Ivory Dental Specialists is committed to providing quality affordable dental services on the South Side of Chicago. Available offerings span from general preventative care to braces and other orthodontic services. Ivory Dental is the only multi-office orthodontic and dental practice in Chicago owned by an African-American female. Founder, Dr. Bonciel Griffin-Burress, is a native Chicagoan who grew up on the South and West sides of Chicago. She is a second generation orthodontist, and spends her time educating others and improving the smiles of her patients in the community in which she serves.

Neighborhood Opportunity Fund Grant Provides Critical Resources

Dr. Griffin-Burress had a dream of expanding her practice to provide access to dental care in underserved areas. Utilizing the Neighborhood Opportunity Fund (NOF), she developed a vacant property into her new dental practice location with an adjoining coffee shop, Afro Joe’s. Her brother, Kendall Griffin, operates the coffee shop. Per an interview in Block Club Chicago, the impetus for starting Afro Joe’s was that he “was tired of going to the North Side or Hyde Park to find a coffee shop…why not Auburn Gresham? Every community deserves to have a coffee shop in walking distance.”

The awarded $250,000 NOF grant provided the financial resources to transform previously unused space into a community hub and critical health service provider. NOF funds were used for plumbing and electrical updates, HVAC, interior buildout, masonry repairs, a new exterior facade with windows, and the construction of a new parking lot. The total cost marks the largest completed project to date for the grant program.

“We believe in the people in the Auburn Gresham community,” said Griffin-Burress. “We are glad that we were able to invest our dollars along with the City of Chicago through the NOF, to provide optimal consumer services in the heart of the South Side.”

Ivory Dental Specialists & Afro Joe’s are Open for Business:

Ivory Dental Specialists is open and accepting patients. Visit https://www.ivorydentalspecialists.com/ or call (773) 530 – 2250 to set up an appointment. Afro Joe’s continues to operate in accordance with COVID-19 guidelines, offering curbside and take-away services. Visit https://www.afrojoes.com/ to access hours of operations and cafe offerings.

Learn More About the Neighborhood Opportunity Fund

The City of Chicago Neighborhood Opportunity Fund 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. 

Applications for the next round of NOF grant funding will open in the spring of 2021. 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 program.