B-Side Cafe

959 W Belmont Ave

The B-Side Cafe was a short lived club on Belmont Street above the Belmont Arcade in the space that was previously called Avalon, and before that Tut’s and Quiet Knight. B-Side held many events for Black young adults during the summer of 1995, including the Chicago debut of The Roots. Every Saturday that summer, DJ Brian Reaves held a party that was the go-to house night. According to The Tribune, B-Side became embroiled in the same tensions that previous Black/multiracial venues catering to young adults in the neighborhood experienced. According to one of the owners, Andrew Klemen, the venue drew attention from Alderman Bernie Hansen and the local police before they even opened: “The cops intimidated a lot of these people. I mean, imagine guys with dreadlocks, they’re used to having the cops harass them. That stuff really hurt us.”

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