Everyone in Bridgeport knows Korea-born owner Maria Marszewski is the namesake of Maria’s — and a few call her Mom too. She actually is Mom to Polish-Korean-American co-owners Ed and Mike Marszewski, and the gardienne of this classic slashie: half liquor store/half neighborhood bar. First opened in 1939 as Kaplan’s Liquors and bought by Maria in 1986 (who was supposed to be retiring from hairdressing, she’ll tell you all about it), the space was transformed by the brothers Marszewski in 2010. Mike did the DIY reno with restored and reclaimed wood. With nearly 500 beers in cans, bottles, and on tap, they may carry the greatest selection in the city. They serve predominantly craft beers and spirits, but still keep Old Style for longtime regulars. They also make their own ginger beer, in collaboration with Filbert’s, the South Side soda makers since 1926. Ed, who is also a patron of the arts, magazine publisher, and community organizer, plans to brew their own beer as well. It’s Ed who said the turning point for him was becoming a father. He changed Maria’s not only to be a better shop but also, he hopes, to help Bridgeport become “The Community of the Future”.
960 W. 31st St.
Chicago, IL 60608