Nini's Deli Doubles Down On Bigoted Social Media Posts And Preaching After Reopening - Block Club Chicago

WEST TOWN — The controversial owner of a West Town restaurant once again is drawing the neighborhood’s ire over his hateful rhetoric and preaching, pledging the business will be more outspoken about its “biblical Christian values” following a long hiatus.

Juan Riesco owns Nini’s Deli, 543 N. Noble St., which serves empanadas, sandwiches and other items.

The restaurant closed last year after protesters rallied against Riesco’s homophobic and racist comments and street sermons. Companies like Nike and Molly’s Cupcakes cut ties with the restaurant, and Riesco told the Chicago Tribune in June 2020 that Nini’s would not return.

But after going dark for more than a year, the restaurant reopened for takeout in July and indoor dining last month.

Riesco is a member of the Metro Praise International pentecostal church in Belmont Cragin, which made headlines in spring 2020 for holding in-person services during the stay at home order. He regularly preaches on the street Downtown and throughout the city.

Riesco frequently shares videos of his preaching on Facebook, as well as bigoted images and commentary which often generate hundreds or thousands of likes.

On June 17, Nini’s posted a picture of an empanada with the text: “Moving forward, you can expect us at Nini’s Deli to be vocal about our biblical Christian values.” The post then lists several examples of those values, including, “Marriage is between a man and woman only,” and “There are only two genders.”

On Monday, the deli...

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