Monday, January 24, 2022

Beer + Wine = Interesting?!?!?! Duneyrr Brewery in Motor Row Experimenting with Some New Concoctions

Interesting....(via ABC7):

Has anyone tried this yet? Doesn't sound that great to us...but we're curious to try it.

Thursday, January 20, 2022

X-Pot Gets Some Love from Fox 32

 Not exactly the hardest hitting story here, but Fox32 did a super small segment on X-Pot:


Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Shedd Aquarium Embarks on $500 Million Renovation Called the "Centennial Commitment"

The Shedd Aquarium is awesome and it looks like it's going to be getting even better (via Chicago Tribune):

The Shedd Aquarium houses a remarkable creature called an archerfish that spits water 3 feet into the air to knock insects off trees into the water for dinner.

Right now, the archerfish swims in an aquarium with a label displaying its name. That’s it.

But soon, visitors will be able to see the fish actually do its thing — spitting at a tree to dislodge crickets for a meal.

Interactive experiences like this inspire the public to care more about the fish and its habitat, according to Bridget Coughlin, president and CEO of the Shedd Aquarium.

This connection between humans experiencing wild animals and being inspired to conserve is the driving force behind the aquarium’s new $500 million project, an eight-year vision called the Centennial Commitment.

Connecting people to nature will involve creating new aquarium galleries along with immersive experiences and programs.

For example, the north gallery, which houses rivers, islands and lakes exhibits, will be renovated into a Caribbean coral reef habitat within a 40-foot glass tunnel. Visitors will feel as if they are part of the reef with sharks, rays and colorful fish.

Renovation and re-imagination of the aquarium galleries and educational facilities will cost roughly half of the $500 million and take four years to complete. Renovations are expected to be finished in 2026, ahead of the organization’s 100th anniversary in 2030.


Here is a rendering of one of the projects - "a Caribbean coral reef habitat that will give guests different perspectives of sharks and rays within the diverse ecosystem":


 

Monday, January 10, 2022

NBC5 Highlights Apolonia's Viral Bread Dish

Apolonia (2201 S. Michigan) - probably the most exciting restaurant to open in the Sloop in the last couple of years - got some viral love for one of their bread dishes (via NBC5):

Gillanders said the restaurant's pastry chef was trying to make a focaccia to capitalize on the trend, but they wanted to make it different.

"The deep fry became this thing. We threw a dough ball into it, it just ballooned up," he said.

The restaurant likened the dish to a "savory black truffle doughnut" and said it has since taken off in a way they never expected.

"A lot of people started to cut them open and fill them like a pita and you'd be shocked what people put into those things," he said.

NBC5 has a good overarching video about what they're doing at the restaurant.  It's early in the morning and I'm hungry for dinner:


Hat tip: ND!

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

One South Loop Bar Gets Hit With New Indoor Mask Mandate Citation

One South Loop spot gets hit with citation on new indoor mask mandates (via Fox32):

The city of Chicago has cited six businesses for failing to enforce the city's COVID-19 indoor mask mandate.

Investigators from the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) conducted 56 investigations over the weekend to see if people were wearing masks and whether there were signs posted about the requirement.

From Thursday through Sunday, the following businesses were each issued two citations for violating both requirements of the mandate, which went into effect on Aug. 20:

  • Cortland’s Garage, 1645 W. Cortland St. in Bucktown
  • Bassline, 2237 S. Michigan Ave. in South Loop
  • Fulton Loft, 2107 W. Fulton St. in West Town
  • The Soul Tribe LLC, 1564 N. Damen Ave. in Wicker Park
  • The Hidden Palace, 1900 N. Austin Ave. in Galewood
  • Vaunt Fitness, 6255 S. Archer Ave. in Garfield Ridge

Monday, January 3, 2022

Are Half Sour and Burger Point Best Burger Spots in the Sloop?

We're not burger experts, but apparently this instagram user does.  They have Acadia as the highest ranked burger spot in the Sloop (obviously they're not aware they've closed).  Beyond that, Half Sour (755 S. Clark) and Burger Point (1900 S. State) are the only other South Loop locations ranked:

Friday, December 31, 2021

2021 Business Counter: We have that a net 7 new businesses opened - did we miss any?

We haven't maintained our business tracker very well this year, but that doesn't mean we can't endeavor to get a count on the year.  We've scoured some of our posts as well as other neighborhood resources (Mr. South Loop, Hello South LoopPrairie District Neighborhood Alliance) and here is what we got:

Opened in 2021

  1. Luxury Medspa (2335 S. Michigan)
  2. Naf Naf Grill (1248 S. Canal)
  3. GeeFit (2127 S. Wabash)
  4. Shangs (1101 S. Wabash)
  5. Joffrey Ballet (1920 S. Wabash)
  6. The Now Massage (1109 S. Wabash)
  7. Williams Inn Pizza (2210 S. Michigan)
  8. Mustard Seed (49 E. Cermak)
  9. L'afrique Market (2001 S. State)
  10. GeeFit (2127 S. Wabash)
  11. Dollop Diner, Cafe & Bar (1210 S. Indiana)
  12. Smoke Valley (1319 S. Michigan)
  13. My Gym (1333 S. Wabash)
  14. Duneyrr Fermenta & Moderne Dune (2337 S. Michigan)
  15. Tea % (57 E. 11th)
  16. Bureau Pizza (719 S. State)
  17. Siam Rice (1906 S. State)
  18. CBD Kratom (643 W. Roosevelt)
  19. UChicago Med (47 W. Polk)
  20. Veterinary Emergency Group (1114 S. Clinton)
  21. Sweet Bean (1152 S. Wabash)
  22. Crab Bucket (2036 S. Michigan)
  23. GoGrocer (820 S. Michigan)
  24. Chicago Duplicate Bridget (47 W. Polk)
  25. Fit Results Chicago (731 S. Plymouth Ct)
  26. Mimi's Tacos & French Fries (1155 S. Jefferson)
  27. Lao Sze Chuan (616 S. Wabash)
  28. Apolonia Restaurant (2201 S. Michigan)
  29. Insomnia Cookies (30 E. Balbo)
  30. Banfield Pet Hospital (645 W. Roosevelt)
  31. JS Blossom Nail and Spa (719 S. State)

Closed in 2021

  1. Dearborn Denim (728 S. Dearborn)
  2. Cafe Bionda (1924 S. State)
  3. Spanglish Kitchen (555 S. State)
  4. Burger King (2328 S. Michigan)
  5. Acadia (1639 S. Wabash)
  6. Harbor (1312 S. Wabash)
  7. Kurah (1355 S. Michigan)
  8. Chef Luciano's (49 E. Cermak)
  9. Shred 451 (1136 S Delano Ct)
  10. Quench Wellness (1319 S. Michigan)
  11. Mercy Medical Center (47 W. Polk)
  12. Mei's Asian Small Plates (1101 S. Wabash)
  13. Caribbean Jerk Palace (733 S. Dearborn)
  14. Nice and Distressed (723 S. Dearborn)
  15. Opart Thai (1906 S. State)
  16. Pauly's Pizza (719 S. State)
  17. Teriyaki Madness (829 S. Wabash)
  18. Illinois Media School (530 S. State)
  19. Float Sixty (1143 S. State)
  20. Motor Row Brewing (2337 S. Michigan)
  21. South Loop Cleaners (1248 S. Canal)
  22. Tutto Italiano (501 S. Wells)
  23. Urban Grocers (747 S. State)

Thursday, December 30, 2021

Sloop's First Dispensary? Company Submits Applications for Cannabis Dispensary at 2114 S. Wabash

We've posted about rumors of a cannabis dispensary in the neighborhood, but not much has materialized.  That said, we recently saw this post on Prairie District Neighborhoods Alliance's Facebook Page and seems pretty legit:

Dear South Loop Neighbor,

On December 16, 2021, Green & Foster, LLC submitted a special use application to establish an adult use cannabis dispensary at 2114 S. Wabash Ave. Per City permitting rules, the applicant is only required to host one community meeting as part of the application process. Additionally, I want to remind you that I am unable to grant or deny the issuance of a special use permit for an adult use cannabis dispensary. I can only advocate on behalf of my residents as part of the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) process.

As your alderman, I am committed to ensuring that residents have their voice heard in the special use application process. I will be hosting my own community meeting in January 2022 to gather feedback from residents on the dispensary proposal. I will also submit an official statement to the Zoning Board of Appeals reflecting the wishes of residents should the application move forward and receive a hearing in the ZBA. And, as I do with all businesses in the neighborhood, I will work directly with the applicant to ensure their business operates in a manner that reflects the character and integrity of the community.

On that final point, I must express my disappointment that the applicant posted their community notice during the holidays when most people are focused on celebrating with their families. This is not the way we operate in the 3rd Ward and that will be made clear to the applicant.

ZBA Process for Cannabis Dispensaries

No special use application may be approved unless the Zoning Board of Appeals finds that the proposed use in its proposed location meets all of the following criteria:

1. complies with all applicable standards of this Zoning Ordinance;

2. is in the interest of the public convenience and will not have a significant adverse impact on the

general welfare of the neighborhood or community;

3. is compatible with the character of the surrounding area in terms of site planning and building scale and project design;

4. is compatible with the character of the surrounding area in terms of operating characteristics, such as hours of operation, outdoor lighting, noise, and traffic generation; and

5. is designed to promote pedestrian safety and comfort.

When the anticipated impacts of a special use are determined to have the potential for adverse impacts on surrounding property, the special use must be denied or conditions must be placed on the approval to ensure that any adverse impacts will be mitigated. The Zoning Administrator may recommend and the Zoning Board of Appeals may impose such conditions upon the site planning, design, location and operation of a special use.

ZBA Contact Information - Public testimony is the preferred method of public comment. Members of the public wishing to speak must join the Zoom meeting at the link provided on the ZBA website at 8:30 a.m. the day of the meeting. Written statements from members of the public will be accepted at ZBA@cityofchicago.org until 5 p.m. the Monday before the meeting.

I look forward to working with you to properly vet this proposed special use application. Please feel free to reach out to me or my office on this, or any other issue, at Ward03@cityofchicago.org or at 773-373-9273.

3rd Ward Alderman Pat Dowell

This appears to be the vacant retail space that once housed Tommy Gun's - the gangster themed tourist restaurant - that closed last year.  

Should be interesting to see how this process plays out. 

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Dearborn Denim Closing Store at 728 S. Dearborn on 12/30

It looks like we have a closing in Printers Row (via Hello South Loop Facebook Page):

STORE CLOSING

Dear Neighbors,

We are sad to share that we will be closing our store at 728 S Dearborn on Thursday, 12/30 at 6 pm.

We have loved being part of the Printer’s Row community for the last two years, and as South Loop residents ourselves, we are especially sad to say goodbye.

We are still open in Andersonville (5202 N Clark) and online (dearborndenim.us).

Thank you for our support,

Katy and Rob

*Any gift cards purchased at this location are still valid both online and in Andersonville

We first posted about this shop opening in late 2019 and they officially open at probably the worst time possible - March 2020 - when the pandemic was just making its way to the states.

Anyway, sad to see this one go.  Dearborn Denim was a unique business in the Sloop - an independent clothing store.  We actually spoke to the owner recently and he mentioned the challenges with this location for a clothing store.  He summed it up as a challenging location since most consumers aren't going to this stretch of Dearborn to shop for clothes - essentially, this is not a destination area for shopping (it's more for food, drink and professional services).  



Monday, December 20, 2021

Buddy Guy Shares Stories with WGN and Talks Annual Residence at His South Loop Club

If you've never been to Buddy Guy's Legend at 700 S. Wabash you're missing out on a fun experience.  And it's an even bigger treat to see the namesake do his thing on stage (via WGNradio):

Buddy Guy, the iconic blues musician, joined Bob Sirott to talk about his annual January residency at his namesake South Loop club, Buddy Guy’s Legends. Buddy also shared stories about how he got started, his Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction, and what he wished he had said when he visited the White House. Later on, Bob asked Buddy for his thoughts on Chess Records, and potentially renovating the studio on south Michigan Avenue.

Buddy will perform Thursday’s through Sunday’s in January. For more information, and to buy tickets, go to BuddyGuy.Com

 

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

30-Story High-Rise on South Wabash Gets Partial Construction Permit

Looks like we have some movement at south Wabash (via Chicagoyimby.com):

Last week, a partial construction permit was approved for a new 30-story mixed-use tower at 1400 S Wabash Avenue in South Loop. The site of the project has long sat vacant as a former parking lot, with one of Chicago YIMBY’s earliest articles speculating on the developer plans. Now set to stand 305 feet to the roof and 316 feet to pinnacle, the glassy new tower will have a significant impact on South Loop’s steadily-densifying skyline.

One little civic improvement looks like a small pocket park will be built to the north of the site:


Assuming all goes according to the plan, the building is somewhat more aesthetically pleasing than most buildings in the area:



Thursday, December 9, 2021

Long Challenged 1000M High-Rise Gets New Loan and Looks to Restart Construction


There has been some rumblings on the web about the stalled 1000M high-rise construction being resuscitated.  Looks like that's true (via Chicagoarchitecture.org):

One of the late Helmut Jahn’s last designs may get built after all. Time Equities, JK Equities, and Oak Capitals have announced that the construction of 1000M is going to restart any day now. How is this possible? Money.

The development trio has closed on a $304 million construction loan, which will be used to get things moving again. It was last year that local media were talking about financing problems with this project, but as of today that all seems to have been resolved. Construction is scheduled to be completed in three years, so December 2024, which is adjacent to January, 2025.

This is a major project and not surprising it's been a challenge to get going.  We've been posting about this since 2016...so to say it's been in the works for awhile is an understatement.  The development finally started to show signs of tangible progress, but then came Covid-19 and brought more uncertainty.

Over the last year there have been stories about pivots to the project and now this seems to be the most tangible piece of news that it's restarting.  Good luck to the developers - they clearly need some.