Thursday, September 19, 2019

Cycmode Closed Up to Move to Atlanta

A reader follows-up on a post we did recently regarding Cycmode:
Re Cycmode - she actually took a big investment and moved to reopen the concept in Atlanta ... so sad to lose her in the neighborhood but she is doing great things down there!
Good for her!

(Hat tip:  SS!)

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

MingHin Coming to 1234 S. Michigan

Former Ma & I space where new MingHin coming
In case you missed this one, Eater Chicago had a recent blurb about a new Chinese Restaurant coming to the 1200 block of South Michigan:
An essential Chinese mini-chain plans large new South Loop spotMingHin Cuisine, a longtime former Eater 38 Chinatown favorite that’s expanded to three more Chicagoland locations, appears to be planning a large new South Loop spot for its next venture — which could include Japanese food. Management applied for a liquor license for the first two floors at 1232-34 S. Michigan Avenue and the second floor is interestingly under the name MingHin Japanese. Management has yet to respond to email and phone inquiries and additional information is not yet available, so stay tuned for more intel.

We've never been to MingHin, but it's slightly surprising that they're expanding so close to their Chinatown location.  Maybe they're trying to appeal to people who just won't venture a little further south to Chinatown.

This restaurant location was previously one of our favorites - Ma & I.  They closed a couple years back, but there have been persistent rumors of an Asian restaurant coming back to this location.  If the note above is correct, it appears the rumor is true.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Looking in at 820 S. Michigan Unique Rooftop

The Sun-Times has a good, quick read about the Johnson Publishing building on Michigan Avenue being transformed into a rental building.  One of the more interesting things we read was the efforts to add a unique amenity:
On that new 12th floor, the huge “Ebony JPC Jet” sign, heralding the iconic brand for nearly a half century, remains, now overlooking a trendy rooftop terrace with great lakefront views.
But Slezak said he wanted more than just the sign to be a reminder of the history made here.
Subtle touches of Johnson Publishing’s original ‘70s decor are sprinkled throughout. There’s the original wood paneling of the lobby and elevator; the framed Ebony and Jet covers lining a hall in the lobby; salvaged original rugs and curtains, framed, gracing upstairs halls.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Harbor Making Progress at 1312 S. Wabash

Checking in at Harbor - the new restaurant transforming the former Gioco space at 1312 S. Wabash - a reader writes:

While we're not shilling for Harbor's job fair, we did like what we saw regarding their lake michigan-centric logo.  This is also all over their website (although the website is still relatively bare).

For those looking for more background, this is the space that was home to South Loop pioneer Gioco - which closed in 2017.  The property sat vacant for awhile until news came out of Harbor taking over the space in some press in July of 2019.

It's one of the more interesting openings coming to the Sloop and apparently are trying to open in 2019.  Best of luck to them and looking forward to trying them out.

(Hat tip:  GK!)

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Printer’s Row Art Fest Returns This Weekend

A fun event that we would highly recommend if you're free this weekend:
SEPTEMBER 14, 2019 10AM-5PM
SEPTEMBER 15, 2019 10AM-5PM
Be part of a new cool vibe art festival, Printer’s Row Art Fest, in Chicago’s up and coming South Loop, a vibrant, diverse and inclusive community. Just one block from famous Michigan Avenue and a short walk to the world famous Art Institute, this fall festival will be the place to be.
The festival showcases the beauty, creativity and culture of the area. Held on Dearborn Street from Polk to Harrison, the Printer’s Row Art Fest will be a buying opportunity for art lovers of all ages. There will be art from all price points by painters, street artists, jewelers, up-cycling artists, artisans of all kinds, photographers, and mixed media artists. Area restaurants and bars will be on hand to serve up their Chicago specialties. Live music will add to the atmosphere.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Pacino's Classic Italian to Open in Roosevelt Collection

In case you missed this (via Eater Chicago):
Reps from the Roosevelt Collection continue their efforts to improve dining in the South Loop as a new Italian restaurant should open this fall in the development that includes the ShowPlace ICON Theatre. Pacino’s Classic Italian is slated for an October debut, replacing Mago Grill & Cantina at 1010 S. Delano Court. Pacino’s chef, Michael Serratore, was the chef at Trattoria Isabella, a West Loop Italian restaurant that closed in 2016.
The article goes on to say some interesting things:
Pacino’s will be a family-friendly Italian restaurant with 335 seats and a private dining room for 150. There’s also an outdoor area with a pergola. They’ve transformed the space to make it feel like Serratore’s native Italy. He’s Sicilian.
The risotto may be Pacino’s signature dish, as Serratore said it’s a labor-intensive item. The menu will also feature plenty of seafood and fresh pasta. Sample dishes include Bucatini Bolognese with Sicilian sausage in a tomato meat sauce; Ivoltini di Pollo with goat cheese-stuffed chicken breast, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, vodka sauce, and mixed vegetables; and Neapolitan-style pizzas. Serratore prefers to lean to traditional cuisine, but he’ll try to modernize a few dishes, to perhaps make gravies a little lighter where he can. There’s a bar with 16 draft lines and also 15 bottles of beer available.

That's a lot of seats to fill, but hopefully the risotto is as good as advertised.  As a reminder, the Mago Grill space was huge and beautiful, but abruptly shut down in the spring of 2018.

The post also references the impending BBQ restaurant called The Lucky Well that is going to open in the development (which we posted about back in June).  And last Wednesday news came out about a crazy concept called X Pot with robots serving dishes and whatnot.

Good to see all the dinning news at Roosevelt Collection.  We wish them well.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Jet's Pizza Apparently Coming to 1140 S Wabash, But Is Chipotle Also?

A reader writes and sends us the pic below:
1140 Wabash- I think it was previously reported this might be a Chipotle.  Now where is that Chipotle?  Maybe former Bongo Room space??

While a lot of people were probably hoping for the Chipotle, apparently Jet's has a pretty loyal following.  All that said, there is sooooo much pizza in the Sloop.  While some may groan about that being a bad thing, pizza is pretty delicious.

So about that Chipotle....

As we reported back in December of 2018, Chipotle was in fact coming to this location.  Even so much so that it was on their website:

So the question is now whether or not Chipotle is coming.  On the Facebook group Hello South Loop, there are rumors that this location will have Jet's on one side and Chipotle on the other.  Time will tell...  

Anyone have any tips?

(Hat tip:  NS!)

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Kanye West Bringing His Sunday Service to Sloop, Northerly Island This Morning (9/8)

Hometown kid Kanye West is known for a lot of things, but most recently it's his Sunday Service which has been happening regularly since the beginning of the year.  News of him bringing his "service" to Northerly Island today at 9am popped up in the news yesterday and although it's a free show, it sold out in less than an hour.

We've read about it and watched videos on it and have seen it pop up in the news in a variety of ways.  But what is it - well we're still not really sure.  If you're to believe the purest intention, it's presumably Kanye's vision for giving his congregation some form of spiritual connection.  On that level we're intrigued, if not a little skeptical.

On the other hand, is it just another endeavor to further prop up an already mythical but egotistical, complicated but brilliant artist? 

Who the hell knows - and maybe why does it matter.  It's probably somewhere in the middle of the spectrum.  It's interesting and it's peak Kanye.

If this means anything to you, head on over to Northerly Island this morning and brave the rain for something that could be special.

Or at minimum, you can stream the show at 9am at     

If you're still unsure what we're talking about here is a blurb from Chicago Tribune:
It’s a safe bet that you can’t think of the last time that a ticket to church was the hottest thing in town. But that was before Kanye West’s Chicago iteration of his “Sunday Service.”
The rapper will host a 9 a.m. event at Northerly Island on Sunday, that will be — something.
Previous versions have included celebrities, musical performances and been things that the hoi polloi can only read about. The guest lists were closely held, including the likes of Brad Pitt, Katy Perry, Tyler, the Creator and others. The Chicago event, open to the general public, is a very different take on the weekly thing that West has been doing since the beginning of the year, according to media reports. When Sunday’s event was announced and the free tickets made available via TicketMaster, they went quickly. Northerly Island has a capacity of about 30,000 for concerts, but what the setup will be like for the West event isn’t known.
What is safe to say is that West will be front and center. When NPR chronicled one of the “Sunday Service” events held during the 2019 Coachella music festival, New Yorker writer Jia Tolentino said in that story, “He is the church ... he is the text of the sermon. It’s his songs. He is the worship. He is creating a church in himself and selling it, really.”

Friday, September 6, 2019

PepsiCo & WeWork Looking to Secure Space at Old Post Office

And the momentum appears to be continuing for the Old Post Office (via Tribune):
Another 320,000 square feet of office space is being gobbled up at The Old Post Office redevelopment, continuing a run of big leases in the long-vacant structure that will become one of Chicago’s largest office properties when it opens in October.
PepsiCo is in advanced talks to move into about 200,000 square feet in the 2.8 million-square-foot building along the Chicago River, according to sources. Meanwhile, WeWork is zeroing in on a lease of about 120,000 square feet, the sources said.
The leases are not finalized and could still fall apart.

If this happen it would join Uber, Walgreens, CBOE, Cisco Systems, Ferrara Candy, the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago, AbelsonTaylor and Home Chef as other businesses who are also coming to the neighborhood.

While some may question why this is relevant to the Sloop, it would likely bring increased development and action to the north west side of the neighborhood.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Robot Servers Coming to New Asian Fusion Restaurant in Roosevelt Collection

Ummmmm - if you say so (via Chicago Tribune):
Love Chinese hot pot, but always wished there were fewer real people around and more robots? You’re in luck, as The X Pot plans to move into the Roosevelt Collection Shops (150 W. Roosevelt Road) in the South Loop. According to founder David Zhao, opening is set for May or June of 2020.
Zhao and co-founder Haibin Yang are not kidding about the robots. “We’ll have robots that are similar to Roombas going around the restaurant to make the experience smoother,” says Zhao. “They’ll be the food runners, and any empty dishes we’ll also put on the robots.”
This is not the first time Zhao has integrated technology into a restaurant concept. He’s also the co-founder of Chubby Cattle, another hot pot restaurant chain that has a refrigerated conveyor belt that delivers all the ingredients.
But he’s aiming even higher with The X Pot. Along with the aforementioned robots, he’s billing this place as the “second interactive dining 5D projection experience in the United States,” after the first location of The X Pot opens in Las Vegas later this year. What does that mean? Zhao says that the restaurant will feature “groundbreaking technology to add to the immersive dining experience” which will appeal to all your senses. “There will be music playing, visual projects on the walls and on the tables, interactive ingredients that you touch, and obviously smell and taste coming from the food.”
This is a pretty ambitious concept and while we're super skeptical of gimmick restaurants - we're hoping the food is as good as the tech.

Curious to see where this comes in at Roosevelt Collection.  Does anyone know?

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

"Wine Bar Coming Soon" Sign in Window of Printers Row Wine Shop

There has been a lot of positive movement on the restaurant/bar scene in Printers Row.  While Toto's Market isn't a traditional restaurant, it does have some quality QSR type of offerings such as sandwiches and rotisserie chicken.  Across the street Roots Pizza is finally moving quickly and will undoubtedly bring more heat to the area.  Further north (715 S. Dearborn) work on Grail Cafe is underway as well.

But not everything is reliant on new establishments!  It looks like the popular Printers Row Wine Shop (719 S. Dearborn) is opening a wine bar inside their space - assuming this sign is accurate:

Good stuff and can't wait for them to open this up!

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Cycmode Closes at 1333 S. Wabash

Cycmode - the immersive cycling studio - has apparently closed at 1333 S. Wabash since the retail space is now available:

As a reminder, Cycmode opened back in July of 2017.  The concept was interesting, but there is a lot of competition these days for health and fitness programs.

Here's to hoping something else good moves in soon.