Black-Owned Businesses in Lake County

The Black Community has deep roots in Lake County. The influence of African American culture is vibrant and resonates in all facets of tourism throughout the land of lakes. Black-owned businesses are the cornerstone of Lake County.

From delectable culinary cuisine to Afrocentric threads, to cultural landmarks and so much more, black entrepreneurship is an integral piece of the land of lakes.


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This young woman organized a march today and thousands showed up. #blacklivesmatter #peacefulprotest #grayslake #grayslakeillinois

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Visit Lake County stands in solidarity with the protest, while aiming to quell this ongoing conflict. As a leader in Lake County’s tourism industry, we strive to be a forum that showcases diversity and the African American community.

While we endure social inequality and still the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, let’s take a look at the black-owned businesses in Lake County.

This list does not include every black-owned business in Lake County, so if we missed any, let us know so we can add them!

Honey Bay’s BBQ

Experience Southern cooking right on Belvidere Street in Waukegan. Honey Bay’s BBQ is where soul food meets BBQ. Chef BBQ Johnson creates Southern cuisine in the heart of the Midwest from a rich family history of great cooking. The restaurant is known for their rib tips, jerk chicken and beef brisket and special sides like cheesy, baked mac n’ cheese, candied yams and red beans n’ rice. On weekends there are special offerings like oxtails, served with Honey Bay BBQ’s made from scratch gravy. As part of Soul Food Sunday, Honey Bay’s BBQ serves up specials like smothered pork chops and smothered chicken wings. All items are freshly prepared per order.

Everett Reynolds’ Art


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The City of Waukegan reigns supreme as the art capital of Lake County. Besides all of the murals in the area, the City of Progress has an extensive list of galleries and areas dedicated to all creative and cultivated mediums. Everett Reynolds has been an integral piece in the city creating much of artwork popping up around Waukegan. The artist sketched a piece called “Zira” on the side of Delia’s Day Care at 1208 Grand Avenue, and the Ray Bradbury-themed mural entitled “Dream Big.” The latter mural on the side of Zuniga Automotive Service and Towing on Belvidere Road. The mural is to instill the confidence and empowerment of children of color.

Dress Up & Dance! On the Move in Mundelein

This former Mundelein facility is the premier adult ballroom and Latin dance social club. Dress Up & Dance hosts festive events, workshops and lessons year-round. Whatever your dance moves may be, the foxtrot, the do si do, steppin’, “The Safety Dance,” “The Electric Slide,” get out to Dress Up & Dance! and bust a move and/or cut a rug! Unfortunately, they have closed their facility. However, the Mundelein-based black-owned business has reinvented itself as the new mobile dance club organization. Dancers gather, socialize and dance at remote indoor and outdoor venues in various locations for residents and tourists of Lake County and the Wisconsin area.

CAP Catering Banquets and Dining on Genesee


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CAP Catering Banquets and Dining on Genesee is a social enterprise by Community Action Partnership of Lake County. The 250-capacity venue located in the heart of downtown Waukegan has a spacious room that is ideal for conferences, meetings, weddings, reunions and other special events. CAP Catering has built a solid repertoire with their customers earning them approved vendor status with area country clubs and wedding venues. CAP Catering has made the commitment to provide employment and career opportunities in the culinary arts for Lake County residents.

Minuteman Press Libertyville

Minuteman Press Libertyville is a full-service print and marketing design company that offers a wide range of services to help grow any business. Their staff can assist with advertising projects from start to finish, utilizing the latest printing and document management technology. If needs to be printed then they can do it. From help with graphic designing to creating custom banners and marketing materials, Minuteman Press Libertyville does it all.

Dining at Black-owned Businesses


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We’re officially on Instagram now! #BigEds #BigEdsBBQ #Chicago #Barbeque

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Big Ed’s BBQ 
4030 Northpoint Blvd., Waukegan
Specialties: BBQ, brisket, rib tips, catfish, wings and more.

Dada’s Soul
1301 21st St., Zion
Specialties: Pork chops, chicken, catfish and sandwiches

6550 Grand Ave., Gurnee
Specialties: Chicken sandwiches, nuggets, wraps and sandwiches

Drip & Culture Co. 
2015 Grand Ave., Waukegan, inside Supermercado Gonzalez
Specialties: Coffee

Taste of Belize
2207 Grand Ave., Waukegan
Specialties: Belizean and Jamaican cuisine

C&J Gourmet Sandwiches
Mobile Kitchen; Originally in Zion
Specialties: BBQ, seafood, grilled pork chop and more.

Qu’s Place
3467 Sheridan Rd., Zion
Specialties: BBQ, wings, burgers, sandwiches, pizza and more.


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A small mild jerk catering order!

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Hillery’s Bar BQ
2021 N. Lewis Ave., Waukegan
Specialties: BBQ, chicken, catfish, hot links and ribs.

Superb Grill
4433 22nd Ave., Kenosha
Specialties: Ribs, fried chicken, catfish and brisket

Boonie Mac’s Shack
4527 Route 173, Zion
Specialties: BBQ pork, ribs and tips, is chicken and desserts.

Honey Bay’s Barbecue 
Specialties: Shrimp, brisket and ruin tips

Mama Jerk N Tings
29 N. Genesee St., Waukegan
Specialties: Jamaican cuisine and jerk chicken

Eggspress Cafe- Lindenhurst
453 U.S. Route 45, Lindenhurst
Specialties: American Restaurant with breakfast items such as omelets, crepes, and pancakes.

Smokin’ BBQ on 45
428 N. Lake St., Mundelein
Specialties: BBQ ribs, wings, catfish, smoked turkey and more.

Shopping at Black-owned Businesses


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Love this little cutie! #babyshowercake #babyshowerbling #sonolitossweetsboutique #beachparkil #lakecountyillinois

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Sonolito’s Sweets Boutique
Beach Park
Specialty cakes for all occasions

Deshon Wynn’s Concept Art & Illustrations
Round Lake
Masterclasses, Digital painting, Prints, Toon & Character Design

Alternative Art Etc.
104 S. Genesee St., Waukegan
Fine African American art, unique women’s fashion and accessories


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The Art of Gabriel Ajayi on display now at Alternative Art, Etc…

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Pope’s Florist
2202 Grand Ave., Waukegan
Flower arrangements, plants, gifts and collections

Urban Kettle
Beach Park
Hand Tossed Small Batch Kettle Corn

True G Fragrances
2923 Ezra Ave., Zion
Beauty products, perfume and cologne

Poparazzi Gourmet Treats
2823 Sunset Ave., Waukegan
Popcorn, candied nuts, pastries, pies, coffee and refreshing beverages

Black-Owned Services in Lake County

Smitty’s Construction LLC
Specialty: Interior and Exterior construction like kitchen and bath, basement and windows, decks, porches, garage, roof installation, door installation and solar power paneling.

Visiting Black-Owned Business

Helen & Sons at the Lake County Fairgrounds and Event Center

If you’ve never tasted Helen & Sons Old Fashioned Copper Kettle Fudge and Salt Water Taffy, you haven’t lived yet. These treats have been featured at the fair inside the expo center for 52 of the 91 years of the Lake County Fair’s existence. The fudges and taffy are made fresh for consumers daily.

Other Black-Owned Businesses in Lake County

Elite Striders Drill Team and Drum Corp
Mission: Providing mentoring, support, and leadership training for at-risk youth in Lake County, Illinois.

For more information on black-owned businesses not just pertaining to tourism, click here. For ways to support black businesses in Lake County and in the Land of Lincoln, continue here.

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