Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Employee Dishes on La Haven Closing

To follow-up from our post last Thursday about La Haven, a former employee writes:
La Haven cafe closed over night.  The owner sold it to someone else within 24 hours of losing the place due to a huge amount of debt he never paid several bakeries, rental, employees, and other services.  They also didn't notify any of the employees and the owner is not speaking! He left 5 great staff baristas jobless!  He never paid out the rent, bakeries such as Fritz, Do-Rite Donuts, or even filed taxes for any employees for the 2015 year! None of the equipment was at the cafe as we walked in to begin our shifts.

Sorry to hear.  Hopefully the new owner can revive this or at least run a better business.

(Hat tip:  Barista!)

Monday, February 8, 2016

Demo Begins to Make Way for Hilton Hotel at 11th and Wabash

A reader writes:
Demo begins on the old parking garage at 11th and Wabash. Makes way for the new Hilton Hotel.

As you may recall, back in October 2015 we posted about a Hilton hotel coming to this piece of land.  Looks like things are moving forward.

(Hat tip: HJ!)

Saturday, February 6, 2016

More Uncertainty About the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art And Whether it Will Get Built

The saga continues in the will the Lucas Museum of Narrative Arts get built just south of Soldier Field (via Curbed):
A motion to dismiss a lawsuit seeking to block the construction of the proposed Lucas Museum of Narrative Art on Chicago's lakefront was denied today by US District Court Judge John Darrah. The suit was filed by non-profit advocacy group Friends of the Parks who argued that site, formerly part of Lake Michigan, belongs to the public land trust and therefore cannot be legally transferred or leased to the non-profit group that plans to operate the museum.
While this isn't a no, it's another hurdle the museum has to clear.  Next steps?  Wait a couple weeks:
Construction on the 300,000-square-foot museum and park cannot proceed until the lawsuit is settled. The next update on the on-going legal saga should arrive after a status hearing scheduled for February 18th.

Friday, February 5, 2016

New Harold's Chicken Opens at 612 S. Wabash with Modern Digs

A reader writes:
Just wanna give you the heads up on a previous clip you ran on sloop in.com the Harold's chicken on 636 s wabash moved over to 612 s wabash is now open. It's a new modern very nicely put together Harold's ! Here are some pics


Wowsa - that's quite the improvement from their old digs.  Nice work Harold's!

In a related story, we noticed the demolition of their old building is underway.

(Hat tip:  MA!)

Thursday, February 4, 2016

La Haven Coffee Closed at 1250 S. Michigan?

A readers write:
La Haven Closed! Just passed it! Closed! :(

Another writes:
Did La Haven close? All of the windows are covered with brown paper. It doesn't seem like anything in that space is successful!

We just walked by La Haven two night ago and it had a good amount of people inside.  Slightly strange that they closed (but then again, maybe the business model didn't make sense).

This space has had a tough go - Winestyles (closed in 2010), Karamela Cafe (closed in 2013), Crave Cafe and Lounge (closed in 2014).  Are we forgetting anything?

(Hat tip: MG & CO!)

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

New Gym, Big Shoulders Chicago, Coming to 1449 S. Michigan

From a reader:
Just dropping a quick note to let you know that you'll have a new South Loop neighbor soon! Big Shoulders Chicago will be located at 1449 S. Michigan and open it's doors this summer!
On their website this is "WHAT THEY DO":
Big Shoulders Chicago's applicable approach to fitness bridges the gap between the gym and your life. We offer a balance of small-group classes, one-on-one personalized training, massage therapy, yoga, mobility work and special courses. We have what we all know we need to live life to the fullest: strength, community and passion.
There are a lot of gyms, crossfit spots and yoga studios in the Sloop, but seems like we can never have enough.

(Hat tip:  AS!)

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

South Loop Storage Closing. Could it Become CVS?

A reader writes and sends us a picture:
Just passing along some intel, we have space at South Loop Storage (1601 S. Federal by Mariano's) & received this letter this week. It confirms rumors that the business has been sold & the buyer is ceasing operations. We heard that the buyer is CVS but not sure if that is true.

Anyone hearing something similar?

(Hat tip:  EW!)

Monday, February 1, 2016

Construction Trailer Means Portillo's is Coming Soon?

You're probably familiar with this (if you read Sloopin!), but Portillo's is coming to the corner of Taylor and Clinton.  A reader writes:
Not sure if I saw this mentioned before, but the lot directly to the North of The Maxwell mall is going to be a Portillo's. No mention of any other occupiers on the site billboards so given the lot size, it'll likely be a drive thru with plenty of parking too. If the popularity of their Gold Coast restaurant is anything to go by, they'll need a traffic plan in place as the drive thru tailbacks there are crazy at the weekend. A good addition though.

So maybe that isn't new news, but the picture the reader sent us makes it seem like construction is happening soon:


Lululemon Closes at Roosevelt Collection; LensCrafters Coming Soon

A reader writes:
Looks like Lululemon closed at Roosevelt Collection, but a Lens Crafters is coming soon to replace the old Haberdash space.
That's unfortunate.  Lululemon was one of the highly regarded brands to open in the Sloop recently.  What do you think?  What does this say about the Sloop?  Is this a reflection of our neighborhood or issues with Lululemon?

Oh and also, our 2016 business counter is up-to-date.

(Hat tip:  BV & MC!)

Saturday, January 30, 2016

The Sloopin Open House:
This 2bed/2bath Has Spacious Living Area

It's been awhile since we've done a Sloopin open house post, but since it's a little warmer today (mid-40's - Yay!) we figured you may actually get out of your place.

After perusing the good ole' MLS, a unit at 69 E. 16th St stood out to us.  The specific unit that caught our eye was #2 and is a 2 bed/2 bath that clocks in at 1,550 square feet.

All we're going to say is that this unit (or at least this picture) looks like spacious and lovely:

The bedrooms don't look as spacious, but if we had our choice we'd rather have a large living area.

The kitchen also looks recently remodeled and has some nice finishes (hey big fridge!):

If this has sparked some interest head on over today (1/30) or tomorrow (1/31) from 11am to 1pm.

Oh and the price is $384,900

Friday, January 29, 2016

"Descending to Heaven" Artwork Being Installed on Wabash Arts Cooridor

Looks like a new piece of art, that we've posted about, is being installed on the Wabash Arts Cooridor (Via ABC7):
The work of a Chicago photographer is now on display along the Wabash Arts Corridor in the city's South Loop neighborhood. The artwork is the creation of Darryl Schiff. 
He calls the piece "Descending to Heaven." Schiff launched a Kickstarter campaign asking members of the arts community to help fund this project.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

New Proposal for the Old Post Office

Another major development announcement (via Curbed):
After months of silence, British developer Bill Davies has come forward with a new plan for Chicago's Old Main Post Office — rental units. The behemoth Art Deco building has been the focus of numerous plans, partnerships and potential sales since it was purchased by Davies in 2009 for $24 million. However, this week, a new plan for 1,500 apartments and a new tower addition have emerged for the Chicago landmark. According to Ellen Phillips, managing broker of Loop Apartments, Davies' International Property Developers North America Inc. is currently looking to gauge interest in the plan for new apartments at the site. If there is enough demand and interest in the proposal, Davies could start building rental units in the old post office building as early as this coming March. IPDNA is also seeking large-scale retail anchors for the major redevelopment, simply titled Olde Chicago Post Office. One suggestion would be a retailer like IKEA, which the post office building could certainly accommodate.

It appears to be a hot topic because the building was also featured in a recent article on chicagoamagazine.com.  If you're not familiar with the situation, it's a good article that sums up the situation:
Is one empty building really that big a deal? Yes, when it represents 2.7 million square feet of premium real estate. The art deco leviathan sits on the Chicago River at Van Buren Street, right at the border of the West Loop and South Loop, two neighborhoods exploding with development. With Metra tracks and the Eisenhower Expressway running beneath it and Union Station only two blocks north, it also would make a desirable hub for a high-speed rail system. “Sitting and waiting for something to happen at that building was easier when the economy lacked traction,” says MarySue Barrett, president of the Metropolitan Planning Council. “Sitting and waiting is not acceptable now.”

It goes on to answer some other questions, but finishes with what's next:
So what happens next? Davies is going to have to do at least one thing soon: pay $350,000 in back property taxes or risk eventually losing the site. Martin Mulryan, his project manager, insists that the bill will be settled in April and that preliminary work—demolishing an old mail-sorting facility next door—could start in early 2016. Just don’t expect Davies to be easily intimidated by local politicians. Notes Mulryan: “The equivalent of an alderman in the U.K. doesn’t have as much responsibility or involvement in projects as they do in the U.S.”

Should be interesting if this gets any traction...we have our doubts