Monday, May 31, 2010

Triad Sushi Lounge Enjoyable, but Not Amazing

In an attempt to breakout of our standard restaurant rut, we decided it was time to walk down Triad Sushi Lounge (1933 S. Indiana) and give it a try. We've reviewed their menu many times online and have spoken to a couple people about their offerings (the website is snazzy and the reviews have just been ok).

It was a random Saturday night around 9pm and the place was relatively empty. There were three other couples in the main dinning room besides us. Their were some smallish, private dinning areas which looked to be occupied as well. The decor inside was nice and attempting to be trendy, but seemed a little dated to us.

However, the staff was very nice, prompt and polite which in our opinion is much more important then decor. Since it wasn't very busy we ordered quickly. We opted for some scallops for an appetizer and a specialty eel role and some Asian vegetable/noodle dish for the entree. Although we just got beer, we were intrigued by some of their specialty sake infused vodka martinis. In hindsight, we should have gone for those.

The scallops were good, but the portion was unfortunately small for the price. After we mowed those down our main dishes quickly came. The eel role also included salmon on the outside and some form of crunchy tempura like ingredient. It was probably the highlight of the meal. The vegetable/noodle dish was what it sounded like, nothing special but a relatively large portion.

All in all everything was ok. In our opinion, if you're looking for sushi go to South Coast. If you're looking for Asian go to Ma & I.

Regardless, it's still probably worth trying out for yourself, maybe you will have more luck then we did.

One more important note - it's BYOB if you want...we didn't, but wish we did!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

And it Begins...Let's Do This Hawks

Let's Do This Hawks! It starts tonight at 7pm!

And finally, how can you not love these "History Will Be Made" ads...I get goosebumps every time I watch them:

Friday, May 28, 2010

Buckingham Fountain Renovation Put on Hold

Although part of the renovations for the majestic Buckingham Fountain have been completed (and look much better), some of the piping and other renovations are on hold due to funding issues according to the Chicago Tribune:
Much of the renovation work left to be done is on the 82-year-old fountain itself, said Park District preservation architect Michael Fus. The project included plans to rebuild the fountain's 280-foot-long outer basin, refurbish and modernize the pump house and treat the marble coverings and bronze sculptures adorning the Chicago landmark, he said.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

An Auction and a Foreclosure: Real Estate Round-up

Yesterday Crain's Chicago had two stories pertaining to South Loop real estate. The first had to deal with an auction for the parcel of land at 1000 S. Michigan. The land at one point had been a purposed high rise (however, what piece of land in the South Loop didn't?!?!?!). The land is still very desirable as it's on Grant Park and is on a pretty high profile stretch for the city.

The second real estate article we read yesterday was about the 35-story Lexington Park building (2138 S. Indiana). Many people on Sloopin have been trying to get to the bottom of what is going on with this building and this article definitely sheds some light on the situation. Amazingly only three units have closed in the building.

However, this past weekend we walked by the Lexington Park building and contemplated what might be eventually. Although the "Cermak corridor" has definitely felt the ramifications of the recession, many (including us) feel as if this area will at some point make a turn for the better. There is talk about a Green line stop on this stretch and now that the Ickes homes have begun to be cleared, our guess is that this stretch will move away from its negative connotation.

(Hat Tip: Solo & JG!)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

House of Sole Has Your Tickets for Sex & the City 2

For all the Sex & the City fans out there, our local shoe mecca, House of Sole (1237 S. Michigan), has a promotion for you:

We are giving away tickets to opening weekend of Sex and the City 2.
With each purchase, the customer will be entered to win tickets to S&TC 2
opening weekend at Showplace ICON on Roosevelt. One winner will win VIP
tickets. We will also have Cosmos & Cocktails on opening night which
is May 27th.

(Hat Tip: T!)
(Image from

Name Our New Neighbor at the Shedd

As one of the newest and probably cutest new neighbors in the Sloop needs a name. That's right, the Shedd's Baby Beluga Whale that was born this past December needs a name and you can vote on it!

We will do a short poll on Sloopin, but you can go to this website to register an official vote.

Finally, here is a video of the birth of the yet to be named Baby Beluga

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Protesters at Roosevelt and Wabash BP

A reader writes:
I was walking home from Whole Foods and when I turned down Wabash I saw this protest. It was going on around 3:30pm today. There were people with cameras but no major stations or networks present when I was there. They were chanting "Don't pay the bill, for the spill!" I took one shot from the west side of Wabash and figured I'd get a close up on the other side. I walked up and who should be front and center? Jesse Jackson! There were a few cops hanging around but overall it was pretty tame and straight forward. BP bad. Environment good. Please enjoy my pics. I enjoy your site.

Thanks for the complement. We enjoy your pics!

(Hat Tip: MD!)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Renovations at Old Sam's Space?

A reader writes:
It appears that there is some demolition work being done in the old Sam's space - does anyone have an update?
We went by last week in the morning and noticed some men working on something as well. It doesn't look noticeable different in our opinion (so maybe it was just standard upkeep), but since there is a lot of interest in this space, does anyone have an update?

As many of you probably remember we posted about a rumor in regard to Trader Joe's coming to this space, but as of today we haven't heard anything more on this topic.

(Hat Tip: SP!)

t appears that there is some demolition work being done in the old Sam’s space – does anyone have an update?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Mixed Feelings on the New Subway Store at Roosevelt and Michigan

The new Subway is open and ready for business. It also appears that it is open 24 hours, which is unique for Subways (as far as we know).

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Loud Feedback on State Between 13th and 14th?

A reader writes:
What's that annoying shrill beeping on State St. (b/w 13th and 14th streets)? You guys always seem to be in the know... there is this obnoxiously shrill beeping that's been going on since Sat. evening. We can't even leave our windows open anymore it's so annoying--kind of like feedback from electronics but on a bigger scale. Better yet, who do you even contact about something so weird?! 311?
We're not sure, but we're hoping someone else on the interwebs can help you out. I would think the Alderman's office or police department would be the best resource.

Also, the email reminded us of something we heard about the new Pritzker Park at the corner of State and Van Buren. A friend mentioned that there was some loud sounds that would go off every once in awhile and that it was to deter bums from hanging around the park. Not sure if this is true or even plausible but we're just saying...

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

2nd Annual Boat & Tackle Market Comes to Soldier Field this Sunday

If you're into boats or fishing, you're in luck:

Soldier Field invites you to the 2nd Annual Boat & Tackle Market on Sunday, May 23rd. The market is open to all to buy, sell or hook a deal on new and used boating, fishing and other outdoor equipment. There will be all kinds of games and activities for kids and adults throughout the day to add a fun festival atmosphere to the day. The event will take place in the South Festival Lot. There is a $5 entry fee at the entrance (free for kids under 12), but parking in the South Parking Lot is FREE!

For additional information, here is the website.

(Hat Tip: Nick Deezy!)

Why Can't We Get 4th Meal?

A good friend of the blog recently emailed us wondering what was going on with the Taco Bell on Congress. As veteran Sloopers would remember it was supposedly being renovated, but appears to have stalled:
Do you have any info on why the Subway/Taco Bell on Dearborn and Congress has
yet to re-open? Signs on the door have said that they are re-opening under
new management soon, but these signs have been there for a few years now.
It looked like they started doing renovations but they halted. I haven't
been past there for a bit so it may be open now. If not, I think this a
job for Sloopin'!

It's a great question and something we haven't heard much about. Any insight?

(Hat Tip: K-PAX!)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Exposure/Utopia Removes Awnings

A couple of readers have sent us some emails about Utopia (1313 S. Wabash) finally removing the awnings that displayed the name of the former resident, Exposure Tapas:

I'm writing because I noticed something on Wabash (1300 block) on my way home
this evening - the Exposure / Utopia awnings are gone. I believe this happened
today. See attached. Do you have any dirt on what might be going on? I've never
been a fan of this dumpy, shady place and I hope this means it's gone.
As far as we can tell they're still open and we're curious to see if they put anything up. Personally, now that the windows aren't blocked by the awnings we think the place looks much classier. The windows are huge and look to be in pretty good shape.

(Hat Tip: MD & ED!)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

How Do you Feel About Sedgwick Properties?

A reader from a different neighborhood is curious to hear your thoughts about Sedgwick Properties, the developers behind South Loop buildings Marquee (1454 S. Michigan) and Terrazio (1935 S. Wabash):
You may or may not be aware that the city and our alderman up here in the 46th ward are giving Sedgwick $70 million for a development. I've not seen any posts/news about their South Loop projects for over a year. Do you or your readers have impressions to share? How do the Marquee and Terrazio rate? Good construction? Good neighbors? Were these TIF developments?

I'd like some outsider opinion before they come with their dog and pony show next week.
(Hat Tip: Brad!)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Shots Around the Sloop: The New Buddy Guy Legends Sign

We're really excited about the new spot for the legendary blues club, Buddy Guy's Legends and recently they installed their new sign at the Southwest corner 7th and Wabash. Rumor has it that the club could open within a couple weeks.

For more background, there is a great article by Greg Kot of the Tribune talking about the new place. Our favorite paragraph is the one about the new "state of the art" sound system:
Gary Gand, owner of Gand Music and Sound in suburban Northfield, says his
company installed a digital mixing console and sound and lighting equipment
"comparable to what you'd see at a major music festival or the United Center
rather than a typical blues club."

Speakers in the ceiling will provide a strong bass presence throughout the
club. "We can steer the sound coming out of them with computers," Gand
says. "We can reflect sound around the room electronically and keep it off
the stage so the microphones don't feed back. Every seat in the house will
have great sound. We're looking to blow people's minds."

We can't wait for our minds to explode!

Friday, May 14, 2010


Lollapalooza is getting more space and that means more people and more streets closed for the three day festival. Greg Kot, from the Trib, has a good interview with one of the organizers of the event.

We love the festival, but are curious what others in the South Loop think about Lollapalooza becoming larger?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Groupon Alert: Weather Mark Tavern

Here is the link....enjoy!

One more observation about this. That picture of the filet might be one of the most appetizing shots I've ever seen. Do I think I can get a perfectly cooked steak like that at Weather Mark Tavern? Doubtful. Regardless, it's making me hungry.

Shots Around the Sloop: Signs, Signs, Everywhere There's Signs

The Dunkin Donuts/Baskin Robins store (at 1231 S. Wabash) has finished its recent renovation and it looks much, much better. However, with the renovation has come way to many signs. Not sure if this is permanent or temporary, but it's a little ridiculous:

By our count there are 10 signs. The electronic sign, the new Dunkin Donuts sign, the new Baskin Robbins sign, the old combined DD/BR sign, the two flags on the top, the gigantic inflatable coffee cup on top and the four signs in the windows. Talk about overkill!

And for the people who didn't get the Title, we will refer you to a sweet anthem from Tesla:

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Addios to Cuatro: Part Deux

So it appears that the reopening of Cuatro (2030 S. Wabash), dubbed "The Miracle on 21st Street", was short lived. Late last week a reader wrote:
I walked by Cuatro last night and noticed green stickers on the windows noting that their licence had been revoked. It wasn't clear what licence, but the restaurant was definitely closed for the evening. What's the scoop?
We also had a friend of the blog mention the same thing. Since this was perplexing to us (being that it closed for a couple days, opened for a couple days and now appears to be closed again), we thought we would wander down to Wabash and 21st to take a look for ourselves.

As reported, there were multiple green stickers plastered on the windows with "Revoked" in big letters (in reference to a business license). And after peaking in to the restaurant it appears that almost all of the tables, chairs and artwork are gone. Does anyone have anymore background?

Although this has been an weird story, we think it's safe to say adios again to Cuatro.

(Hat Tip: EJM & LR!)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A New Place to Get Liquor in the Sloop: Walgreens

A reader writes:
Thought that you might be interested to know that the Walgreens at Roosevelt and State will apparently be selling liquor in the future, document attached.

(Hat Tip: SL!)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Making Progress at Jimmy Green's Bar & Grill

We haven't heard much talk about the new Jimmy Green's Bar & Grill at 825 South State, but it looks to be progressing pretty nicely. When I peak in, it looks as if there is always someone inside working on something and judging by their Facebook pictures the place looks pretty swanky (for a sports barish type of place at least).

Another feature we're excited to see is that they installed new windows that open up horizontally in the front. We love when bars/restaurants embrace fresh air, so we're glad to see this implemented.

Also, in regard to the opening date, a Facebook post on Wednesday, May 5th states:
Jimmy Green's Name's on the door...that's a good sign! Everything's on schedule so hope to see you soon. (Just a few weeks more.)

A couple more weeks...looking forward to it!

(Images from Jimmy Green's Facebook Page)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A'Cappella Bistro Opens

So one of the friends of the blogs was strolling down Michigan Ave today and quickly called to say "A'Cappella Bistro is Open!". She didn't go in, but we're curious if anyone tried it out and if so was it good? What did the waiters say about the mind-boggling delays in opening?

(Hat Tip: Nick D!)

Computer Gurus Move in at 1130 S. Wabash

A couple of weeks ago we noticed that Elements of Style boutique closed up shop and moved next door with LeSole Tanning. Since they vacated their small retail spot at 1130 S. Wabash, it looks like a new business, Computer Gurus, is moving in.

Although we couldn't find a website, Everyblock has their business license notification on their website. We also recently strolled by the space and noticed that their store is pretty much set up. Are they officially open? we're not sure, but regardless it looks like it will be opening very shortly.

In regard to their offerings, it looked like they will provide a variety of computer equipment and equipment. We also imagine that they will be a good resource for problem shooting computer issues.

Good luck and welcome to the Sloop!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

A Real Estate Video From the Past - Eco18

UPDATE: So this video is from 2008 (as JeffS pointed out in the comments), but showed up on a recent rss feed that we monitor. Obviously things have changed in the area and we don't anticipate Eco18 breaking ground in the summer. Regardless, it's interesting to listen to...

We were excited to listen to this interview conducted by YoChicago about the Eco18 development at the corner of Wabash and 18th (1830 S. Michigan). It's interesting to hear the developer talk about the South Loop, the "Wabash Corridor" and the real estate market in general.

The other interesting note was that he mentioned that they planned to break ground on the development this Summer. To be honest, we thought this project was dead. Regardless, it's encouraging to hear optimism in regard to the South Loop real estate market (even though it wasn't resounding excitement):

(Video from YoChicago)

Friday, May 7, 2010

Stanley Cup for the Hawks?

The Hawks playoff run thus far has been frustrating at times and exhilarating and ridiculously entertaining at others, but the good news is that as of today they lead their series with the much hated Vancouver Canucks 2-1. Game 4 is tonight in Vancouver at 8:30pm and chances are that bars all over the city (and Sloop) will be packed with fans cheering on the mighty Blackhawks.

We will probably be at Kroll's, maybe we will see you there.

Could It Be True? A'Cappela Bistro Open For Mother's Day Brunch?

We're still skeptical, but this is a pretty strong sign that they're going to be open:
My fiancé believes it is a continuation of their ongoing saga, I think it's going to open. There is a buffet set up inside so we'll see Sunday.

(Hat Tip: JG!)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

An Eye Sore at 800 S. Financial

A reader writes:

I was wondering if you would be able to start a thread about the area around 800 S Financial Pl. (or what used to be 800 S. Financial Pl.) I think at one point it used to be a street or a parking lot. Now its just vacant land. I don't think it is included in he Roosevelt collection plans. I was just hoping someone had some info. Right now its a pretty big eye-sore.

(Hat Tip: DG!)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Shots Around the Sloop: Helicopter at Target

A reader writes:
Hey Sloopin,

Just wanted to let you know that Target has been busy preparing for the addition of an enhanced grocery department. My living room overlooks the rooftop, and over the the last few weeks I've noticed a lot of construction activity. I asked one of the Target associates what was going on, and she informed me that the improvements were for the enhanced grocery department. This morning I woke up to a helicopter air-lifting refrigeration units to the roof. (See attached video.) The interior transformation is due to start soon. Exciting. I already love the convenience of the select grocery items at Target, looking forward to the additional produce, meats, etc.

Additional photos here and here.

(Hat Tip: JP & Marty!)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

3 Men Found Dead in South Loop Apartment

In case you missed the story, yesterday 3 men were found dead in what appeared to be a drug related incident. This happened at 633 S. Dearborn around midday. For more info here is a link to the Chicago Tribune.

What's that Smell?

A reader writes about the scrumptious smell on Wabash:
My fiance and I moved into 1305 S. Michigan last summer and since then have been teased on a weekly basis by the smell of fried dough in the neighborhood. We always assumed it was the Dunkin Donuts next to the Wabash Tap; however, when they were remodeling the Dunkin Donuts over the last few weeks the amazing smell continued to tease us. Perhaps Jewel bakes its own pastries? Either way it often smells delicious!

Anyone have any insight into this? The only other thing we can think of is maybe the company Comfort Cake, who is based at 1243 S. Wabash Suite 201 (however we don't know if they actually bake there).

Regardless, we agree that the smell is potent and very appetizing!

(Hat Tip: JG!)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Subway Also Moving in at 1212 S. Michigan

Two weeks ago we posted about some retail development at 1212 S. Michigan (the building at the southwest corner of Roosevelt and Michigan). 2x10 nails is open and rocking at the small space south of the entrance. For those of you have been around for awhile it's where the old flower shop used to be.

However, the more interesting development is that a Subway is going to be moving into the prime retail space on the corner. A commenter named Molly tipped the blog that it was a Subway and sure enough it is. We peaked in recently and saw the standard Subway 'fake brick' decorative walling being installed and if that's not enough to squash your doubts, they're website should put the icing on the cake. (type in 60605 in the store locator and you will see that the 1212 S. Michigan Subway is opening soon).
As always, we like to see stores, restaurants and businesses opening up in the South Loop, so naturally we think this is good for the neighborhood. In a perfect world this high profile spot would have been a nice, unique neighborhood restaurant (which was reported last year by Crain's). However, something is better then nothing in our opinion.
What remains to be seen is whether or not they will have outdoor seating. Typically this isn't the case with subways (as far as we know), but given that the retail space they're occupying looks to have a great outdoor area our guess would be yes.
The other question is what does this mean for the Subway at 13th and Wabash? There is no need to have two Subways in this part of the Sloop so close to each other (not to mention if both could survive). Could this open up a retail spot for another 'local' restaurant or business on South Wabash? We hope so.
As we mentioned in the old post on this subject, Flo & Santos seems to have brought a jolt of energy to 1300 block of Wabash....maybe the momentum can bring another place into the fold.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Peregrine Falcon Nesting at 1130 S. Michigan

In case you missed the story in the Chicago Journal, a Peregrine Falcon is nesting on the top of 1130 S. Michigan highrise. There is even a live Falcon Cam in place to watch the hatching of the babies as well.

We're glad to see that the falcons came back to the Sloop. As some of our readers might remember, last year (almost to the day) we were contacted by Stephanie Ware who works at the Field museum (and lives in the Sloop) regarding this topic:
I work with a program that monitors the Peregrine Falcon population here in Chicago. Two years ago, a pair of peregrines new to the Chicago region tried to nest on the Field Museum, but they were unsuccessful. They returned the following year and, after laying a few eggs in a precarious location on the museum, tried to set up shop at a construction site in the south loop. That nest failed as well.

The pair is back this year and we have been tracking them since early March. However, we haven't been able to determine where or IF they have chosen a new nesting site. At this point in the season, this pair will have likely laid eggs and they should be hatching in the next couple of weeks. We would like to find them in order to put leg bands on the chicks and record the identities of the adults.

Anyway, glad to see they were found this year and here's hoping to a successful birth!

(Hat Tip: PF!)