Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
A man who police shot at because he pointed a weapon at officers March 22nd
in the South Loop neighborhood near a popular restaurant where Mayor Richard M.
Daley is said to be a regular has been charged.
Giovanni Smith, 25, of the 2300 block of South Canal Street, was charged
with felony aggravated assault of a police officer and unlawful use of a weapon
according to police. The felony charges were approved Saturday at
For the back story check our post from last week.
Monday, March 29, 2010
Thank you for sharing your energy in that fine blog. Bikram Yoga South Loop, indefatigable as Odysseyus upon the sea, aims to build and open its hot yoga room as soon as possible. Yes, we endure unexpected setbacks beyond our control. Things are clarifying but the current situation calls for quiet diplomacy. We will update you, sloopin, as soon as we have safely secured the details.
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Saturday, March 27, 2010
The City Council is hardly a bastion of independence or progressivism, and no
Daley loyalist in the bunch would run while the mayor's in the race. (Should he
retire, though, look out: "Hey, if he doesn't run, everybody in here's going for
it," one alderman says.)
But several of our bolder aldermen appear to be considering a challenge. Bob Fioretti of the Second Ward may be the most likely to pull the trigger. After just three years in office, Fioretti has become one of the real characters in local politics. His allure and his Achilles' heel are the same—he knows how to work all sides. He's comfortable cutting tax increment financing deals in the back room and then walking to the front and telling reporters about it. He's pushed to improve oversight of city contracting and the budget but voted in favor of the parking meter deal. He's a prosperous white
lawyer who spends a lot of time in the poor neighborhoods of his ward and is fairly well known on black radio.
(Hat Tip: Chicago Journal!)
Friday, March 26, 2010
Thursday, March 25, 2010
The building manager said that Trader Joe's was taking the Sam's spot and it is all but a done deal. Not sure how good the info is, but figured you might be interested.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Two officers got out of their vehicle and as they were approaching it the suspect -- who was in the driver’s seat -- pointed a gun at police and an officer fired at the suspect, Gaines said.(Hat Tip: ND & JDZ)
Police said the suspect -- who was the only one inside the white, 4-door vehicle which fled the scene -- is a known criminal and a search was under way as of early Tuesday for him.
The exhibit has been at the museum since late October of 2009 and wraps up this Sunday (March 28th). If you're interested in Diamonds we highly suggest you check it out.
The first part of the exhibit primarily gives you the history and science behind Diamonds. The second half actually displays spectacular diamonds, rings, necklaces, and so on. Personally, we found this portion of the exhibit the best.
Since the exhibit will be gone soon, we just wanted to let everyone know that if they had interest in checking it out, they better go soon!
Monday, March 22, 2010
YoChicago has a nice article from last week about the auction. According to their google spreadsheet, most of the units sold at a decrease of 39 to 53% (not including parking).
Sunday, March 21, 2010
The property is eight acres at the southwest corner of Harrison and Wells, which several investors have taken a crack at. It has been vacant since 1971, when the Grand Central Station rail terminal was torn down, to the horror of people who loved the architecture.
Russland Capital Group Inc. of Skokie owns the largest part of the tract, 6.6 acres, and is marketing it for $41 million. The remaining 1.5 acres is at the corner. Its owner, D2 Realty Services Inc., is trying to sell it, but a price could not be learned. It had tried to peddle it for $15 million, but the contract never closed.
Russland's part includes frontage on the Chicago River, so developers have eyed it for a residential and retail mix. The housing collapse and credit squeeze upset those plans.
It's a great piece of property and hopefully turns out well. The Sun-Times article also references that a smaller lot at that intersection is up for sale, but according to an email from a reader who lives in the area, she received an application notification for a new parking lot:
The Property is located at the southwest corner of Harrison and Wells Streets and is currently vacant. The Applicant proposes to improve the Property with a non-accessory parking lot for 218 vehicles. The parking lot will contain perimeter and internal landscaping. It will operate twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Friday, March 19, 2010
Some joker swung open the door at Blackies in Printers Row to scream at an unsuspecting bartender, "Your boss is going to jail, ha ha." Owner Jeffery Thomas says his workers have been getting a lot of that since his longtime nemesis, Nick Giannis -- who owns the Boston Blackies bar-and-grill chain -- was arrested with two other men while trying to flee the country ahead of check-kiting charges last week.
Giannis, a major contributor to U.S. Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias, along with his son Chris and bar manager Andy Bakopoulos, allegedly defrauded Charter One and Washington Mutual banks of nearly $2 million.
"I'm getting zillions of calls and people coming in saying, 'I hope you all go to jail,'" Thomas said. "They think it's funny."
So Thomas wants those blowhards, and newspaper headline writers for that matter, to know that his Blackies -- the bar his grandfather opened in 1939 -- isn't connected with the alleged crooks who run the chain of bars with the similar name, menu and art deco decor.
The article is a fun read, so enjoy and spread the gospel: Our Blackie's is the original!
Thursday, March 18, 2010
I have heard rumors that Cuatro (2030 S. Wabash) lost their liquor license. Any truth to this? If it is true does that mean we can BYOB?This is news to us, but according to the front page of the Cuatro website "We are now BYOB". I wonder how this will affect their business.
(Hat Tip MF!)
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
None of us lived on the west side, so it was time to go somewhere closer to home, but where? We weren't aware of any late night spots in the Sloop, but thought to give Reggie's (2109 S. Sate) a call. We looked them up on our phone, gave them a shout but unfortunately it was closing time. Luckily someone at Reggie's did pick up the phone and suggested a bar called George's Cocktail Lounge on Wabash and Balbo (646 S. Wabash).
We like to think that we know a lot about the neighborhood, but have never heard of George's and we've walked by that intersection a thousand times. Regardless, we were intrigued so it was off to George's Cocktail Lounge. As our cab sped down Congress, I couldn't help but try to think of what this place might be. As we arrived and saw the sign it all made sense...sort of.
You've probably walked or driven by George's Cocktail Lounge many times, but never ever thought twice about going in. From the exterior it looks like a run down liquor store and to be fair, it actually is. However, as we strolled in at about 2:30am lo and behold it was also a bar, with a decent amount of characters enjoying the early morning.
To say George's is a 'lounge' is comical. It's more like a liquor store, with tables that allow people to stay and drink past the typical 2pm closing time. It has popcorn and a big screen projector TV from the late 90s. As we walked in, the scene was interesting. The bartender, who we presumed was a 40ish year old woman of Eastern European decent, was yelling and angrily cutting off three Hispanic men (who understandably quickly got up and left the establishment).
As I approached the bar to get a pitcher of beer, the bartender quickly looked over me and started yelling at a foreigner standing next to me (why? I have no clue). The bartender and foreigner awkwardly tried to converse for 20 second before I stepped in and started talking to the foreigner to break up this sad attempt at communication.
The foreigner was a late 50 year old man from Finland and his English was spotty (however presumably better then my Finnish). Once I got the pitcher of beer, I went back to a table where my friends were sitting. I invited the foreigner to our table because he was having trouble staying out of trouble (not completely his fault, just that the bartender couldn't really communicate with him).
Our Finnish friend was excited to talk with us and as a result proceeded to give us his perspective on life, Chicago, the US, women, rural life, marriage, hockey, and on and on. It was pretty entertaining, but after 45 minutes it began to be a little much. Luckily for us, some floozy (who was spending most of the time 'talking' to his Finnish friend) grabbed our Finnish friend and started dancing. Wow was that a hilarious sight!
As 3:30ish came, we figured it was about time to leave. It goes without saying but the place left an impression on us. Although it's a little dicey and not classiest joint in the Sloop, it definitely has character and is what I would consider the epitome of a dive bar.
So if you're ever looking to keep the night going after 2pm in the Sloop we highly suggest checking out George's Cocktail Lounge. You might be a little scared, but you will definitely be entertained!
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
We quickly wanted to post an alert from the Chicago Police Department in relation to an attack of a 36 year-old women in Chinatown over the weekend. Although this isn't what we consider the South Loop, it's pretty close to our neighborhood:
Chicago police say they're looking for three males who robbed and beat a woman in the South Loop (more Chinatown in our opinion) over the weekend.
The males, dressed in dark clothing, left a gray vehicle in the 2200 block of South Stewart Street at about 5 a.m. Sunday, robbed the 36-year-old woman and fled, police said in a community alert issued today.
Police urged people to take precautions:Walk in groups and in well-lighted areas, keep keys in your hand when walking to your car or home; if walking alone, give the impression of talking on your cell phone; be suspicious of people loitering.Anyone with information should contact the Area One detective division, (312) 747-8382.
Monday, March 15, 2010
Bron Bron will be in town as his Cleveland Cavaliers take on the sputtering Chicago Bulls on Friday at the United Center. A who's who of Chicago sports stars and others are expected to come:
"The Blackout" party runs from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. and is hosted by King James himself, so expect to see plenty of other sporty types in the house from Bulls, Bears and other Cavs -- including, potentially Shaquille O'Neal.
But the most interesting question is whether Jay-Z, who performs at the United Center the same evening, will also walk the black carpet. Hova, a part owner of the New Jersey-soon-to-be-Brooklyn Nets, has been known to pop bottles with James in the past, and will certainly be one of the executives angling for James' services the NBA's free agent spending frenzy this summer.
To the amazement of some, Kroll's (1736 S. Michigan) and Reggies (2105 S. State) pulled out victories:
As a result both bars will be hosting back-to-back events for March madness this week:
Each week, new match ups will be posted and on March 8, the top bar will be crowned the 2010 Heineken Light Super Sixteen Champion. In fact, the two bars with the most votes will host back-to-back Waddle & Silvy live broadcasts on March 18 and 19 to kick off the Tournament.
Although it seems hard to fathom that both of our great (but much more low key) bars, could beat out the likes of two wildly popular bars in Chicago (McFadden's in the Gold Coast & Glascott's in Lincoln Park), it's great to see them win. We're all for supporting local establishments so it's great to see two solid spots in the Sloop get some publicity and support.
(Image from ESPN Chicago)
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Friday, March 12, 2010
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Today we read a post by the Chicago Tribune Cityscapes blog about a conceptual sketch for a high speed rail station on Harrison just west of the Chicago River. Although this is just an idea and by no means probably happening, it would be great to have this asset in the Sloop (or very close to the Sloop since this area is up for dispute as to whether or not it's in the Sloop).
Anyway, a good read if you're into the high speed rail discussion.
(Image from Chicagotribune.com)
One new option is to head to Google maps and find the 'bicycling' option. We took a snapshot of what you will find in the South Loop (routes in green):
According to this, if you're heading East or West, Roosevelt or 18th street is your best option. North/South options seem to be a little more limited in the city. If your South of Roosevelt, Wabash has a designated lane and if you're North of Roosevelt, Canal and Clinton look to be the best option. And of course there is always the lakefront path.
It's a nice feature, but not nearly as robust as the cities bike route maps. However, the city maps are static and lack the interactive features that many people have come to rely on from Google maps.
Happy riding and hopefully the weather keeps on going in the right direction! However, I'm not holding my breath for that.we're not holding our breath
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Edelson McGuire, LLC, a law firm in Chicago, has filed a class action lawsuit against Groupon:
Now a North Side man is suing Groupon — the company behind the wildly popular website offering daily deals at everything from eateries to retail outlets — alleging the discounted gift certificates he purchased to a local florist weren’t quite the deal he thought they were.
Specifically, Daniel Keeler purchased three $40 gift certificates, each valued at $80, for Grow Flower Shop in the NBC Tower, but when he attempted to redeem them earlier this year, he was told he’d have to pony up $20 for each of the three arrangements he wanted to send, according to the lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court.
The suit not only alleges breach of contract, but accuses the company of violating Illinois law by offering non-food gift certificates with expiration periods shorter than five years.
One of Groupon's main Chicago competitors, YouSwoop, was also sued, but it appears that they've acted a little quicker to come to a settlement. It will be interesting to see how this turns out for Groupon.
For the law junkies, the Consumer Protection law in Illinois states:
On or after January 1, 2008, no person shall sell a gift certificate that is
subject to: (1) an expiration date earlier than 5 years after the date of
issuance; or (2) a post-purchase fee.
We definitely were not familiar with this law, but glad we know now. We actually had a similar issue with a restaurants.com gift certificate that we tried to use at Savoy Bar & Grill in the Essex Inn (800 S. Michigan Ave). It didn't expire but somehow they wouldn't honor the gift certificate.
Monday, March 8, 2010
Execution of a Chicago Police Department search warrant yields the recovery of over 600 grams of cocaine and other drug paraphernalia and cash.
Michael Wright, 50, of the 1500 block of South State Street, was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance.
Street value of the seized loot exceeds $80,000
A reader writes about this story:
Not sure if you wanted to make a post about this...but we need to get rid of riff raff like this loser... And making his face known can only help send him deeper into the shadows.
Dude was working, allegedly, right out of one of the biggest condo buildings in the S Loop... and with tons of kids in the building. Just makes me sick.
(Hat Tip to MW!)
(Image from WGN.com)
Sunday, March 7, 2010
While fresh, local foods get a lot of hype, vampires and Abe Vigoda know that
eating aged and fermented foods can lead to immortality and enhanced eyebrow
dexterity. For $20, today's Groupon lets you taste a triumvirate of
well-aged cheeses, meats, and craft beers at Villain's Bar & Grill in
Printer's Row (a $47 value).
Act quick it ends today!
Saturday, March 6, 2010
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Either go to www.comfortcake.com or www.nationalpoundcakeday.com (links to our site). They should click on 'email list' and we’ll contact them from there to get their address and mail it to them…absolutely free!
Looking forward to trying it!
At 11 a.m. on Monday, March 8, I (alderman Fioretti) am
hosting a street celebration at 11th and Wabash. This event will commemorate
recent improvements and mark the end of the Wabash Avenue streetscape and
roadway reconstruction project.
The Columbia College Jazz Band will open the event and local
restaurants are offering complimentary drinks and snacks.
The South Loop has seen tremendous growth and development in the past
decade. In cooperation with the community and CDOT, we wanted to ensure this
important thoroughfare was brought up to the level of quality that the growth
and new character of the neighborhood deserves. This has become one of the most
desirable places in the city to live, do business, go to school or work. These
improvements will serve to only further that desire by attracting commerce and
Second, a chance to get some trees planted in your area of the Sloop:
Would you like a tree planted in the parkway in front of your property? If no
tree is currently there, I will direct the Bureau of Forestry to plant
one. At least 100 new trees will be planted in the 2nd Ward this Spring, adding
to the 300 we planted last fall. We must get our locations to the Bureau as soon
as possible this month, so please let us know of your wishes soon. On a
related note, if there is a dead tree in your parkway please let us know right
away. Contact Tim Stevens via email at: email@example.com
Finally, an announcement to to apply for block party and garage sale permits:
Now is the time to start putting in your requests for block party and garage
sale permits. To do so visit our website and complete the application under the
"For Residents" tab and submit that application to my office at 429 S.
I visited the grand opening of Harper Gallery last week and found it to be
a perfect addition to the South Loop. Chicago Journal had an article about
the gallery and I took a couple of pictures while there (posted below, but may
show up very small).
Glad to see another store opening up on that stretch of South Michigan Avenue. We will definitely be checking it out soon.
For those also interested in the area we had a post about two more places opening up on the 1900 block of south Michigan Avenue.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Jay Polhill, 20, was last seen Feb. 28 in the 500 block of South State Street, according to police News Affairs Officer Laura Kubiak.Family and friends were reaching out to the online community Wednesday, posting a message on Reddit.com in hopes of finding Polhill, a Columbia student.He was last seen at University Center, Congress and State, where he is a resident, according to the posting.
This picture probably doesn't do justice to the dish's presentation, but if you look at the Tuna it was cut and contorted in the shape of a rose. Although I'm not sure how difficult this is to do, it seemed very impressive to everyone at the table.
However, besides the presentation the dish was just OK in my opinion. The tuna was tender and of good quality, but the overall dish just wasn't my favorite. If you're in mood for a Tuna dish that has a stunning presentation go for the 'Tekka Don' dish, if not go for the 'Sear Tuna Salad'. It's better and will save you a couple bucks!
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Monday, March 1, 2010
Thanks for everyone who voted, submitted shirts and gave feedback. The next step is for us to finalize a t-shirt vendor (which were hoping we can do this month). After that we will do a couple of posts explaining how you can buy the t-shirts.
As a reminder, the goal of this contest is to raise funds so we can implement some new features on the blog. If you're interested in pre-ordering a t-shirt please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, for those of you who are interested the final voting results were:
Entry #1: Map (4 votes)
Entry #2: Sloopster (16 votes)
Entry #3: Sloopin Ain't Easy (4 votes)
Entry#4: I've been Sloopin Around (10 votes)
Entry #5: I heart Sloopin (2 votes)
Entry #6: Everybody Sloops (2 votes)