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We’re shopping local this morning in the great neighborhood of Edgewater!  We have two video highlights of 6 spots we visited.

The full list of the places we visited today are below:

Waterfront Café

 The Waterfront Café Is located in Berger Park and is housed in a historic landmark coach house attached to one of the few remaining mansions that once lined Chicago’s Lakefront.  The Waterfront Cafe is located in Berger Park and part of the Chicago Park District’s Concession Program. For the past 10 years, we have leased the space from the park district.  We began operating (first four years) as The Dawghaus Cafe, a small hot dog shop.  Throughout the years, we have developed our menu, obtained a liquor license and now offer live entertainment five nights a week. Each year we also hold special dinner events where we feature a traditional menu and entertainment under the stars.   In 2016 we will present a Feria de Flamenco (July 11th) and a Hawaiian Luau (August).


Uncommon Ground Garden Rooftop

Uncommon Ground in Edgewater is home to the FIRST CERTIFIED ORGANIC ROOFTOP FARM IN THE COUNTRY!   Everything we produce gets used in the restaurant kitchen and bar. Producing a wide range of vegetables including a variety of beans, peas, heirloom tomatoes, peppers, radishes, greens and herbs as well as honey from a beehive, all of which is used on the menu in the restaurants. The groundbreaking farm sits on a 2500 square foot deck of recycled composite material, includes 28 cedar and steel-framed planter boxes and is bordered by 5 solar thermal panels to heat water for the restaurant.


Hasley Onstage

We talked to owner/designer Travis Halsey about his designs (beautiful, elaborate costumes, tutus that will be on display. They will also showcase the transformation costume, some of the tricks of the quick change. We will have costumes from Salt Creek ballets nutcracker.  They are in a Chicago suburb. We will also have a tutu designed for the Joffrey Ballet, and several from the YAGP international ballet competition.

About Halsey Onstage

At the Halsey Onstage studio in the bustling Edgewater neighborhood of Chicago, a creative approach and an artist’s eye produces world-class costume construction.

The shop is led by designer Travis Halsey, who has a diverse and expansive background in both design and the technical aspects of costume construction. Halsey graduated from the University of Nebraska at Omaha with a bachelor of fine arts in theater arts. For over fifteen years, he has designed and built costumes for ballet, opera, theater, circus arts, film, television, and many other forms of live performance that require the highest quality costuming.

Most recently, Halsey co-designed and constructed Act II of an underwater rendition of George Balanchine’s, A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Miami City Ballet. Halsey has constructed for Madonna’s Rebel Heart world tour under designer Arianne Phillips and brought to life the beautiful tutu renderings of William Ivey Long for the production, Little Dancer, which premiered at the Kennedy Center in late 2014.

We produce for ballet, opera, theatre, film, TV and circus arts.  We build many classical tutus. The flat ones. Our construction techniques for tutus are 100’s of years old and combine Russian and French methods.


Cygneture Woodworks

About Cygneture Woodworks

Cygneture Woodworks is dedicated to doing everything we can to recycle discarded lumber, by turning it into sturdy, useful & cool looking original furniture.

About Andrew Burden Swanson

Andrew is a carpenter, actor, playwright, producer and non profit administrator. He first became associated with construction and woodworking as a boy, but was reintroduced to it while building theatre sets over and over again. He began Cygneture Woodworks in the winter of 2014, and since that time, he has designed and built over 200 original reclaimed furniture pieces. He is also the Director of Community Engagement and a proud company member of Jackalope Theatre Company.

 Edgewater Workbench

 Edgewater Workbench is a 3D printing and laser cutting studio located in the Edgewater community on the northside of Chicago. In addition to providing these services to local designers, artists, businesses, and hobbyists, Edgewater Workbench also offers introductory classes in 3D design and printing. The studio is owned and operated by Edgewater couple Stuart Marsh and Ally Brisbin, and their furry sidekick Shopcat. Notable past projects for clients include 3D printing and cutting pieces for costumes worn by Madonna’s dancers in her most recent tour; battery enclosures for heart monitor prototypes for a team from University of Chicago; and live 3D printing demonstrations for the American Mosquito Control Association Conference in New Orleans.


Phoenix Bean

Sought out by celebrity chefs Stephanie Izard, Rick Bayless, Iron Chef Morimoto and Sarah Gruneburg. Phoenix Bean tofu products can be found at all Midwest Mariano’s, as the exclusive tofu in the cold bars at Whole Foods, as well as in the new vegan Eli’s cheesecake. Phoenix Bean has been a premier supplier of tofu to the Chicagoland area for more than 30 years. Our factory in the Edgewater neighborhood was one of the first local sources of fresh tofu, and began supplying local Chinese restaurants and Asian grocers. Each batch of tofu was handcrafted daily to ensure the freshness and authenticity demanded by an immigrant community longing for tastes of their homelands. The product line now includes more than 13 different types of soymilk, soft and firm tofu, and sprout products. We also sell a ready-to-eat spicy tofu stir fry and several tasty dipping sauces to make mealtime preparation easier.In our quest to produce better products for today’s consumer, we are making improvements that retain the authenticity and taste of our products, while improving our sustainable practices. After working extensively with a local farmer on soybean selection, we now exclusively use non-GMO soybeans naturally farmed in Illinois without chemicals and pesticides. Our new soybean cooking system uses filtered water and minimal processing. Combined with handcrafting and hygienic packaging, our fresh products retain high nutrition with no preservatives or pasteurization. We have also improved our operation to minimize our impact to the environment. Our factory now uses tankless water heaters to reduce our energy use. We are also looking to reuse our nutritious soybean pulp either as feed or fertilizer, or in tasty okara recipes, to help reduce our waste stream.