28 hours ago
SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS OF CHINATOWN: Meet Hilary Cheng DDS, owner of Dr. Hilary Cheng general dental practice. I met Hilary Cheng for the first time when I came in to interview him for this small business spotlight, but the man’s genuine warmth, sense of humor and charming ability to storytell, made me feel like I’ve known him for ages. “My seven siblings and I were raised working poor in Hong Kong. Growing up in Hong Kong during the 1960’s, a city that only had two universities for a population of 5 million people, meant there were slim pickings for those who would have the opportunity to go to college. If you weren’t a part of the crème de la crème, which my family certainly was not, you could rule out a college education, as well as a decent paying career. Knowing this, my parents offered me the single gift they could afford to give me: A one-way ticket to the United States after high school. With one suit case, one tote, one camera and one cassette recorder, on January 16th, 1970, I made my way across the ocean to this land of opportunity. I didn’t know a single person in the states, and I couldn’t afford the dorm at my Wisconsin university, so I found an old man who took me in and rented me a room for close to nothing. While I could read and write English decently, my comprehension and speaking ability were pathetic—hence the cassette recorder for lecture hall (thank God!). During the summer after my freshman year, I took a bus to New York to find work. The word on the street was that Manhattan was the place to be for a bustling city with good paying tips. I was able to land a job as a busboy, and quickly discovered my place was at the (way) bottom of the totem pole. I learned my biggest lesson in New York that summer—I no longer had any desire to study business in school. If getting my butt kicked as an immigrant busboy with limited English was a reflection of what my experience would be like trying to climb America’s corporate latter—I wanted nothing to do with it. By my second year of college I decided I wanted to be a dentist so I could have a more equitable sense of opportunity in pursuit of my career. In 1974 I graduated from undergrad, enrolled in UIC’s dental school, and the rest is tooth history.” -Hilary Cheng. Upon graduating dental school, Hilary was invited by a couple of his classmates to open a lucrative dental practice in the suburbs, but he declined over something he wrote on his dental school application years earlier: He vowed to serve his community as a practicing dentist—and this is exactly what he’s been doing for the past 40 years. If you ask me, I’d say he made a great return on his parent’s investment back in 1970. While young Hilary Chenge had close to zero dollars in his pocket when he first arrived in this country, he was rich in determination and discipline. Fast forward to today, he owns his own practice, and all three of his adult children are following in his footsteps. His son, William, (pictured below) is completing his residency as a root canal specialist; his daughter is graduating dental school next week, and his other daughter is a dental hygienist pursuing a Master’s in Dentistry. We couldn’t write a better ending to Hilary’s story, if we tried. Learn more about Dr. Cheng’s Chinatown practice and/or book your appt: 312.791.1829 – 2165 S. China Pl. #1A. #SmallBusinessOwners25thWard #25thWardChicago #Chinatown #Community #Dentistry #FamilyAffair
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East End Brewing, 147 Julius St., Larmier & 102 19th St., Strip DistrictThis article has 1 other Chicago location (Show)
Dorothy 6 Blast Furnace Café, 224 East 8th Ave., Homestead
Updated May 16
SIDETRIP THEATRE (circa late 1972 (prep)/early 73-broadcast) - the very first rock program on WXRT - which was then a foreign language station the rest of the broadcast day. SIDETRIP was hosted by Don Bridges and ran from 12M to 3AM - I know - I was the board op. Others followed like John Platt, Mitch Michaels Salchow, Seth Mason etc....but somehow Don's contribution to change the WXRT landscape from foreign language to underground rock - always gets left untold. Arnie Granat and Jerry Michelson of JAM PRODUCTIONS were also instrumental because initially they were the very first sponsors.