CHICAGO (CBS) —Tonight a restaurant opens in the East Garfield Park community.
It’s a story of food and redemption.
CBS2’s Jeremy Ross was there.
The blood and sweat of opening a restaurant is displayed in the ribbon cutting.
The tears however came shortly before, courtesy of its newly minted owner Nichelle Benford whose dream became a reality.
Dream Chef Kitchen and Restaurant will serve things like chicken and biscuits.
The staff is focused on comfort food.
Benford is focused on how far she’s come.
“Five years ago I was actually in prison,” says Benford. “I thought my life was also over.”
Fomer alderman Helen Shiller manages the building and with community partners, helped cut through city red tape to make this a realty.
“Seeing it realized when she didn’t think anything like could be possible is obviously very heartfelt,” says Shiller.
Benford spent more than a year behind bars for lying to investigators about an arson case.
The building she’s now running her restaurant out of is also home to attorneys from the Westside Cetner For Justice, who helped her through that ordeal.
But the restaurant hoping to make first class food also specializes in second chances.
Benford says like her, some of her staff has battled with the legal system and is hoping to turn a passion for food into a great future.