Saturday, July 30, 2011

River City Residents Sue Water District Over 2010 Storm

You might remember a story back in 2010 about a massive amount of rain flooding the basement at the River City condominiums. Well according to Crain's, these residents are suing:

A year after a massive storm crippled their curvy South Loop home, River City condo owners are striking back with a lawsuit against the agency that's supposed to prevent flooding.

During a two-day storm that dumped as much as 7½ inches on the area in July 2010, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago carelessly failed to open up the locks connecting the Chicago River to Lake Michigan, causing the river to overflow its banks and flood River City, 800 S. Wells St., according to a lawsuit filed by the condominium association for the 448-unit building.
(Hat tip: AS!)

Friday, July 29, 2011

Construction Begins at McCaskey's Restaurant at S Wabash

The picture above doesn't look like much now, but sometime in the near future we imagine neighbors and visitors in the South Loop will be enjoying this space. The building, which is located at 1639 S. Wabash, has been getting some attention lately.

Recently a couple readers left comments saying they noticed some construction going on at the future Ryan McCaskey restaurant, so yesterday we walked by to take a look. Sure enough, they were right.

Besides the cutouts on the Northern wall of the building (which will eventually face a new public park), the inside is also under construction. It still has a way to go, but it's encouraging to see progress on this project.

Last we heard, Ryan McCaskey's unnamed restaurant was slated to open in September. While that might be possible, we imagine it will open later. From what we've heard this restaurant was always tied to the public park that will flank it on the North and last we heard the park opening was pushed to 2012 (which judging by the park area in the picture it seems like 2012 is accurate).

We will remain long as we continue to see progress. Looking forward to this one as well. Maybe the Red Eye was right, the "South Loop is on the verge of eatery expansion!"

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Scout Appears - Opening is Near

The sign at The Scout (1301 S. Wabash) appeared on Tuesday and we can only assume that opening day is just around the corner. Last we heard, they were shooting for next Tuesday (8/2). We will see soon!

(Hat tip: SY!)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Printer's Row: Most Walkable Neighborhood in the City just released new data suggesting that Printer's Row is the most walkable neighborhood in Chicago! Dearborn Park ranks 5th and the broader South Loop ranks 31st. The boundaries are a little misleading and could skew the numbers, but regardless it's good to see Printer's Row get some positive press.

It is a little weird to see Dearborn Park classified as a it's own unique neighborhood, though.

For those of you who are interested to see where Chicago ranked in the country you might be surprised to see us ranked 4th behind NYC (not surprising), San Fran (not surprising) and Boston (sort of surprising).

For the curious readers the methodology behind the website click here to get more information. They use a variety of sources ranging from Google,, Open Street Map, and Localeze.

(Hat tip: JG!)

(Image from:

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Hotel Expansion at McCormick Place

According to the Tribune:

McCormick Place officials are moving ahead with long-stalled plans to expand the convention center hotel.Another 461 rooms will be added to the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place, which currently has 800 rooms, with completion expected mid-2013.

Even more reason to focus on developing Motor Row.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Ambitiously Unrealistic Plans Unveiled for Old Post Office

In case you missed the story late last week, we wanted to do a post on the ambitious plans for the old Post Office that spans Congress Parkway and sits on the Northwest corner of what we consider the South Loop.

The amazing plans are ambitious and seem unreasonably optimistic to us. Just take a look at the numbers:

The 120-story tower is the centerpiece of a $3.5-billion, 16-million-square-foot development proposed by Bill Davies, the Englishman who
paid $24 million two years ago for the post office, an empty landmark structure that straddles the Congress Parkway on the west side of the river.

Covering 20 acres, the project would include 6.2 million square feet of retail and entertainment space, 7,500 hotel rooms, 2 million square feet of
office space and 3.8 million square feet of residential space, enough for about
1,500 units. It also is to include 12,000 parking spaces that will be free for
Simply amazing to think something like this is even being proposed right now. Although it seems highly unlikely that this could happen, it would be a game changer. This complex would drastically change the dynamic of the city shifting much more attention and development to the Southwest area of the Loop.

The one thing that could give this a shot in the arm would be a casino. There has been a lot of talk about where a casino should go and if this complex could house it, our guess is that it would help make this more realistic. Regardless, it doesn't seem very feasible and we would be amazed to see it happen.

If it does, it would impact the Sloop in ways we can't even imagine. The amount of people that this type of complex would attract would mean a ton of new people invading the surrounding neighborhoods (which is ours). It could be a good thing or it could be bad thing depending on how you feel about the growth of the neighborhood. Realistically we doubt we will ever know because we can't imagine this project really happening. Only time will tell. has a good video summarizing the story:

(Hat tip: Jack G!)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Trader Joe's Opening on September 9th

From the Chicago Sun-Times:
Trader Joe’s, the specialty grocer known among foodies for its fanciful imports, organic foods and $1.99 bottled wines that earned the nickname “Two Buck Chuck,” will open its South Loop store at 1146 S. Wabash on Sept. 9.

Forever Nana's Vintage Boutique Headed for Motor Row?

A reader sent us a link to a twitter feed from Forever Nana's Vintage Boutique to watch out for their grand opening at 2418 S. Michigan.

Intrigued, we did some more searching and stumbled upon their website ( The about us section provides some background into the boutique:

So this story is about the little girl who refused to conform. I founded a Sorority that still exists today and multiple entrepreneurial businesses as I grew up. I'm Yvette, the owner of Forever Nana's Vintage Boutique. Chicago's First authentic South Loop Vintage experience.

My Lifetime motto: Always a leader never a follower, explains how my interest in the vintage world began.

It appears that the boutique will have a wide array of items ranging from art, jewelry, clothes, shoes and furniture.

Best of luck to them and hopefully they're at the forefront of the recently talked about renaissance of Michigan Avenue's Motor Row.

(Hat tip: JJ!)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

What's the Deal with the 2011 Bash on Wabash?

A reader writes:


Hear anything about this year's Bash on Wabash? I've been searching online and can't find much. Typically by now we would have seen posters around the neighborhood promoting the event. What gives?

It's a good question. We usually see stuff by now and after searching the interwebs we didn't find much. The Greater South Loop Association has been the group responsible for this in the past and all we found on their page was outdated information about last years event.

In the comment section of that page, a reader did ask about the dates for the 2011 iteration and an admin said it would be held on August 27th and 28th, 2011. However, that comment was from May 10th of 2011.

Does anyone have the scoop on this years Bash on Wabash?

(Hat tip: LE!)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Chicago Magazine Points Out the Staples at Burger Point

Like the simple concept being floated around by Burger Point (1900 S. State) and looking forward to it opening soon. Here is a brief write-up with more information from Chicago Magazine:

“We have four things on the menu: burgers, wings, chili, and fries. That’s it,” says Asha Mathew, who plans to open The Burger Point (1900 S. State St.; 312-933-7846) with her boyfriend, David Esterline, between mid-August and early September.

• Burgers. Diners can build their own one-third-pound griddle-cooked burger (chicken, turkey, and veggie patties are also available) and order it at in-store iPad kiosks. Or, they can select from predesigned specials, such as the Burger Point (roasted chili peppers, fried egg, smoked bacon, pepper Jack, pretzel roll), the Crunchy (American cheese, potato chips, French onion sauce, brioche), and the Jersey Shore (toasted pepperoni, homemade red sauce, fresh mozzarella, brioche).

• Wings. More than ten sauces will rotate seasonally, including original Buffalo, Three Mile Island (which is spicy), barbecue–honey mustard, and hot garlic.

• Chili. Original recipes for meat and veggie chili were created by Esterline. “David is an enigma,” Mathew says. “No formal training in the kitchen but an amazing talent for food. David is the mastermind behind most of this. Actually, all of this.”

• French fries. “We have a specialty fry. We call it a spiral fry on a stick,” Mathew says. It’s a whole potato, cut into spirals. Conventional sweet potato fries also appear
on the menu.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Impact of Trader Joe's

The South Loop's Trader Joe's at the Northeast corner of Roosevelt and Wabash seems to be progressing quite quickly. As far as we can tell the parking garage is done and the inside of the building is gradually resembling the quirky decor of other Trader Joe's.

We still haven't heard an official date of when the South Loop location is going open, but we wouldn't be surprised to see the doors open by the end of the quarter (maybe September?).

The retail scene in the neighborhood has seemingly been picking up speed over the past couple of months. This is presumably due to a lot of factors (improving economy, increase in residential population in the neighborhood, etc), but could any of this be attributed to the news about Trader Joe's coming to the Sloop?

Seems a little far fetched to associate all of this activity with this chain, but we ran across a post on a Chicago Real Estate blog talking about the new Trader Joe's in Lincoln Park and it's impact on nearby retail:

Not only was Trader Joe's packed on a Friday evening with customers, the popular grocery chain has had another impact: ALL the storefront retail space seems filled on this block by established retailers and services. It's been an impressive transformation with the anchor Trader Joe's leading the way!

Not saying that these are similar situations or that Trader Joe's is responsible for the recent uptick in retail openings in the Sloop, but just throwing it out there for debate.

Regardless, high profile "anchor tenants" are important for neighborhoods and hopefully this encourages other businesses to follow the lead of a proven retailer and open up shop in the Sloop!

(Image from The Chicago Real Estate Local)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Welcome Back Old Friend?

Last fall Winestyles (1240 S. Michigan) closed despite being a popular and busy South Loop business. Last week a reader perceptively noticed a new sign appear in the window at the now vacant retail space:
So the question Winestyles re-opening in their old space? Or is a new business opening here?

On another retail note, a reader sent us a picture of a sign at 1305 S. Michigan:
We're just guessing here, but it appears that a sports/running equipment store might be opening up shop on South Michigan. Their mail is getting delivered down the street at Doctor's Choice, but we're unsure whether or not they're associated.

Anyway, we had a reader who really wanted a running store in the neighborhood and maybe they're getting their wish.

(Hat tip: JM & ML!)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Coolest Basketball Courts in Chicago

We recently stumbled upon a great time lapse video shot by Josh Kalven on the blog Chicagoist. It's a great thing to watch and definitely reminds us why we love Chicago (especially the Summer in this great city):

Summer Sped Up (A Chicago Timelapse) from Josh Kalven on Vimeo.

Good stuff. But what got our attention was Chicagoist's comment about "the coolest basketball courts on the planet at the south end of the South Loop under the Green Line L tracks". For those of you who don't want to watch the entire video, you will see the shot at 2:47.

Ironically, we were just walking by the courts recently and some out of town friends commented that "those are pretty Chicago". Indeed. We also noticed something interesting about these courts this past Friday at Midnight. When walking by there were probably 20-30 Asian kids playing.

Anyway, these courts are pretty sweet and have been used many times in basketball commercials. Here is a link to a post we did showcasing an Addidas Derrick Rose commercial and here is a link to a Gatorade commercial for a special edition Michael Jordan drink.

FYI - there is also a nice shot of one of the South Loop's most prominent high-rises, One Museum Park, overlooking Grant Park at 3:24. Pretty stuff.

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Scout Shooting to Open First Week of August

We've been getting a ton of inquiries about when The Scout (1301 S. Wabash) is going to open and yesterday a commenter noticed that the RedEye said it was going to open on Monday, August 1st.

After talking to a source, it sounds like they won't be open on that Monday but are shooting to open on Tuesday, August 2nd. That is if everything goes according to plan.

Metromix (who is owned by Tribune, who also owns RedEye) seems to have a more accurate account on the opening of the Scout. On their website it says early August as well.

So it sounds like it will be soon...and judging by all the people we see peeking inside it seems like everyone is excited to see this place open.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Sun-Times: Two men, one woman in custody

From Chicago Sun-Times:

Charges are pending against three people arrested after a mugging early Thursday in the South Loop, the latest in a series of strong-armed robberies that prompted a community alert for the Near South Side neighborhood.

Two men and a woman were arrested by a Belmont Area mission team early Thursday and felony charges are pending after they allegedly knocked down and
robbed a 27-year-old woman at 12:30 a.m. at 1439 S. Prairie Ave., according to Central District police Lt. Robert Klich.

Grant Park Farmers Market Working on Contract with City

We had a quick post about this last week and a commenter noted that they reached out to Bensidoun USA (who is the company that will be running the proposed market) and asked what the status was. They responded saying they were working on the license agreement with the city.

Well that appears to be true as reported on by the Chicago Journal today:

A farmers market slated for the south end of Grant Park, which had been scheduled to launch by the beginning of June, is still in limbo as its operator remains mired in contract negotiations with the Chicago Park District.

At a meeting of the Grant Park Conservancy held on May 10, market organizer Bensidoun USA and the park district’s concessions team said they were close to inking a deal to launch the market by June.

However, as mid-July rolls around with no market in sight, Bensidoun Midwest Manager Leslie Cahill says things have been put on hold as they try to hammer out their contract with the park district.
Hopefully they can figure this out!

Enrico's Italian Restaurant Coming to Old Grace O'Malley's Space?

A reader writes:

Good Afternoon,

While walking my dog this morning, I noticed a man with a tape measure in front of Grace O'Malley's old location. Being the nosy neighbor I am, I walked across the street and asked if something new was coming.

He said it was going to be an Italian restaurant called "Enrico's". I didn't want to pry too much.

While I was hoping for another Irish pub (albeit one with better service than Grace's), I am happy to see another sign of life on our street.

Well thanks for prying a little, because we're happy to hear this.

It's been awhile since we heard anything about this space (March'ish time frame), but hopefully this is true and we get another option for this area. If we had our druthers it would be similar concept/quality to the Pasta Bowl up in Lincoln Park. Not the best Italian in the world, but affordable and pretty tasty.

With the new restaurant Waffles opening next door and Sanctuary on Michigan opening as well, the retail on the 1400 block of Michigan is starting to take shape nicely.

(Hat tip: JY!)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Update From the Police About Recent Muggings

Latest on the muggings from the police:

Detective Division – Area Three

Wanted for Strong Arm Robbery1st District
Alert # 630-11-022
July 12, 2011

About This Crime
In these incidents, offenders exit a vehicle, approach the victims from behind, knock them to the ground and take their valuables. These robberies have occurred within the following area: from Roosevelt Rd. to 18th St. and between Prairie Ave. and Michigan Ave.

About The Offenders
Three to four male black offenders, 18 to 25 years old, 5'10" to 6'01" tall, 140 to 200 lbs.,wearing dark clothing. A female black, 16 to 19 years old, 5'08" to 5'10" tall, 120 to 130 lbs, has accompanied the offenders in at least one of the incidents

What You Can Do
Be aware of your surroundings. Travel in groups. Do not display I-Pods, cell phones or anything of value as you are walking. Contact the Chicago Police Department if you observe suspicious activity at 911 or contact the Area 3 Robbery/Burglary/Theft Crimes Unit

If you have any information about this incident,Please call the Area 3 Detective Division at (312) 744-8263

FX's Pilot "Powers" Being Shot Today in the Sloop

For the filming buffs out there, we received the image above from a loyal contributor/reader letting us know that FX will be shooting a pilot today for "Powers" on State street between 13th and 14th.

According to the website
If you're not familiar with Powers, it is a comic book that started in 2000 from Image Comics, and is currently being released through Marvel's Icon imprint. It follows Detective Walker and Pilgrim as they solve cases involving super-powered individuals. The series is one of the best comics of the last decade (or so) and is one of the books that put Bendis on the map as a comic book writer and got him the big work he does for Marvel these days.

Anyway, if you're out and about today don't be surprised to see some "super-human" things going on at South State street.

(Hat tip: PF!)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Community Safety Alert - Muggings Reported

Thank you for everyone who has sent us various emails and comments about the recent string of muggings in the neighborhood. If you're not aware, please be extra mindful and report anything suspicious. There was a story on the news last night about something at 16th and Michigan.

For more details please read yesterday's release from the Prairie District Neighborhood Alliance:

This information was shared by the police officers on the scene of the most recent mugging. We were asked to share this alert with neighbors.

An unfortunate incident occurred just outside the gate (1642-1714 S Indiana) at 5 pm on July 9. A young woman who was on her way to visit a friend living at the address listed above was knocked to the ground by two people and her bag was stolen. They ran to the end of the block, got in a white car and escaped. Other than being emotionally shaken, she is alight.According to the police, this is the 4th or 5th such incident in the neighborhood in the last few days. Most of the attacks have occurred on Indiana between 14th and 18th. One occurred in the alley, and one on Prairie. They have targeted men and women walking alone carrying a bag or briefcase. One victim was riding a bicycle. Each time there have been two attackers, some reported two men, some report a man and a woman.

There has been some degree of "planning" - that is, the victims were being targeted a block or two away as they walked down the street. It is believed there are three individuals working driving the car and two that are attacking/stealing. All three have been identified as African Americans - all in their 20s. One of the attackers is thought to be either a woman or a man with dreadlocks (causing some confusion as to whether the attackers are two men or a man and a woman). The third individual (the driver) has been double parked about 1/2 block up from where the victim was attacked. Two cars have been reported as being used. A black Sedan (potentially a Saturn) and a white car (potentially a Honda).

Please be alert as you walk and ride your bikes. The police have asked that any suspicious behavior be reported.

Monday, July 11, 2011

What's The Future for a Dilapidated, Historic Music Studio?

Most current residents of the South Loop have probably noticed an old, dilapidated two-story building at 1449 S. Michigan that has sat vacant for years. If you're like us, you've probably dreamed of some developer or business taking a risk and turning this eye sore into something functional for the neighborhood.

Well, this property might have a future, but mostly due to it's historical significance. A reader recently sent us an interesting Chicago Sun-Times article that provides some historical background on this property:

Vee Jay Records began operations on this site (1449 S. Michigan) in 1960.

The Beatles’ first American release was on Vee Jay. Their Vee Jay ’45 “Please Please Me/Ask Me Why” was released in February 1963 as the Beattles.

The Four Seasons hits “Sherry” and “Walk Like a Man” were with Vee Jay. The Staple Singers recorded their first gospel hit “Uncloudy Day” in 1962 with Vee Jay. The first album ever certified in a Gold jazz category was recorded at Vee Jay: “Exodus to Jazz” by Eddie Harris.

Vee Jay went bankrupt in 1966 and the building was sold to Brunswick Records, headed by Chicago producer Carl Davis. Brunswick recorded The Chi-Lites, Jackie Wilson, Tyrone Davis and the Young-Holt Trio. Brunswick left the building in 1976 for the North Side and the label went under in 1981.

The musician’s group wants to make the site a museum and working studio, similar to the Stax Museum in Memphis, Tenn.

The Carl Davis Music Foundation will attempt to buy the building. It is listed at $925,000. The group is working with Chicago attorney Linda Mensch to establish non-for-profit status.
Wow, we had know idea about the history of this building, but glad to hear this now. The article goes onto to give some great historical details and if you're into things like this would highly suggest a read.

It sounds like Alderman Fioretti is behind this project as well:

“That is one of the few remaining record houses and the beginning of record and auto row,” said Fioretti, who has met with the foundation group. “A couple microbreweries and a couple of name rock ‘n’ roll bands are looking to buy buildings in the district. The bands would use them as studios and restaurants. We reinstituted the TIF there and are looking to build three hotels in that area. The Brunswick-Vee Jay building could be a destination area.”
A very encouraging sign for this property and something we would love to see.

However, another interesting thing stands out in Fioretti's comment. Did he say that "a couple of name rock 'n' roll bands are looking to buy buildings in the district"? Name rock 'n' roll bands? What could this mean? It sounds so sexy and promising. Could this be something like Wilco's Loft in the Irving Park neighborhood on the North Side? We will try to resist our excitement, but it would be great to see the area attach itself to music as opposed to autos.

Ironically, the timing of this story coincides with a post we did a couple weeks back talking about Fioretti's work on making Motor Row an entertainment district. The big news then was that a brewery would be moving into the neighborhood on the 2300 block of South Michigan.

This is all very promising and something we would love to see happen for the neighborhood and South Michigan Avenue. However, talk is cheap. Before we get too excited let's see something tangible happen.

But if we can steal a line from the Beattles first American album that was distributed by the South Loop's Vee-Jay records, "Please Please Me" and build South Michigan into an Entertainment District:

(Hat tip: CL!)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Coming Soon: Spanglish!

No, we're not talking about Adam Sandler's 2004 romcom, we're talking about a new restaurant that appears to be coming to University Center on State between Harrison and Congress:

So there isn't much information on the interwebs about this new spot, but we would presume it's a restaurant that mixes Spanish and American food (we could be wrong, but if so...maybe a different name would be better).

Does anyone know anything about this? Great to see another place coming soon...seems like there are new places popping up left and right!

One more thing to note about this complex. It also appears that a Panda Express is going to moving in next to Chutney Joe's. College kids love cheap, greasy, fast Chinese!

When Spanglish opens in September in the South Loop, its menu will echo the eats served at La Cocina (which the owners also run): Mexican favorites like tostadas, fajitas, cactus salad and fish tacos. Dishes will be priced for $10 or less and come with complimentary chips and mild green or spicy red salsa; the eatery will also offer vegetarian-friendly refried black beans and huevos rancheros for breakfast. But don't expect to see photos of distant Mexican locales on the walls: 3-by-5 foot lightboxes will showcase black-and-white photos of Mexican-American neighborhoods in Chicago, Texas and other states.

(Hat tip: TSR!)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Shots Around the Sloop: Red

Urban Pantry's Ambitious Online Plans

In case you missed a post we did a couple of weeks ago about a new place called urban pantry opening up in Printer's Row area. Anyway, the people behind it found our post and gave a little more background about their store and concept:

Here at Urban Pantry, we offer a unique grocery shopping experience which sets us apart from other corner grocery stores. We have revamped the corner grocery store business model to create a modern and premier pantry that will suit your urban lifestyle. Here you will find fresh breads and pastries baked in local bakeries, vegetables and fruits grown in local farms along with other grocery essentials.

You can start your morning with a cup of freshly brewed coffee or a cappuccino from South Loop's first Caribou Coffee. You can even end it with a glass of wine selected from our wine cellar. In addition to our long open hours, we also provide the option of online ordering with home delivery and curbside pick-up. The advantage of being a local grocer means you will receive your essentials on the same day and at a time when you are home, not when we have an open slot!

In addition to this online portal, we have launched a unique GBT (Grocery by Text) feature where you can order your groceries by text. With such unique services, we hope that you will find us as a superior alternative to other markets in the Solo. We look forward to becoming an integral part of your daily life!

Sounds interesting to us and we assume it's something peeps in the Printer's Row area are going to love. Although we're a little skeptical about some of the online features, it sounds great although rather ambitious to us. If they can pull it off more power to them.

Best of luck to Urban Pantry and welcome to the Sloop!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Sneak Peak at Tribute

The buildup to Tribute (800 S. Michigan), the new restaurant at the Essex Inn, has been exciting and well documented. Many ups and downs along the way, but today, they open the doors to the public. They have long hours (open at 6am for breakfast) and are providing a truly unique offering for the South Loop, so we're curious to see how everything goes.

Last night we had the pleasure of joining them for a quick sneak peak at the restaurant prior to the official opening. Obviously it's tough to get a good feel for the restaurant during a private event (so stay tuned for our next visit), but based on experience last night there is a lot of potential for this new addition.

The first thing that strikes you about Tribute is the decor and general ambiance of the space. It's amazing to think about what was there before, but the renovated space looks 1000 times better than the old restaurant Savoy that used to occupy this space.

The space has numerous interesting design elements, but generally has a very simple and minimalistic feel. In our opinion the most dramatic design elements are the amazing "Chandeliers". These are made of reclaimed wine barrels and 35 millimeter film from the original Disney animated version of Alice in Wonderland. Simply spectacular and truly a unique touch to the restaurant (see picture above).

In regard to the size of the restaurant, it's a huge place! We're not sure how many people it can hold, but it seems like a lot. They also have space in the back that can be utilized for private events.

We didn't have a chance to sample a ton of food, but what we did have was truly unique. The highlight was the Veal Sweetbreads (w/ smoked potato, lavender, pickled ramp and country lemon) which had an amazing taste and texture. We also tasted a sample of the Pork Belly (w/ sweet potato, maple, mustard greens and cherry). Both were definitely unique and proof that this isn't your typically South Loop eatery.

Also sampled were two drinks. The "Pretty Persuasion" which was a pink, fruity cocktail served in a martini class with organic vodka, mathilde pear, st. germain elderflower liqueur hibiscus syrup and champagne. The other was "Crom's Thunder" which was their twist on a Gin and Tonic. This consisted of deaths door gin, white creme de cacao lemon and tonic. Tasty.

So there you have it. Our first take on this much anticipated new restaurant. We're looking forward to heading back to try a full on meal but would love to hear your thoughts as you try it.

There seemed to be a bunch of media types at the event, so if we read anything interesting we will throw up a link for you to get more background.

Anyway, best of luck to Tribute and excited to have you in the hood!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Where is the Farmers Market in the South Part of Grant Park?

A good question:

Hi –
One follow up question for you – any update on the farmers market that was proposed for the south end of Grant Park?

We were pretty pumped for this (and we know many readers were as well), but haven't heard a peep about it in awhile. The last thing we posted was a Tribune article in late April. And the last thing we've read about was a Chicago Journal article in May.

The Chicago Journal article made it sound like this was a done deal and even stated that it was supposed to start in June:

The Chicago Park District unveiled its plans Tuesday for a farmers market on the south end of Grant Park, slated to start this June.
Well July just started and as far as we can see no new news on the market.

Anyone got the scoop on this?

(Hat tip: AL!)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Urban Remix Opens

A couple of weeks ago we posted about a new store opening up at the Marquee buildings called Urban Re-Mix. Well after strolling by this weekend we noticed there was an open sign and naturally ventured in.

We were intrigued by the concept of this store since there really isn't anything similar in the neighborhood. Judging by our first visit it's a good addition to the neighborhood. There is a wide range of furniture, knick knacks, pictures and various other things. Some is new and some is old, but everything looked pretty good to us.

After a brief discussion with the owner she seems very excited about the store and is eager to have others see the things she has found. It is a consignment store, so she encouraged us to talk to her about selling stuff we didn't want.

Anyway, glad to see a store like this open up and best of luck to them. We can always use more stores with unique concepts in the Sloop!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Happy Fourth of July!

Since we don't have the traditional July 3rd fireworks in Chicago, we thought we would dig through some old Chicago Fireworks videos on Youtube to ensure you had a chance to see some fireworks:

Yay America, Happy Fourth!

Rooftopping in the Sloop

It's fourth of July weekend and if you're in Chicago chances are good that you're going to be outside sometime enjoying the city and hopefully the weather (so far so good on that second statement).

Yesterday, we had the pleasure of hitting up a local party on a Michigan avenue rooftop. Given the fact that most of us in the Sloop don't have a ton of private green space to utilize, the rooftop tends to be our default to a good time. That was the case yesterday. Nothing amazing about this rooftop, but it was well suited for the 25 people who were enjoying the weather, food and beer.

The rooftop couldn't accommodate a wiffle ball or a touch football game, but people could still throw around the football (but had to be mindful of the air conditioning units and vents). Anyway, on top of this particular rooftop you had a nice view of the sloop. It wasn't a tall building, but still had enjoyable 360 degree views all over the city (we love seeing the El trains roll by).

Again, a nice field or backyard might have been better suited for a "traditional" fourth of July party, but we make due with what we got...

...ain't nothing like a Sloopin rooftop.

(hat tip: nasty!)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Tribute Set to Open Next Thursday, July 7th

We received an official press release from Tribute's PR team and are glad to announce that they're officially opening next Thursday, July 7th. There have been some rumors about when this was going to happen, but we're pretty confident this is the date.

The press release was more or less a summary of many things we've posted about before, but what caught our eye was a paragraph about the decor:
The impressive light fixtures have been created from salvaged materials, using film stock from the original Alic and Wonderland animated movie, the floors are non-toxic, antibacterial and non-allergenic and the chairs from the Chef's table are made of old seatbelts, just to mention a few of the design features.
Alice and Wonderland...hopefully the food is as intriguing as this interesting fact.

Can't wait to try this out.