Tuesday, December 12, 2017

World of Beers Not Opening at Roosevelt Collection

For those of you wondering, it appears the World of Beer is not going to be opening up at Roosevelt Collection.  As you may recall, we posted back in November of last year signs appearing at a prominent location at the shopping center:

Upon a recent trip to pick up some Nando's we noticed that the signage was down.  We did some searching and found confirmation via Hello South Loop and a comment from their facebook page:
Hi all! I work for the retail management office at Roosevelt Collection. World of Beer is no longer coming, but our leasing team is working on bringing a new restaurant option to that space ASAP that will be worth the wait! I'll share an update in this group when we have news!

So it appears that this is confirmed.  Hopefully RC brings something good to the spot!

Monday, December 11, 2017

Woman in Car Robbed at 1200 block of South Michigan

More scary stuff (via Tribune):
A woman was robbed at gunpoint in her own vehicle Saturday morning in the South Loop, according to Chicago police.

It happened around 8:35 a.m. in the 1200 block of South Michigan Avenue, police said.

The woman, 32, told police she was sitting inside her Mercedes-Benz sedan when an unknown man entered the car and demanded her purse at gunpoint.

After taking her purse, the man got out of the car and entered a black SUV waiting for him and fled, police said.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Developer CMK Buys Property on South Wabash from Columbia

Some real estate news for South Wabash (via Crains):
One of the busiest residential developers in the South Loop has found another site for a big project, buying a parcel just a few blocks west of Soldier Field from Columbia College Chicago.

A venture led by CMK paid $6.5 million in late October for the property at 1415 S. Wabash Ave., according to Cook County property records. It's a neighborhood the Chicago developer knows well: The site is just a block south of a 144-unit condo tower CMK built at 1345 S. Wabash and a new 305-unit CMK apartment building at 1333 S. Wabash.

At 32,400 square feet, CMK's new property could accommodate a large building as well, though it's unclear what the developer plans. CMK President Colin Kihnke did not respond to a call or email.

Kihnke has shown a fondness for Wabash Avenue, but he's got even more going on several blocks northwest, on a riverside tract between Congress Parkway and Roosevelt Road. A CMK joint venture is building a 452-unit apartment tower at 726 S. Wells St. and plans a 340-unit condo-and-townhouse project nearby, the first buildings within Riverline, a residential development that could encompass more than 3,600 homes.

Should be interesting what transpires here.  Seems like it would be a complete tear-down...obviously.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Not Just Cookies Gearing Up for Official Grand Opening

Back in October we heard that a new place - Not Just Cookies - was moving into 901 S. Plymouth court where a longstanding cleaners had been.  It looks like they have had a soft opening over the past couple of weeks and are gearing up for their official grand opening this Saturday.

We stopped by last weekend and they're still working on the buildout:
Anyway, we grabbed some turtle cookies ($7 for a half-dozen).  They had pies and a variety of other cookies out, but last weekend their displays were probably a third full.  It looks like they'll also serve coffee.

It's a pretty unique business and we'll be curious to see how they do.  It's pretty easy to miss the spot, but for their sake we hope that means rent is lower as well.

Anyway, the cookies were pretty delicious.  Looking to try some more soon.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

CPS Finalizes Plans to Convert National Teachers Academy to a Neighborhood High School; Chicago Board of Education to Vote on Plan in Early 2018

In case you missed it last week, some news on the National Teachers Academy being converted into a neighborhood high school (via Sun-Times):
An outcry from parents — and the highest possible academic rating— could not save the National Teachers Academy from being closed in favor of a new neighborhood high school serving parts of the South Loop, Bronzeville, Bridgeport and Chinatown. 
The Chicago Public Schools made that clear Friday, finalizing school closing and consolidation decisions previously on the drawing board and at least one new action.

Under the plan, the elementary school would be phased out over several years.

In October, protesters gathered outside Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s house, voicing their opposition to the plan to close the school, located at 55 W. Cermak Road. Protesters have said the decision to convert NTA is “the definition of neocolonialism.”
There has been a lot of discussion around the neighborhood about the topic and we doubt this is the end of that debate (although it sounds like CPS has made their decision).

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Don't Miss the Holiday Train

Well folks - we are late our annual Holiday Train post and that means there is a decent chance you missed the festive activity rolling through our South Loop stations.  Sorry about that. 

Don't fret!  If you're really wanting to see it, the train will be on the Red Line in a couple of weeks (via Sun Times):

  • Green & Orange lines: Friday, Nov. 24
  • Green Line: Saturday, Nov. 25
  • Green & Orange lines: Tuesday, Nov. 28
  • Orange & Brown lines: Wednesday, Nov. 29 thru Saturday, Dec. 2
  • Pink Line: Tuesday, Dec. 5 through Wednesday, Dec. 6
  • Blue Line: Thursday, Dec. 7 through Saturday, Dec. 9
  • Red Line: Tuesday, Dec. 12
  • Purple Line: Wednesday, Dec. 13
  • Red Line: Thursday, Dec. 14
  • Purple Line: Friday, Dec. 15
  • Red & Purple lines: Saturday, Dec. 16
  • Purple Line: Thursday, Dec. 21
  • Yellow Line: Friday, Dec. 22

Monday, December 4, 2017

Pazzo's Open at 825 S. State

It was just a couple months ago when Pazzo's signs appeared on the vacant retail space that used to be for Jimmy Greens (825 S. State).  Fast forward to Sunday morning, and it looks like Pazzo's is officially open:

As you can see in the picture above, their windows were open and they were handing out menus.  We spoke to one of the people and they said it's a limited menu, but looked pretty good to us.

We also took a quick glimpse inside the place and it looked relatively familiar.  The orientation of the place hasn't changed at all, but it does look like some of the "modern sports bar" touches are no longer there.  That being said, it did look like many of the TVs were still operating.

Has anyone tried them out yet?  Let us know.

Friday, December 1, 2017

More Residential Living Coming to Michigan Avenue: Ebony Building (820 S. Michigan) to be Converted to 150 Rental Apartments

Looks like more residential living is coming to Michigan Avenue (via Curbed):
Once home to Chicago-based Ebony and Jet magazines, South Michigan Avenue’s 11-story Johnson Publishing Building is preparing to start its transformation from office space to 150 rental apartments. Today, developer 3L Real Estate announced that it has acquired the old building from Columbia College and expects to start work on the conversion in early 2018.

Built in 1971, the tower was designed by John Warren Moutoussamy, an architect who studied under Mies van der Rohe at the Illinois Institute of Technology. The tower represents the first and only downtown Chicago high-rise to be designed by an African American. Vacant for the past seven years, Johnson Publishing was designated a city landmark earlier this fall.

Its new owners intend to leave the tower’s iconic Ebony/Jet sign at the building as well as add a new rooftop deck. The 150 unit mix of studio, one-, and two-bedroom apartments will average over 500 square feet and rent for between $1,200 to $2,700 per month, says the developer.
It's not a surprise that more and more residential living options are coming to the Sloop given all the reasons we love living down here.  That being said, it seems like an insane amount of inventory will be available in the next 3-5 years.

Even if there is a bubble, we favor this type of activity versus a more cautious approach.  Having more and more living options will naturally mean more people and more neighborhood amenities (shopping, restaurants, etc).

All that being said...traffic congestion is a huge concern...

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Lobo Rey Chef Teams Up for Cannabis-Infused Supper Club Coming in December

Ummm, this is interesting and with one of the neighborhoods newest chefs at Lobo Rey (via Eater):
Herbal Notes, a California-based supper club that serves cannabis-infused meals, is coming to Chicago next month. They’ll serve six courses with an infused beverage and a take-home bag — and no, it’s not “technically” legal. But that’s not deterring chef and founder Manny Mendoza, a High Times Harvest Cup chef finalist who started Herbal Notes to educate people about cannabis and break away from stoner culture.
Mendoza is teaming up with Chicago chef Daniel Espinoza from Lobo Rey to hold the meal on December 4. They’ve haven’t found a location yet, as Mendoza’s been scouring the city and said they “don’t want to attract the wrong attention.” The dinners, Mendoza said, create a safe space for people to talk about “changing the stigma about what marijuana is and what cannabis is and having a really meaningful conversation about what’s going on in the city.”

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Reader: In Search of a Natural Christmas Tree

A reader writes:
We live on 14th and Wabash and we are going to buy our tree tomorrow. Do you know where can we buy a natural tree this year? We were sad to see that Bob's is no longer in Printer's Row.

I hope you know other options like a local church or something. Thank you!
It's been a couple of years since Bob's closed down and frankly we haven't seen many spots pop-up since.  Any readers have any insights?

(Hat tip: FG!)

Monday, November 27, 2017

8 Robberies in the last Month? WTF!

More robberies (via ABC7):
Police have urged residents in Chicago's South Loop neighborhood to be on alert following eight armed robberies in the last month.

The two most recent ones happened just blocks from each other on Saturday.

One happened near 21st and Indiana. Police said two armed men jumped out of a black SUV and pushed a woman to ground and then took her purse.

In another incident, also involving a black SUV and another vehicle, four armed men robbed and carjacked the victims.