Nate Pendleton tried to make a go of it after the coronavirus shutdown put severe limits on his soul food restaurant on Chicago’s South Side; he was surviving with carryout orders and a shrunken staff. But the first weekend after the killing of George Floyd, a wave of unrest swept the city. Late-night looters broke the windows to Pendleton’s The New Look Restaurant at 2545 East 83rd St. and damaged the interior.
“That was another setback, so we had to close down, all the way down,” he said.
Pendleton’s 67-seat restaurant and bar was far from alone. Marquee businesses across the city were hit the same night, particularly on the South Side. The Jewel-Osco at 75th Street and Stony Island Boulevard was looted, along with Jeffrey Plaza at 2101 East 71st St., several Target stores and many others.
Target Corp. had already closed in 2019 two of its South Side outlets, including a large-format store in Chatham, a neighborhood near Pendleton’s restaurant. Those moves led some to fear major retailers could pull back from historically disadvantaged Black neighborhoods, and the multiple crises that…
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