A suburban feel in an urban surrounding, Beverly has long been known as one of Chicago's safest and most stable middle class neighborhoods, proud of its quiet tree-lined streets and cultural diversity. Residences in Beverly are prized for their wide open lots and large countryside-style homes (the kind you're likely to see a tire swing hanging from the backyard tree). While portions of Beverly are characterized by stately manors with circular front drives, the majority of the neighborhood offers attractive two-story redbrick houses, raised 1940s ranches, and cottage-like split-levels with side drives and good-sized lawns. The bulk of Beverly's businesses are found on Western Avenue, where most of Beverly's residents go to grab a bite and hang out with friends. A legion of restaurants, pizzerias, takeout places, and cafes edge the street, a few with a noticeable Irish tinge that pays tribute the area's ancestry.
Location: 12 miles south of the Loop
Bordering Neighborhoods: Gresham, Brainerd, Longwood Manor, West Beverly, Beverly View
Boundaries: Western Avenue on the west, 107th Street on the south, Dan Ryan Woods Forest Preserve on the north and Beverly Avenue on the east
Then and Now
In the mid-1800s, Beverly was an unnamed subdivision in the sparsely populated Washington Heights settlement. Even with the annexation of Washington Heights to Chicago in 1874 the area was slow to gain any distinction or community identity.
It wasn’t until the 1890s, when the Rock Island Railroad designated its 91st Street Station as 'Beverly Hills' that the neighborhood finally took on a name of its own. It is the subject of some debate among Beverly residents whether this name is in direct reference to Beverly Hills, California, or to Beverly, Massachusetts. What isn’t in doubt is that the 'Hills' part is a reference to the glacial ridge that runs through the neighborhood. Once the shore line of a glacial lake, this ridge is one of the few areas of the city that is not flat; in fact the highest point in Chicago is in the Beverly neighborhood at 91st Street and Western Avenue.
When it was still considered part of Washington Heights, the Beverly area was settled by white European Protestants, followed by Irish and African Americans in the 1920s. Within the next decade, the number of inhabitants increased 80% and then, due to the post World War II Baby Boom, the population grew substantially again from 1940 to 1960, as it did throughout Chicago and the United States. Today the neighborhood is racially integrated, sustaining its reputation as a middle class community that boasts many public parks and some architectural relics such as an Irish castle. Now that’s one thing in Chicago you don’t see everyday!
Adding to the small town appeal of Beverly are the many neighborhood park, more than your typical Chicago community, which is lucky for us.
Back in 1928, the Parks District started to scope out land for recreational use to meet the demands of Beverly’s growing population. They bought up a plot, and in 1929, Graver Park (1518 W 102nd Pl, 312-747-6163) was established. A yellow brick fieldhouse was constructed later that year, providing residents with meeting and assembly rooms and two small banquet halls. Many renovations have taken place since the park’s opening, but just like in old times, Beverly locals still appreciate what Graver Park has to offer. These days, the park features a softball field where 16' (Chicago-style) softball leagues square off, and tennis courts where you can play a friendly match or work on that backhand. During the summer, there are day camps for the kids and the Park District’s 'Movies in the Park' series for the whole family to enjoy.
Named for the first African American to play major league baseball, Jackie Robinson Park (10540 S Morgan St, 312-745-4041) occupies 16 acres of Beverly neighborhood grounds. Co-owned by the Chicago Park District and the Chicago Board of Education, this park offers theater camps for kids (age 8 to 12) and, true to its name, little league baseball (ages 7 to 12). For the tots, parents will appreciate the playground equipment at two of Beverly’s smaller designated park spaces: Barnard Playlot Park (10431 S Longwood Dr, 312-747-6639) and Hurley Playlot Park (1901 W 100th St, 312-747-6639).
The shoreline of what was once the glacial Lake Chicago runs through the Beverly neighborhood, and the ridge it left behind comprises the western border of Ridge Park (9625 S Longwood Dr, 312-747-6639). The park is chock-full of activities for kids as well as adults, including amenities like baseball diamonds, tennis courts, gymnasiums, and a fitness center. A brick fieldhouse features a 500-seat auditorium and large swimming pool, so as soon as the mercury rises, you know where we’ll be. Of course, a lot of Beverly residents are in the same mindset, so don’t be surprised if the pool is crowded (The more the merrier, right?). Ridge Park really makes an effort to provide fun activities for all ages. Ceramics classes are offered for adults 55 and up, and for little Beverlians there’s a Cubs Care baseball program, summer day camps and even swimming lessons held in the aforementioned pool. Like Graver Park, Ridge Park also hosts 'Movies in the Park', which is a popular evening pastime for many Beverly neighbors. Everyone drags out the lawn chairs and packs up a picnic basket of munchies for a showing of Hollywood classics and favorite children’s films.
After you get back from a fun-filled outing at Ridge Park, don’t put away that picnic basket quite yet. And while you’re at it you might want to pull out the old bicycle and put some air in the tires. The northern most tip of Beverly is the home to Dan Ryan Woods, part of the Cook County Forest Preserve’s Calumet District. Picnic areas and bike trails are just a few of the amenities available at this preserve. You could make a whole day out of a visit to this scenic south side oasis, so round up the kids and head on out for more time spent with nature.
Art and Architecture
While there are countless striking homes in the Beverly neighborhood, there is one property that merits a mention for its architectural uniqueness and its mysterious past that still have locals questioning whether there may be ghosts living among them.
Known previously as the Givens Castle or Givens Mansion, this replica of an Irish Castle was constructed by real estate developer Robert Givens in 1886 and is now known as the Beverly Unitarian Church (10244 S Longwood Dr). As the story goes, Givens erected this monument in an effort to impress his Irish fiancee, and the castle was in fact a duplicate of his bride-to-be’s family castle back in Ireland. Supposedly, Givens’s young bride passed away before ever setting foot in the castle built in her honor. This myth, along with the story of a young girl who died in the building during the castle’s stint as an all-girl college, have led many Beverly residents to speculate that the castle is haunted. Despite any rumors of ghosts or curses, Givens’s masterpiece is currently home to the Beverly Unitarian Church. Open to the public for worship, the castle draws a crowd on Sundays, but whether a paranormal presence is among the congregation is still under scrutiny to this day.
Beverly Real Estate
Beverly is a truly tranquil neighborhood, the kind that sets your mind at ease as soon as you turn down your street. Practically the opposite of a cookie-cutter subdivision, each house is unique, bringing a little bit of personality and architectural character to the long, curving neighborhood avenues.
Many of the homes in Beverly sit on large lots and provide ample living space, offering Chicagoans an ideal place to raise a family. Over the years, the Beverly Area Planning Association has worked hard to promote the neighborhood. The group was successful in getting the city to grant landmark status to a section of Beverly’s many Prairie-style bungalows, and organized home tours have encouraged numerous potential homebuyers to purchase property in the area.
Residents fall in love with this neighborhood in the south side of Chicago for its wide variety of housing options and quiet serenity that can be welcome respite after a long day of work downtown. Sprawling country homes, the kind with a tire swing out in the side yard and a wrap-around porch, are scattered throughout Beverly. While the price tag on these massive, estate-type properties can reach into the millions, there are plenty of beautiful homes that are more reasonably priced and just as lovely.
Grand Tudor-style houses with circular front drives and stately manors with manicured landscaping give many of the neighborhood streets an affluent appeal without pretentiousness. There are even Spanish-style villas with terra cotta roof tiles. These homes often sell for between $500,000-880,000.
The rest of Beverly is characterized by raised ranches, one- and two-story frame houses with little porches and side drives, split-levels, and some two-story brick homes. Generally the price range is between the low $200,000s to the low to mid $400,000s. And, with the Dan Ryan Woods forest preserve so close by, a number of the properties boast a thick growth of pine trees, almost like an extension of the nearby woods. And when you see one of those two-story redbrick homes with peaked rooflines and exterior stone detailing flanked on either side by a grove of pines, it almost as if you’ve stepped into a fairly tale … It is almost makes you wonder: could Little Red Riding Hood be a Beverly resident?
What’s on the Menu?
Although Beverly is mainly residential, this sprawling south side Chicago neighborhood hasn’t forgotten to provide the locals with a little something to fill their tummies on occasion.
Fox’s Beverly Pub (9956 S Western Ave, 773-239-3212) has been a Beverly institution since the 1950s and has the distinction of being one of the few Italian-Irish restaurants in the city. In addition to pizza, pasta, soups and traditional Italian sandwiches, Fox’s is known to make a mean corned beef. Spacious booths in the pub’s large dining area provide guests with a comfortable dining experience; and if you’re short on time, the place is great for pick-up or delivery.
Franconello’s Italian Restaurant (10222 S Western Ave, 773-881-4100) gets high marks from locals for some of the best service around. Traditional Italian dishes are served and the portions are quite generous, the broiled pork chops are our favorite. The restaurant features an exhibition kitchen where guests can keep an eye on the chefs as they prepare the dishes. And there’s no better way to know you’re getting the best in culinary cleanliness than to have a roomful of patrons watching over the cook’s shoulder! Ken’s Restaurant (10522 S Western Ave, 773-238-0234) is a family-owned, supper club-style spot that’s popular with older locals. With a long bar as well as booths and a lounge feel, Ken’s has good service and a great London broil. We think this is a great spot to take the family on Friday nights, and their deep-fried catfish is hard to beat.
Night on the Town
Beverly is a dry neighborhood, and alcohol is not sold east of its Western Avenue boundary, which may explain the number of taverns lining this border street. Among them is the Cork & Kerry (10614 S Western Ave, 773-445-2675). Taking its name from two counties in Ireland, this pub resembles an Irish storefront on the outside. A step inside reveals a cozy interior, featuring a wood-grain motif, stained glass accents, and plenty of souvenirs from the Emerald Isle. As quaint as Cork & Kerry’s interior may be, the outdoor beer garden is probably this pub’s greatest asset. It’s huge, it’s festive, it’s shaded, and it’s the perfect place for Beverly residents to enjoy a Guinness or two (one of 20 beers on tap) in the warmer months.
With a name like End Zone (10034 S Western Ave, 773-238-7969) this place has gotta be a sports bar. Indeed it is, and one of the best kinds: part bar, part shrine to Chicago sports. Nearly a century worth of Chicago’s star athletes are on display in photos and other memorabilia decorating the walls, making the End Zone an ideal spot to get your fill of the sports stars of today on the bar’s eight television sets. It’s obvious from the limited menu selection, they can heat up a frozen pizza for you, that this Beverly neighborhood fixture puts its focus in the liquid calorie intake. That’s alright with us and the bar’s loyal band of regulars, as they have cheap domestic brews that no one can complain about. Just a note: Watch out for Notre Dame fans if you’re not one yourself; the End Zone tends to be a gathering place for the school’s neighborhood alumni.
Stretching north/south quite a ways, Beverly is a long neighborhood that requires an entire network of public transportation just to travel within its borders.
When we need to travel to destinations beyond Beverly we find the #8A South Halsted bus is a quick and convenient way to hook up with the Metra Rock Island north at Gresham Station for a trip to the Loop. (Likewise, the #103 West 103rd will take you east to the 103rd/Beverly Hills and the Washington Heights Metra Stations).
For points further on, a trip to the Bahamas for example, the #9 Ashland or #X9 Ashland Express zips us north to the Ashland stop on the Orange Line train to Midway Airport (or take it downtown and connect to the Blue Line to get out to O’Hare). If your travel budget is a little more limited, you can catch the #95W West 95th bus traveling east to the 95th/Dan Ryan Red Line station and to the 95th Street Greyhound station. The #95W is also a fast track west to the Plaza Shopping Center.
You can also catch the Pace #359 bus north to the 95th/Dan Ryan Red Line station and southwest suburbs (Calumet Park, Blue Island, Hazel Crest) and let the #352 bus whisk you north to the 95th/Dan Ryan Red Line Station and south to Metra/Amtrak Stations at Homewood, Calumet, Harvey, Hazel Crest and West Pullman.
The Metra Rock Island District Line makes seven stops in Beverly. You can catch the Beverly Hills Branch at 107th Street, 103rd Street, 99th Street, 95th Street, 91st Street, Washington Heights, and Longwood. Whew! Additionally, this line will transport you north to the downtown LaSalle Station or south to Joliet.
Beverly is easily accessible by car and parking isn’t much of a problem, but wide, tree-lined streets and a lack of the traffic congestion on the neighborhoods side streets make walking or bike riding a great way to get around.
School’s in SessionBeverly has many public and private schools to choose from. In addition to the following list, you can find more information about Chicago area schools on our Chicago Schools Guide.
Barnard Elementary – 10354 S Charles St – (773) 535-2625
Kellogg Elementary – 9241 S Leavitt St – (773) 535-2590
Sutherland – 10015 S Leavitt St – (773) 535-258
Vanderpoel Humanities Academy – 9510 S Prospect Ave – (773) 535-2690
Below is a list of stores and services that cover Beverly residents’ basic needs.
See Thru Chinese Kitchen – 10938 S Western Ave – (773) 238-9898
Beverly Bakery 10528 S Western Ave (773) 238-5580
Calabria Imports – 1905 W 103rd St – (773) 396-5800
Cork & Kerry – 10614 S Western Ave – (773) 445-2675
Dinger’s Sports Bar – 10638 S Western Ave – (773) 233-9960
End Zone – 10034 S Western Ave – (773) 238-7969
Fox’s Beverly Pub – 9956 S Western Ave – (773) 239-3212
Janson’s Drive-In – 9900 S Western Ave – (773) 238-3612
Ken’s Restaurant – 10522 S Western Ave – (773) 238-0234
Koda – 10352 S Western Ave – (773) 445-5632
Original Rainbow Cone – 9233 S Western Ave – (773) 238-7075
Pacific Submarine – 1956 W 95th St – (773) 779-4613
Sean’s Rhino Bar – 10330 S Western Ave – (773) 238-2060
Top Notch Beefburger Shop – 2116 W 95th St – (773) 445-7218
Wrong’s Tap – 10014 S Western Ave – (773) 238-5534
The Original Pancake House – 10437 S Western Ave – (773) 445-6100
Yogurt Oasis and Hot Dogs – 10255 S Western Ave – (773) 233-3072
Java Express 10701 S Hale Ave (773) 233-8557
DiCola’s Seafood – 10754 S Western Ave – (773) 238-7071
Franconello’s Italian Restaurant – 10222 S Western Ave (773) 881-4100
Giordano’s – 9613 S Western Ave – (773) 445-6255
Jewel-Osco – 9400 S Ashland Ave – (773) 238-2393
Curves – 1809 W 95th St – (773) 239-4801
Michael Reese Health Plan – 9831 S Western Ave – (773) 445-1443
Beverly Branch – 2121 W 95th St – (312) 747-9673, (312) 747-2082
Ridge Historical Society – 10621 S Seeley Ave – (773) 881-1675
Barnard Playlot Park – 10431 S Longwood Dr – (312) 747-6639
Hurley Playlot Park – 1901 W 100th St – (312) 747-6639
Graver Park – 1518 W 102nd Pl – (312) 747-6163
Jackie Robinson Park – 10540 S Morgan St – (312) 745-4041
Ridge Park – 9625 S Longwood Dr – (312) 747-6639
Walgreens – 2345 W 103rd St – (773) 429-0767; 1633 W 95th St – (773) 445-9277
CVS – 1930 W 103rd St – (773) 239-7770
Post Office Finance Station – H 10238 S Vincennes Ave – (773) 779-0306
Nearly New Shop 8932 S Claremont Ave (773) 233-7350
The residential real estate in Beverly is fairly diverse, providing homeowners with a number of housing options from condos to lofts to townhomes. But there is more to your Beverly home than where you rest your head at night. The area surrounding a property can be just as much a factor in the decision to buy as the color of the carpet or the condition of the foundation. Each Chicago neighborhood has its own unique charm that sets it apart from the rest. Our comprehensive online guide is all you need to explore the many streets of Chicago-all from the comfort of your own computer. Shopping, dining, entertainment, schools, you name it, we’ll show you where it is. Find out whether that fabulous Beverly condo is immersed in the throes of wild nightlife, or veiled by the tranquility of a quiet residential setting.