We are honoring all the strong and influential women business owners of Lakeview East in honor of Women’s history month! The women-owned businesses in Lakeview East all bring their unique talents and flare to Lakeview East. Read on to learn more about the owners, their experiences, and why they are an irreplaceable part of our community.

Ms. T’s Southern Fried Chicken – 3343 N. Broadway – Nita Tanner

Owner Nita Tanner AKA Ms. T, her southern Fried Chicken has become the go-to spot for delicious, southern-style cuisine. Ms. T can often be found behind the counter, making patrons smile with her hospitality & incredible comfort food. Ms. T’s has received numerous accolades and recognition for their continued success in the neighborhood. The only spot in town for some true southern comfort food made with lots of love!

Boho Blonde – 3740 N. Broadway – Emily Sparks

Emily Sparks just opened Boho Blonde Salon on Broadway this winter! Emily has spent years honing her colorist powers and has created a beachy, bohemian salon where the vibes are as great as the services. She specializes in blonding services, giving that perfect, sun kissed blonde that makes you look like you were born that way. Stop by this local salon and let Emily help you live your best blonde life.

Body Brite Med Spa – 2949 N. Broadway – Jenise Powell

Body Brite is a medical spa owned by Jenise Powell. Jenise has an eye for all things beautiful & helps others achieve their beauty goals through her vast knowledge of Med Spa services. This Lakeview East beauty boutique offers luxury skincare treatments at affordable MedSpa prices. Their mission is to help your beauty shine with an impeccable level of service. BodyBrite is dedicated to providing their clients with a diverse menu of services that will have you leaving feeling like your best self!

El Nuevo Mexicano – 2914 N. Clark Street – Maria Rodriguez

Originally owned by Elfego and Teresa Rodriguez in 1983, in 2004 was later passed on to their niece Maria Rodriguez. Maria has an eye for the artful, and before running her Aunt and Uncle’s restaurant, had a thriving stake in Chicago’s fashion, film, and photography industries. She has made quite some contributions to the success of the restaurant including, expanding three different times, updating the interior, and adding vegetarian and vegan options to the menu. This Mexican delight of a restaurant in some of the best food in Lakeview East!

Nola Bar & Kitchen – 3481 N. Clark – Sunny Lin

New Orleans might seem like a world away, but Nola Bar and Kitchen takes you right to some of the best Cajun and Creole dishes north of the Bayou. Sunny Lin helps to create an atmosphere that will quickly remind you of the French Quarter, be it Bourbon street or Clark street. Mardi Gras is everyday at Nola, with the hurricane cocktail on draft, and happy hour specials every day. You can’t forget the wonderful madness during Cubs games, and all the fans that are attracted to this spot right down the block from Wrigley field.

Chilam Bilam – 3023 N. Broadway – Soraya Rendon

Immigrating from Mexico to the United States, Soraya chased her dream to open a restaurant in Chicago. Her success is demonstrated through the many years Chilam Bilam has made it on the Michelin Bib Gourmand list. She is proud to run a sustainable restaurant, which also supports locally sustainable farmers, ranchers and purveyors. It’s a girl power squad over at the Chilam Bilam with executive chef Natalie Oswald, who was introduced to traditional Mexican cuisine while doing her externship at Frontera Grill and Topolobampo

Bottles Up! – 3164 N. Broadway – Melissa Zeman

Melissa’s goal was to open a wine shop that focuses on community. With one of the most affordable wine clubs in all of Chicago, she hit her goal allowing more people in the community to be able to participate. A unique concept to her shop is that the bottles are organized by use of color to indicate the weight or body of the wine. This allows for a pretty aesthetic of the wine bottles to be displayed and encourages people to try new things. Melissa is an adventurous business owner and often teams up with other local establishments to bring a rounded wine experience to the neighborhood and can often be found taking the lead for philanthropic causes.

Join Melissa for her Run for Rosé 5K on April 24th as a way to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Association and celebrate new vintage rosé releases.

Black and Capsian – 2908 N. Broadway – Leyla Khanahmad

With Leyla Khanahmad bringing her influence from Azerbaijan, carrying the legacy of the Caspian sea, and her partner Ahmet carrying the legacy of the Black Sea being from Turkey, they created the name Black & Caspian Wine Bistro. Their vision was to pair wine with Mediterranean cuisine, introducing a unique modern Mediterranean wine bistro concept to the world. Leyla is well traveled and speaks 5 languages, and her vast knowledge of culture and cuisine have helped make Black and Caspian the premier Mediterranean bistro of Lakeview East

Trader Todd’s – 3216 N. Sheffield – Virginia Carstarphen

Virginia Carstarphen has contributed to creating this iconic karaoke staple in Lakeview East. Priding herself in creating a fun and welcoming environment for all, this tropical themed spot does not disappoint. Whether you come for Island drinks, or stay to sing your heart out, Virginia has created memories for thousands of Chicagoans throughout the years. Virginia is also heavily involved in Room 13 and Old Chicago Inn, which helps out of town visitors have a home away from home when they visit Lakeview East and Wrigleyville.

Bittersweet – 1114 W. Belmont – Esther Griego & Mindy Gohr

Esther and Mindy took over Bittersweet from Judy Contino after 23 years. Their goal has been to be more flexible with the customers and work with their needs. They have adjusted recipes to accommodate vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free requests. They have found huge success, serving big customers like the Chicago Cubs, Oprah, and Michael Jordan. This true European style bakery prepares its treats from scratch and with all-natural ingredients.

The Colette Collection – 2858 N. Clark St – Lauren Rubbelke

Lauren Rubbelke decided to turn her side hustle selling hand-made items on Etsy for several years, into a brick and mortar store back in 2016. The Colette Collection has turned into more than just a boutique but a community that engages customers through virtual events and Facebook live sales. Colette Collection is proud to have something for every women ages 5 to 95. With personally curated items, local artisan jewelry, and absolutely impeccable style, The Collette Collection has made their slice of Clark Street truly come alive with their lively, welcoming atmosphere.

Blink and Polish Nails – 3356 N. Broadway– Linh Lu

Linh Lu is proud to represent the Asian-American and pacific islander culture as a women business owner in Lakeview East. The atmosphere at Blink and Polish is relaxed with a pink chic vibe. Natural products are important to them and natural nails so there is no acrylic odor. A few of the services provided are manicure, pedicure, no-chip and dip manicure. There is also a lash and brows bar that offers facial waxing and lash lifts. Linh has found immense success in Lakeview East, with every night in the nail salon filled with regulars and new comers alike that return for the warm hospitality Lihn has created.

Get Nail’d –3131 N. Broadway – Vyvy Tran

Vyvy is the proud owner of Get Nail’d. With her salon providing expert technique and top of the line products, every treatment is of the highest quality. This one stop destination, rather it be for nails, waxing, or spa treatments, creates a beauty experience all in one. Many days you’ll find her helping customers herself, working on nail art, or building her second location in the city after the immense success she has had in Lakeview East.

Inkling – 2917 ½ N. Broadway – Stephanie Keller

Owner Stephanie Keller, who started off selling her own work to shops across the country, opened Inkling in 2010. She later decided she wanted to open up her own gift shop and display some of the amazing artist work she met well participating in craft fairs, and during her studies at Colombia College. At Inkling there is a wide array of fun items, from quirky gifts, candles to stickers, housewares, hand crafted artisan jewelry, and silly greeting cards. Stephanie Keller noted that even if your not looking to buy a gift, her shop is perfect for replacing your stress and worries with an overload of cuteness

Choc Choc Cosmetics – 3127 N. Broadway – Leah Kim

If you translate Choc Choc in Korean it means well-moisturized skin, which is exactly what Leah Kim has created Choc Choc to be all about. Leah Kim is proud to be ahead of the game, using Korean cosmetics 10 years ahead of skincare trends in the US, made with all natural ingredients. Choc Choc handpicks all their products in order to create a wide variety of options that cater towards your specific skincare needs. Leah is a maverick in the Korean skincare business and is always on the forefront of new skincare trends.

Les Fleurs Du Mal – 915 W. Belmont – Naomi Schitkovitz

The name Les Fleurs Du Mal is inspired by Charles Baudelaire’s famous poetry. Described as a mysterious essence of earth and design, combined to provide a collection of fragrance and floral artistry. Naomi notes that Charles’s book of poems tested and tempted the culture and societal norms in the 19th century when it came to women’s sensuality. The influence of the business name is very apparent in the design of the shops and floral arrangements. Naomi’s floral shop offers many different services like floral bouquets, potted plants, and floral design services for events, as well as she designs rooftop gardens and planters, and can also do custom orders! She prides herself on being both a Woman & Jewish owned small business in Lakeview East!

Plant Stand Collective – 3247 N. Broadway – Maria Guasso

What was supposed to be a temporary pop-up, became so successful it turned into the permanent Plant Stand Collective over on Broadway you see today! Maria started her plant journey selling at farmer’s markets. Later in Chicago she would set up pop-ups at local restaurants and empty storefronts. Maria loves supporting local artists, as she currently has 38 vendors at a time, with a long list of new vendors to be added. As a Latina and Women business owner, she is a big supporter of the Latinx community, supporting Latina artists at Plant Stand Collective whenever possible. Her love of supporting the community is shown through featuring a plant of the week at her store and a profit of what’s sold goes towards a group called Feeding People Through Plants which raises money for the Greater Chicago Food Depository.

De La Vie Day Spa – 3120 N. Sheffield– Emilija Vulovic

De La Vie Day Spa customizes every treatment to meet your needs and desires. With the finest amenities, it makes it so easy to renew and revitalize your spirit, mind, and body at this spa. The vision Emilija has for her spa is to create an experience leaving your skin and body to feel healthy, and beautiful by using top tier products for the well-being of the customers. At De La Vie Day Spa they take extra time to really understand each customer’s body and educate them on their skin’s needs. The services here range from so many different types of facials, waxing, spray tans, nail treatments, maderotherapy, and peels.

2D Restaurant – 3155 N. Halsted – Vanessa Thanh Vu

This unique spot is an immersive and interactive 2 dimensional comic artopia. Having an Asian fusion menu, Pon De Ring donuts, and Phin coffee are some menu highlights. Vanessa created the 2D restaurant along with her husband Kevin Yu. They worked closely with artist Mia Laron to create this café meets fantasy world vibe. Don’t forget to wear your cutest café look for all the instagrammable moments this café provides.

Houndstooth Saloon – 3369 N. Clark – Stephanie Cook

Stephanie is well experienced in the restaurant industry being that she’s worked in the service industry her entire life. As a Chicago native, and Lakeview local, she influences Houndstooth’s community to act as a big happy family. Koda, Stephanie’s dog is the official mascot of Houndstooth, with the patio being dog friendly and treats always left out, Koda encourages all dogs to come hang with her at Houndstooth Saloon. Houndstooth is known for its award winning burger with their special sauce (black garlic aioli), southern comfort style menu, and being featured in the iconic Chicago movie the Untouchables.

The Closet – 3325 N. Broadway – Rose Pohl & Judy Petrouski

The Closet is a women owned, women-oriented bar with incredible, fair priced drinks, and tons of entertainment. Originally established for a place where women could proudly drink and be themselves, but later became a popular destination for gay men as well. The Closet’s busiest night of the year is at their annual pre-new year’s eve bash which features a different theme every year. What makes this destination so popular for over the past three decades is it’s the place to be for post-softball game drinks for the local lesbian leagues, video bowling, darts, bingo, and tons of other games. Rose and Judy are proud to create a friendly, fun, and safe bar environment where everyone becomes family.

Wake-N-Bakery – 3508 N. Broadway – Brianna Banks

Brianna opened up Wake-N-Bakery with the intentions of normalizing full spectrum hemp, which lead to her creating a way to normalizing all hemp. Wake-n-Bakery became the first bakery in the country to sell real THC infused products. Brianna is setting the bar for all women in cannabis. All their hemp products come from a local grower and processor in Illinois, and food products from local dairy suppliers and fair trade tea and coffee. The menu is constantly featuring new items like THC infused pizza, infused holiday pies around Thanksgiving, and everyday items like fresh squeezed lemonade, fresh baked edibles like muffins, cookie dough, scones, rice crispy treats, and lattes.

Wake ‘N Bacon – 420 W. Belmont – Sarah Ayala

Sarah and her husband Gabriel have had much success in the restaurant industry, previously owning Dragonfly Mandarin in the West Loop. Now running this brunch spot with Filipino and Chinese flavors and options to infuse CBD into the meals. Their goal was to set themselves apart from other brunch spots nearby by creating a menu that influences each of their cultural backgrounds. Some popular items from their menu include the adobo philly dip, cocorazz stuffed French toast, and Halo Halo Chia Chia.

Joy’s Noodles and Rice – 3257 N. Broadway – Lalita Nivasnanda

Lalita took over her family business that has been a neighborhood staple for decades! Joy’s Noodles and Rice to be a simple, convenient, fast and friendly experience in a diner interior. The food is simple Asian fare with plenty of choices to choose from like noodles, curry or rice dishes. This local spot always has some of the best staple noodle dishes that you can count on to be tasty every time you visit!

Musashiya Ramen – 2938 N. Broadway – Yan

Yan opened Musashiya Ramen in 2021 and it has quickly become a local favorite because of all the hard work she puts in to welcome every customer. The dishes are all made with extra care and attention to detail. While the shop is small, Yan makes Musashiya the ultimate date night spot with their cozy, intimate space and her tasty, authentic recipes.

Bae Coffee Co – 2945 N. Broadway – Alicia Zyburt

Alicia and her partner Devon are the creators behind Bae Coffee Company, which for those non-millennials don’t know stands for before all else. They have a passion for warm beverages, good causes, and café society which all inspired bae coffee. The ingredients used are fair-wage green beans and mindful roast profiles to create a balanced and intricate experience. Alicia understands that coffee is self care, so coffee should always be good. Their success took off when they first started selling wholesale product, and decided opening up a store would be the next move and have exponentially grown since opening their brick and mortar store on broadway this past winter!

La Biznaga – 3555 N. Broadway – Maria “Chayo” Gonzalez

Maria is a powerful Latin women, who co-owns La Biznaga. The goal for this spot is to create healthy, tasty and creative dishes in a place that offers good vibes and comfort for all. Her values for La Biznaga; passion, openness and community create the most encouraging environment for all to enjoy authentic Mexican dishes. You’ll often see her big jeep right in front of the business, as she is in the shop day in and day out to deliver some of the freshest quality food to the neighborhood! Her newsletter is filled with local musings, fun banter, and really shows her dedication to her business.

Jennivee’s Bakery – 3301 N. Sheffield – Jenni Vailoces

Jenni Vee immigrated from the Philippines to the United states, she started as a passionate home baker and later founded Jennivee’s bakery. Her dream was to showcase traditional American and Filipino cakes and pastries. Proudly LGBTQ+ and women owner, this small business has driven tons of success. With late night hours, customers can enjoy a slice of cake and coffee after a night out on the town or long day at work. In addition to offering cakes by the slice, cupcakes, cookies, and brownies, custom orders can be done for special occasions. Her passion for fun, unique flavors make locals come back time after time.

XO Salon and Spa- 3428 N. Broadway – Rani Yousefzai

Dr. Rani Yousefzai has more than twenty years of experience in the field of health care leading first-rate medical institutions to success. With Doctorates degrees in Wellness Studies focusing on preventative medicine, Healthcare Administration and Home Health, Motivational Speech, and Community Development as well as a Masters degree in Healthcare Administration, a degree in nursing from CMK, and a Bachelors from Illinois Institute of Art, she has gone on to build an empire of 10 businesses and has brought her expertise in beauty services to XO Salon and Spa in February of 2022 with new ownership of this local salon. Lakeview East is so excited to see all the great beauty expertise Rani will provide!

Bark By The Park- 2936 N. Clark St. – Nicky Figueroa

Nicky opened Bark by The Park back in 2015. After graduating from Loyola University studying marketing and visual communications, Nicky had different experiences in retail operations, non-profit, and pet care. She fell in love with all the animals well volunteering at PAWS Chicago which later inspired her desire to start her own pet business. To kick off the start of her business she appeared at pop ups and local festivals. Today, Bark By The Park is a very successful business which focuses on quality/unique products, exceptional customer service, and personalized pet care!

Salon Blue- 2915 N. Sheffield – Mary King + Katrina L

Mary King + Katrina hold true to their core mantra since they’ve been opened in 1993. With their manta being beauty equals confidence which equals power. These powerful women are highly trained in all beauty services. The boutique also offers haircare, skincare, make up, and hand picked scarves and jewelry!