Local Heart

Special Service Area #60 has partnered with local resident and artist Alex Sharon to capture a glimpse of the diversity and tenacity of Albany Park and Irving Park business owners. In Local Heart, a series of mini-documentaries, Alex showcases family businesses whose founders come from a variety of backgrounds, and how their backgrounds have influenced their journey as entrepreneurs. Each video explores a story of perseverance, hard work, and dedication to their businesses, to their community, and to themselves.


Check out Alex's videos below and be sure to check out the businesses themselves! From donuts to Thai cuisine to plants, Albany Park and Irving Park have something for everyone. These establishments not only have Global Roots, but they are also full of Local Heart.


Alex Sharon is a freelance videographer and founder of the media company Pilgrim Visual. He is based in Albany Park. For any inquiries, contact him here or visit his website at alexsharon.com


Are you interested in being featured in an episode of Local Heart? Email Catherine George at cgeorge@northrivercommission.org.

Learn all about the history and family behind Somethin' Sweet Donuts, located at 4456 N Kedzie. Somethin' Sweet Donuts is "your one-stop shop for all things sweet"! Try delicious donuts or order your birthday cake at this sweet little spot owned by Andy and his father and enjoy his father's baking abilities! Order online or stop by Monday-Friday 7 am-5 pm and Saturday-Sunday 8 am-4 pm.

Visit their website here.

Learn all about Chim Thai at 3254 W Montrose in this Local Heart feature! Chim Thai Cuisine opened earlier this year and has already become one of the neighborhood favorites with food that "tastes like home"! You won't regret ordering to go or dining in this cute and welcoming restaurant, where Tony offers plates that you can't really find in other restaurants in Chicago. Open Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday 11 am-9:30 pm, Friday-Saturday 11 am-10 pm, and Sunday 11:30 am-9:30 pm.

Visit their website here.

Green Spaces Plant Shop opened in December 2021 and is the premier provider of plants to Albany Park residents. Hanan opened her business right next door to where her father’s grocery store used to be, and she loves being part of the legacy of Albany Park. She gets new plants every week and she has an assortment of handpainted pots. She even has a repotting service! Check out her beautiful, green space for all your house plant needs, or if you just need a little peace Tuesday-Friday from 12 pm-7 pm, Saturday from 11 am-7 pm, and Sunday 12 pm-5 pm.

Check out their Facebook or Instagram to stay up to date with new plants and events!