Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Person of Interest Being Questioned in Groping Incidents Around the Neighborhood

Hoping this guy is caught (from CBS2):

Chicago Police Saturday were questioning a person of interest in a series of groping incidents in the city's Loop and South Loop.

Police say a man on a one-wheeled motorized skateboard assaulted at least two women and then rode off.

CBS 2 spoke with two other women who say they were also assaulted.

These are just a few of the people who have come forward. Many others have posted about their experiences online, and they fear that if this person is not detained there could be many more.

The incidents documented by Chicago Police occurred on the morning of Aug. 6 in the 1100 block of South State Street and June 1 in the 400 block of West Lake Street around the same time of day.

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Moody Tongue Brewery Gets Profiled By CBS Sunday Morning

A reader sent us this great video from CBS Sunday Morning profiling Moody Tongue Brewery.  We didn't see this and if you haven't, it will likely cause you to add this restaurant/brewery to your list (via CBS):

Acclaimed chef Jared Wentworth and brewmaster Jared Rouben have created quite a buzz with their Chicago restaurant, by pairing fine dining with in-house crafted beers. A review in the Michelin Guide says “Their culinary fireworks will lift your spirits and have you returning for more.” Dana Jacobson sits down with the duo behind the world’s first two Michelin star brewery. Air Date: Dec 3, 2021

As you may or may not know, Moody Tongue earned a prestigious two Michelin stars back in the spring of 2021.  It's nice to have this in our backyard and one we still haven't had a chance to check out, but hope to soon!

(Hat tip:  AK!)

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Lolla Officially Staying in Chicago for Another Decade

Apparently when we posted last week about Lolla contract extensions, it wasn't quite a done deal yet.  However, it still felt like it was going to happen and sure enough it did (via Tribune):

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Sunday announced a new contract to keep Lollapalooza in Grant Park for another 10 years.

Lightfoot said the festival will continue to take place in Chicago through 2032, revealing the news ahead of J-Hope’s headlining act on the Bud Light Seltzer stage Sunday evening.

“People have been saying to me, ‘Mayor, we love Lolla. It’s the best thing going.’ I agree. And so I’m here to tell you by decree, we’re gonna make sure that Lolla continues in the future,” Lightfoot said as the four-day event wound down.

The contract will be in place for the 2023 festival, and festival organizer C3 Presents and the Chicago Park District will have the option to extend the contract under the same terms for five years. It was unclear Sunday whether the agreement will go before the Park District board.

Full contract details were not available Sunday, including mention of the city’s amusement tax, a final sticking point in the negotiations. Last week, C3 Presents executives were pressing the city for assurances that Chicago’s amusement tax would not rise higher during the course of a new agreement.

The charge increased from 5% to 9% for large-scale events over the course of the existing 10-year Lollapalooza contract.

This seemed like a no brainer and one that the Mayor couldn't let slip through the cracks.


Friday, July 29, 2022

Lolla Founder Says Music Fest Will be Around for Another Decade in Chicago

Lollapalooza kicked off yesterday and the massive events future in Chicago seemed to be in question as this is the last year of their official contract.  Well it seems like the fest isn't going anywhere anytime soon (via WGN):

Lollapalooza will call Chicago home for another decade. 

The festival’s creator, Perry Farrell, spoke with WGN’s Dean Richards on Thursday, the first day of the four-day festival. 

“The mayor has given us a 10-year extension in the park,” Farrell said. “So we’ll be around here for another decade.”
According to other news sources the deal hasn't been officially inked, but seems like there is mutual interest to keep one of the summers signature events in Grant Park.

While (likely) losing the Bears to Arlington Heights probably isn't closely linked to negotiations with Lollapalooza, it would be another black mark to Mayor Lightfoot if she lost Lollapalooza.  It's a huge boon for the downtown core - hotels, restaurants, events, etc - and it's to keep money flowing into downtown.

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Take a Driver Through the Chicago NASCAR Course Through Grant Park

We posted last week about the NASCAR race coming to Grant Park - if you are interested in how this course will look and how the drivers will attack it here is a good video:

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

City's Last Ditch Dome Option for Soldier Field Seems Costly and Unlikely to Keep Bears

Seems like a costly, unrealistic last ditch effort but we'll see what happens (via ESPN):

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot revealed three proposals on Monday for renovations to Soldier Field to entice the Bears to remain at their home stadium of the past 50 years. At the center of the proposal is the construction of a domed stadium, which could cost anywhere from $900 million to $2.2 billion. Lightfoot laid out three options for construction of a dome: 

• The first would fully enclose the stadium by rebuilding both end zones with columns that can support a dome structure. 
• The second would require both end zones to be rebuilt with columns to make the stadium dome-ready. 
• The third option calls for modifications to make Soldier Field a multipurpose stadium suited to host soccer games while also making it a viable location to accommodate major concerts and a range of events.

The Chicago Tribune hit the nail on the head with this blurb in the article we read:
While she (Lightfoot) tries to determine if it’s possible to keep the team in Chicago, the mayor also needs to prepare for a post-Bears future at the lakefront so she can present a forward-looking plan to try to defray the loss of revenue and civic prestige if they Bears leave, which helps explain Monday’s news conference.

Thursday, July 21, 2022

NASCAR Race Coming to Grand Park & South Loop in 2023

 I'm not a NASCAR fan, but this sounds pretty cool (via WGN):

Some of the world’s greatest drivers will get their chance to compete on the streets of the Windy City in 2023. 

The NASCAR’s Chicago Street Race will take place the weekend July 1 and 2 of next year. 

The series and the City of Chicago revealed the route on Tuesday afternoon when they made the details of the event final.

In general loud cars and bikes are a bit of a headache in the Sloop, but we're giving this a pass.  Also love how the finish line is right at Buckingham Fountain.  Should have some pretty iconic visuals for this race.

Kudos to the city for doing something different.

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Cafe Bionda Reopening at 1924 S. State

 Well this is exciting:

Cafe Bionda closed during covid, but was a popular staple in the southern part of the neighborhood.  Will be nice to have them back on Sate street.

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Shootout at Roosevelt Collection Parking Garage Very Early Monday Morning

A scary scene at Roosevelt Collection super early on Monday morning (via ABC7):

At least one person was injured in a shootout in the South Loop early Monday morning after a person pulling into a garage was faced with gunmen, Chicago police said.

A male victim was pulling into a garage parking lot just before 3:40 a.m. in the 1100-block of South Delano Court when a black Jeep and white sedan followed him into the structure, CPD said.

A total of five male suspects exited the Jeep and sedan and pulled out guns, according to CPD.

The victim, a concealed-carry holder, also pulled out a gun, and a shootout ensued, police said.

The suspects then ran back to their vehicles and drove away.

Several minutes earlier, three male suspects in a black Jeep got out of the vehicle and struck a 48-year-old woman in the back of the head in the 700-block of South Wells Street and demanded her property, CPD said.

They took her Chrysler 300 and other belongings.

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

City Talks Museum Campus Ideas and Dome at Soldier Field ; Bears Promptly Say No Thanks

Lots of movement last week on the Bears vs. City of Chicago drama.

For those not up-to-speed, the Bears have one foot out of the proverbial Soldier Field door and ready to move to the burbs.

In a final hail mary, Mayor Lightfoot and her team came up with a bunch of ideas on how to improve the broader Museum Campus (and ultimately hopefully keep the Bears at Soldier Field):

There are some interesting and well needed things (hello bridges to Northerly Island!), but as it relates to the Bears - THEY GONE!

The Bears issued this statement in response (from MSN): 
“The only potential project the Chicago Bears are exploring for a new stadium development is Arlington Park.” 
“As part of our mutual agreement with the seller of that property, we are not pursuing alternative stadium deals or sites, including renovations to Soldier Field, while we are under contract.” 
There you have it. The Bears are all-in on the move to Arlington Heights. 
The initial agreement between the Bears and Churchill Downs Inc. last fall for the purchase of the Arlington Heights site was for $197.2 million. According to Churchill Downs Inc. CEO Bill Carstanjen, the company can close the sale of the property at Arlington Park by mid-2023.

This is the clearest sign from the Bears that they're moving.  So...we'll see what the city does.  

(Hat tip: PB!)

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Shedd Aquarium Approved for Renovations

 Good news for Shedd Acquarium lovers (via Urbanize Chicago):

The Chicago Plan Commission has approved the Lakefront Protection Ordinance application for renovations to the Shedd Aquarium. Located at 1200 S. DuSable Lake Shore Dr, the project will improve the facilities of the museum on the Museum Campus. Looking towards its 100th anniversary in 2030, the Shedd Aquarium plans the work as part of its Centennial Commitment, a $500 million plan to improve physical facilities and programmatic content.

The most prominent change to the exterior will be the addition of a new entry and ticketing pavilion surrounding the Man with Fish sculpture outside of the accessible entry. Currently the entry does not have enough capacity to meet demand, so the new design will accommodate a larger number of visitors. With 85% of tickets purchased in advance, the separated ticketing and entry pavilions will streamline the entry process for those who have bought tickets online allowing them to enter directly.

Two pavilions will be added in front of the current entrance with a circular trellis connecting the two to create a sense of arrival for visitors. The structures have been designed to create a light touch within the landscape, enhanced to allow for greater visibility of the entrances while using larger trees to break down the scale of the new structures. In response to feedback the ceilings of the pavilions will be GFRC instead of the original wood material.

Monday, June 27, 2022

CPS CEO Pulls Funding for Proposed South Loop High School ; Says More Time & Community Engagement Needed

In case you missed it last week, more delays and uncertainty around next steps with a "South Loop High School" (via Chicago Tribune):

Hours before the Chicago Board of Education was poised to vote Wednesday on the $9.4 billion budget for the coming school year, Chicago Public Schools CEO Pedro Martinez pulled a $120 million line item for a proposed high school that would serve Chinatown, Bridgeport and South Loop.

“Conversations for the need of a neighborhood high school in the Near South have been happening for a decade now, with many advocates and community leaders urging CPS to take this step. Our team has done a great job in showing the need, with our Black students attending 95 different high schools and our Asian students traveling some of the longest distances across to other neighborhood schools,” Martinez said at Wednesday’s monthly board meeting.

Though planning is still in the early stages, critics railed against the proposal for utilizing money promised to a different neighborhood and spending millions on a new school instead of improving the high schools in the area. CPS also has come under fire for exploring building the school in the footprint of the former Ickes Homes public housing complex without first seeking feedback from residents who live near there.

Unfortunately the bureaucratic process and various groups CPS is trying to appease will continue to cause challenges.  Read the article and it's not hard to understand why this is difficult.  Regardless - it's frustrating for parents who across the board and likely is a reason why people flee the city.

This has been going on for decades - apparently 25 years by estimates of Chinatown leaders - and it seems like we're back to the drawing board.  Yikes!  

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

$400K Stolen Violin Returned to South Loop Family

Well it sounds like the South Loop stolen violin has a relatively happy ending (via Chicago Tribune):  

After a monthlong disappearance, police have returned a stolen violin made in 1760 to a South Loop family of musicians whose home was burglarized and robbed of the 262-year-old violin, as well as two other valuable instruments in May.
MingHuan Xu, a professional violinist and director of the string program at Roosevelt University, was preparing to perform at the Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival in Washington on Tuesday when the Chicago Police Department called and asked her to come into the station to identify three instruments.

Xu immediately dropped out of her performance that night, booked a red-eye, and arrived in Chicago at 4 a.m. Wednesday. She identified the three instruments “right away” as the three that were taken from her home a month earlier. The instruments were all undamaged and in good condition.

With no suspects in custody and the investigation still “open,”it remains unclear who was behind the burglary or how police acquired the instruments, though surveillance cameras from a neighbor’s garage did capture images of the suspect entering Xu’s home around 3:45 a.m. the morning of May 11.

It still seems like a strange sequence of events - especially how the Police just "acquired" the instruments - but hopefully we will learn more in the future.

Anyway - glad that this was returned.