This charming neighborhood tucked away in the northwest side of Chicago is brimming with a vibrant and diverse population of residents and restaurants. The shady streets of Schorsch Village are often active with folks walking their dogs, parents pushing strollers and children playing in their front yards. Real estate in the area ranges from affordable, one-bedroom condominiums to million-dollar houses with five or six bedrooms. An eclectic, yet quaint wining and dining scene is all Schorsch Villagers need to enjoy an evening out with friends and family. Schorsch Village is an ideal place to settle for people in any stage of life, whether you are buying your first home or making plans for retirement.
Schorsch Village Facts
Location: About 13 miles northwest of the Loop
Boundaries: Addison Street to the north, Narragansett Avenue to the east, Belmont Avenue to the south and Harlem Avenue to the west
Bordering Neighborhoods: Dunning, Belmont Heights, Monteclare, Belmont Central, Portage Park
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Then and Now
With its plethora of retail businesses and tranquil rows of beautiful homes, Schorsch Village has a bit of an identity crisis. We fancy it as something of an urban oasis, but it wasn’t always the picturesque, family-friendly neighborhood it is today.
In 1851, Cook County decided that an undeveloped stretch of prairie northwest of Chicago would be an ideal location for a poor farm, or 'almshouse,' as it was called. The county purchased 160 acres of land from Peter Ludby—a farmer who acquired the property simply by staking his claim—and in addition to the communal farms, an insane asylum was built on the grounds. Of course, the looming institution terrified potential settlers, and the areas surrounding the almshouse and the hospital remained largely vacant for years.
In 1916, when real estate developers named the Schorsch brothers bought a piece of land west of Austin and south of Irving Park, they decided to call it 'West Portage Park' after the new park that had been built just to the east and to sever the association with the poor farm and hospital once and for all. This change quickly resulted in a housing surge, with many homes being built and people finally willing to move into the neighborhood, without paying mind to the nearby hospital.
By the end of World War I, many European immigrants were arriving in the Chicago area, and the city finally started running public transportation to the Dunning district, which included West Portage Park (modern-day Schorsch Village). The existence of convenient transit prompted folks to head north and to settle in the newly developing neighborhood. People of Swedish, German, and Polish descents moved here and created ethnic enclaves. In fact, the presence of these groups is still felt in the neighborhood today. Later, Italian-Americans moved into the area and opened up small shops, adding to the small community’s cultural diversity.
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When warm weather hits, there’s nothing a Chicagoan wants to do more than get outside. With one of the country’s most elaborate park systems, Windy City residents are lucky that open space and green grass is usually just a trot away.
Throughout most of the year, Schorsch Village residents can be seen enjoying the wide expanses of Shabbona Park (6935 W Addison St, 773-685-6205). The 18.7-acre recreational spot lies stretches almost the full length of the neighborhood and features basketball courts, baseball fields and gym facilities for those that like to break a sweat. The park’s carefully manicured lawns are ideal for springtime picnics, its lushly landscaped gardens complement romantic strolls, and the wide walkways that wind through Shabbona are perfect for jogging, biking, and inline-skating.
The park is named after a Potawatomi chief who saved many lives by warning white settlers of an impending attack by the Sac tribe. If Shabbona had kept his trap shut, who knows what would have happened to this ambitious Midwest settlement, but the Chief sang like a canary, his people were moved to reservations, and eventually his historical deed landed his name on a city park. However, whether or not the historic significance of the park’s name is widely known, it’s less important to most area residents than the beauty of the park itself, which is the real draw.
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Schorsch Village Real Estate
When you stroll through the wide, shady streets of Schorsch Village, you see children playing, dogs being walked, and neighbors chatting over fences. This friendly community vibe, so seldom found in large cities, is sewn into the everyday fabric of this Chicago neighborhood.
The homes in Schorsch Village are as diverse as their inhabitants. Detached single-family dwellings in varying architectural styles, with carefully tended gardens and wrought iron fences sit alongside beautiful Art-Deco apartment buildings. Whether you are looking for the picture-perfect place to start a family or a transitional home with some eclectic flair, there’s something for everyone on the tree-lined residential streets of Schorsch Village.
Condominiums in the area start in the mid $100,000s for a unit with one bedroom and one bathroom, and reach up to the mid and upper $500,000s for three-bedroom townhomes with two-car garage. Generally, a detached three-bedroom single-family home in Schorsch Village sells for around $400,000, on average. That’s not to say you can’t find a lovely three-bedroom house for $250,000, but you’ll definitely have to shop around. The price range for larger properties varies greatly in this northwest side Chicago neighborhood, but the average price is around $500,000 for a four- to six-bedroom home. Of course, some of these can cost as much as $1.25 million, so depending on your budget, there are some very nice pieces of property that should suit any type of living standards.
What’s on the Menu?
For us, the words 'romantic dinner' immediately conjure images of slurping noodles at a cozy Italian restaurant. In a large city like Chicago, there are so many good Italian restaurants that finding a great one can be daunting. Indeed, the search for that perfect bowl of pasta can be a marathon endeavor. Luckily for you, Ambrogio Restaurant (6706 W Belmont Ave, 773-736-6131) is nestled into an unassuming stretch of Belmont Avenue right here in Schorsch Village. From the outside, this tiny bistro seems like a hole-in-the-wall, but once you step through the doors, you’ll realize it’s like a geode, where all the appeal is on the inside. Candlelight, cordial service, and a menu full of authentic Italian fare like eggplant parmesan and chicken vesuvio make this intimate little spot the perfect setting for a date night. This stretch of Belmont is the Little Italy of northwest Chicago. If you aren’t hungry but are still in the mood for a genuine Italian experience, head to Euro Cafe (3435 N Harlem, 773-286-8544). A prime neighborhood spot to sit and sip on a perfectly prepared cappuccino or glass of chianti, Euro Cafe is also ground zero for watching Italia 'football' matches (soccer to us Americans). During games, the laid-back vibe erupts into an enthusiastic frenzy, and the crowd becomes standing-room only; the experience is uniquely Italian.
Not in the mood for Italian? There are plenty of other culinary delights in this Chicago neighborhood. Although Schorsch Village is home to many a Polish restaurant such as Ambassador (7050 W Belmont Ave, 773-286-9337) and Ferajna (6714 W Belmont Ave, 773-427-0727) just blocks from each other, we can’t get enough of the simple, no-frills experience of a meal at Pol-Mart Deli (7141 W Addison St, 773-282-7747). The freshly-baked bread and handmade sausages here are ideal to stuff those summertime picnic baskets. When we’re in the mood for some fresh-Mex, we head to Taco Burrito King (3216 N Harlem Ave, 773-637-3200). Sure, it sounds like a corporate fast food joint, but it’s actually a small family-operated Chicago chain. This particular location began as a 350-square-foot hotdog shack. Now, serving up all of your Mexican favorites like burritos, tacos, and fajitas, Taco Burrito King only uses ingredients so fresh, they’re fit for a king.
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Night on the Town
When it comes to nightlife, his Chicago neighborhood is all about low-key environs, cheap drinks, and having a good time. Just the type of weekend outings we like.
If it’s a casual evening of watching the game and grubbing on some pub food you’re after, Extra Innings Sports Bar (6801 W Addison St, 773-282-8669) will keep you in the spirit of baseball and burgers all season long. While not everyone is an avid sports fan, this favorite among Schorsch Villagers is a fun stop for a brew whether you intently watch every play of the game or spend the entire time chatting with friends and wondering why everyone keeps yelling every so often. For casual cocktails and a neighborhood vibe M&I Lounge (6835 W Addison St, 773-283-7022) or BG’s Lounge (3362 N Narragansett Ave, 773-777-3971) will make a regular out of you. Just have a seat, order you favorite beverage and slip into the calm, comfortable feel of these classic north side hangouts.
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Best Shopping Stops
Schorsch Village isn’t exactly a shopping mecca, but the few retail outlets located in this Chicago neighborhood are ideal for a quirky, fun-filled afternoon of spending your hard-earned dough.
The best part of moving into a new place is decorating it; that’s why we adore dom ITP European Housewares (6840 W Belmont, 773-282-6430). This funky neighborhood shop started as a Polish hardware store. Later, the owners decided to import finely crafted housewares from their homeland, and dom ITP was born. Handmade glass and kitchen accessories make up the cornerstones of the selection here, but we love their kitschy selection of mugs, ornaments and teddy bears (for the kids!), but no matter what floats your boat, you’re sure to find a nicely refreshing collection of one-of-a-kind goods at this Schorsch Village institution.
After you have all the tchotchkes (trinkets or knickknacks) necessary to accent your new place, you can have an amusing time browsing the clothing stores along Harlem Avenue. Although there is nothing in the way of practical career attire, Schorsch Village offers funky formal wear, wedding dresses, cocktail gowns and, yes, those square-dancing duds that you’ve been looking for. Engaged? Eva’s Bridals and Fashions (3339 N Harlem Ave, 773-777-3311) has the Midwest’s largest selection of wedding gowns; this enormous store is like Disneyland for a bride-to-be. Nearby, After Hours Formal Wear (3351 N Harlem Ave, 708-453-2546) also carries an impressive line of bridal dresses, as well as a huge selection of tuxedos fit for weddings, prom, or black-tie events. If you’d rather ditch the something new for something frilly, you’ll find petticoats galore at Square Dance Attire (3405 N Harlem Ave, 773-545-8807). Always wondered why you had to take square dancing lessons in gym class? Well, we think it’s to provide a proper excuse to wear gingham in public.
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Despite its near-suburban location, Schorsch Village is conveniently located within easy distance of public transport, a major freeway, and O’Hare International Airport—for those really long commutes.
Very much a commuter neighborhood, Schorsch Village somewhat demands that residents have their own wheels. Many homes have attached garages, and street parking is abundant, so you won’t have to circle the block to find the perfect spot. Just a short jaunt from the Kennedy Expressway, getting to O’Hare or the Loop via automobile is a breeze—assuming the traffic doesn’t slow you down. You know what a stickler those rush hours can be!
If you prefer to take advantage of Chicago’s public transit system, the bus may be the best option for Schorsch Villagers. The #152 Addison and the #77 Belmont busses will take you all the way to Lake Michigan if you ride east, in case you are in search of a little sand and surf. For north/south travel, the #90 Harlem and #91 Narragansett lines will get you to the south side of Chicago, or to the northern suburbs, ending at the Kennedy Expressway.
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School’s in Session
Families with school-aged children will appreciate the pair of wonderful primary schools in this cozy little neighborhood. In addition the following list of Schorsch Village schools, you can find more information on Chicago area schools at our Chicago Guide Schools page.
Whether you’re looking for a cannoli or a cocktail, a wedding gown or the perfect housewares store to register, you’ll find it in Schorsch Village—with a little help from our list of neighborhood essentials, of course.
Walgreens 6809 W Belmont Ave – (773) 237-6267
R & B Finer Foods 6859 W Addison St – (773) 286-1149
Riviera Italian Imported Foods 3220 N Harlem Ave – (773) 637-4252
After Hours Formal Wear 3351 N Harlem Ave (708) 453-2546
dom ITP ltd. European Houswares 6840 W Belmont Ave – (773) 282-6430
Eva’s Bridals & Fashions 3339 N Harlem Ave – (773) 777-3311
Gordy’s Novelties 3441 N Harlem Ave – (773) 685-5425
Square Dance Attire 3405 N Harlem Ave – (773) 545-8807
Bonnie’s 3500 N Narragansett Ave – (773) 286-8820
Miraia’s Bakery 7051 W Addison St – (773) 725-3818
Euro Cafe 3435 N Harlem Ave – (773) 286-8544
Ambrogio Restaurant 6706 W Belmont Ave – (773) 736-6131
Taco Burrito King 3216 N Harlem Ave – (773) 637-3200
Frank’s Pizzeria & Restaurant 6506 W Belmont Ave – (773) 283-2564
Mangia Pizza 6944 W Belmont Ave – (773) 545-3633
Ambassador 7050 W Belmont Ave – (773) 286-9337
Ferajna 6714 W Belmont Ave – (773) 427-0727
Pol-Mart Deli 7141 W Addison St – (773) 282-7747
BG’s Lounge 3362 N Narragansett Ave – (773) 777-3971
Extra Innings Sports Bar 6801 W Addison St – (773) 282-8669
M&I Lounge 6835 W Addison St – (773) 283-7022
Village Bar 6912 W Belmont Ave – (773) 736-9050
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There’s a lot of mystery involved in searching for a new home—it starts with the property and expands outward to encompass the street, the block, the neighborhood, the entire city! Every little thing matters from the color of the walls to the attractions of the town. That’s why a guide like this one on Schorsch Village is so helpful to potential homebuyers. Without leaving the comfort of your desktop computer or laptop, you’ve got an extensive pool of information on all of Chicago’s neighborhoods that includes first-hand descriptions of dining, entertainment, shopping, bars, and events, in addition to lists of schools, hospitals, post offices, and gyms. We’ve done all the research to carefully craft this one-stop online spot, and create your hub for the real deal on Schorsch Village. So as soon as a Chicago loft, condo, townhome or house catches your eye, you know where to come for the low down on the digs around that prime piece of real estate.
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