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The Rink

1122 East 87th St.

Carmen Clark and Nate Simpson became tired of driving their children to the suburbs to skate, so they opened the Rink in their neighborhood in the mid 1970s so they would have fun closer to home. Soon it became a community hub that offered area youths a safe indoor alternative to the streets. A few years later the space became known for Chicago’s JB Skaters, a roller skating crew that models their moves after the songs and dances of James Brown. These include replicating his crossed legs, kicks and splits while they’re on wheels. Other DJs at The Rink, such as DJ DMC, would introduce remixes of hip-hop and electronic music. Footwork dances also developed here in a room behind the skating rink during the early 1990s. After decades of owning the business, running skating contests, sponsoring cheerleading squads and giving out scholarships to patrons, Clark and Simpson retired in 2019.

– A.C. 

Caption: The Rink

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