Saturday, March 25, 2017

"Keep Grant Green" Group Isn't Happy With the Commercialization of Grant Park

Those be some fighting words (via Crains):
Move over, Friends of the Parks. The group that kept the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art from landing in Chicago now has company in Keep Grant Green, a grassroots organization whose mission is to prevent what it calls the overcommercialization of Grant Park. 
Keep Grant Green, a coalition of South Loop residents founded in 2016, objects to "the push to develop Grant Park along commercial lines." It cites specifically Grant Park Conservancy's plans for a proposed outdoor gym, Health Space @ Grant Park. The 36,000-square-foot project, planned for south of Balbo Drive and just west of Columbus Drive, would take over the park's former skate park. That skate park closed after a new skate park opened off Roosevelt Road in 2014.

Keep Grant Green takes issue with "the ever-increasing stream of corporate-sponsored festivals" that take place at the park. Keep Grant Green's website quotes a 2015 University of Chicago study showing that for about 54 percent of the time between April 1 and December 1 of 2015, large portions of the park were closed to the public.

It also questions the relationship between the nonprofit Grant Park Conservancy and Grant Park Advisory Council, one of the city's 50-some advisory councils linked to public parks. Robert O'Neill has been president of Grant Park Advisory Council for 18 years. He is also president of Grant Park Conservancy, which he founded in 2002 to advocate for the park. "This is really just insulting to me," O'Neill says of Keep Grant Green. "I have spent 35 years advocating for green space in Chicago."

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Teppanyaki + Mexican = Interesting New Concept for Former Zapatista Space?

Mexican Teppanyaki Coming to the Sloop?
This story continues to develop thanks to our friends at Eater Chicago:
Inspired by Japanese teppanyaki, a new—and unnamed—South Loop restaurant from the team behind the Scout Waterhouse + Kitchen will feature a private room with a tabletop grill serving Mexican food. Chris Bravos, a Scout partner, said he envisions groups as large as 24 reveling around the table with margaritas in hand, commiserating while skirt steak or octopus sizzles. They’re hoping to open this summer after giving the former Zapatista a facelift.  
Bravos, who was also on the opening team at The Pony in Lakeview, said a shot of tequila or pitcher of sangria would only enhance the tabletop grill experience. Bravos has a chef in mind to helm the kitchen, but he’s not ready to make an announcement.  
“We’re thinking tacos, you can pick your ingredients—if you want a corn or flour tortilla—right at the table,” Bravos said.
Well that's an interesting concept and would definitely provide a unique offering for the neighborhood.  We love both of these cuisines, so we'll be watching this one closely.

The concept is pretty far out (and honestly if it was April 1st we may be questioning this one as April Fools), but we appreciate the potential ambition here.  

For those new to this story, one of our perceptive readers noticed some activity at the old Zapatista spot as well as some Scout people going into the restaurant.  It appears that this tip proved to be true - super hat tip to MM!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Looks Like The Scout Ownership is Indeed Doing Something at Old Zapatista Space

Late last week we received an email about some activity at the old Zapatista.  Well Eater Chicago followed-up and got some more intel:
Ownership of Scout Waterhouse + Kitchen, one of the best sports bars in the South Loop, appear to be taking over the neighboring Zapatista space at 1307 S. Wabash Ave. Scout partner Jeff Wolff is listed on a city building permit for the shuttered restaurant. Wolff is a contractor, designer, and also a partner at Ronero, the recently-opened South American-inspired restaurant and cocktail club on Randolph Restaurant Row.  
Wolff’s company, WolffHager, is listed on the permit to work on kitchen fixtures and dry wall work at the address. The permit was dated for last week. Wolff didn’t respond to a request for comment so it’s not clear if this is a Scout expansion or a new project from the team.

Looking forward to hearing more.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Is "Riverside District Master Plan" the Current Concept for 62-Acre Rezkoland?

We know that the vegetation at the 62-acre lot has been cleared out.  We know there is someone working on a master plan for the lot.  We also posted about a potential conceptual design back in December of 2016.  But realistic we don't have a lot of concrete info.

That being said, a reader writes:
Was surfing the web and found this page regarding the rezko lot - not sure if its current but somethings happening over there.

This info is coming on the SCB website for a project called "Riverside District Master Plan" and goes on to explain:
Challenges encountered during the plan’s development included site accessibility, construction over an existing active rail line, establishing physical and visual linkages to the project, and creating a unique sense of place. SCB Planning’s design concept envisioned the landscape as a key design feature reinforced by a linear “Central Park” that would connect a network of ecological landscapes, pocket parks, and greenways. A river walk promenade links the riverfront development through a series of multi-family residential buildings and townhomes. The open spaces in the plan serve as pedestrian gathering spots and linkages to the surrounding neighborhoods. The redevelopment of this currently vacant site will greatly improve the transition between the downtown and South Loop neighborhoods, and activate the riverfront of the near south side.

This looks much more realistic than the post we did back in December.  Anyone have additional detail?  Can anyone corroborate?

(Hat tip:  JD!)

Monday, March 20, 2017

Porkchop in Printers Row Leaves the Neighborhood

We received a bunch of emails from readers about this topic - here is one:
I saw when I was walking that porkchop on Dearborn next to Starbucks closed. Apparently it moved to adam's street out of the sloop.

Porkchop has a bunch of locations and actually also operates Chop in Roosevelt Collection.  We never tried this place, but also never saw much foot traffic inside (oh and the Yelp reviews ain't very good).

Never like to see places leave the Sloop, but something tells us most readers won't be missing this one.

Hopefully they can get a good tenant.  The space is slightly strange if we recall correct.  Why not just have Starbucks take it over and make it have more seating...that would be nice.

(Hat tip: AN, SB, SG!)

Saturday, March 18, 2017

The Sloopin Open House: Sweet Design & Decoration

This week we take a look at what appears to be a studio masked as a 1bd/1bth at 732 S. Financial Pl (unit #414).  That being said, don't sleep on this one...it's an interesting unit.

It's a corner unit and appears spacious:

It also has some cool design elements like this moose!

The unit is listed at $255K and from what we can tell it doesn't include parking.

You can go check out this open house at 732 S. Financial Pl this Saturday and Sunday from 2-4pm both days.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Are Scout Peeps Working on a Concept at Old Zapatista Space?

A reader writes:
There is work going on at Zapatista. Last week the lights were on and the lease sign had come down. Now the windows are covered up and there is a dumpster outside with work going on inside. Further, saw some Scout personnel walking in there - maybe there opening something else?
Well this is a juicy one!  Sounds promising - anyone have additional info?  If true, any thoughts on what Scout might be thinking about?  Seems like it would have to be a pretty different concept to have success (not just another sports bar...).

As a reminder, back in October of last year we posted about this retail space getting a new owner.  The old restaurant, Zapatista, was a neighborhood stalwart that seemed to have a steady crowd. The closed abruptly back in June of 2015.

(Hat tip:  MM!)

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Lollapalooza 4-Day Tickets Go On Sale Tuesday; Get Ready for Lineup Leak

Yes we have a lot of snow on the ground, but that doesn't mean we can't dream of warmer times and sunshine....and lollapalooza (via chicagoist):
There's still no word on who is actually playing Lollapalooza when it returns to Grant Park this year, from Aug. 3 to 6. But since some folks stopped caring less about the music and more about the party years ago, it makes total sense that four-day tickets will go on sale sans any news of the bands playing next week, on March 21.
While we still don't officially know who is playing the massive festival, the post goes on to say that the lineup is usually leaked sometime soon - so stay tuned.

Additionally:
Lollapalooza has a solid history of selling out, no mater who's playing, so if you don't want to take chances waiting on single day tickets and lineups, get ready to hit that refresh button at 10 a.m. next Tuesday.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Old Hackney's to Be Re-Branded "Hax" and Supposedly Opening This Month

Last week we posted about a reader who noticed activity at the old Hackney's (733 S. Dearborn).  Today another reader sent us a link about the chain and a blurb about this location (from the Daily Herald):
The family is renovating and changing the name of its Chicago location, Hackney's in Printer's Row, at 733 S. Dearborn St.  
To be called Hax, the eatery is expected to reopen within the month and will cater to a younger crowd. "It will be quick, more of a fast-casual location," Landri said.
We knew it was going to be a faster concept, but the name Hax is new information to us.  Even better, glad to see they're hoping to open later this month!

(Hat tip:  JJ!)

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Suspected South Loop Target Carjacker Apprehended in Atlanta


Remember that carjacking at Target back in January during the middle of the day?  Yeah, that was scary...

Anyway, the suspect has been apprehended in Atlanta (via DNAinfo):
A man suspected of carjacking a BMW in the parking garage of the South Loop Target is in custody in Atlanta, according to federal authorities and the neighborhood's alderman.  
Carnell King is also accused of firing shots during a Jan. 10 crime spree that included at least one other carjacking.

Monday, March 13, 2017

How Much Concrete is Needed for a 76-Story Foundation?

A reader sends us the following picture checking in at the 76-Story high-rise coming to Roosevelt and Indiana:
Armada of Trucks delivering cement to be poured in Foundations. May be 25 trucks.

(Hat tip: CL!)