Restaurant aims to please with Soul Food fare
Head Chef Fernando Timberlake, 53, shows off 6978 Soul Food's peach cobbler Nov. 23 in Chicago. | Chandler West~For Sun-Times Media
Business: 6978 Soul Food
Location: 6978 W. North Ave. in Chicago
Hours: Noon to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday
Updated: December 30, 2012 6:16AM
ELMWOOD PARK — Whether stopping in for a drink, some good food and pleasant atmosphere, 6978 Soul Food aims to please.
The restaurant gets its name in part from its address: 6978 W. North Ave. in Chicago’s Galewood neighborhood. The restaurant is owned by Tina Kimbrough and Dorothy Williams and will be celebrating its one-year anniversary in December.
A mutual grandchild and a love of cooking brought the two entrepreneurs together, with Williams handling the majority of the cooking and Kimbrough handling the employees and daily administrative duties.
Williams said she has always loved cooking, and being one of 11 children in a big family, cooking was a way of life. She enjoys baking the most and claims her caramel cakes are worth the visit along with the collard greens.
Kimbrough, who grew up in Vicksburg, Miss., brought her family’s soul food recipes with her when she moved to Chicago in 1992 and is proud to say that none of the food they prepare comes out of a can.
“We pick all of the greens, peel all of the potatoes,” she said.
“We set the standard for the food we serve,” she said. “She (Williams) brings the flavor and I bring the niche.”
She proudly touts that their establishment has something most soul food restaurants don’t — a bar.
“The nightlife is great here,” she said. “People like to stop in and have a drink.”
Customers can also have that drink with lunch or dinner. Kimbrough said the fried catfish is popular, but they serve plenty of other options like smothered pork chops, smothered chicken, friend chicken, meat loaf, macaroni and cheese, pinto beans, mashed potatoes and much more. They also cater events and have a party room for private gatherings.
State Rep. Camille Lilly (D-78), frequents the restaurant, which is in her district, and enjoys the food. She recently brought her parents in for dinner.
“I wanted to show them the finer portions of my district,” she said.
Renay Sawyer, who works at a nearby salon, said the food is great, whether she is dining in or getting it to go.
She said once she tasted the restaurant’s gravy she was hooked.
“I never had gravy like that before,” she said. “The service is wonderful. The people are friendly. They make you feel like you are at home.”