Published in the "Best of the South Side" issue of Chicago's South Side Weekly. Edited by Mari Cohen.
Mr. G’s Supper Club and Entertainment Center
Hundredth birthday party? Motorcycle party? Party bus? Wedding, fundraiser, reception? There’s a good chance that Mr. G’s can host it, and has proven so several times over. And there’s a good chance that residents of the mid- and far-South Sides know it.
“It’s a big place around here,” says Dee Moore, as she and her husband Phil head inside for a wedding. “Big in the neighborhood, that is.”
Located at the busy corner of 87th and Ashland, Mr. G’s, open since 1990, is simple from the outside—long, windowless, and beige. When asked why customers keep coming back, Geron Linton, manager of Mr. G’s and son of its owner, says simply: “Good business: Good service. Good food. Good facilities.” Indeed, in contrast to its exterior, Mr. G’s interior veritably simmers with light and linens. An electric guitarist warms up across the hall. “And great music,” Geron adds.
The younger Linton looks like he is in his twenties and speaks softly. But for the last fifteen years, he has been immersed in all it takes to keep up that good work. He started in custodial, and today has risen to general manager.
Not halfway through his tenure, on February 15, 2006, he met his business’s biggest challenge yet. Early in the morning, the Englewood Fire Alarm Office was alerted to light smoke from the rear of his facilities. Within hours, a three-alarm fire had destroyed Mr. G’s. Details bedeviled recovery. Customers had to be refunded; insurance was limited. “But God was good,” Linton stresses. “We were able to rebuild and everything.”
And of course, the public has kept up business, so much that Linton would like to expand to meet demand—currently, there isn’t enough space to accommodate everyone. He already has three rooms, with capacities between fifty and 250; and unlike a nightclub, he hosts events up to seven days a week. Plus, even when business cools, he offers community benefits—most recently, a block party. But he would still like to be able to serve even more South Siders. “We have our slower months, you know, up and down. But God is good.”
Mr. G’s Supper Club and Entertainment Center, 1547 W. 87th Street. Events close: Sunday–Friday, 1:30am; Saturday, 2:30am. Office open: Tuesday–Saturday, 10am–2pm; Sunday and Monday, closed. (773) 445-2020. mrgssupperclub.net
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