Saturday, April 29, 2017

Royal Puppies Moving in at SW Corner of Cullerton and Wabash

A reader writes: 
My sister and I were driving down Wabash and saw some activity at the Southwest corner of Wabash and Cullerton. It appears that a dog store, Royale Puppies, is opening (see image). We don’t know when it is going to open and could not find any information from a quick google search about it. Does anyone know?
Love the name!  Anyone know anything?

(Hat tip: LK!)

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Taco Bell Cantina Coming to Old Colony Building (407 S. Dearborn St.)

A reader calls this one a game changer (via Curbed Chicago):
If 2016 deserves further scorn, it’s because Taco Bell failed to open another Chicago restaurant that serves alcohol. Fret not, because it’s 2017 and a second boozy bell appears on its way to the city, this time in the Loop. Taco Bell Cantina has applied for a liquor license for 407 S. Dearborn St., according to city records. 
When news first spread in May 2015 that a Boozy Bell was headed to Chicago, national media went berserk and locals flipped at the notion of a late-night chalupa chased by a cheap beer. The new restaurant would go inside the Old Colony Building, which is a student housing tower. The Bell opened its first U.S. restaurant to serve booze in Wicker Park back in September 2015, featuring spiked Mountain Dew slushies, beer and wine. Outside the U.S., including in Spain, The Bell had served booze to customers for years.
This is one block north of Congress and most of us wouldn't consider that the Sloop.  Regardless, this seems like a nice get for the Old Colony Building which recently went through a big renovation.

Do you think this could eat into Flaco's sales?  Or is this a different concept?

We've never been to the Taco Bell Cantina, but we know it has some buzz!

(Hat tip:  TC!)

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Mercat a La Planxa (638 S. Michigan) Reopens After Facelift

We received the following from a reader:
Mercat a la Planxa (638 S. Michigan) has reopened
Sure enough, it looks like you can go to their website and book tables:

As a reminder, it was announced late last year that the Mercat a La Planxa restaurant was getting a face-lift.

Has anyone been to this since they re-opened?  If so, how was it?

(Hat tip:  SB!)

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Site Cleared for Future South Loop Elementary; Some Question Whether It's Necessary

A reader writes:
Thought I would forward on pictures I took of the completely demolished old USPS location at 16th and Dearborn. This has really picked up steam and is a great sign for the Sloop!

As a reminder, about a year ago word trickled out that a new South Loop elementary school was being proposed for the neighborhood.  Details are still limited, but we had a post in August that outlined that a 4-story structure that would be 110,000 square feet would be built to house the school.

While many in the neighborhood are excited about this development, not everyone is as bullish about the school.  One reader recently sent us an article from WBEZ about some of challenges regarding schooling in the city.  More specifically the article talks about National Teachers Academy (on Cermak) and questioning whether South Loop Elementary is necessary given the city's budget crunch.  The reader expounds:
It points out that parents at NTA question whether it's a wise use of funds at this juncture to build a new school for South Loop Elementary (SLE). This is a big deal. In my opinion, from an outside perspective, building for SLE is completely unwarranted and perpetuates racial segregation. (Disclosure: I own in the NTA district.) However, I've heard rumors that the secret plan is to turn NTA into a high school for the South Loop and Chinatown. If true, these discussions should be happening in public, it's a bad idea to have CPS making such big decisions without public input. What are the population projections for the area? How many seats do these schools have? How will charters change the picture? Anyway, I saw this WBEZ article and it made me wonder if the SLE project could blow up the way Obama Prep did.

(Hat tip: DK!)

Monday, April 24, 2017

Swap-O-Rama Replaces CSI at 1725 S. Michigan

A reader writes:
So we woke up a couple of days ago to learn that CSI had left and this new business had moved in. Seeing people come in and out though we haven't gone to investigate yet. Surprised this would move in here (1725 S Michigan Ave) and wonder its impact on our neighborhood.

For those who aren't familiar with this building here is a shot from google maps.  It's on the east side of Michigan avenue and right across the street from South Loop Market (so very close to the intersection of 18th and Michigan).

We've heard of Swap-o-Rama but have never been.  Thoughts?  Has anyone been to this one or another?

(Hat tip:  SM!)

Saturday, April 22, 2017

The Sloopin Open House: Holy Fridge Batman!

Townhouses seem to be in short supply and the Sloop and this one at 1319 S. Indiana is a prime example of that.  This specific 3bd/3bth unit clocks in at a high $985K, but it's very nice and has amazing finishes.

Maybe that's what the market is asking, but damn that's a lot for a 3bd townhouse.

That being said, upon scrolling through their pictures this amazingly large fridge stood out:

Regardless if this is in your budget, it would be a fun open house to check-out.  If you do, please open the fridge and take a picture...we're curious what it looks like inside!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Who's Ready for the Free Millennium Park Summer Music Series

Yeah for free music at Pritzker Pavilion.  Time Out Chicago gives us the rundown:
This year's lineup of acts is one of the most diverse to date, including a number of international artists—a calculated approach on the part of DCASE to showcase "Chicago’s status as a welcoming city." Highlights of the concert series include Grammy-winning jazz singer Gregory Porter, Norwegian jazz fusion act Jaga Jazzist, Colombian singer Totó La Momposina, alt-country band Drive-By Truckers and Mali guitar and vocal duo Amadou & Mariam. 
Take a look at the full Millennium Park Summer Music Series lineup below and look forward to late evenings on the Pritzker Pavilion lawn with friends, drinks and free music.
  • Monday, June 12 Otis Taylor + Ben Sollee & Kentucky Native
  • Thursday, June 15 No BS! Brass Band + Dayme Arocena
  • Monday, June 19 Gregory Porter + Tomeka Reid Quartet
  • Thursday, June 22 Hurray for Riff Raff + Matthew Santos
  • Monday, June 26 Jaga Jazzist + AfrotroniX
  • Thursday, June 29 Lady Wray + Zeshan B & the Transistors
  • Monday, July 10 Natalie Prass + Angelica Garcia
  • Thursday, July 13 Totó La Momposina + Xenia Rubinos
  • Monday, July 17 Big Thief + Overcoats
  • Thursday, July 20 Drive-By Truckers + Honeysuckle
  • Monday, July 24 Amadou & Mariam + Frank Waln 
  • Monday, August 7 Gaby Moreno + Centavrvs
  • Thursday, August 10 Youssou N’Dour + Bassel & The Supernaturals
  • Thursday, August 17 Joshua Nelson + Tone Ross & Inspired
  • Monday, August 21 TBA

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

What's Going on in the Retail Space at 2113 S. State?

A reader writes:
After seeing that no one else clued you guys in to the grocer on State closing, looks like Stone Grill, formerly Big Mikes Gyros, formerly something else a couple years ago is either closed or remodeling. Lots going on in the building just to the south of them, so not sure if that property has a tenant moving in, but last week the windows were all papered at Stone Grill, this week paper is gone, so not sure what is up...
The last time we posted about this place was when we got word that Jack's Chicago Grill (2113 S. State) was going to replace Big Mikes Gyros back in 2015.  Clearly we haven't had our finger on the pulse of this one.

Anyway, anyone have the scoop on what's going on here?  Pretty much this entire block south to Cermak is empty with remodeling and renovating going on in almost every spot.

(Hat tip:  KS!)

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Time Out Chicago Profiles a Couple BYOF Sloop Spots

We really want to go to Jazz of these days...

Anyway looks like we can bring our own food if this article in the Time Out Chicago is right:
Let's face it, bar food can get really old, really fast. Why not save room (and cash) for some of Chicago's finest drinks by hitting up a BYOF (bring your own food) joint? Here are a few of our favorites. 
The Jazz Showcase: See jazz greats perform at this Chicago institution in South Loop. Located in the old Dearborn Station around the corner from Harold Washington Library, Jazz Showcase has played host to the likes of Roy Hargrove, Dizzy Gillespie and Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers.

Vice District Brewing Co.: Enjoy some local flavor at the Vice District taproom, where you can pair handcrafted Chicago brews with food from the heart of the city. Located within walking distance of Soldier Field, Museum Campus and countless other downtown attractions, the taproom welcomes dogs, babies and even folks just looking to get a little work done on the free WiFi. 

We've actually brought Kurah (1315 S. Michigan) to Vice (1454 S. Michigan) and it was a lovely time.  We would recommend it to anyone.

Monday, April 17, 2017

D'Jons Barbershop (1514 S. Wabash) Relocating Out of the Sloop

A reader writes:
We heard this business was moving soon because it's close to our building and my boyfriend would get his haircut there.  
Didn't know the timeline to the move, but they are now gone. Glad they are just moving and not going out of business. Nice guys. New location is in Bronzeville close to Sox park.
We've never actually been inside, but every time we walked by it seemed like they were busy and had a nice vibe going.

Anyway, sad to D'Jons move out, but hopefully something else good will go in.

Seems like it would be a good space for a restaurant or something.

(Hat tip:  HH & LW!)

Saturday, April 15, 2017

The Sloopin Open House: Easter Weekend at the Pope Building

Seems fitting that the open house we're checking out this weekend is in the Pope Building (633 S. Plymouth Ct Unit #802).  But Easter goers don't fret, the open house is on Saturday - not Easter Sunday!

This specific unit looks very spacious and while it's a 1 bed / 1.5 bath clocking in at $315K, it's a great location and has some solid character (fun windows!):

This specific open house starts at Noon and goes until 2pm.  Hop on over and say hi to the Pope for us!