Couple this with the recent opening of City Tavern (1416 S. Michigan) as well as Waffles and the venerable Chicago Firehouse (1401 S. Michigan) and this intersection now has a fresh vibe and energy. Obviously most of these new businesses still have a lot to prove, but from their first blush it's definitely a step in the right direction.
So what is Alain's? According to the Chicago Reader:
Alain's Restaurant opens today in the South Loop. Chef Alain Njike has collaborated with Chicago Bears' Israel Idonije and businessman Chad McClennan to create a cuisine with a blend of Southern, French, and Cameroonian influences.While we still aren't exactly sure what will result from this "blend", we are excited to try it out. It seems like it's truly unique, which is something we always like to see.
Best of luck to all the new spots (and the old ones) and welcome to the Sloop!