On Saturday, Osito’s Tap Speakeasy celebrated it’s grand opening. This marks the first bar to open in Little Village in decades – an opportunity for local residents to enjoy craft drinks and food in their own neighborhood. The establishment describes itself as “a community oriented bar bringing a modern Latin flair to a classic Chicago vibe.”

The owner of Osito’s, Mike Moreno Jr. and his family operate Moreno Liquors, a 42 year old community business serving Little Village residents. Moreno chose to expand upon that existing business and create a place for his family, friends and neighbors to enjoy a drink without having to travel to a different neighborhood.

Getting to this point took widespread support from the community and its local leaders. Block Club Chicago provides additional background on the journey to Osito’s Grand Opening.

“This project is from a group of people who have been here for a very long time, who’ve been doing business in the community for a very long time, who know the neighborhood very very well, and are interested in catering to the neighborhood,” Ald. Michael Rodriguez (22nd) said. “I support that.”

You can read the full article in Block Club Chicago here.

Osito’s Tap also benefited from the City of Chicago Neighborhood Opportunity Fund, which generates revenue from downtown developments to finance community and culture projects in local neighborhoods. Administered by SomerCor, NOF grants are for commercial property acquisition, improvement or new construction and can range up to $250,000. Moreno utilized an NOF grant to support the construction of the 1000 square foot establishment, from demolition to new structural needs, interior buildout, electrical, HVAC and plumbing work.

Applications for round four of the Neighborhood Opportunity Fund will open in January of 2020. If you have a vision to strengthen the commercial corridors in Chicago’s South, Southwest and West Sides, click here to learn more about the City of Chicago Neighborhood Opportunity Fund.