Neighbors and supporters of President Barack Obama watch Chicago police motorcycle officers arrive Wednesday to escort his motorcade from home. (Zbigniew Bzdak, Chicago Tribune / November 6, 2012)

For many in Chicago's Hyde Park and Kenwood neighborhoods, Wednesday was a day to celebrate.

There would be another time to worry about the fragile economy, the loss of jobs and the escalating violence in neighborhoods farther south.

Many had stayed up late Tuesday as President Barack Obama, their neighbor and favorite son, won re-election. Now that he has four more years to fulfill his promises, residents said, they are confident things will get better.

Wednesday was a day to exude community pride and revel in victory. It was a good day to set up a makeshift stand on the sidewalk to peddle "Obama 2012" T-shirts and leftover campaign buttons.

For the owners of Valois Cafeteria, one of Obama's favorite eating spots before he moved to Washington, it was a day to offer free breakfast to everyone who showed up.

By the time the restaurant closed the line shortly after 11 a.m., more than 1,000 people had dined on the "Obama Breakfast"— bacon, sausage, hash browns, grits, toast, orange juice and coffee.

"It's just a way for us to give back to the people of Hyde Park," said manager Gianni Colamussi. "Most of the people in Hyde Park are big Obama fans, and this is a way to show our appreciation for him and our customers."

As the line extended out the door and along the sidewalk, people talked about the election. They posed for pictures with a life-size cardboard cutout of Obama and shared stories from months of volunteering on his campaign, registering voters, knocking on doors and making phone calls.

Some of them hoped Obama would emerge from his home a few blocks away and make a surprise stop at the restaurant.

Dovie Martin, 58, a retired home health care worker, arrived early hoping to get a glimpse of the president, despite working the polls all day Tuesday and staying up late to watch his acceptance speech on TV.

"I've waited four years. I've always said, 'One day, I'm going to meet him and he's going to sign my books,'" said Martin, who dined with four Obama books lined up on her table. "I couldn't dream of meeting anyone more wonderful."

The Rev. Nathaniel George, a member of Apostolic Church of God in Woodlawn, was so jubilant that he dedicated a Temptations song to Republican challenger Mitt Romney. "It was just my imagination, running away with me," he sang as others at his table joined in.

Once the celebrations are over, there will be plenty of time to talk about serious issues, he said.

"We would all like to see more jobs, better education and more opportunities for small-business owners," said George, 65. "But if it doesn't happen, it's not his fault. He still has to deal with a Republican Congress."

Kevin Louis, 46, a disabled veteran, displayed an oil painting that he had done of Obama. He hopes to get the president to sign it.

He said Obama has a lot of work to do in the next four years. He would like to see more jobs and a "cease-fire" in Chicago, where gang violence has claimed the lives of many young people.

But he said the country has to be patient, and he expressed that sentiment in his painting. In the corner, he drew the Obama campaign's symbol of hope and wrote: "He didn't say change was gonna come easy."

At the Hyde Park Hair Salon, where Obama used to get his hair cut and pictures of him hang throughout, the TVs were turned back to sports instead of news.

Bleary-eyed barbers, who had hosted an election party at the salon just hours before, were back to trimming mustaches.

"It's just another day," said barber Tony Coye, who was wearing a shirt with a picture of Obama that declared the salon the president's "official shop."