Monday, August 3, 2015

Lightning Over Lolla

(Hat tip:  JB!)

PBR and Fireworks at New Grant Park Skate Park?

Maybe this isn't the most appropriate time for this post given this past weekends annual shenanigans at Lollapalooza, but what the heck...a reader writes:
Skater at New Grant Park Skate Park (via DNAinfo)
Have you heard many complaints about the Grant Park Skate Park? I'm a fan of the skate park concept (I even went to the Mountain Dew event there a few weeks ago.) But, in the last 12 hours, my mind has changed. A clearly underage kid rode into the park at around 7:30 last night with a case of PBR onboard. I thought that was pretty bold. 
This morning, while walking our dogs at 4:30am (yes, I know that is crazy early), 6 kids set off fireworks in the skate park and then hightailed it out of there on their skateboards. Not cool. That had to wake up folks in the high-rises at Roosevelt and Michigan/Indiana. Anyhow...I was wondering if these are isolated incidents or if bad behavior in the skate park is becoming a problem.
Anyone have similar thoughts or observations?  It seems like the skate park has been relatively well received, but stories like the two above seem unfortunate (and maybe even inevitable).

(Hat tip:  CD!)

Saturday, August 1, 2015

The Sloopin Open House:
Amazing Views for $300K

Ok, so the listing is $309K, but negotiate and you can probably get this unit 899 S. Plymouth Ct down to $300K.

For those of you who may question Dearborn Park 1, we would urge you not to judge a book by its cover.  Yes, the building was built in 1980 and might not have an abundance of sexy glass curves or balconies like many new buildings, but in terms of location and views the price point is pretty damn attractive.

It's also pretty spacious for a 2bed/1.1bath at 1,250 square feet:

If this seems interesting to you, head on over this Sunday (8/2) to their open house from 1-3pm.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Tribune: Can Street Art Boost Wabash Businesses?

New "Harmony" Piece on the Back of University Center between State and Wabash
Done By Prominent Street Artist Ben Eine (photo from Chicago Tribune)
A great read recently on Chicago Tribune about the momentum behind the Wabash Arts Corridor:
"The momentum now is remarkable," said Mark Kelly, vice president of student success at Columbia College and a driving force behind the eight-block corridor, which he hopes will become Chicago's pre-eminent destination for high-end street art. Kelly has identified 45 more building walls on the corridor that he thinks could serve as canvases and already is discussing projects for next summer with Vertical Gallery, a Ukrainian Village art gallery that has helped bring some of the big names to town. 
The corridor, a collaboration of the cultural and educational institutions concentrated in the area, is among several initiatives underway to make Wabash a more vibrant destination. Separately, a design duo recently raised $60,000 to test Wabash Lights, a colorful interactive lighting installation to run under the "L" tracks. 
The goal is to give the area an identity by tapping into the creative hive of its art schools, galleries and performance art venues, and in turn draw students, visitors and shoppers to support businesses, Kelly said.

Beyond the concept the article actually poses an interesting question - Can the corridor (aka street art) be a boon for business?  The article delves into it with the following snippet:
Dan Broughton, property manager at 1132 S. Wabash Ave., calls Kelly "the world's hardest person to say no to." On his property, a newly renovated six-story building with a restaurant coming to its first floor and five floors of offices above, a mural of a little boy in a cape and aviator goggles soars across the southern wall, painted earlier this year by Chicago native Hebru Brantley.  
In addition to liking the art, Broughton said the urban superhero has helped create an identity for the building, which is helpful as it markets itself to prospective tenants, including tech companies, galleries and nonprofits.  
"We're trying to create this idea of a building that has some creative energy, and that (mural) certainly lends itself to that vision and the type of tenants we want to attract," Broughton said. "It's all part of what gets people excited about getting in that building."
If you're not aware, 1132 S Wabash has received some attention from us here at Sloopin for a variety of items.  One being the mural by Hebru Brantley referred to above, but also because they've attracted a new BBQ concept called Belly-Up that seems unique for the neighborhood.

So maybe there is something to the idea that this street art can help business.  What do you think?  Is this a boon for business?

Thursday, July 30, 2015

PetSmart Confirms Multiple Cases of Canine Flu

A reader sends us a link:
An outbreak of canine flu has been confirmed in a pet store in Chicago’s South Loop.
In a statement, PetSmart confirms multiple cases of the respiratory illness in dogs at its South Loop pets hotel and one confirmed case of canine flu.
“We have seen multiple cases of canine respiratory illness in dogs in our South Loop PetsHotel location. At this point, we have one confirmed case of Canine Influenza. The health and well-being of pets is our top priority, and we are going to do everything we can to help contain the spread of this virus and ensure the pets in our PetsHotels receive the best care possible.”

(Hat tip: BT!)

Lollapalooza 2015 - Here We Go!

Perry's Stage at Lollapalooza
Well here we go again - Lollapalooza 2015!

One of the Summers most highly anticipated events.  Speaking of events, the Tribune had a recent look at the city's strategy to lure high-profile events to the area:
Lollapalooza will fill Grant Park with hundreds of thousands of people next weekend, the latest event that — like the Pitchfork Musical Festival and the Grateful Dead's farewell concerts at Soldier Field before it — puts Chicago center stage. 
With spring's NFL draft, which transformed itself and Grant Park into a three-day football fan festival, the city's plan to raise its profile and promote tourism through large-scale events is showing momentum. 
While locals may grumble about cordoned-off streets and lollygagging visitors, and skeptics question the bottom-line economic benefits, the city says its strategy is paying off. 
Lollapalooza generated nearly $82 million last year in direct spending, while the NFL draft — which returned to Chicago after a half-century in New York — added nearly $44 million, according to separate economic impact studies funded by the city and event organizers.
It easy to be skeptical (and believe us, these numbers are probably inflated), but regardless one of the benefits of living in a vibrant urban neighborhood is events and the hoopla that at times surrounds them.

Anyway, enough of the political and PR spin associated with events.  Let's dive into Lollapalooza.  While we're by no means music experts, there are some acts that we're pretty excited to see.  With that said, here is our some of our favorites that will be invading the Sloop this weekend:

BADBADNOTGOOD (Pepsi Stage:  2:50 - 3:30) - Three classically trained jazz students collaborate with former hip hop royalty - yes please:

Alabama Shakes (Samsung Galaxy:  5:45 - 6:45) - They're not a hidden gem anymore, but seemingly continue to get better with each album:

Paul McCartney - (Samsung Galaxy:  7:45 - 10:00) - While many younger fans will probably flock to see The Weeknd on the other side of the park, the reality is that they're idiots.  Sir Paul is probably the most important living musician in the world.  While The Beatles may not be turning out new music - there songs will live forever.  And while you're still living, you should probably hear some of them live by surviving members:

Sturgill Simpson (Bud Light: 2:45 - 3:45) - We're no fans of (pop) country music here, but if this is what the genre entails then maybe we need to reconsider:

Delta Spirit (Pepsi:  5:15 - 6:00) - We've read some mixed reviews on this band, but there song "California" is officially stuck in our head.  It's not new, but it's new to us and as a result will probably earn them a live listen from our crew:
Tame Impala (Samsung Galaxy: 6:00 - 7:00) - This australian band has played Lollapalooza before, but they were kids.  Coming off of a new hot album, these dudes have being playing live for awhile and have an abundance of sweet, psychedelic, moody rock that is sure to appeal to a prime slot on Saturday of Lolla.  Outside of Sir Paul, we're not missing these guys:
Sam Smith and Metallica headline the festival on Saturday.  Both are accomplished.  Both don't have a ton of appeal to us, but undoubtedly will for many.

Wild Belle (Pepsi 5:15 - 6:00) - There has been a lot of talk about 2015 and the prevalece of female lead singers.  Sunday is devoted to the females for us.  First up is local brother and sister crew who have an unmistakably cool sound and vibe which may be needed given that it's late July/early August in Chi:
Of Monsters and Men (Samsung Galaxy 6:30 - 7:30) - Solely based on their kick ass concert from Loll 2012, we are checking them out again this year.  While they've been relatively quiet ever since, they did just drop a new album - hopefully they can rekindle some of the energy from 2012:
Florence + The Machine (Samsung Galaxy 8:30 - 10:00) - Lead singer Florence Welch is a force.  While we're not aware of any religious themes in the bands music, it oozes spirituality.  A fitting way to end what is usually a sin filled weekend for many:
Oh and if you've made it this far and aren't going - be aware of street closures.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Belly-Up Saloon To Include Karaoke?

If this public notice is any indication, then yes!

We're pretty pumped to see how this place turns out at 1132 S. Wabash.  On the outside it has a lot of positives - owners who have run restaurants before, a seemingly nice space and good location, a concept that's unique as well as some additional activities (karaoke anyone) that don't seem to be prevalent in the Sloop.

While it's easy to be excited, the proof is in the pudding (or should we say BBQ sauce).  We shall see.

(Hat tip: JK!)

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Dunkin Donuts at Roosevelt CTA Station is Now Open

As we posted about back in May, Dunkin Donuts was going to open up in the retail space at the Roosevelt CTA stop.  Well looks like they're officially open:

It's been a tough spot for businesses restaurants - Bacci Pizza and Butterfield Kitchen didn't cut it.  Our guess is that Dunkin will do pretty well (duh!).

Business counter is updated.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Massage Envy Opens on 2nd Floor of Roosevelt Collection

Massage Envy has apparently opened up at Roosevelt Collection:
We also received the following from a press release:
Massage Envy, the nations’ pioneer and largest massage therapy provider, is pleased to announce today the opening of a new concept, Massage Envy Spa located in Chicago’s South Loop neighborhood. Guests will experience exclusive healthy skin facials featuring Murad® products in addition to therapeutic massages. 
The new clinic is located at The Shops at Roosevelt Collection, 1136 South Delano Court. Massage Envy South Loop will open on Tuesday, July 21 with an official Press Opening on August 4th. As part of the Grand Opening event, to be held Tuesday, August 4th from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Another place in the Sloop to get a massage - nice!

(Hat tip: SC, KK!)

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Sloopin Hat-Tip T-Shirt Reminder!

It's been awhile (sorry for the lengthy list below), so wanted to post a friendly reminder that the Sloopin "Hat Tip" T-shirts are available for those of you who have recently submitted tips on published posts.   You're now officially eligible to get your t-shirt. If you see your initials below, please send an email to to let us know you're going to go to Well Future Pharmacy (1442 S. Michigan) to redeem your shirts:
  • TC
  • HB
  • DN
  • BT
  • JH
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  • JY
  • JF
  • GC
  • NL
  • AM
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  • MS
  • CD
  • MP
  • CB
  • DS
  • LP
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  • HB
  • SF
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  • DM
  • GM
  • DL
  • JG
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  • KP
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  • SC
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  • MLG
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  • RB
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  • DEB
If this post doesn't mean anything to you and you're like "Wha?!?!? click here for some background on the Sloopin Hat Tip program. 

Thanks again for all the tips, photos, suggestions and whatnot. Without you Sloopin wouldn't exist!

Friday, July 24, 2015

The Sloopin Open House:
Townhouse on Top of a Parking Garage?

For the Sloopin Open House this week we look at a strangely secluded townhouse nestled just off of a high-rise at 1529 S. State.

If you're looking at the picture above, and look to the right and left side you will see shorter buildings - these are actually townhouses?!?!

We checked them out awhile back and were kind of surprised as to how you accessed them.

Essentially you go in the high-rise entrance, go up a couple floors on the elevator and then walk outside to the front door of the townhouse.  If you're a nervous nelly in terms of security, but want townhouse, you may want to check this out this Sunday from 11am to 1pm.

This particular unit is priced at a reasonable $425K for a 3bed/2.1bath on 3 levels (however the assesments are relatively high at $1,000 per month).

The unit itself looks nice, but nothing out of the ordinary.  While we haven't seen this unit, we did see a similar one and can attest that it's pretty spacious:

New Park Behind Roosevelt Collection and Above British School of Chicago Opens

A reader writes:
The park over British School is open....Including the artificial turf throughout. No real grass on the field or in the parks.

(Hat tip:  DEB!)