come over to the Chicago White Sox from Cuba.”
Their story has shed some light on the impact Latinos had on the Lakeview community in the 1960’s and beyond.