Oooh Wee It Is Soul Food Restaurant Expands To Wicker Park And Beverly This Fall
WICKER PARK – A popular South Side restaurant offering ‘soul food with a twist’ is coming to Wicker Park.
Oooh Wee It Is opens November 15 at the Old Angry Pig Tavern, 2039 W. North Ave.
The restaurant menu will include items such as jerk chicken tips and roasted cupcakes, as well as a huge cereal bar with over 100 varieties.
Oooh Wee It Is opened its first location last fall in the southern suburbs of Burnham, followed by an expansion to the old Mather’s Cafe in Chatham in February.
Co-owner Mark Walker says Wicker Park offers a challenge to “go against the grain” and attract new customers.
“We’ve done market research in this area… and there aren’t a lot of restaurants like ours,” said Walker, who operates Oooh Wee It Is with his wife Shae. “We figured the Wicker Park area would be a great place to plant our feet at this point. So North Avenue and Damen, I don’t think they know what’s coming yet.
The new location will feature unique tickets, bands and DJs, board games and more.
“We will of course be adding new things to appeal to the neighborhood and the demographics as well,” Walker said. “We’re planning on making lobster and jerk chicken tarts, where we actually bring them to your table in a toaster oven. … We make oxtail sliders over there that we don’t do anywhere else.
Walker first entered the restaurant industry in 2014, when he started selling homemade sweet tea at Harold’s Chicken on 87th Street near Dan Ryan.
He has since expanded the tea business, the success of which prompted the Walkers to open their restaurant amid the pandemic. So far, the decision has paid off.
“We haven’t even been open for a year. And I don’t know of any restaurant that has gone this far in such a short time, but we try to make this trip as long as possible, ”Walker said.
Oooh Wee It Is is also opening a new location in Beverly in the old Dat Donuts on 111st Street near Longwood Drive. Opening Dec. 1, Walker says it will be mostly take-out with a few on-site meals, and will also serve as a hub for food trucks and the company’s food operations.
The Walkers are even considering a possible fifth location near the future Obama Presidential Center in Woodlawn, as well as out-of-state locations in Atlanta and Houston.
“I never assumed success would be so massive,” Walker said. “So I see this as a need in the community. And secondly, I guess the food is good. And so yes, we are doing very well.
Walker says he hopes to hire employees who live in the neighborhood to work at the Wicker Park location. Anyone interested can send their curriculum vitae to [email protected].
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