Andersonville is a neighborhood in western Edgewater / Uptown. Once a sleepy little village made up primarily of Swedish immigrants, the community is particularly known for its diversity, including a continued Swedish cultural presence led by the Swedish American Museum, the Swedish Bakery and other Swedish businesses. Swedish businesses include the bar Simon's Tavern, a former basement speakeasy, which serves the Swedish wine drink as glögg, and Svea restaurants. At one time there were more Swedes in Chicago than any city outside of Stockholm. Many of Andersonville's Swedes were carpenters, contractors and architects, and played a significant role in building the city.
A significant number of Middle-Eastern businesses and new influx of families with children all make this a very diverse population. Andersonville is also known for its unique commercial district, made up almost entirely of a variety of independent locally owned specialty shops, restaurants, and service providers. Andersonville does, however, have a growing number of nationally known chains including a Starbucks Coffee, McDonald's, Hair Cuttery, The UPS Store, a Subway sandwich shop and a recently opened Potbelly Sandwich Shop.
The Andersonville Commercial Historic District, which runs between 4900 and 5800 N. Clark Street, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in March 2010. It joined the nearby residential Lakewood Balmoral Historic District.
The approximate street boundaries of Andersonville, as defined by the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce, are Magnolia Avenue to the east, Ravenswood Avenue to the west, Winnemac Avenue to the south, and Victoria Street to the north. The heart of the Andersonville commercial district is the corner of Clark St. & Berwyn Ave. (5300 N. Clark Street).
The main shopping street is N. Clark St., which runs roughly north-south. The stretch of Clark St. south of Foster Ave. (where Andersonville has expanded across community boundaries into northern Uptown) is sometimes called South Foster, or SoFo. Some maps show the entire stretch between Foster and Lawrence as Andersonville Terrace; although this name is seldom used by residents, realtors have recently started using it again for the area as far south as Argyle Street, in an attempt to capitalize on Andersonville's popularity. The stretch north of Bryn Mawr still retains a good number of Hispanic-owned business as well as some restaurants and cafes serving Andersonville's more recent transplants.
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