Bridge to Rebuilding Fund

North River Commission has partnered with local donors to create the Bridge to Rebuilding Fund designed for rapid assistance to small businesses that contribute to the retail vibrancy of East Albany Park. The fund supported 12 local  businesses for their rebuilding efforts due to the severe negative impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic. We are grateful to the anonymous donors for their $50,000 contribution, plus $5,000 matching funds from both CIBC Bank and Albany Bank (ALBANK), and donations from local individuals such as Peter Woods, David Chelimsky, Sean Wiedel, Veronica Rinke, Meika Slotsema, and more. We are still accepting donations to support more businesses with a $5,000 grant; learn more and make a gift today. Thank you everyone! 

More than ever, your support is key to businesses' survival and maintaining the rich offerings in our commercial corridors from a diverse array of independently owned and operated small businesses. Please, continue to spend your dollars locally!

We invite you to learn more about the 12 lucky recipients below and how this grant helped their operations and rebuilding efforts. 

Copy of Grantee Anouncement (1)

Pisco Peruvian Restaurant

We have rebranded our business to provide better service to our customers and the Bridge to Rebuilding Grant will help us continue our mission by helping us support our employees and continue to buy outdoor dining equipment.” – Jairo Lopez

The Bardales family who gave you Ay Ay Picante & Ceviche, and mixologist Jairo Lopez, bring Peruvian gastronomy to the heart of Albany Park. Pisco features traditional Peruvian dishes, ceviches, and popular cocktails made with Pisco. They offer outdoor dining, takeout, and delivery; come dine safely! 

Address: 3224 W Lawrence Avenue

Contact: (773) 961-8414

Website    Facebook


La Casa del Pan Bakery

“Receiving the Bridge to Rebuilding Grant allowed us to catch up on our bills but also gave us the opportunity to buy merchandise and keep doing what we love to do, feed delicious bites to our community.” – Ruth Arcentales

Offering amazing Ecuadorian food and traditional bread from Cuenca, explore the flavors of Ecuador on your next visit. 

Address: 4454 N Kedzie Ave

Contact: (773) 654-3299


Pupuseria y Restaurante El Cuscatleco

“The Bridge to Rebuilding Grant was a sign of hope for our business. With this grant we have been able to slowly get back on our feet and find the stability we lost when the pandemic hit. We are grateful to have this support from our community to keep our doors open and make some improvements so that we can better serve our customers.” – Juan Gomez

Find your favorite Salvadorian, Guatemalan, and Mexican food here; Pupuseria offers a variety of central American dishes including special pupusa, platillos, and tamales. Now safely open with takeout and delivery service available.

Address: 3125 W Lawrence Ave

Contact: (773) 539-0977

Website    Facebook

Spa to Escape

“The Bridge to Rebuilding Grant is going to be of great help in keeping the nail salon completely and rigorously clean and disinfected for our customers with the purchase of more disinfectant and sanitary products for the safety of everyone. This grant will also help me with the marketing needed to continue to run the Spa.”– Ivonne Colon

A personal care service focusing on pedicures, manicures, and waxing. “Escape” from your daily routine and treat yourself! Relax and pamper your body and soul. Book an appointment online on our website.

Address: 3352 W Montrose Ave

Contact: (773) 575-0654

Website    Facebook

Supreme Beauty Parlor

We dipped into our savings and continued to pay all business expenses while closed.  We have not received any grant money during that time.  Not to mention, we LOVE the community (who has been tremendously supportive over the years), and we intend to remain here for many years to come thanks to receiving this Bridge to Rebuilding Grant.” – Christina Chavez

This beauty shop welcomes all genders to relax and re-design their hairstyle. Supreme Beauty provides haircuts, hair treatments, and facial waxing. Book an appointment today!

Address: 2944 W Montrose Ave

Contact: (773) 516-4497

Website    Facebook

Hybrid Strength Athletics

We lost over 30 loyal members due to COVID-19 so winning this Bridge to Rebuilding Grant will allow us to pay our bills and continue to offer a positive, friendly, clean, and supportive environment to work out and a place where you can call home.”– Renato Del Toro

As a family-owned gym established in 2017, Hybrid offers equipment for any Powerlifter, Bodybuilder, Cross-Trainer, and/or general fitness athlete looking to get in shape. Open 24/7, the gym is members-only. Come train and make GAINS with us any time or day of the week!

Address: 3052 W Montrose Ave

Contact: (312) 478-1989

Website    Facebook

Bridge to Rebuild Businesses

Taqueria el Águila Real

“We have been in the Albany Park community for many years and this was the first time we have ever won a grant. The Bridge to Rebuilding Grant showed us that we have a supportive community that supports us in keeping our doors open. The money will be used to help us with backtracked bills and rent.” – Lorenzo Juarez

Serving authentic Mexican cuisine steps from the Kedzie Brown Line station, stop by for tasty tacos, tortas, burritos, huaraches, quesadillas, salsa, and more - all made by hand. 

Address: 3152 W Montrose Ave

Contact: (773) 293-6128



TUTA Theatre

Since 2002, TUTA Theatre has been pursuing and producing challenging and innovative theatre for Chicago's immigrant communities, with a home base in Albany Park.  Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the company was forced to close a large production week early resulting in a substantial loss in ticket sales, and are anticipating additional losses due to canceling upcoming activities based on city and state regulations. This grant will go directly to helping support payroll and overhead costs at our rented commercial space that serves the community with free public performances and events.  During this uncertain time, TUTA is thankful for this generous support and hopes to safely provide arts programming for the vibrant communities of Albany Park in the near future.” – Jacqueline Stone

TUTA's mission is to excite the American audience with theatre that is both relevant and challenging in both form and content. TUTA continually searches for the unique and exceptional in the language of theatre, be it verbal, physical, or visual, to express ideas and expose questions vital to contemporary American society. We are committed to producing theatrical and educational events that bridge all forms of cultural and geographical divides.

Address: 4670 N Manor Ave

Contact: (312) 945-6398

Website    Facebook


Bernard Jewelers

After being affected by the civil unrest that took place in the city, winning this Bridge to Rebuilding Grant will provide us some relief with inventory that was stolen, and replacing the broken glass door and display cases.” – Gabriel Sotelo

Bernard Jewelers sell exquisite jewelry that lights up your day. Find a perfect design or item for someone special and for you!

Address: 3151 W Lawrence Ave

Contact: (773) 539-7819

Somethin' Sweet Donuts

“Winning the Bridge to Rebuilding Grant gives us a bit of relief and eases the tension we have experienced during the pandemic as a new business in the area. This grant made it possible for us to get a mural done on our storefront and add vibrancy to the street while still being able to handle our finances.” – Andrew Chao

Somethin’ Sweet offers delicious donuts and Big Shoulders coffee, among teas, smoothies, and ice cream. Order custom donuts or stop by for a sweet treat for kids of all ages.

Address: 4456 N Kedzie Ave

Contact: (773) 654-3117

Website    Facebook


RV Jewelry

“Winning the Bridge to Rebuilding Grant will help offset the lost business opportunities and help us keep our doors open in the community.” – Raul Vasquez 

From selling all types of jewelry from watches to rings, RV Jewelry provides professional fix-it services as well. If you're looking for a gift or jewelry for your loved ones, stop by RV Jewelry located steps from the Kimball Brown Line.

Address: 3405 W Lawrence Ave

Contact: (773) 267-4646

World Tree Healing

Due to the pandemic, I was forced to close my small storefront which relies on word-of-mouth and in-person sales. I have tried and failed to switch to an online model, since the heart of my business relies on direct, personal engagements with my clientele. This Bridge to Rebuilding Grant will help me rebuild my business and reopen as soon as I am able to do so.” – Megan Hamilton 

World Tree Healing is a socially and ecologically conscious-inclusive community, healing center, Pagan and Heathen shop, and magical education space. Run by inclusive Heathens, World Tree Healing is a safer space to be yourself around people who can help you become better at being yourself. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, their storefront is closed but online reading and sessions are available through contacting

Address: 4533 N Kedzie Ave

Contact: (773) 273-9718

Website    Facebook

Bridge to Rebuilding Fund

Applications closed on Tuesday, June 16, 2020
Thank you to everyone who applied. The Fund has an initial amount of $50,000, plus an additional donation of $5000 from ALBANK and $5000 from CIBC for a total of $60,000. Those donations will be granted by lottery to 12 eligible applicant businesses, $5000 to each. Grantees will be announced on Thursday, June 18th at 12:00pm.

Matching Donations Continue
North River Commission continues to accept matching contributions to assist our small businesses in rebuilding and restoring the vibrancy of our business district. Please join us in making a contribution in an amount that is significant to you at the Matching Campaign page, click here. Thank you!

Grant Recipient Requirements

1) Grantees will agree to a Memorandum of Understanding including the following requirements:

  • Grantees will apply the grant funds to business costs
  • Grantee will report to North River Commission what business costs were paid for with grant funds and provide documentation

2) Grantees will agree to a media and marketing release that gives permission to North River Commission to use Grantee’s name and business name along with photographs and video of Grantee and their business for celebration of the positive impact made by the business and the Bridge to Rebuilding Fund grants and to encourage others to donate to the Fund.


Eligibility Criteria for Applicants
Applicants must meet all of the Eligibility Criteria to be placed into the pool of applicants. Applicants must certify that the information that they provide is true and accurate.

1) Applicant must be a small retail businesses closed and/or impacted by the State of Illinois’s Stay at Home Order and must be within one of the following categories:

  • restaurant, bar, or coffee shop
  • personal services including hair, nails, skin, spa, or dry cleaner
  • retail sales of goods, but excluding liquor stores, grocery stores, and convenience stores

2) Applicant must have their place of business within the Chicago address ranges below and must be open to the public.

  • 2800 – 3415 West Lawrence
  • 2730 – 3405 West Montrose
  • 4400 – 4815 N Kedzie
  • 4400 – 4800 N Kimball

3) Applicant must have employed 15 or less full time equivalent (FTE) employees on February 15, 2020. 1 FTE = 40 hours/week.

4) Applicants must not have received an SBA loan through either the PPP/Paycheck Protection Program or EIDL / Economic Injury Disaster Loans.

5) Applicant must have only one location, and applicant must not be a national franchise.

6) Applicants with an ownership interest held by a North River Commission Board member or an Albany Park & Irving Park Special Service Area #60 Commissioner are not eligible.

Contact Thomas Applegate, Executive Director for North River