Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Roosevelt University to Build Athletic Center in the South Loop

Roosevelt University's Vertical Campus has added a new dynamic to the Chicago Skyline and the South Loop neighborhood and today we read on Curbed Chicago that the university unveiled new plans to build an athletic center at the Southeast corner of Congress and Wabash:

With work nearly finished on the new 32-story Vertical Campus,
Roosevelt University recently announced plans to add another building to the
South Loop. With a $3-million donation from discount retail chain owner Larry
Goodman, Roosevelt will construct a two-story, multi-purpose athletic facility
at the southeast corner of Congress Pkwy. and Wabash Ave.

The post goes on to say that the athletic center is scheduled to be done by the end of 2012.

It seems like the only building going on in the Sloop is by educational institutions. Glad to have them in the neighborhood to ensure that the neighborhood continues to expand and evolve.

(Image from Curbed Chicago)

Nice Start to the Day - CTA Attendant Yells at Me!

FYI - sarcasm is easily lost over the Internet, and the headline above was intended to be sarcastic.

The CTA Roosevelt stop is part of my daily weekday routine. Usually it's uneventful (and I can even go out on a limb and say an enjoyable start to my day). The CTA train tracker usually helps me time my trip pretty efficiently and the day starts out smoothly.

Well today was slightly different.

As I approached the turnstiles at the entrance to the Green/Orange line Roosevelt stop, one of the CTA attendants was trying to help an elderly Asian man who didn't appear to speak English (by help, I mean push him to the proper turnstile). In doing so, she was partially blocking the turnstile I was trying to access.

Like a normal person, I said, "excuse me." There was no demonstrative tone or any ill will, it was just a simple "excuse me."

Apparently, the CTA attendant didn't see it this way and as a result decided it would be a good idea to yell at me across the station as I was walking away. I stopped and said, "I said 'excuse me', it wasn't like I pushed you out of my way."

Anyway, I obviously touched a nerve, but it seems silly. I'm not letting this affect my day, but it's just funny how something so minor can prompt such an irrational response.

Usually I assume that yelling might come in a more serious and warranted setting (maybe at work or somewhere else). Thanks to this CTA attendant for starting my day off with an unnecessarily early yelling session.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Action at the Old Orange Restaurant on Harrison?

A reader writes:

Hey Sloopy-

It's been a while since there was any action at this space (Orange - 75 W. Harrison), but this morning the doors were open, and workers outside. Sorry the shot isn't closer, but from across the street I could see in and it was totally demo'd just a pile of concrete. Any word on the street of what might be going on in this space?


We haven't heard anything about this space. Anyone have the scoop?

(Hat tip: TR!)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Retail Roundup: Roosevelt Collection Demolition and More

Over the past week we noticed various developments with retail establishments around the Sloop and thought we would kick-off the week with a recap.

Roosevelt Collection Demolition

When the new owners of Roosevelt Collection bought the property they mention that they thought there was a lot of potential, but that they were going to raze the never-occupied buildings in the middle.

Well it appears that this is happening judging by the picture above.

Hopefully this means retail will be coming soon. We haven't heard anything, but we try to remain optimistic.

Flo & Santos Expanding?

A perceptive reader emailed us with a picture of construction equipment presumably digging to lay a foundation at the back of the current building housing Flo & Santos (1310 S. Wabash). It looks like they're expanding back to presumably allow for more seating. Anyone have any updates?

We were hoping that they would expand to the vacant piece of land just to the North, but it appears that will not be the case.

Trade Joe's is Looking Good

No new news here, but the outside and inside of Trader Joe's is looking good. The signs are up, the inside is painted and the shelves are stocked. A sign on the window says theyCheck Spelling're opening on September 9th which is consistent with what we've heard.

"For Lease" Signs Come Down at Old Entourage Man Retail Space

Not sure if this means that a new tenant is taking over the space or if a new real estate company is taking over marketing responsibilities. Hopefully it's the former. Anyone know anything?

(Hat tip: ND, PB, MT!)

Friday, August 26, 2011

2011 Bash on Wabash Scheduled for Sept 17th and 18th?

Back in July a reader pondered whether or not the Bash on Wabash was happening in 2011. From the stream of comments on that post, it sounded like it wasn't going to happen.

NOT SO FAST MY FRIEND (that's in honor of the upcoming football season - gotta love Lee Corso)! According to an article in this weeks Chicago Journal it looks like it's happening on September 17th and 18th:

After many weeks of confusion and uncertainty, the Bash on Wabash looks like
it’ll happen this year after all, on September 17 and 18.
Good to hear, but it makes us a little nervous that the last second nature of this will prevent it from being good.

Hopefully they can pull off a miracle...maybe this is the year we change it up and commence the "Dash Down Wabash!" (see comment thread on the post from July).

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Chicagobusiness Visits Tribute (800 S. Michigan) has mixed things to say about one of the Sloop's newest restaurants, Tribute (800 S. Michigan):
Service is friendly and prompt but tentative and uninformed. Our waiter was not always familiar with the components in a dish, how they were prepared or whether a plate was recently altered.

Tribute has promise and, to be fair, it had a rocky, sad start. The first chef, Paul Wildermuth, died suddenly before the restaurant opened. A planned opening in the spring was delayed when his successor left abruptly. Mr. Letrero moved up from executive sous chef to executive chef in May.

Time may smooth out kinks such as mixed execution, but until Tribute overhauls its puzzling lunch menu, business diners in the South Loop best look elsewhere.

Food critics don't always align with the general consumers tastes or opinions, so just to be fair, we thought we would take a quick look at Yelp to get a sense of how the general public feels. So far the average yelp rating is 3 out of 5 stars. So take it for what its worth.

(Hat tip: Nic!)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Living the Highlife as a Basketball Role Player in the Sloop

We know athletes get paid well, but damn I wish I was taller and I wish I was a baller.

NBA Journeyman, Charles Oakley, who played for the Chicago Bulls and four other teams during his 19 year career, is apparently selling his 3 bedroom condo in the Sloop according to the Tribune. Looks like he had some amazing views from his living room.

It looks like he lives in Museum Park One, the South Loop's most prominent building with what has to be some of the best views in the city. Or is this an older building that now has its North view (which is Grant Park) blocked by Museum Park One? We're not sure, but regardless wouldn't mind chilling in this living room.

(Image from Chicago Tribune)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

High Profile Retail Spot on Roosevelt/State Corner Becomes Available

Grant Park Cleaners, the well positioned business on the Southeast corner of Roosevelt and State, has closed up shop and moved their operations to the shopping area West of the river. Although the move is a bit of a surprise, since a cleaners right next to the el seems like a great location, we can only imagine that it was prompted by escalating rent.

Regardless of the reason, the move means that a retail space with an excellent location is now available. If you're an avid reader of the blog, you probably know that we like to ponder what might be the best business to fill this space.

Given it's proximity to the el and space for outdoor seating, seems like an enticing spot for a restaurant/coffee shop/QSR type of place. While we always prefer local owned businesses, our guess is that various "chains" would be clamoring for this spot.

Einstein bagel? Chipotle? Any other thoughts? Or any other ideas for types of businesses that might flourish in this space?

Monday, August 22, 2011

No Chicago Olympics in 2020

Not that anyone really thought Chicago was going to bid to host the 2020 Olympics, but according to an ESPN article no US city is going to bid for this round.

So will Chicago bid for 2024? At this point...who cares, that's a long ways away!

Motor Row Signs Appear on South Michigan

We feel like we know a lot about the Sloop, but even the classification of "Motor Row" has been unclear to us. We know South Michigan Avenue is home to this area, but where does it start and end?

We always thought it was the area South of Cermak, but evidently it extends North all the way up to the 1400 block of South Michigan. How do we know? Well the city just put some signs up designating this area "Motor Row" as well:
For those who can't read what the sign says, here you go:
Considered to be the largest and most intact early "automobile row" in the United States, the buildings of Motor Row illustrate the early 20th-century evolution of the auto showroom and related service buildings. Larger windows displayed the shinning machines in tall showrooms, while service and storage facilities were located on upper floors. In its heyday in the 1920s, as many as 116 different makers of automobiles were being sold on Motor Row. Parts suppliers, accessory manufacturers, and repair shops clustered nearby.

History is interesting.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Residents Notified About New Hotel in Motor Row

A reader writes:

Hi Sloopin-

I received a letter in the mail today informing me (and presumably other residents) that McPier would begin construction soon on a second McCormick Place hotel to be located at 2233 S. MLK Drive. The 12 story, 461 room hotel tower is supposed to be constructed on top of the current Hyatt garage, with an estimated completion date of summer 2013.


This is consistent with what we posted about a couple of weeks ago. More people in this area can only help the retail scene...we would think.

(Hat tip: EM!)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Checking in at Grant Park Post-Lolla: Part 2

It was a hot topic on Sloopin last week, so we thought we would post another link to another Chicago Sun-Times article that revisits Grant Park post-Lollapalooza. It goes on to state this staggering fact:

Last year’s post-Lollapalooza restoration cost $200,000, paid for entirely by C3 Presents LLC, the festival’s promoter, as part of its contract with the city. This year’s anticipated cost has not been disclosed — although the damage is far worse than last year’s.

In fact, the record crowds and heavy downpours during Lollapalooza led to the “worst amount of damage” in the festival’s 20-year history, said Adam Schwerner, director for the park district’s department of natural resources. Up to 80 percent of the park was affected, which means restoration will take longer than previous years, he said.

It appears that C3, the company behind Lollapalooza, is hard at work to ensure the park gets back to its normal luster. The Sun-times has a telling picture (link here) that has a sign saying, "Please excuse the mess while we improve this park, paid for by Lollapalooza".

Stay tuned.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

What Should You Eat? Check Out Food Genius

Living in the South Loop affords us access to an amazing amount of restaurants in and around our neighborhood. Sometimes the amount can be overwhelming. Look past the hundreds of restaurants and think how many dishes are at our fingertips. Luckily for us, a new Chicago tech startup, led by a South Loop resident and active Sloopin reader, has developed a new app to help us navigate this world:

“Anyone can tell you the names of five great restaurants, but only Food Genius can give you a list of the five best dishes at those restaurants – and thousands of others,” said founder and CEO Justin Massa. “Like a ‘Netflix for Foodies’, Food Genius delivers personalized recommendations about dishes you’ll love, and combines it with tools to share those dishes with friends.”

Food Genius's app helps users find and share delicious restaurant dishes. Unlike restaurant apps and sites that tell you where to eat, Food Genius’ tells you what to eat. From a database of more than 4,000 restaurants and 150,000 dishes in Chicago, Food Genius recommends dishes based on what you love to eat.

We've had some discussions with Justin recently and through Food Genius was able to pull some interesting statistics about the South Loop (zip code 60605):

20 most popular ingredients (in order): garlic, egg, butter, onion, sugar, mayonnaise, lemon, olive oil, cheese, green onion, chicken, tomato, vegetable oil, mushroom, red onion, spinach, broccoli, pineapple, cheddar cheese, beef

total count of dishes: 3,817

average price: $6.35

number of dishes with bacon: 172

Ummmmmmmmmmmmm, bacon!

Anyway, try out the app (which on Android right now) or check out there web version at

Happy eating!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Did Dearborn Park Have to be a Walled Off Community?

Love it or hate it, Dearborn park is a core component of the South Loop as it literally sits in the middle of our neighborhood. As some know, there were two phases to the development of the greater Dearborn Park area.

Dearborn Park 1, which was built in the 70's, runs from Clark on the West, Polk on the North, State on the East and Roosevelt on the South. It's sister property, Dearborn Park 2, extends South past Roosevelt all the way down to 18th street (the west and east borders remain the same).

This video from YoChicago raises an interesting question, Could Dearborn Park have been the South Loop's savior without also blighting it?

Essentially the argument is that back in the 70's Dearborn park had to be built the way it was (walled off from the area) to alleviate safety concerns for potential residents. Fast forward to today and the neighborhood is a completely different place. While there are some safety concerns (similar to most other neighborhoods close to the Loop), it's a much safer area with a burgeoning retail scene.

Many people we have talked to detest the closed off nature of these developments and how they disrupt the "city grid". But the question remains, was dearborn park one of the first steps into making the South Loop a viable residential neighborhood? and if so was it necessary to build a walled community?

What are your thoughts?

(video from

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Waffles Set to Open Tomorrow

The retail opening bonanza continues in the Sloop.

We've been monitoring the developments at Waffles (1400 S. Michigan) for a couple months now and according to their Facebook page, it appears that everything is set for their grand opening tomorrow.

Besides the catchy and intuitively discriptive name, the place looks great and and best yet, the food looks absolutely delicious.

We can't wait to try this place out. If you go, please come back and let us know your thoughts!

(Images from Waffles Facebook Page)

Five Guys Replacing Old Dilapidated Eyesore?

1150 S. Wabash (the dilapidated building just North of Bongo Room) is old and run down. Yes, it's been home to some interesting street art (see post from July 8th), but most in the neighborhood agree that the building is an eyesore.

Back in May, we received an email, with floor plans, for a new building that would replace the current structure. We haven't heard much about that until we recently read a note in our comment section about a Five Guys coming to the space (via We didn't think much about it, but recently we saw construction fencing put up around the building.

We're not sure if a Five Guy's, which is a famous burger restaurant, is coming to this space, but it seems like something is happening here.

Although we will miss the street art canvas, we welcome any new improvements to this area.

Monday, August 15, 2011

More Info on FX Pilot "Powers"

We posted about a new pilot for FX called "Powers" shooting in the South Loop in July. Recently we read about the show and small shout out for the Sloop in the Chicago-Sun Times:

“The L is a character in almost every one of our pieces,” executive
producer and writer Charles Eglee said, noting that Chicago was chosen early on
as a location where the shows’ supernatural aspects could be grounded. Scenes
were shot along the South Loop, Cicero and some of the more “gritty” areas on
the West Side, among other places.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

New Plans for old RR Donneley Building?

A reader writes:

Hey Sloopin,

I live in Chess Lofts and I know for most it's Near South but still curious if there's any news on the old RR Donneley Building on Prairie, Calumet and 21st. There are signs posted "Under new management" and I saw cement trucks near the building last weekend.
We don't know much about this building, but hopefully one of our readers does. Anyone?

We did find this in Wikipedia, but it doesn't get to the question (it simply provides the history).

(Hat tip: SB!)

Friday, August 12, 2011

When is the Dearborn Park Neighborhood Sale?

A reader writes:


Might you know the date(s) of this year’s Dearborn Park neighborhood sale (the one that has been held in the small park behind Bar Louie in years past)? We have taken part in the sale in the past and want to do the same this year.

Thanks in advance for your help!

Another reader writes and has the same question:

Wondering if anyone knows it the Dearborn Park garage sale is happening in Dearborn Park this year. Last year it was in August.
(Hat tip: AK & AS)

Update - A reader just sent us this:



Please forward to your friends, family and our neighborhood.

(Hat tip: RAF!)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Checking in at Grant Park Post-Lolla

In our quick Lolla recap on Monday we pondered how Grant Park would look post-Lolla given the massive amounts of rain that fell throughout the weekend. Well we're not the only people who were questioning this. The Chicago Sun-Times had an informative article on the topic:
The desecrated Grant Park looks like a rock ‘n’ roll battlefield — the fields are muddy and bare, waste is strewn about and a stench of stagnant water and stale beer lingers in the air.

With Sunday thunderstorms flooding the last day of Lollapalooza, it will be weeks — and tens of thousands of dollars — before the aftermath of the festival is repaired, officials said.

“This is probably one of the worst [aftermaths],” said Bob O’Neill, president of the Grant Park Conservancy. “The turf damage is substantial, bushes were trampled ... there’s a little bit of damage to some gardens.”

The good news is that C3 (the company who puts on the fest) is liable to repair the park. The bad news is that we imagine this "repair" will take a loonnnnnnnnnggggggggg time. This isn't to blame the people at Lollapalooza, it's just a risk of having a big event in the park and obviously not being able to control the weather.

The Sun-Times has some telling photos of the damage to the park here.

(Image from Chicago Sun-Times)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Scout to Officially Open on August 20th

A special hat tip to Sloopin contributor, Dick McFiddle for the write up for the Scout:

My visit to The Scout left me in a state of intrigue and excitement. I met with the managing partner Chris Bravos and his excellent managers and staff last week to discuss the upcoming opening.

Chris, a self-described fan of music, food and drink envisioned with his business partners a multipurpose venue for the former Jerry Kleiner-operated Opera space at Wabash and 13th street. Chicago born and raised, turned current sloop resident aims to provide a place for the Sloop’s residents to enjoy a menu of comfort eats for the foodie and average slooper alike. Highlights include a bacon-wrapped meatloaf and several slow-cooked meat selections. Vegetarians will enjoy the elaborate salads offered.

The Scout’s rustic and cozy décor is derived from reclaimed wood (walnut, pine, and oak), brick, stone, copper and polished brass, a design crafted by the ownership team which included Jeff Wolff, of Wolff-Hager
Contracting and Development. Of note, an old lake Michigan pier’s wood was used to build the wall behind the back bar.

With 3 private party areas, 2 bars and 34 televisions, The Scout sets its sights on accommodating a wide-breadth of customers with multiple interests. The front of the restaurant/pub will host a sit down; people-watching scene while the back will have a DJ late night playing a wide-spectrum of music, selected specifically for the mood of the crowd at hand. Did I mention all Blackhawks, Bulls, and Bears games will have the volume on?

Upscale tavern and sports bar. Amazing service. Late night sing-alongs. Fair prices. A menu meant to excite all with thoughts of nostalgic, comfort food (um..a 14” grilled cheese with a tomato soup dip???? Yes, please), craft cocktails and craft beer, and a solid selection of wines from some of our favorite regions.

–We’ve been promised a lot… but these guys have an insider, a slooper, someone who knows what this neighborhood needs, and he’s brought in a crew of talented people he trusts to get the job done. After our sit down and tour of the place, I think they’re going to pull it off. See you there late night…

Official opening August 20th. Soft opening sometime within the week before.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

South Wabash is the New Home of "Buddy Guy Way"

We were excited to read this today in the Sun-Times:

Everyone gets a card for their birthday.

Buddy Guy got a street sign.

Chicago's greatest living popular music icon came to his club, Legends, 700 S. Wabash, Sunday night to receive a proclamation from the City of Chicago, hang with his band and to catch a set from his daughter Carlise Guy's Nu Blu Band. The renaming of the stretch of South Wabash in from of his club as "Buddy Guy Way" was unexpected.

The article again talks about Alderman Fioretti's intentions to make the South Loop an entertainment district:

The excitement in the South Loop hints at the dream of Ald. Robert Fioretti (2nd) to make the area an entertainment district with the restoration of the Chess building, 2120 S. Michigan, and a possible museum at the Vee-Jay/Brunswick building, 1449 S. Michigan.

We've been posting about the Alderman's push lately. For more background here is a link about the possible museum at 1449 S. Michigan and another post about the political attention this area is receiving.

Anyway, glad to have a true Chicago legend get honored and glad it's in the Sloop!

(Image from Chicago Sun-Times)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Wow has Lollapalooza Evolved

We've been going to Lollapalooza for years now and as many other media outlets have reported, this event has evolved dramatically since it's debut in 1991. We're huge fans of the event and glad to have it so close to our home.

While we don't claim to be music journalists, we will give you a couple quick things that stood out to us on Sunday (unfortunately the only day we could make it this year):

  • Beats Reign Supreme - the Perry's stage at lollapalooza has grown and grown and grown some more over the past 5 years and again it seemed like this was consistently the most fun place to be. However, on Sunday night the crowds that enjoyed the beat popping house, trance, techno, hip-hop music made their way to Butler Field to enjoy Toronto based DJ Deadmau5 turn the North end of Grant Park into a flat out rave. Amazingly and to the delight of the crowd, Deadmau5 seemingly started his set early to coincide with the final rainfall of the festival. Once the first beat hit the speakers the sky's opened up as rain greeted the glow stick waving, gyrating, happy people bouncing around the park.

  • Wow this Food is Good - Throughout the day we had a tough time making a decision on what food to try. Last year we went with the Lobster Corn dogs (which were back at the event this year as well and subsequently sold out), this year we had Tikka Chicken on Flatbread as well as a healthy helping of Garlic Fries. While this might not sound very exotic, remember that this is a festival with 90,000 people.

  • Grant Park is Grant Park - After going to Union Park for Pitchfork,the Dave Mathews Caravan at Lakeside (down on the South Side), and countless other neighborhood festivals, it's clear that Grant Park is the best place for a festival in Chicago. Besides it being easy for everyone in the city to get to, the scenery is just beautiful. It's not everyday you get to stand in the middle of a park with a beautiful skyline and soak up amazingly diverse music. However, the one thought that crossed the mind on Sunday was with the massive rainfall and the massive amounts of people how will the park bounce back? By Sunday night it didn't look like it was in good shape. The mud ponds and the trounced grass didn't look good. Hopefully Lolla didn't destroy the grounds...we will have to go back today or sometime soon to see how it looks post-Lolla.

So there are our thoughts. Lolla is obviously about the music, but it's clearly also about many other things now.

Oh and if you didn't believe us about the Deadmau5 rave, check out these two quick videos we found on YouTube:

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Wanted: Volunteer Literacy Tutors at 1521 S. Wabash

A reader writes for a good cause:

Good Morning!

My name is Joe Bruce and I am the Learning Program Specialist at Mercy Housing Lakefront. We are a non-profit housing agency of which hosts a building right here in the South Loop at 1521 S. Wabash Ave! We are in need of
volunteer literacy tutors and would love to have our opportunity displayed on your blog. Attached, you can find our written description, as well as our online flyer. If you have the opportunity to post these, it would be greatly appreciated!! Should you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact me any time at or 312-913-1605 ext. 111.

Thank you so very much for your time and patience.

Keep Sloopin!

Joe Bruce

Learning Program Specialist
Mercy Housing Lakefront
1521 S. WabashChicago, IL 60605
P: 312-913-1605 ext. 111

Friday, August 5, 2011

Roosevelt University Adds a New Sign for the Skyline

Roosevelt University's Vertical Campus building shot up pretty quickly and recently they crowned the building with a sign. The Chicago Sun-Times has some cool photos of the installation here.

And we read this story about Roosevelt University cutting back expenses. Interesting to see a brand new building going up, but some school resources being cut back.

(Image from Chicago Sun-Times)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

90,000 Lollapaloozians Invade Grant Park Tomorrow

We haven't been covering Lollapalooza as closely as we have in past years, but we still love it. And apparently a lot of other people do too. Two weeks ago, the Chicago Sun-Times (and various other media outlets) reported that this years edition is the largest ever:

If you've been procrastinating your purchase of Lollapalooza tickets this year, you're too late. The seventh annual concert festival in Chicago's Grant Park sold out on Friday, according to promoter C3 Presents.

That means 90,000 people will attend each day of the three-day festival, Aug. 5-7, for a record total of 270,000. Last year's top attendance was 240,000.

Amazing stuff and honestly its surprising to us. Although the festival is a great time and the location can't be beat for a music festival, it appears to have a weaker line-up than normal (in our opinion). Obviously that's not stopping a ton of people from coming down to Grant Park and the Sloop for three days of good times and amazing people watching:

That's more than worth the price of admission.

Anyway, if you're going who are you excited to see?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Bodega N. 5 Included in Time Out Chicago's Cheap Eats Article

We still haven't had the fortune of going to Bodega N. 5 at 634 S. Michigan, but it was just included within Time Out Chicago's cheap eats article. Judging by this write-up, we need to go pronto:

There are hefty empanadas, generous salads and crispy flatbreads on Bodega N. 5’s menu, where everything costs $5 (until 5pm, when pricier items from upstairs sibling Mercat a la Planxa sneak onto the menu). But for our Lincoln, we’re taking the humble turkey sandwich. It starts with a soft herb focaccia, which gets piled with thin slices of turkey, fat slabs of bacon and slices of Mahón (a sharp cow’s-milk cheese from Spain), and is finished with a honey-Dijon aioli. Packaged with a side of cheddar-dusted chips, it’s a lunch that’ll keep you full until happy hour, at a price not even Potbelly can match. 634 S Michigan Ave (312-542-3605).—David Tamarkin

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Free Blues Every Week at 2100 S. Michigan

A reader shares their experience at a little known musical gem:

One of the Sloop's best kept secrets is the Blues Heaven FREE Garden Concerts once a week right at the home of the old Chess Records near 2100 S Michigan. I was fortunate enough to catch Lamont "Harmonica" Harris and the wildly entertaining
Tommy McCracken last Thursday, and even though I'm not much of a blues fan, I
felt privileged to have such a venue in my own neighborhood.

If you're free Thursday nights at 6:00, you owe it to yourself to take advantage. The
shows are free, though donations are accepted. And don't let the empty seats in the photograph fool you... once the sound starts wending its way through the streets, the venue becomes SRO very quickly.

My suggestion: call for an appointment to visit Willie Dixon's museum ($10) before the show, then enjoy some of the very Chicago blues that Chess records made famous. Next show Little Scotty on August 4th from 6-7PM. I'm going to try to be there.
(Hat tip: JW!)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Sounds Like New Superman Movie Will Shoot in the Sloop

We've read that the new Superman movie, Man of Steel, will be shooting in the South Loop according AV Club:

Since Christopher Nolan adopted the City Of Wind as Gotham City in his first two Batman flicks, Chicago has caught the fancy of studios all over Hollywood. This past July saw our city decimated by gnarly Transformers. Starting mid-August, Chicago has a new defender: Superman.

Zack Snyder, 300 helmsman, will be filming DC Comics’ first Boy Scout at undisclosed locations around the South Loop for his new movie, Man Of Steel. Shots in western suburb Plano are also on the slate.

The article says that most of the shooting will be in Vancouver, but it will be cool to see some Shots Around the Sloop on the big screen again...although it won't be until 2013.