Reports claim that approximately 40 percent of Black-owned businesses have failed during COVID-19, however, there are many businesses that are still thriving like the popular restaurant in Chicago, The Soul Shack, owned by Keisha Rucker. A Hyde Park native, Keisha explains, “The support from my community has been amazing from the first day we opened our door. From my school alumni to The University of Chicago Hospital staff, The Hyde Park Chambers, our Aldermen Sophia King, and all the great residence in my City that supports The Soul Shack.” 

Just celebrating its one-year anniversary, Keisha was inspired to open the restaurant because of the family tradition of cooking like many Black families. “Southern food is my family’s favorite. Learning how to cook is a tradition in my family.  My great grandmother taught my grandmother, she taught my mother and they all taught me,” Keisha exclaims. Now, she shares this sacred tradition in the community where she was raised.

Although the pandemic definitely put The Soul Shack on hold during the height, the establishment reopened when it was safe and will continue to push through these turbulent times. The Soul Shack exemplifies how many Black owned businesses are determined to remain open, serve its community, and pivot during COVID-19 through good food and public relations.

For more information, check out The Soul Shack website.


Featured Image by Adam Taylor