Saturday, June 30, 2012

Reader Upset with "New Policy" at Gino's East South Loop

Well the new Gino's East (521 S. Dearborn) is open and while this may be good news to some, one reader isn't so happy about a new policy being adopted:
Hey, Sloopy ... 
Thought I would send you a scoop about a lame "new policy" at the brand-new Gino's East in the South Loop. 
Gino's turned my husband, 2-year-old daughter and me away tonight around 8 p.m. because they don't allow children under age 15 in after 7:30. This after serving us around 10 p.m. on their opening day two weeks ago. The manager claimed the "new policy" was because they were part sports bar? Really? You serve PIZZA in a neighborhood FULL of families. This is likely to get a LOT of buzz on neighborhood discussion boards ... family-friendliness is one of the South Loop's major assets, so it stinks that any business would turn customers away. 
Sharing with your widely-read blog so other families can 1) avoid the displeasure of being shooed away and 2) consider taking their business elsewhere. We will NEVER go back there, even during the hours the presence of a child is tolerated. 
(Hat tip: M and R Smith!) 

Friday, June 29, 2012

Ahhhh....Paradise! New Spa coming to 832 S. Wabash

A contributor to the blog recently was strolling down Wabash and noticed that Henry Hampton Floral has moved locations to 1335 S. State and that Paradise Spa will be opening up soon at 832 S. Wabash.

It sure seems like a lot of signs have been popping up on windows around the neighborhood.  We're rapidly approaching double digits in our 2012 business counter.  Seems like 2012 is shaping to be pretty good on the retail front for the Sloop!

(Hat tip: NS!)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Proposed Development Moving Forward as Old Building at Canal and Taylor is Being Demolished?

Back in late January news spread that a big new retail development was coming to the corner of Canal and Taylor (across the street from the Whole Foods, Marshal's, DSW, etc).  The article didn't say much about timing, but judging by the image above, maybe pictures speak louder than words.

Furthermore, a reader sent us this earlier in the week:
Was at the Panera on Canal/Roosevelt overlooking the area being torn down when a woman began asking me if I lived nearby, how busy was it at lunch time and what businesses were in the area... I answered all fairly confidently and then asked her about the interesting line of questioning to which she responded she was from Potbelly and they were looking at opening across the street (where the demolition is taking place). 
She then sat down with a colleague and one other person (who I take to be a developer) for a discussion about the development. The developer guy began rattling off a list of interested parties as well as those who had signed on and I was able to overhear a handful... They included Banana Republic Outlet, Ulta 3, Chick Fil-a, Container Store, Ross, Pier 1, Dicks Sporting Goods, REI and Butcher Burger... 
Obviously I have no way to confirm this, I'm not in development or work for any of the companies but since I overheard it I thought I'd pass it along to you all to see if you could dig anything up. If all, or even some, of the list are true it could be quite a development for the Roosevelt shopping corridor especially when added to the businesses going in over by Icon.
If this is true, it would be pretty exciting.  Regardless, officially the status of the project still remains unclear.  Does anyone know anything about this?

For those interested, here is arendering of the new proposed development coming to this space:
Image from Chicago Real Estate Daily
(Hat tip: AM!)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Tribune States Roosevelt CTA Station Has the Most Crime in the City

We've been hearing a lot about crime in the city recently and yesterday a couple people brought a surprising article by the Chicago Tribune to our attention which no doubt will draw some negative attention to the neighborhood:
That Roosevelt stop, which serves the Green and Orange lines on the elevated tracks and the Red Line below, was the No. 1 station for rail crime between 2009 and June 13 of this year, according to the analysis.  
St. George, who is working as an intern at the Shedd Aquarium, seemed surprised when advised that she should consider keeping the phone out of view. "So I should put the phone in my purse? Thank you, I appreciate it," she said.
In addition to the Red Line, which operates around the clock between some of Chicago's most affluent neighborhoods as well as through some of its poorest, crimes committed against rail passengers were also pervasive on the Green Line, which goes through the West Side, and the Forest Park branch of the Blue Line, which also travels east-west, the analysis found.
When I first heard this, I was frankly surprised.  I've been using the Roosevelt stop for years and never had an incident (knock on wood).  While we've seen some things and posted about crimes at this stop, I've never felt like this stop was the worst in the city in respect to crime.

Perplexed, we looked at the article and found an interesting statement:
Crimes targeting CTA customers are highly concentrated in the downtown area, where dozens of bus routes converge and Loop trains operate, as well as on the entire Red Line, according to a new Tribune analysis. 
Ok, this makes sense.  Where the most people come and go probably results in the most crime.  However, looking closer at the Tribune's list and map, you will notice that none of the stops in the Loop are cited as "stations with the most crimes".  Upon examining the story further we found this little blurb about loop stations:
Because of the close proximity of stations in the Loop, both elevated and subway, crimes could not confidently be attributed to individual stations.  Similar limitations occurred at the Roosevelt subway and elevated stations.
So, if I'm reading this right, these "limitations" prevented loop stations from being included in the study, but not the Roosevelt station?  Interesting.

I'm not suggesting that there aren't a lot of crimes around the Roosevelt stop or that it should not be a serious issue in the neighborhood.  I'm just upset that such a negative statement about our neighborhood is being widely circulated across the city even though "limitations" about this study (and specifically this stop) exist.

Yes, the Tribune put an asterisk by the Roosevelt stop, but why didn't they do the same for the Loop stations and include those in the study?  Regardless, the South Loop is left with a city wide perception (or fact if you believe it) that the "Roosevelt station has the most crime in the city".

So what do you think?  Are we missing the point?  Are we simply trying to spin this to make the South Loop look better?  Did the Tribune recklessly give the Sloop a black-eye?  Does this change your perception of the neighborhood?  or the Roosevelt stop?

(Hat tip: N & AS!)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

What's Up With the South Exit from the Roosevelt Green/Orange Line Platform?

Peeking over the fence at the South Exit
from the Orange/Green Line at Roosevelt 
If you're a frequent CTA rider and one that uses the Green/Orange line South exit, you've probably gotten frustrated that it's been closed recently.  Without much warning or explanation (or at least that we saw), construction on the sidewalk and exit commenced quickly.

A reader writes:
Do you know what is taking place at the south end exit of the Roosevelt green/orange platform? I was thinking maybe they were going to be turning it into a full entrance/exit to help prevent people from running across the street in the middle of traffic after getting off the east-bound buses? Any other ideas?
We asked around a little, but didn't hear anything definitive.  We heard they were doing something with a gas line, but we're not sure of the validity of this.  If you peak over the fence, it looks like they did some digging (which could validate the gas story), but why did they have to rip down the entire exit?

While we can't confirm or deny that they're making it a full entrance/exit, we would love to see this.  Or simply allow people who have cards to enter from this location.  It seems like it would help reduce the number of people illegally crossing Roosevelt to get into the CTA entrance.

Does anyone have a clue what's going on here?

(Hat tip: LR & N!)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Digging at the Old Eco18 Empty Lot (Wabash & 18th)

Digging at the old Eco 18 lot (Wabash and 18th)
A reader writes:
There's some activity this week on the old Eco18 site at Wabash and 18th. They're digging out a bunch of dirt on the north side of the lot. Couldn't find any information on it other than the original party sold the land to someone else at some point.
Hmmm, that's perplexing.  Does anyone have a clue about what's going on there?

Clearly something is going on.  Hopefully it's something cool like a free community water park!  But we doubt that's the case.

(Hat tip: KS!)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Business Coming to "80s" Office Building on Polk in Printers Row?

A reader writes:
Have you noticed that construction has started inside the rather 80s looking office space on Polk that is across the alley from Blackies? (sorry, don't know the address!). It has been vacant for the 3 years I have lived in Printers Row. 
Just wondering.... 
While we aren't sure if this is the building, we're guessing it is what the reader is talk about:

We don't know what is going on, does anyone have a clue if a business is moving in or if they're just modernizing to try to attract a leasee?

UPDATE (Hat tip AD!)
LOUISVILLE, Colo.– January 18, 2012 – zColo, a Zayo Group company, announces it is opening a facility in downtown Chicago, located at 600 South Federal St to deliver colocation and interconnection services. This will be zColo’s first location in downtown Chicago and 13th facility in the U.S. The carrier neutral colocation space will offer 8,500 sellable square feet and support up to 200 watts per square foot for high-power density applications. Services are anticipated to be available by the end of Q2 2012.

The site will leverage Zayo’s Bandwidth Infrastructure including its metro fiber network in Chicago and access to its 44,000-mile national network. The facility will offer a new downtown connectivity option to serve financial industry, media and other internet content customers.

 “Industry reports show that growth in demand for data center services in Chicago has exceeded supply by 50% over the prior two years,” states Chris Morley, President of zColo. “As a carrier-neutral provider, we plan to partner with other carriers in the Chicago area to support this demand.”

(Hat tip:  SL!)

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Showplace Icon Theater Gets Upgraded Sound System

If you ask us, the Showplace Icon Theater at Roosevelt Collection is the best movie theater we've ever been to.  Yes, it's in the South Loop so we're partial, but the image quality and sound is so engulfing it's hard for us to contemplate how this could get any better.

Well apparently this weekend, it's about to.  From the Chicagoist blog:
This weekend the ICON offers an extra treat: it is one of only 14 theaters in the country to showcase a new "3D Sound" technology from Dolby at screenings of Pixar's Brave. 
Dolby has dubbed the new audio platform Atmos and billed it as the successor to 7.1 Surround. Nobody not named Phil Spector pines for the days of Mono, but the march from mono to stereo to 5.1 surround sound to 7.1 surround sound can make one's head spin. Are we ready for 64 separate channels and two arrays of overhead speakers? Well that depends.
So what does that even mean?  Here is an interesting (and pretty technical) video explaining the evolution to Dolby's Atmos platform:

Pretty cool.  I wonder if we will be able to tell the difference.

Regardless, can't wait to try it out.  Glad to see that our theater continues to be state-of-the-art and pushing the boundaries of what the movie experience should be about.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Readers are Right: City Tavern First to Open

With City Tavern opening up last night, it looks like the readers were right.  After a couple of delays we were unsure if one of the other new South Michigan establishments would open up first.  A reader sent us this picture:

While CT might have beat the others to the punch, it appears that they are pretty close to opening as well.

Square One has a countdown clock on their website that says they're going to open on July 5th (even though we heard they were shooting for July 1st).  Alain's has taken the paper down from their windows to reveal a rustic decor that would suggest that they're damn near close to opening.  And we recently saw people putting things in Karamela...which would suggest they're getting close as well.

Soon enough we will have some new things to try out!

(Hat tip: ET!)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Debate Rages About High-Schools in the Sloop

If you have any interest in schools for our neighborhood, we highly suggest you read this article by Greg Hinz in  It take a look at the debate and delimmea with the neighborhoods high-school situation:
Nothing unites a community and makes people want to live there like a good school for the kids, particularly a high school. But in these days of very tight finances, what you want and what you can get often are two different things. 
Add in some stark socioeconomic differences plus a dash of good ol' Chicago politics and you get an idea of what's at stake in a revealing dispute over what kind of public schooling to offer in the fast-growing South Loop. 
On one side are Ald. Bob Fioretti, 2nd, and a group of constituents who want Chicago Public Schools to convert the old Jones College Prep high school on South State Street to a neighborhood school when the new controlled-enrollment Jones opens in the fall of 2014. 
On the other side is the Board of Education, which insists that there just aren't enough students in the South Loop and adjoining areas to warrant the expenditure. The board now plans to demolish the old Jones. 
The article goes onto to discuss some solutions that are being bandied about.  Nothing is obviously resolved, but it should be interesting.  One option Fioretti is throwing around is to rennovate the Old Jones Prep school and have it completely devoted to neighborhood kids.  But it doesn't sound like the school board is keen on that idea:
Renovating the 45-year-old Jones structure for a neighborhood high school would cost $18 million to $25 million, according to the board. Demolishing the school would cost $5 million to $10 million — meaning someone would have to come up with $10 million or so, not counting annual operating costs.
I must admit, it will be extremely difficult for anyone now to make a public case for not only building one new high school in one neighborhood, but spending a ton more to renovate a second high school in the same neighborhood.
Should be interesting.  What do you think?  Does the South Loop need a high-school solely devoted to the neighborhood?

(Hat tip: GL!)

Nice Name! Sloop Dental Coming to 14th Place and Wabash

When we first heard that the dental office moving into the retail space at 14th Place and Wabash was going to be called "Sloop Dental" we thought, "nice name bro".

It's not everyday that a business adopts a nickname you feel so passionate about.  Anyway, best of luck to them and please don't tarnish our name!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

New Restaurant Coming to corner of Clark and Polk?

A reader writes:
I was walking today and noticed a building permit in the southernmost storefront in the Burnham Pointe building on Polk and Clark. The permit says it is for a first time restaurant build out - any idea what it may be? 
We aren't sure, we did some searching but didn't have much luck. Anyone have any ideas on what this could be?

(Hat tip: M!)

Free Admission to Shedd Aquarium until Sunday (6/24)

From the Tribune:
One of Chicago's top tourist attractions is offering a free week for Illinois residents.
The Shedd Aquarium has free general admission through Sunday. That includes its "Waters of the World" and "Amazon Rising" exhibits. The Aquarium will also offer discounted admission to other exhibits including the Abbott Oceanarium and "Jellies," which showcases several kinds of jelly fish.
The aquarium is also extending its hours through Wednesday. The Shedd will be open until 8 p.m.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Mexican American Grill Opening at 2333 S. Michigan

We've spent a lot of time pondering what may or may not become Motor Row this year.  It's hard to discern what is talk and what is real, but a reader sent us a picture (above) of a new "Mexican American Grill" coming to 2333 S. Michigan:
I was riding my bike this morning and ran into some movers at 2333 so. Michigan. The owner came out and said they expect to open a Mexican cafe restaurant in August.
As we like to say, filled retail space is better than vacant retail space.  Welcome to the neighborhood!

(Hat tip: RG!)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

1st Annual Spring Awakening Fest Starts Today at Soldier Field

When you hear spring awakening you might think we're talking about a religious festival, but don't be fooled.  The 1st annual Spring Awakening Festival taking place today and tomorrow around and inside Soldier Field is a hardcore electronic/dance/dubstep/club/house music festival.

While this type of music might surprise some, its emergence isn't just appears to be gaining popularity.  We've been going to Lollapalooza for some time and this type of music/party has been gaining steam.  Here is our take on the phenomenon of Perry's stage, the non-stop-dance-til-you- pass-out area of Lollapalooza that is amazingly fun, intense and not usually sober.

Anyway, if you're a die hard fan of Perry's you will probably like the Spring Awakening festival.  However, we are skeptical that there is enough demand for a full on two day electronic dance festival, but what do we know.  We won't be going, but will be around Northerly Island and most definitely will be looking around and listening to the scene.  Should be interesting.

For those wondering who is headlining, here is a video of Skrillex from Lollapalooza last year.  He has the main spot inside Soldier Field on Sunday night:

Friday, June 15, 2012

Shots Around the Sloop: Cocobobble Comes to the Sloop

Back on Monday night we encouraged readers to retweet a post we did to Connan O'Briens show to bring his gigantic 17 foot bobble-head to the South Loop.  We offered some locations that we thought would be great (i.e. - museum campus).

Fast forward to Thursday and they didn't go to any of our spots.  However, thanks to a reader who snapped this shot we can say that the bobble-head did make it to the Sloop:
 If you're unsure where this is, it's the Harold's Chicken Shack #62 at 636 S. Wabash (just north of Balbo and Wabash).  Seems like an interesting place for it, but glad it's in the Sloop.  If you're wondering why they picked this location, check out this clip from the show last night:

For those of you hoping to get a glimpse, don't bother.  The COCOBOBBLE was taken down immediately and everything on Wabash is back to normal.

(Hat tip: MJ!)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Chicago Curry House Delivers Flavorful Indian and Nepalese Cuisine

If you happen to be walking around Dearborn Park 1 you may notice an intoxicating smell permeating throughout the air.  If you don't know where it's coming from, we're here to spread the news:  The Chicago Curry House (899 S. Plymouth Court).

Chicken Tikka
Tucked away on the sleepy Northeast corner of Plymouth Court and 9th street, the Chicago Curry House offers a truly unique and exciting opportunity that will expand your senses.

While the menu can be a little overwhelming for novices, the staff is very kind and more than willing to offer recommendations based on your specific likes and dislikes.  

With that said, we started our night with some Chicken Samosas and Cheese Naan.  The Samosas were large and in charge and a little awkward to eat, but very tasty.  Some might complain that they might be a little dry, but we spread some of the green sauce (that was on the table) which helped a lot.  

The Cheese Naan was absolutely delicious.  It's probably not the most unique thing on the menu, but damn is it good (and I will preface this by saying I love Naan bread in any form).  The cheese was subtle and did a good job of complementing the chewiness of the bread well.

For the main courses we opted for Chicken Tikka and Chicken Tikka Masala.  As i'm writing this i'm realizing that we ordered a lot of chicken - oh well.  The difference between the options was that the Chicken Tikka Masala was served in a delicious cream sauce, while the Chicken Tikka came out sans sauce  put piping hot (see picture above).  

Anyway, both were solid and both would be ordered again.  The flavors and spices are so interesting and definitely different than anything else you will find in the neighborhood.  

If you're looking for a departure from your typical eating routine, we highly recommend the Chicago Curry House.  

Does anyone else have any recommendations for dishes at the Curry House?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Apple Store to Roosevelt Collection Appears to be True!

Roosevelt Collection during the construction phase...
Back in April we had a post about an Apple Store coming to Roosevelt Collection.  Many of us were smiling, but skeptical given the "issues" that have transpired at the massive development.

With that said, that smile has grown after reading a story from Crain's blogger Brigid Sweeney about Alderman Fioretti stating that Apple was coming to the Sloop:
Alderman Robert Fioretti (2nd) says Apple Inc. plans to open a store soon in the South Loop. 
Speaking to a group of Crain's editors, Mr. Fioretti confirms what I heard earlier this spring: That the city's third Apple store—and the first on the South Side—will go into the Roosevelt Collection at Wells Street and Roosevelt Road. (Apple also has seven suburban Chicago locations.) 
Mr. Fioretti told the editors on Tuesday that the iPhone retailer is "coming close" to moving in and predicted the store could open by year-end. "It looks good," he said. Daniel McCaffery, chairman and CEO of McCaffery Interests Inc., which bought the struggling Roosevelt Collection project last year, confirmed to me that he's in talks with Apple, but is a bit more circumspect than Mr. Fioretti. 
"We share the alderman's enthusiasm and hope that one day we can share the announcement," he said. 
OK, so it's still not a definite but it sounds much more realistic now.  While we are impressed with Apple and glad they're considering a move into the neighborhood, the bigger story to us is that McCaffery may in fact be able to deliver the big tenants that have been rumored for some time.

We had a post with various retailers that were considering Roosevelt Collection and it was a pretty impressive list (including the likes of Lululemon, Letuce Entertain You, Arhus, etc).  Maybe this is really going to happen!

Anyway, if you thought Trader Joe's had an impact on whether or not other retailers would come to the Sloop, an Apple store will probably take that up a notch.  Only time will tell, but this is some big news for the retail scene in the Sloop!

(Hat tip: MG!)

Opinions Vary: Is New Congress Parkway Worth the Wait?

In case you missed it, a couple of weeks ago the major road construction of Congress Parkway was officially declared done.  This means that the gridlock caused by the construction might finally ease up.

What is still unclear is whether or not $20 million and two years of construction was worth the hassle.

We've heard many different opinions on the project and there doesn't seem to be much consistency.  For some "professional" perspective  Blair Kamin, the Chicago Tribune's architecture columnist, weighs in:
When the big revamp of Chicago's Congress Parkway was announced in 2010, it was something to get excited about. 
This was to be a road improvement project that was about more than roads. It was going to uplift the city around it. The idea was to transform the ugly drag strip that led into downtown from the Eisenhower Expressway into a smooth-flowing experience for drivers, an inviting stretch for pedestrians and a handsome gateway to Chicago. 
Yet two years and innumerable construction delays later, it's hard to muster enthusiasm for the nearly complete, $20 million undertaking, which was paid for with city, state and federal stimulus program funds. That's not because the job has failed to accomplish what it set out to do. Rather, it's because many of those things have been done and, still, no one would mistake the new Congress Parkway for the Champs-Elysees.
Kamin goes onto acknowledge that the pedestrian construction isn't quite done yet and that may in fact help make the project better.

When we look at the project we see it as an improvement.  While it might not be perfect it's a big step forward.  Congress was a wall of cars which was a beast to cross.  It was ugly and not dreadful to walk on or across.

While it doesn't appear that the amount of cars are going to decrease, at least the walk for pedestrians will be more pleasant (or at least that's what we expect since this part of the construction isn't completely done yet).  Still we have a hard time believing that people are going to want to sit down on the new park benches on Congress when cars are flying down the street.  It doesn't seem very serene...but maybe we're wrong.

Anyway, for those looking for a good summary post about the project check out this from the blog Grid Chicago.  It walks you through the changes of the parkway with before and after pictures.
Congress Parkway before Construction (via Grid Chicago)
Congress Parkway after construction
(via Grid Chicago)

So what do you think?  An improvement or just a wasted opportunity?

(Hat tip: SC &  SW!)

Monday, June 11, 2012

A New Monument for Museum Campus? Bring COCOBOBBLE to the Sloop!

Mr. Conan O'Brien has invaded our great city and given this momentous occasion has decided to bestow upon us COCOBOBBLE:

While it might be a long shot, we couldn't help ourselves from trying to rally our readers and get COCOBOBBLE down to the Sloop.

With that said, please share this post on facebook or retweet @teamcoco with the #COCOBOBBLE.

A couple suggestions:
  • Agora statues (Michigan and Roosevelt):  A big head for headless statues
  • Museum Campus (in front of the Adler, Field or Shedd):  COCOBOBBLE is museum worthy for sure
  • Queen's Landing (Lakeshore Drive and Buckingham Fountain):  When the queen comes to town we get the queen's landing.  When Connan comes to town we get COCOBBBLE.
Any other suggestions?

(Hat tip: NAM!)

4 New Businesses Officially Open for Business

If you're a Sloopin reader you know we try our best to monitor the vitality of our neighborhood.  One of the best ways to do this is by understanding the retail scene in the Sloop.  That's why we've created our 2012 business counter and that's why it's time to give it a quick update.

As of today, we've heard of four new businesses that have officially opened:

The Foundry (730 S. Clark)
Back in February we did a post on the new CrossFit gym that was opening up in Printers Row.  Fast forward to June and they're officially.  For those who don't know what CrossFit is (our hand is raised as well)  here is a quick summary from their website:
CrossFit is a fitness program designed around the things you do in the real world. Every day, we ask our bodies to move in countless different ways. We bend down and pick things up, we put things over our heads, squat down, stand up, and run after the bus or chase down a cab. CrossFit utilizes movements from weightlifting, gymnastics, and sports conditioning that improve these real-life activities and performs them in endless variety and at high intensity. In turn, your body is always adapting, getting stronger, faster, better conditioned over a period of months and years.

Urban Grocers (729 S. State)
Not to be confused with Urban Pantry (730 S. Clark), Urban Grocers is a similar type of convenience store that is four streets to the East.  Interesting that both to of these stores opened with similar names and similar locations.  However, if there is one thing we've seen in the past...there is always demand for convenience stores.

Smoothies / DQ Luxury Relaxation Retreat (910 S. Michigan)
Out of the blue, two store fronts popped up on Michigan avenue recently:
We did some searching online and didn't find much about these places.  While you would think that a smoothie place and a massage place would cater to different consumers, we're pretty sure they're owned by the same people.

We've kept our eye on these places and have seen people inside the smoothie store.  It appears to be similar to the popular smoothie places in Chinatown.  Has anyone tried this?

Finally, stay tuned as we will be having additional posts this week about some new businesses that aren't open yet, but have plans to.

According to our records, we've had a net total of 8 new businesses open up in the Sloop in 2012.  Good news and it appears to be a trend that is bound to continue.

(Hat Tip: JQ!)     

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Shots Around the Sloop: Power from Above

A reader sends us this picture of Solar Panels on Old St. Mary's School and writes:
A neighbor whose kids go to that school gave me more details about the solar panels. It's a 10kW array, should power 10-20% of school. They received a grant to install them (from Illinois Solar Schools Program, sponsored by Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation). Nice to see some green initiatives in our neighborhood!
(Hat tip: VM!)

Friday, June 8, 2012

New Pharmacy Coming to 1442 S. Michigan

We've had some mentions in the comment threads lately that a pharmacy was coming to 1442 S. Michigan (old South Loop Wine Cellar space) and based on a picture we received via twitter that appears to be true:
Permit for New Pharmacy via @thshoya

In case you can't read the permit, it says "Buildout for New Pharmacy Store".

Glad to see something moving in!

(Hat tip: TS!)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Stop Lights on Wabash at 13th and 14th Street Will Come in 2012

One of the most heavily discussed topics on Sloopin in 2011 were the dangerous intersections at 13th and Wabash & 14th and Wabash.  We've had numerous readers email us with concerns about motorists blowing through the existing stop signs.

Back in November it appeared that traffic lights would be coming to these intersections.  The Alderman even mentioned them in a newsletter he sent out last year.  However, nothing happened.

Fast forward to this past week and a reader sent us an email they received from the Alderman after reaching out about the status of these additions:
Thanks for reaching out to us. We agree and have secured funding for the installation of a stop light at that location. It's projected to be installed this year. 
So looks like these are still coming...we just need to be patient.

Stay tuned!

(Hat tip: GJ!)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

City Tavern Sets Opening Date for Sunday, June 17th

The blog Chicago Eater is reporting that City Tavern will be opening on Sunday, June 17th:
Kendal Duque
via Chicago Eater
The South Loop expansion continues with the upcoming opening of City Tavern. Mainstay Hospitality and chef Kendal Duque will open the new spot on Sunday, June 17. As previously reported, the 100-seat City Tavern will take its inspiration from 18th century taverns that dotted the area.
Great news and can't wait to have another option on South Michigan.

While this appears to put this opening date to bed, we've had a lot of readers emailing us about Sqaure One (the other bar opening on this block) and Karamela's (cafe on the 1200 block of South Michigan).  Last we heard it was going to open on early June.  It's early June and it looks like they're close.  The paper on their windows are down and when peaking into their space it appears that they're close.  We fully expect them to open this month.

On the other hand, we're not really sure what the deal is with Karamela's (1250 S. Michigan).  It looks like they could open any day, but it's been like that for a couple weeks.  While we don't know this to be true, our guess would be government permits are taking longer than expected.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

South Branch of Red Line to Close for 5 Months in Spring of 2013

From CBS Chicago
In case you missed this story yesterday, the CTA will be closing down the South Branch of the red line for 5 months beginning in the spring of 2013.  This probably comes as a big shock for South residents.
The good news for most Sloopin residents is that the closure will start at Cermak/Chinatown - which means the Roosevelt stop will remain functional.  

The reason for the closure is financial and will drastically help speed up the timing of the project:
The decision to close the Red Line from the Cermak-Chinatown station to the 95th Street terminal was made to condense the reconstruction from four years of weekend work to five months total, said CTA spokeswoman Molly Sullivan.

She acknowledged it will cause inconvenience to riders, but that the benefits of the project will come on line sooner. “Dragging out the project would be delaying faster service by more than three years,’’ Sullivan said, adding that slow zones are in effect on 40 percent of the Dan Ryan branch of the Red Line. 
Completing the work in five months by shutting down the entire south branch, instead of four years of operating the line on weekdays only, will also save $75 million, Sullivan said.
While we understand that this is going to be painful for many, we always prefer to quickly pull off the band-aide instead of doing it slowly.  This is easy for us to say as it's not really affecting the broader neighborhood.

Regardless, we imagine some of the Sloopin readers who are on the South end of the neighborhood might feel different.

So what do you think?  A good decision or should they have dragged it out?

Monday, June 4, 2012

Obama Hits South Loop for Fundraiser

In case you were wondering why there was no parking and random security stuff going on in the Sloop this pass Friday, a reader writes (from 6/1): 
Wanted to let you guys know I've been told by police at 16th and Michigan that President Obama will be passing thru the Sloop, which is why there are all the no parking signs down Indiana Avenue. There seems to be some speculation about whether the presidential motorcade is going to just pass through or if he's going to stop somewhere in the neighborhood, but I figured since you guys are the best source of neighborhood news, you might know. 
We didn't hear much about this, but then stumbled across this article in the Chicago Tribune which talks about Obama's recent visit and mentions what he was doing in the Sloop:
About 7:10 p.m. the president's motorcade headed for the next event, where Obama addressed a dinner of roughly 50 in the elegant South Loop brownstone of Chicago lawyer Chaka Patterson. The last event was a dinner of about the same size at the Gold Coast home of Jim Crown. 
In the South Loop, Patterson introduced Obama with a poem, after which Obama said, "I can follow a lawyer, but following a poet ..." 
"It's nice to be back on the South Side," he told the guests, before giving a shout-out to Gov. Pat Quinn, seated in the middle of the room, and launching into the abbreviated version of his stump speech.
(Hat tip: BL!)

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Shots Around the Sloop: Joseph Rosenberg?

Rosenberg Fountain (in Grant Park) Joseph Rosenberg (1848-91) left a bequest for a fountain in Chicago “to provide the thirsty with a drink.” During his youth here as a newsboy, Rosenberg could never convince local Chicago merchants to spare him a drink. Consequently, he vowed that if he were ever wealthy, he would create a fountain for newsboys to quench their thirst on hot days. He later moved to San Francisco and made a fortune, never forgetting his vow. The fountain was erected at the south end of Grant Park near his childhood home on South Michigan Avenue. The 11-foot tall bronze figure holding a goblet and pitcher represents Hebe, daughter of Zeus and Hera. As the Goddess of Youth and the Cupbearer to the Gods, Hebe symbolizes rejuvenation. Rosenberg’s fountain was installed 2 years after he died. German sculptor Franz Machtl created bronze sculpture which was cast in Munich. The drinking fountain is enclosed by a columned structure which emulates a miniature Greek temple. Chicago architects Bauer and Hill designed the Greek inspired structure. It reads, “Presented by Joseph Rosenberg San Francisco, Cal.” The Chicago Park District restored the fountain and its sculpture in 2004.

(Hat tip:  Josh!)

Friday, June 1, 2012

The GIF Trend Burns the Sloop

A reader sent us an email stating "a great Tumblr on Chicago with a nice burn on the South Loop. But we can take the joke - ".
When someone tells me about a new bar in the South Loop
The blog is called "So.Yeah.Duh" and frankly I'be been crying all day since we saw this.