Owner of Bronzeville's Truth Italian Restaurant brings new concept to Chicago's beachfront

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A new eatery on Chicago’s South Side is serving more than just tasty treats on the sand.

The duo behind Truth on the Beach, a new restaurant located at 57th Street Beach, explained they're ready to welcome customers.

“There’s nothing like the beaches of Chicago,” said Peytyn Willborn, the restaurant's owner. “There’s no other state or other city that has beaches like Chicago. Look at this, you can’t find this anywhere.”

Their new restaurant is a spinoff from Truth Italian Restaurant, which opened more than 10 years ago in Bronzeville.

“I wanted to bring something different, so that’s what I’m about,” said Willborn. “I brought something different to Bronzeville, which was Italian food.”

Willborn said her new establishment is one of four Black-owned restaurants along the iconic shoreline. The new establishment doesn't focus on Italian like her other restaurant - but offers a wide variety of tacos at affordable prices.

“We have jerk chicken tacos, we have regular tacos, we have turkey tacos, we also have vegan plant based tacos,” she said.

The plan is to serve more than just food at the location.

“We have different programming and different genres of music here on Tuesday,” said Fletcher, Willborn’s management partner. “We’re going to have house music on Wednesdays. We’re going to have steppers music, which both of those are staples of Chicago.”

Their goal is to bring a different taste to Hyde Park and to bring their community together.

“I want our representation on the beach and in the industry to be united,” said Willborn.

Willborn said her journey to get into the restaurant industry was inspired by her son. She explained that while growing up, her family struggled financially.

“I said when I grow up, I’m going to make sure I own my own business, control my own destiny, and I don’t want to be poor,” she said. “I’ve come a long way from being that little girl living in block one at Altgeld Gardens.”

Willborn's determination and drive have led her to this point. She credits her mom for pushing her.

“I want to continue to make her proud of me,” she said. “I miss her so much. I want her to be so proud of me.”

With warmer days ahead, Willborn and her business partner hope Chicagoans will give their place a try and be reminded of all the beautiful things that the city has to offer.

“Everyone loves 'summertime Chi' so we’re just trying to do our part to add to 'summertime Chi' and a great experience for the people of Chicago," said Fletcher.

Truth on the Beach is open from Tuesday through Sunday, weather permitting. A ribbon cutting ceremony will take place at 1 p.m. on Friday, June 7.

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