Archive ID: 1993-017-30

Cocula Restaurant

Date Created: undated

Donor: Louis Guadarrama

Media Type: Photograph

Language: mul


Cocula Restaurant was located in the heart of the South Chicago shopping district. Before McDonalds, Burger King and KFC, there were neighborhood restaurants, cafes and diners. Many served ethnic foods and reflected the ethnic makeup of the neighborhood. Cocula is actually a small chain and currently has six restaurants in Chicago and surrounding suburbs. It is named for the town of Cocula in the Mexican state of Jalisco, an area where many Mexican immigrants to Southeast Chicago hailed from. Although this photo was taken on the 9000 block of Commercial Avenue, Cocula’s current location is 8847 S. Commercial Avenue. The photograph was taken by Louis Guadarrama, Jr., a former Bowen High school teacher who grew up in the area. As a youth, he dropped out of high school and entered the army, where a friend taught him how to develop film. Later, he went back to school and started the bilingual education program at Bowen. He also took a series of photos of South Chicago street scenes as well as of the Teatro del Barrio, a Chicano-inspired theater group that performed in South Chicago during the 1970s.

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Buildings/Landmarks   Neighborhood Streets   Restaurants   Small Businesses   Other/Unknown   South Chicago   Mexican-American   Photograph   1993-017   Automobiles   Buildings   Business districts   Businesses   Cars   Food   Restaurants   Spanish   Vehicles