East Rogers Park

East Rogers Park

In the latter decades of the 20th Century East Rogers Park was considered one of the country’s
most diverse areas. The population held a mix of African Americans, Latinos, Asians and
Caucasians. This was the case in the 1980s through 2000, when the spread of gentrification
caught up to the neighborhood and began to change its landscape in more ways than one.

As developers converted apartments and older buildings into new condominiums, many
minority residents left for more affordable housing. Local organizations have done their part
to nurture a sense of community and maintain a balanced lifestyle between newcomers and
existing residents. Despite the recent changes in demographics, East Rogers Park is still a very
multicultural community with much to offer the visiting out-of-towner.

In summer, there’s no better spot to enjoy the warm weather than at one of East Rogers Park
beaches. The neighborhood is lucky enough to have prime lakeside property with a string of
sandy beaches and public parks hugging the shoreline. Among these is Loyola Beach, which
spans the lengths of eight blocks and has a slew of sports facilities, including baseball diamonds
and basketball courts. North Shore Beach also draws crowds of outdoor enthusiasts and active
East Rogers Parkers. The beach here continues from Loyola Beach, but this recreation site also
offers an open-air exercise center, beach volleyball and grills for BBQ.

There are tons of excellent places to grab a bite in East Rogers Park. Heartland Café is one of
the city’s most notable vegetarian restaurants, but this tofu-slinging eatery offers more than a
heart-healthy menu. The East Rogers Park institution has built a culture around its good-times
attitude and wholesome food, which has evolved into a virtual compound of social activism and
community entertainment. The sprawling location harbors a general store, theater, live radio
show, publication house, athletic center, beach stand, political events venue, several pubs/taps
and the main café. Whew!

With many young Loyola University co-eds living in the neighborhood, East Rogers Park is not for
lack of happening watering holes. The main streets are lined with local taverns, trendy lounges
and themed bar and grills. The hotspots are scattered about East Rogers Park, instilling the
neighborhood with a lively streak of nightlife and energy. Stars Inn on Clark Street is a hidden
gem for fans of Latin dance and culture. Salsa and Meringue dominate the club on weekend
nights and you can often find a soccer game on the TV during the day.

The Red Line “L” provides convenient public transportation in East Rogers Park. The train runs
right through the middle of the neighborhood on its way south to the downtown Loop and beyond.
There are four stops, at Howard, Jarvis, Morse and Loyola.