2022 Chicago Auto Show attendees sample delicious treats at black and brown owned restaurants

CHICAGO (WLS) — People attending the Chicago Auto Show on Friday got to sample great food at some of Chicago’s black and brown-owned restaurants.

Savor, McCormick Place’s foodservice operator, is behind this tasting experience.

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“Even if they don’t see us here or there, they’re ‘where are the churros? Where are you?'” Yeltzin Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez’s parents started Mimi’s Churros with a small churro warmer 40 years ago. Now it’s a business with carts in McCormick Place and elsewhere.

“With everything going on, it’s a good time to come, walk, buy churros,” she said.

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Savor Chicago is in charge of restaurant vendors at the convention center and this year, due to COVID, food vendors are more dispersed than in previous years. But not too far from Mimi’s is Robinson’s Ribs.

“Get down, buy cars and buy food, most importantly,” Charlie Robinson said.

The president and CEO of Robinson’s said he sees people spending more consciously.

“They want to spend their money on minority-owned businesses for Black History Month,” he said. “In that sense, we had a lot of special restaurant jobs because of Black History Month.”

Savor Chicago is working to attract more minority-owned restaurateurs.

“I’m thrilled,” said Josephine Wade of Josephine’s Southern Cooking. “It’s new opportunities and new ideas. And we’ve paid our dues.”

Wade started with Savor three years ago. On Friday, they were working on menus for upcoming conventions. She is looking forward to seeing more restaurants represented.

“When we work, we move the economy,” Wade said. “We keep jobs and opportunities in our community.”

The Chicago Auto Show runs from February 12-21, with hours from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day except the final day, which runs from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors 62 and older, $10 for children 4-12, and children 3 and under are free when accompanied by an adult paying.

Masks are mandatory for all participants aged 2 and over, except when eating or drinking. Proof of COVID vaccination is not required for admission, but is required for designated dining areas.

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