Belmont Cragin Neighborhood
Belmont Cragin is a Chicago neighborhood
with a rich and diverse history thanks to its substantial immigrant population. The area is known for its convenient location
and attractive, affordable housing. By day, residents enjoy the beautiful Riis Park playgrounds, trails, and walkable city
streets. By night, the party life flourishes in Belmont Cragin’s bars and dance clubs.
Belmont Cragin is located on the west side of Chicago,
8 miles northwest of the Loop. It is bordered by Austin on the south, Galewood on the southwest, Montclaire on the west, Dunning
on the northwest, Portage Park to the north, Irving Park to the northeast, and Hermosa to the east.
With over 40% of its houses
dating before 1939, Belmont Cragin offers many historical and unique properties for homebuyers.
originated from a saloon called Whiskey point in 1835.
Population (2000)- Total 78,144
Cragin grew its roots around 1835 when George Merril began operating a saloon out of his home at Armitage and Grand Avenue.
The saloon became very popular among produce trucks transporting goods into the city and was known as Whiskey Point. in 1882,
Cragin Brothers and Company moved their tin and sheet iron processing company near Whiskey Point. The 11-acre factory was
so expansive that Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul Railroad built a station at Leclaire to service its employees. Thus, industry
boomed, the population rose, and the town of Cragin was born.
The neighborhood attracted an influx of immigrants
in 1922 when W. F. Hall Printing Company built its plant near the railroad line. Swedish, German, and Irish workers flocked to the area and were
later followed by Polish and Italian workers. Even today, Cragin maintains a rich and diverse environment true to its immigrant
Popular Belmont Cragin home styles include bungalows, Cape Cods, and two-flats.
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The Milwaukee District Metra line offers convenient stops at Hanson Park and Grand/Cicero. The CTA Blue Line offers a Belmont Blue Line stop, and CTA bus route 21 also offers stops in Cragin.
Avenue and Grand Avenue provide easy driving access to the Chicago Loop and the suburbs.
Belmont Cragin is
served by District 299.
Laughlin Falconer School- 3020 North Lamon Avenue (773) 534-3560
Belmont Cragin School- 2456 North Mango Avenue (773) 534-2900
Mary Lyon School- 2941 North McVicker Avenue (773)
Foreman High School- 3235 North Leclaire Avenue (773) 534-3400
St. Patrick High School- 5900 West Belmont Avenue (773)
Notre Dame High School- 3000 North Mango Avenue (773) 622-9494
Belmont Cragin is a hot spot for Chicago nightlife!
From classic bars to corner pubs to all-night dance clubs, residents have many options for evening entertainment.
New Polonia Club Inc. on 6101 West Belmont Avenue (773) 237-8330 is a friendly Eastern European-style corner bar. New Polonia
offers a wide selection of top-notch Polish and Czech brews as well as hearty pierogi platters.
If you love cheap
drinks, dancing, throbbing music, and the fog machine, Jedynka Club on 5616 West Diversey Avenue (773) 889-7171 is the ideal night-spot! The club is beloved by locals for
its Ladies Night, purportedly one of the hottest in town. Jedynka also offers a popular Retro Dance Night every Sunday.
Converted from a rundown old bowling alley, Martini Club on 3124 North Central Avenue (773) 622-9444 is now one of Chicago’s boldest nightclubs. With its
high-hammered ceiling and sexy reddish lighting, Martini Club’s atmosphere is true to its European club roots. The club
offers a dancing and delicious food long into the night.
Aguijon Theater (2707 North Laramie Avenue, 773-637-5899) was established in
1999 by performers from Truman College and other locations. The theater is committed to promoting the works
of Spanish and Latin American playwrights such as Mario Vargas Llosa and Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz.
With its substantial
Hispanic and Eastern European populations, Belmont Cragin is an excellent neighborhood for ethnic dining. The area features
numerous fine offerings in a variety of price ranges.
Rolf’s Patisserie (2634 North Laramie
Avenue, 773-804-0400) is a chic European-style bakery with incredible pastries. Locals especially recommend the key lime tarts
and butter cookies. Rolf’s is also the go-to place for special cakes and catering. In fact, they recently created a
beautiful cake for an Oprah show on weddings and catered the wedding of Winfrey’s producer!
D’Cuba (5653 West Fullerton Avenue, 773-237-0900) is classy but cozy restaurant that serves authentic Cuban
cuisine. In addition to delicious empanadas and perfectly seasoned seafood, D’Cuba offers great Cuban music and a welcoming
For a cheap, home-style meal that sticks to the ribs, it’s hard to beat Starapolska
Restaurant (5249 West Belmont Avenue, 773- 736-5386). Customers can fill their plate for a mere $4.95! The Polish-style
buffet includes mouth-watering pierogis, potato pancakes, and stuffed cabbage. Diners on the run can purchase Strarpolska’s
frozen or take-out pierogis by the pound.
Lutnia (5532 West Belmont Avenue, 773-282-5335)
is a more upscale Polish restaurant for date nights and dressy occasions. Gourmands will enjoy the roast goose with sauerkraut,
roasted pheasant, and the tableside flambé. A classical pianist provides the perfect ambience for a romantic evening.
Riis Park on 6110 West Fullerton Avenue (312) 746-5363 offers 57-acres of green space for recreation and relaxation.
The park includes two playgrounds, a swimming and splash pool, 10 tennis courts, three volleyball courts, two basketball courts,
and an oval track for runners. With its bike path and lush lagoon area, Riis Park provides a natural oasis in an urban setting.
The park also offers free Movies in the Park from June 18th to September 10th. Over 160 movies are shown each summer starting at dusk, or 7:45 pm.
specialize in these Chicago neighborhoods;
cragin area, Jefferson Park, Hermosa Area, Albany Park, Austin Area, Humbolt Park, Logan Square, Rogers Park, Irving Park,
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