Saturday, October 22, 2016

Old St. Mary's Girls Cross Country Win State

Shout-out to Old St. Mary's Girls Cross Country Team:
While Chicago cheers on the Cubs in their pursuit of a championship, the girls cross country team from Old St. Mary's School in the City is celebrating its State of Illinois Cross Country Championship. 
Hailing from Chicago’s South Loop, the Old St. Mary’s Knights scored their dominant victory at the annual Illinois Elementary School Association (IESA) Class 1A State Cross Country Meet. It was held Saturday, October 15, 2016, at Maxwell Park in Normal, Illinois. This talented group of fifth-through-eighth graders finished a resounding 30 points ahead of runner-up St. Thomas School of Palatine, IL. In cross country, the lowest point total wins; the Knights, coached by Sue Urban-Crowley and Aimee Hwang, finished with 81 points, compared to 111 by St. Thomas. 
The girls of Old St. Mary’s turned in consistent performances which contributed to their margin of victory. In outpacing 27 other squads, the Knights benefitted in their team scoring from many fine finishes. They included 5 th Place by Olivia Syftestad, 7th place by Summer Cardenas, 15th by Reese Crowley, 19th by Ella Hwang, 35th by Emily Hwang, 51st by Ally Dombrowski, and 53rd by Sandy O'Malley. Also on the State team are Meghan Semmer and Stacia Konow.

(Hat tip:  TS!)

Friday, October 21, 2016

Ride Sharing Scam Hits South Loop

Beware (via Fox 32):
Two customers of ride-hailing services fell victim to a scam and had their money stolen in two separate incidents within the last month in the South Loop.

In both incidents, the driver of the ride-hailing service picked up the customer in the same type of vehicle the customer had requested through their cellphone app, such as Uber or Lyft, according to a community alert from Chicago Police. 
The driver took the customer to their destination, but then said the transaction did not process and told the customer to manually enter their debit or credit card information, police said. The driver then asked for the customer’s PIN number.  
Immediately after the trip, the driver headed straight to an ATM or currency exchange and withdrew cash, police said.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Ald. Dowell, Police and Businesses Work to Address Safety and Loitering Concerns at Roosevelt/Wabash

This week, Alderman Pat Dowell and 1st District Police Commander Robert Klich met with the owners of BP, Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks and Jewel to devise a plan to address the public safety issues on the corner of Roosevelt Rd. and Wabash Ave. Currently that corner experiences a high volume of loitering and passive and aggressive panhandling, potentially causing a disturbance for neighborhood residents as they pass through this highly trafficked area. 
The businesses at the meeting were quite receptive to working together, with the police and with the community to make sure the area is clean and safe. The BP has committed to moving its fence to the property line, increase security on-site to 24 hours a day and remove the patio on its property. The Dunkin Donuts has expressed interest in sharing security with the BP. Jewel stated it will ensure their security moves individuals from the area. All the businesses, including the Starbucks, have signed complaint forms with the 1st District allowing the police to respond to issues immediately without having to wait for residents or businesses to call in a complaint. Additionally, all the businesses committed to calling the police when issues arise.

(Hat tip: ND!)

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Donation List for Women's Park and Gardens

Women's Park is a great community asset and to help them out figured we would post a call for donations they recently posted:

(Hat tip:  NS!)

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Monday, October 17, 2016

76-Story Vinloy Tower Gets Permit to Start Construction at Roosevelt/Indiana Corner?

A reader sends us this note:

It's been slow moving, but we assume this means it's going to be moving quicker.  As a reminder, we just posted about this project.  If it comes to fruition it will be a definitive building for the neighborhood:
Left side of building gets green light?

(Hat tip: VA!)

Friday, October 14, 2016

15 Minute Parking - A Reader Asks if this is Legal

A reader writes: 
For a couple of years I have used the 15 minute parking zone on the west side corner of Wabash and Harrison, which was convenient for a barbershop right around the corner. Recently Dunkin Donuts/Subway placed what looks to be a makeshift sign on the sidewalk that prohibits non-customer 15 minute waiting. Is this legal? Thanks.

Interesting.  We don't know, but figured we would see if anyone does.

(Hat tip: OI!)

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Dental Office and Pediatrician Coming to Vacant Retail Spaces on S. Michigan

It appears the 1400 block of Michigan ave is getting more doctor offices:

First up at 1468 S. Michigan - where the consignment store urban remix once held down the fort - it looks like a new Dentist office is opening judging by the permit:
Buildout of existing residential space for Medical/Dental office per plans 

Across the street at 1471 S. Michigan, the permit reads:
Interior remodel to convert existing vacant shop 1 story with mezzanine to new pediatrician office, new parking lot with driveway.

We're guessing most people will not be happy about this.  It seems like Michigan Ave is saturated with Doctor offices and spas.  Thoughts?

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Conceptual 80-Story "Woodscraper" Renderings Unveiled

All we can say is wow (via Curbed Chicago):
Could Chicago claim another world’s tallest record? If a wild new conceptual design for an 80-story wooden tower from architects Perkins + Will moves forward, then Chicago could claim the record for having the world’s tallest timber tower. ArchDaily revealed the renderings late last week and offered a few hints about the concept. According to the story, the building is a “part of a masterplan along the Chicago River,” which helps narrow down the location of the project. Considering that the design concept comes from Perkins + Will and that it’s a part of a master planned project, this leads us to believe that this could become a part of the Riverline mega development which just broke ground last month.
Seems like this is a little bit of a pipe dream, but it would be stunning and it surely is fun to talk about.

Rylon's Smokehouse Opening Today (Oct 12th)

In case you missed it, looks like we have an official opening date (via DNAinfo):
Rylon’s Smokehouse and Batter and Berries owner Derek Rylon is downplaying rumors of a move to Bronzeville as his new barbecue restaurant opens Oct. 12 in the South Loop.
As you may recall this is a fast moving buildout.  This restaurant was announced in August of 2016.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Our Take: Mago Grill & Cantina (1010 S. Delano Ct)

Food options at Roosevelt Collection have been slow to materialize, but that changed this year.  Yes, Chop opened last year and there always was the bar/restaurant at the Kerasotes movie theater.

This year saw Nando's Peri Peri Chicken and Mago Grill & Cantina open.  Both we're established spots so seemed like they would be good additions to the neighborhood and shopping complex.

We recently had the opportunity to head on over to Mago and we were pleasantly surprised.  Upon walking in, you're greeted by a strikingly colorful and huge "bar" space:

On the Saturday night we were there, there were no issues getting a table.  Maybe half the tables were taken?  But there are three different distinct spaces - high top bar area (when you walk in), regular tables in the bar area (see pic above) and then the main dinning area.  It's a really big space.

After sitting at our table, we were immediately greeted by our waiter - a nice and cordial man who immediately gave us a run down of the menu.  We quickly ordered drinks - a spicy margarita with a beer back for me and a sangria for the lady:

All I can say is that the margarita was better then expected.  

While all dinners get standard chips and salsa, we opted for the guacamole.  Like most "newer" American Mexican restaurants, they have the rolling guac carts which allows you to input on any additions/subtractions you desire.

One nice thing about our experience was that I like my guac spicy and the wife doesn't.  So the guac lady actually split the order and made each of us our own order to our taste - a very nice, but appreciated gesture.

In terms of ordering, we went the simple route and ordered a bunch of tacos.  My favorite was the "Camaron" which featured chipotle shrimp, queso fresco, picked purple cabbage and pico de gallo.  We also got the Tinga de Pollo (Chicken) and the Carne Asado (Steak).  All solid, but not super unique.  Presentation was nice though:
All in all our overall experience was good and we most likely will be back.  That being said, if you're looking for something unique or cutting edge, we'd recommend skipping Mago.  But if you're looking for traditional American Mexican food, with good and fast service we would say check it out.

To equate it to some well known spots, it reminded us of Uncle Julio's in Lincoln Park.  And for the locals, in our opinion it was better then Zapatista (the neighborhood mexican stalwart that closed in June of 2015).

Monday, October 10, 2016

Sip & Savor Coming to Motor Row; Shooting for Opening this Week (10/15)

A reader sends us this news:

After looking at their website, it appears that this will be their third location (other two are in Hyde Park and Bronzeville).

We're not familiar with this coffee shop, but generally speaking seems like it would be a good addition to the Sloop and Motor Row.

(Hat tip:  CD!)

Friday, October 7, 2016

Trucks/Cranes Move In to Start Construction on 24 Story High-rise at 1136 S. Wabash

A reader writes:
Any idea what is going on just north of Five Guys on Wabash? They have that crappy parking lot all fenced off and this morning had a ton of activity - big trucks and cranes.
Another condo building perhaps?
Indeed!  This is going to be another apartment building:

As you may recall, we posted about this plan back in March of 2015.  But yesterday, Curbed Chicago posted some new news:
The South Loop neighborhood is about to get another big tower project. At 26-stories tall, the new tower for 1136 S. Wabash Ave. is not going to be breaking any height records, but with 320 units, 9,000 square feet of retail, and 143 spaces for vehicle parking, it’s quite a dense development. Initially proposed as a 24-story, 280-unit building, it now appears that Keith Giles, the project’s developer, is looking to max out the total units and height allowed for the site. The city issued new construction permits for the project yesterday which will allow the developer to build out the tower’s foundation.
We also saw the huge trucks and cranes from the El, so it appears this guy is happening.

The Curbed article also brings up an interesting point:
It should also be noted that the site is also the location of one of the better known Flyboy murals from famed local artist and muralist Hebru Brantley. Judging by the elevations and renderings for the project, it is highly likely that the podium base of the new building will block the popular mural.

Seems unfortunate that such a cool and high-profile mural is going to be blocked, but I guess it was to be expected.

 (Hat tip:  TM!)