Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Tantrum - a Lounge at 1023 S. State - Closes Permanently Due to Covid-19 After 12 Year Run

Looks like another business feels the wrath of the pandemic (via Eater):
South Loop: Black-owned martini bar and lounge Tantrum is permanently closed after 12 years due to the financial ramifications of COVID-19, according to a June 26 Instagram post. “Tantrum meant a lot to many people,” the post reads. “For the more seasoned party goers, when we first opened it was the spot you just chilled at and it became your ‘Black Neighborhood Cheers.’ For those that are in their late 20s to mid 30s, we were your first party spot, some couldn’t wait to turn 21 to go to Tantrum.” Co-owners Shun D. and John McClendon promise a “new and bigger Tantrum in the near future.” The pair also own sports bar and dance club Renaissance Bronzeville.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Chick-fil-A Opening Location Close to the Sloop at 122 S. Michigan Avenue

We're sticking with the Chicken theme this week and posting about another popular fowl place moving close to the neighborhood (via Chicago Tribune):
Chick-fil-A plans to open two restaurants on Michigan Avenue next month and another six in the Chicago area next year, in an expansion that comes as many restaurants permanently close because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Atlanta-based chain in August will open in the former Purple Pig space at 500 N. Michigan Ave. and in a storefront at 122 S. Michigan across the street from the Art Institute of Chicago, the company said Wednesday.The two restaurants will create more than 140 full- and part-time jobs, according to the company.

Next year the company plans six more openings in the area, including three more in the city, according to a news release.
While 122 S. Michigan isn't technically in the Sloop - it's damn close and many of us walk right by this building all the time.

As a reminder, Chick-fil-A is also supposed to be opening up the city's first drive thru location at 1113 S. Jefferson.  We posted about that in January 2019 so no clue if and when this is happening.

Monday, August 3, 2020

Hoots Opens on South Canal Street

From a press release:
The fourth Hoots location is now open at 1238 South Canal Street in Chicago.  Hoots menu offerings include fresh never frozen wings in one of their 11 sauces or rubs, hand breaded jumbo tenders, huge buffalo chicken sandwiches, crab legs, buffalo shrimp, waffle fries and several new dipping sauces.  

Hoots South Loop current hours are Sunday through Thursday from 11 am until 10 pm and 11am until 11pm on Friday and Saturday. Hoots is also available on all third party delivery platforms including Grubhub, Uber, Door Dash, ezCater and Postmates.  To go orders can also be placed by calling Hoots at (872) 249-0001.

“We are excited for the opportunity to open our fourth Hoots and our third location in Chicagoland. We have hired 15 employees for Hoots South Loop,” said Hoots Director of Development and Operations Will LeBas.

We got word of this back in April of 2019, so it's been slow moving...guess that's understandable given that there is a global pandemic raging. 

Friday, July 31, 2020

Lowcountry & Half Sour Close For Cleaning as an Employee at Each Restaurant Tests Positive for Covid-19

In case you missed two South Loop restaurants closed for cleaning this week as an employee at each spot tested positive for Covid-19:

Via Lowcountry South Loop's Facebook page:

Half Sour (755 S. Clark) also had a case this week according to their Facebook page:
Half Sour's Facebook subsequently has a post talking about testing their doing for their employees and a video of disinfecting their restaurant.

Stay safe everyone and WEAR A MASK!!!!! 

We wish them and their employees good health and best of luck.  Hope they can open back up soon!

(Hat tip: ND!)

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Checking In at the Jazz Showcase During the Pandemic

The Tribune recently checked in to see how Chicago's Jazz club scene was handling Covid and our neighborhood haunt - the Jazz Showcase (806 S. Plymouth Ct) - got some love.  They interviewed the owner to see how things have been going:
The Jazz Showcase didn’t reopen until July 9.

“I waited a couple of extra weeks after the Green Mill and Andy’s opened up, to see how they fared,” says Segal. “I felt I’ve got to open it sometime, and I wanted to make sure that we had everything in place – all the COVID safety rules and sanitation.

“It opened up successfully. Everyone had their 6-8 foot distance,” adds Segal, noting that he had 25 customers on July 9, 37 on July 10 and 23 on July 11.

“It went better than I expected. I was a little nervous at first to see how people would act, if they would abide by the safety rules, and everyone did.”

None of the clubs is turning a profit yet. Instead, they’re trying to cut their losses, which is more easily done by staying open than closed.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Police Looking for Info on Suspect Linked to Two Stabbings of Homeless People in Grant Park

A scary story in the South Loop portion of Chicago's front lawn (via Sun Times):
Chicago police are seeking a man wanting in connection with a homicide and an aggravated battery with a knife in July in South Loop.

In both cases the person has approached a homeless person while they were sleeping in a park and attacked them with a knife, Chicago police said.

In the 1100 block of South Michigan Avenue about 9 a.m. July 9 a person was stabbed to death, and about 3:50 a.m. July 24 a second person was stabbed but did not die, police said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Area Three detectives at 312-744-8261.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Roots Handmade Pizza Opens Impressive Building in the Midst of Covid-19

We knew Roots Handmade Pizza had ambitious plans for their buildout on the northwest corner of Polk and Dearborn but wow!  The building is absolutely beautiful and has already added to the general vibe of Printers Row. 

Don't believe, head on over to Eater Chicago to see their write-up and amazing pictures.  If that's too much work, here are some pics and a blurb:
Chicago may see many pizzerias in the near future, but none quite like the new Roots Handmade Pizza in Printer’s Row. Pizza spots don’t rely on dine-in customers, and have the strong carryout and delivery capabilities to survive the pandemic. Roots, 744 S. Dearborn Street, has even more advantages, including a patio outfitted with a glass retractable roof.

This is Roots’ fourth location, following West Town, Lincoln Square, and Old Town. They all serve Quad Cities Pizza, cut into the strips with malted crust and loaded with cheese. Fifty/50 Restaurant Group co-owner Greg Mohr is a Quad Cities native. He says the extra cheese serves as insulation that keeps pies tasty during delivery or carryout. Roots is known for its chef’s pizza series with talent including Won Kim (Kimski), Rick Ortiz (Antique Taco), and Oliver Poilevey (Le Bouchon). The pizzeria is also known for its fried mozzarella sticks.

The bi-level behemoth, 744 S. Dearborn Street, is outfitted with two ground level patios and 23 TVs. Mohr says the $600,000 glass roof on the second floor takes about 20 seconds to retract. Roots is known for its family-friendly atmosphere, but the company has yearned to create more of a bar scene at night. The 21+ rooftop gives them that opportunity, and the design takes pages out of Fifty/50’s Old Town set up. Roots occupies the first floor, but ride the elevator on top of Second City comedy club, and visitors will kind Utopian Tailgate, the zany sibling rooftop bar.

Mohr hopes they can build some synergy with Chicago Bears fans as Soldier Field is a short distance away. Of course, many wonder if football season will take place this year. COVID-19 has also affected Roots’ design. They were able to integrate plexiglas shields and other social distancing precautions into the room. There’s also a separate carryout entrance where customers can pick up sweet treats from the group’s popular West Town Bakery.

We didn't know about the bakery but that's awesome...even better this view of Dearborn Tower:

It's a tough time to be opening a restaurant, especially one with such ambitious plans.  Regardless - we're very excited to try them out and judging by the solid crowd we've seen outside, much of the neighborhood is too!

(Hat tip: AB!)

Monday, July 27, 2020

Northwestern Medicine Immediate Care Center Opens at Roosevelt Collection

A reader writes:
Not the most exciting news in the world, but it appears Northwestern Medicine upgraded their existing South Loop location at Roosevelt Collection to an immediate care spot in June. Super beneficial for locals needing NM care!

From the Northwestern Medicine website:
 A new Northwestern Medicine Immediate Care Center opened in the South Loop on June 2.
The new Immediate Care Center is located at 1135 South Delano Court, Suite B201, in Chicago. It is part of an existing Northwestern Medicine location that offers several services, including primary care.

“We are very excited to open our 20th NM Immediate Care Center,” says Heather Keirnan, MS, RN, NE-BC, vice president of Operations, Immediate Care Division and Northwestern Medicine Occupational Health. “We bring with us X-ray capability that didn’t previously exist in this location. The physicians who work with the primary pare practice in the South Loop will now be able to obtain on-site X-rays and save their patients an additional trip to the Streeterville campus for imaging.” 

The Immediate Care Center in the South Loop is open every day of the week from 8 am to 8 pm. The last patient registration will be taken at 7:45 pm.

This is good news!

(Hat tip:  CD!) 

Friday, July 24, 2020

Columbus Statue in Grant Park Removed Late Last Night

In a surprise move, Mayor Lightfoot removes Columbus statue from Grant Park (Roosevelt and Columbus):
Mayor Lori Lightfoot ordered the statues of Christopher Columbus removed from Chicago’s Grant and Arrigo parks overnight, in part to avoid another high-profile confrontation between police and protesters like the one that happened last week.

Not all Italian American leaders in Chicago are on board with the decision, but it has received the blessing of some groups, sources said. By taking the statues down, Lightfoot may draw criticism from those who believe she caved to activist demands.

Later Friday morning, the mayor’s office released a statement saying that she had both statues “temporarily removed ... until further notice.”

“This step is about an effort to protect public safety and to preserve a safe space for an inclusive and democratic public dialogue about our city’s symbols,” the statement said. “In addition, our public safety resources must be concentrated where they are most needed throughout the city, and particularly in our South and West Side communities.”

It's an interesting development and interesting use of "temporarily" as we're curious what would warrant a reverse in this action.  

We do understand the rationale that the deployment of resources to areas of more need vs. this statue is warranted.  We will see what happens...

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Community Meeting Tonight for Potential Marijuana Dispensary at 1420 S. Michigan

A reader writes:
I wanted you to be aware of the Community Presentation for a planned marijuana dispensary at 1420 S Michigan. 

The link to join the Facebook Live presentation is below. The presentation is going to take place from 6:00 to 8:00 pm CDT on Thursday, July 23 (tomorrow).

I had a difficult time tracking down information about the dispensary, which is a shame considering how important of an issue this is for the South Loop Community. 

If you're interested in listening in it appears there will be a Facebook live link -

It seems like it would be a good spot for a dispensary...we're curious to see where the first South Loop one will open.

(Hat tip:  MM!)  

F45 Gym Coming to 1322 S. Michigan

A reader writes:
This is yet another gym on 13th & Michigan.
It does seem like gyms are the new "nail salon" for this stretch of the Sloop.

So what is F45?  We've never heard of it, but here is a video with their propisition:

Seems good????  We're not huge on the fitness class scene so they all feel similar to us, but does anyone in the Sloop know of this brand?  Thoughts?

(Hat tip:  JD!)

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Arts & Craftsman Supply Closes at 828 S. Wabash Due to Covid-19 Impact

Well this is a shame, one of our favorite stores - Arts & Craftsman Supply (828 S. Wabash) - appears to be closing:

The email one of our readers received states:
Dear Friends of Artist & Craftsman Supply,

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the difficult decision to close A&C Chicago permanently.

Our staff and senior managers have put great effort into the store, but due to the conditions of the local market and the financial losses we have faced, we are unable to sustain our operations to make business viable. We are truly grateful for the loyalty, dedication, and outstanding level of professionalism displayed by our employees.
A huge thank you to our loyal customers who have supported us in Chicago. You can still find Artist & Craftsman Supply online and throughout the country, including our next closest store in Madison.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

You will be missed!

(Hat tip:  SN!)