Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Get in My Belly: Pitabelly Coming to 600 Block of South Wabash

We love some Mediterranean food (see post on Pita Heaven), so were excited to see a new option coming to the South Loop called PitaBelly. The store will be on the 600 block of South Wabash between Harrison and Balbo (on the West side of the street where Subway, Dunkin Donuts, and Tamarind are).

As you can see by the picture above, the signage is already up. We couldn't find much online in regard to web stuff (except for their twitter handle @thepitabelly). Anyway, we will keep our eyes open for this launch.

In honor of Pitabelly we couldn't help but think of the disgustingly charming Fat Bastard from Austin Powers:

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Rahm Helps Acadia with Government Bureaucracy

Time Out Chicago recently posted a list of eateries that Rahm Emannual has been spotted dining at, complete with commentary from restaurant owners. It looks like the mayor enjoys everything from fried chicken smothered in gravy to fish specials and salad. And apparently, he's lent a helping hand to Acadia, Sloop's new and much talked about restaurant:
Acadia
Emanuel showed up at the doorstep of Ryan McCaskey’s new South Loop spot before it opened. “He wanted to weed out some of the red tape in City Hall for people to build small businesses,” the chef-owner recalls. “My restaurant is on city park space, so he asked what the biggest issue was and we said dealing with the city—not only with getting permits but also finding out what’s going on with the developing park that’s next to us. We wanted two things: a little buffer between the restaurant and where the people would be, because the park is supposed to be part dog park. The other thing is we wanted a patio of about 14 seats out there. Four days later, I had a meeting with all the head people at the park district. The design is approved, and as far as I know he pushed that through for me."
Have you spotted Rahmbo chowing down or anywhere in the Sloop? Where and when?

We've heard about him at Manny's (but every politician goes there). Anywhere else?

(Image from: Time Out Chicago!)

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Foundry | Printers Row CrossFit Coming to 730 S. Clark

For those of you who like to get your work out on, you're probably happy to hear that a new gym is coming to Printers Row. A reader sent us a link to a Facebook page for to The Foundry | Printers Row CrossFit. The actual website isn't up and running yet, but the Facebook page states:
Our mission is to forge healthy bodies, empower people to achieve sustainable well-being, and promote maximum enjoyment of life.

Sounds good to us. It also looks like they're already making progress on the build-out of the gym:
(Images from The Foundry | Printers Row CrossFit)
(Hat tip: JK!)

Friday, February 24, 2012

No Plans Tonight? Check Out Chicago Art Exchange Tonight

Sorry for the late notice on this one, but if you don't have plans tonight and are looking to stay local, checkout a night of music, booze, tapas and art at the Chicago Art Exchange (1530 S. State). It's a cool place and the event promises to be fun:
This event is designed to stimulate multiple senses in order to heighten awareness and enlighten ones understanding of the intrinsic relationships between Music and Contemporary Art. Singer-songwriter Todd Clemmer, who is a native of Dayton, Ohio and founding member of Take Back Kings, will perform his original songs highlighted by a stunning backdrop of contemporary artwork in Chicago Art Exchange╩╝s current gallery exhibition.

$20 suggested donation
Wines provided by Rootstock Wine & Beer Bar
Reservations Available 312.808.1958

For the entire pdf flier click here.

Enjoy!

New Docents wanted for Clarke House and Glessner Museums


The Clarke House Museum (1827 S. Indiana Ave.) and Glessner Museum (1800 S. Prairie Ave.) are looking for new Docents for the upcoming 2012 tour season. Training is free and begins Saturday, March 10. There are five consecutive Saturday training sessions in total, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. each week.

Becky Young LaBarre, Assistant Curator of Clarke House Museum wrote more about the program:

“To prepare volunteers to give tours, the museums offer an individualized docent training program that covers architecture, decorative arts and social history as they relate to each house. Docents must commit to 48 hours of volunteering during their first year, which usually works out to 4 hours a month. Docents lead tours on afternoons Wednesdays through Sundays, although some mornings are available.”

Benefits of the position include invitations and discounts to museum events, 25 percent off merchandise in the respective museum gift shops, annual recognition and opportunities of continued education.

(Image: JH)

Rumors Around the Sloop: Square One Progressing

A new tavern called Square One (Southwest corner of 14th and Michigan) was an old rumor that was confirmed late last year thanks to a reader and we know it's a topic many readers are curious about, so we were glad when a reader sent us this sneak pic of the build-out:
This is a shot from the back of the bar (the windows in the middle of the picture are the ones facing Michigan Avenue). Anyway, it looks like things are progressing well and hopefully they can still hit their opening goal of Spring.

Unfortunately, the same can't be said for the Alain's (1355 S. Michigan), the restaurant that was supposed to go in kitty corner from this spot. Last time we heard anything on the topic was in an article by the Tribune stating that they were shooting to open by end of January. Maybe they meant January 2013?

Anyone have an update on Alain's?

(Hat tip: MD!)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Greek American Foundation Hosts Masquerade Ball at Blackstone in the Sloop

On Saturday, February 25, 2012, the Greek American Foundation is hosting it’s first ever Venetian blue masquerade ball at the Blackstone Renaissance Hotel to raise funds for the Hellenic Legacy Scholarship Endowment Fund. The festivities include music by DJ John Grammatis and live performances by Paul Psarras and Margarita. This Greek ball would not be complete without the opportunity to win prizes at a carnival casino, as well as enjoy an open bar and hors d'oeuvres from 8pm-1:00am.

For this event, your finest Venetian attire, black tie, and masks are requested. There will be a grand prize of $1,000 for the best mask, so don’t hold back and go for the gold! All event proceeds go to the Hellenic Legacy Scholarship Endowment Fund.

General Admission/Open Seating - $250.00
Open bar and hors d'oeuvres all night
Complimentary casino chip

VIP Lounge Seating/Seating for 10 - $5000.00
Open bar and hors d'oeuvres all night
Complimentary casino chips for everyone at your table
Reduced valet parking available at the Blackstone for guests of the Blue Masque Ball

For more information - click here.

Rumors Around the Sloop: Marble Slab Closes Up Shop

Back in October of 2011, we heard some rumors about Marble Slab Ice Creamery closing their doors. At the time we were unsure about the validity of this rumor, but as many suspected it appears to be true.

Upon a recent stroll down Michigan Avenue, we noticed the lights on at Marble Slab, but signs down and the place pretty much torn apart:
It's unfortunate to see. One of our Sloopin contributors has a theory about the "East side of the Street" being less than ideal because the lack of foot traffic over there. Obviously we don't have any quantitative data to back this up, but it definitely seems a little lighter over there.

Anyone have any thoughts on Marble Slab closing? or the East side of the street being less conducive to business?

(Hat tip: ND!)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Buddy Guy Gets Obama to Sing Sweet Home Chicago Chorus

We've said it a hundred times, but the Sloop is lucky to have Buddy Guy call the neighborhood home to his blue's club, Buddy Guy's Legends (700 S. Wabash). Anyway, just thought we would post a video of Mr. Guy "encouraging" President Obama to sing an ode to his "hometown":


While it ain't easy being the pres, it must be nice to have Buddy, Mick Jagger, BB King, Derek Trucks, among others play your house for a concert.

We also want to note that a young 28 year-old, up and coming blues artist by the name of Gary Clark Jr. also got to share the stage with the other much more accomplished performers (see man to the right of Jagger, with red guitar and hat on). We saw Gary at last year's DMB Caravan and other Chicago music lovers probably took notice of him at Eric Clapton's 2010 Crossroads festival at Toyota Park in Bridgeview - we suggest you do too:


We like Buddy Guy, Obama singing Sweet Home Chicago and Gary Clark Jr.'s talent!

Rumors Around the Sloop: Multi-Purpose Building on Jewel Land?

Please take this one with a grain of salt, but we recently heard a very juicy rumor about the land where Starbucks and Jewel-Osco sits (Southwest corner of Wabash and Roosevelt). A source tells us that there have been preliminary talks about turning this lot into a multi-purpose high-rise similar to what you see across the street where the Walgreens at State and Roosevelt sits.

While we haven't seen anything formal in the press, we heard that the building would have residential, office space and that the street level floors would be retail (including Jewel and presumably Starbucks).

We haven't heard anything in regard to timing or feasbility and in reality feel that this might have a 5% chance of being true. Regardless, it's interesting and something we assume most resident would appreciate.

We often hear complaints about how parking lots disrupt the "urban" feel of the city and this current lot is the poster child for that complaint. We doubt that they would scrap parking if this happened, it most likely would just be tucked behind the building (like Target on Roosevelt).

What do you think? Good? Bad? Not going to happen?

(Image from Google Maps)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Rumors Around the Sloop: George and Angela Mitchell Building

Well it's been awhile since we've had our infamous "Rumors Around the Sloop" posts and we've had an uptick in emails, observations and discussions about random things in the neighborhood. As a result, expect some posts this week about rumors in the South Loop.

Today, we're going to start with a partial validation of a recent rumor we heard of back in December revolving around the building at 1150 S. Wabash (just North of Bongo Room). Back then we heard that the owners of Artists Cafe (412 S. Michigan) were behind the renovations at this building. While this was simply a rumor in December it appears to be true based on some of the renovations on the exterior of the building:
It's might be hard to see in the picture above, but carved into the stone says, "George and Angela Mitchell Building". So it appears that they have something to do with the renovations. However, what is still the big question? Will this be a dinner similar to the Artists Cafe? Or will it be something else?

Anyone heard anything about this?

(Hat tip: Anon!)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Critics Love Acadia, but Hate on the Sloop

We loved Acadia when we had our maiden voyage to the upscale eatery at 1639 S. Wabash and according to a post on Curbed Chicago, other culinary critics from around the city are also having similar feelings:
Mike Sula (Chicago Reader) thinks Acadia gets it right in the unlikeliest of neighborhoods. Garnishes “support and synergize” a la carte dishes such as a foie gras torchon rolled in malt crumbles from which “radiate” arrangements of jellied hot-toddy cubes and smudges of curried apple butter. Chicken presse is “highly refined, but unironic and satisfying,” and fat shrimp “summon the nostalgia” of Spain. For drinks, a “depthless and enduring” rum and kola smash will ease you through the courses. Despite the lack of competition in the area, Sula thinks the restaurant “ought to do well just about anywhere.”
The Curbed Chicago post also has links to the Chicago Tribune write-up by Phil Vettel and Julia Kramer's piece in Time Out Chicago. While all seem to have positive things to say about the neighborhood, all seem to get jabs in at the neighborhood's expense.

While they're entitled to their opinion, it seems like a common view form outsiders. What evs! Haters gonna hate.

(Image from Time Out Chicago)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Shedd Aquarium offers “Ward Day” discounts for 2nd Ward

The Shedd Aquarium (1200 S. Lake Shore Drive) has been around for over 80 years in the South Loop, providing family-friendly entertainment and community gatherings for Chicago residents.

On Sunday, March 4, the Shedd is offering all-day discounted Shedd Passes for residents of Alderman Fioretti’s ward.

According to media contacts at the Shedd Aquarium, 2nd Ward residents get a “Buy One Get One Free” adult ticket deal for $28.95, or half off that price for one adult ticket. For kids aged 3-11 tickets are 19.95 for two or half off of that price for one child. As always, children under three are admitted for free.

Ward residents can also eat and shop with a 10 percent discount on food and gift store items. A bonus for this deal is that residents can skip the line and pick up their tickets at will-call.

A normal “Total Experience Pass” at the Shedd is $34.95 per adult ticket and $25.95 for kids aged 3-11, and that includes the 4D Theater Experience, which the “Ward Day” ticket does not. Patrons pay $4 extra for this feature.

Will you be heading to the Shedd on March 4?

(Hat tip: LF!)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Locomobile Lofts up for 2011 Refurbishment of the Year


Locomobile Lofts, located in Chicago’s Historic Motor Row on S. Michigan Avenue, is in the running for the 2011 Refurbishment of the Year award presented by ArchDaily.comthe world’s most visited architecture site.

STUDIO IDE..., a four-person Chicago-based architecture firm, is the creative genius behind the building's innovative design. They are up against some stiff competition (222 buildings are currently nominated) and would appreciate your support.

"I'm sure with the power of Sloopin behind us, we cant fail," says STUDIO IDE...'s Joe Signorelli.

Only five buildings will make it to the final round! Help represent your neighborhood and vote for Locomobile Lofts. Voting closes Tuesday, February 21.

Click here to vote today!

Photo Credit: Renae Lillie

Represent the Sloop in the Time Out Chicago Eat Out Awards

The South Loop has some good representation in this year's Time Out Chicago "Eat Out Awards". With that said, show some love our your local businesses and give them a vote (link here):
  • Acadia (1639 S. Wabash) - Best New Restaurant Cocktails
  • The Scout (1301 S. Wabash) - Best New Sports Bar
  • Waffles (1400 S. Michigan) - Best New Breakfast
  • Burger Point (1900 S. State) - Best New Burger Joint
  • Bodega No. 5 (638 S. Michigan) - Cheap Eatery of the Year
  • Lao Hunan (2230 S. Wentworth) - Cheap Eater of the Year and Best New BYOB

And if we can swing your vote beyond the South Loop, vote for Barrelhouse Flat for Best New Bar!

(Hat tip: ND!)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Chicago Buys 3,000 Face Shields for G8 & NATO Summits

So as the NATO/G8 summits get closer, we're bound to hear more and more about what the city is doing to prepare for the expected protests (see old Sloopin post's here). The more we hear, the more we get the sense that the South Loop could become a hot bed for demonstrations (and potentially violence). Anyway, a reader recently sent us a link to an NBC7 post about the city buying 3,000 face shields and an activist group calling for 50,000 protesters to descend on Chicago:
The city of Chicago is spending about $193,000 on face shields for police officers ahead of the May G8 and NATO summits.

The city secured about 3,000 of the new shields from Colorado-based Super Seer Corp. as part of an emergency contract awarded by Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration. It signals the first purchase made under an agreement allowing the mayor quick turnaround contracts to bid-companies.

Other cities that have hosted similar meetings have encountered thousands of protests, and Chicago is preparing for the same. A national activist group already has called on 50,000 demonstrators to descend on Chicago in May.
Yikes!

(Hat tip: FS!)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

2012 Lolla Rumors: Beyonce...Wait Did You Say Beyonce?!?!?!

While you aren't supposed to believe everything you read (especially on the interwebs), we got a chuckle when we read a post on XRT saying that the 2012 Lolla lineup has been leaked:
According to @LollaLeaks, who bills himself as an anonymous Lollapalooza insider, the 2012 headliners will be Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Killers, Beck, Beyonce, and Sonic Youth.

Other acts include Skrillex in a set with Korn, Noisia, Bassnecter, M.I.A., Calvin Harris, Flux Pavilion, Wax, Mord Fustang, and Knife Party, The Shins, M83, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, Gotye, St. Vincent, Surfer Blood, Kimbra, Real Estate, Crosses, Sleigh Bells, Bombay Bicycle Club, Antlers, Passion Pit, OFWGKTA, Wale, At The Drive In, Garbage, Missy Elliot, Gaslight Anthem, Guided By Voices and others.
While there might be some truth in here somewhere, we really would be shocked to see Beyonce headline the 2012 festival. While we've seen Lollapalooza become more and more mainstream as it progresses, this seems like a huge departure.

Yes, Lady Gaga headlined in 2010 when she was the biggest thing since sliced bread, but this made some sense because she also performed at the 2007 festival on a small stage before she was "it".

We digress.

Beyonce, who doesn't like her? We like her, but something just doesn't seem right about this sentence:
Beyonce to headline 2012 Lollapalooza.

Regardless of whether or not the queen B resides over this year's Lollapalooza festival, it gives us a chance to post the amazingly catchy (but overplayed) Youtube sensation, Single Ladies:

That video has over 162 million views...maybe Lolla is hoping some of those viewers will show up in 2012.

New Costco Opening Up On June 28th at Ashland and 14th

A reader recently emailed us letting us know that the new Costco at 14th and Ashland was planning on opening up on June 28th. While we concede that this isn't in the Sloop, it's still good to have a Costco relatively close to the neighborhood (a short drive).

As you might remember we recently had post about Mariano's Fresh Market and their development plans at Clark between 16th and 17th. All of a sudden the area seems flush with grocery options:


View South Loop Grocery Stores in a larger map

A good problem to have if you ask us.

Anyway, are you going to go to Costco? Or is it to far from the Sloop?

(Hat tip: JP & LF!)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Big Box Retail - Not So Bad in Urban Settings?

We've heard many local critics snicker at the South Loop (particularly Roosevelt Road) because of it's "big box retail" identity. While we discredit this notion and aren't huge fans of big box stores, the reality is that they are very convenient.

The Atlantic Cities website provides an interesting post on some of the positives big box retailers bring to an urban setting:
City-dwellers love to rag on big box stores. They’re large and ugly and kind of dehumanizing. They require vast seas of surface parking. They sell the antithesis of the idealized urban shopping experience, in which a shopper on foot might hit multiple locally owned specialty shops for her hardware, her art supplies and her bubble bath.

What’s there to possibly like about the big-box alternative?

Well, here is one factor urban critics may not have considered: What if in-town big box stores encourage people to drive less? That is, after all, a major policy objective of smart growth. Plenty of people who don’t want a big box store in their midst still drive 20 miles to get to one. Why not cut out those unnecessary emissions? And if you could go to a Sam’s Club once a month instead of a Safeway every week, wouldn’t that get people out of their cars more, too?
It's an interesting post and logically seems to make sense to us.

For the South Loop particularly our "big box" stretch seems to mainly center around Roosevelt Road while the North/South streets seem to cater to local businesses. If you ask us, we have to best of both worlds - convenient big box stores on Roosevelt and a growing local/small business community on the North/South streets.

What do you think? Are big box stores on Roosevelt good or bad for the Sloop?

(Hat tip: Curbed Chicago!)
(Image from Walsh Construction)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Roosevelt's "Vertical Campus" a Risk

The new face of Roosevelt University, the thiry-two story, blue glass skyscraper on Wabash near Congress, certainly spices up the South Loop’s skyline. But according to a post in the Chicago Reader, this $123 million “vertical campus” is a risky investment for a university already straddled in $248 million of debt.
“Everyone I've talked with is smitten by what they've seen of the building. The financial situation behind it? Not so much.

Projections of continued enrollment growth were used to justify the debt load and escalating multimillion dollar annual payments. According to one of its own brochures, the university was projecting‘a 50 percent increase in the number of full-time equivalent students at the Chicago campus between 2007 and 2017.’

But that’s not how it's worked out so far. In 2008, the total number of students (part- and full-time, on both campuses) was 7,692,an all-time high. Then both enrollment and, to a lesser extent, credit hours took a dive. From 2008 to 2011, the total number of students fell 14 percent.”
The university says the building will ultimately contribute to the long term well-being of the city.

What do you think? Do you like the new visual dynamic the building brings to the loop and Sloop?

(Hat tip: SS!)

Friday, February 10, 2012

Amli Plans Two Rentals Towers at Polk and Clark

There has been a lot of chatter about AMLI's plan to build a new rental tower at the Southwest corner of Clark and Polk (via Crain's):
With big apartment developments already under way in River North and Evanston, Amli Residential is working up plans for its third local one, a two-tower 398-unit project in the South Loop.

Amli CEO Greg Mutz confirms that the Chicago-based developer has signed a contract to buy the 3.5-acre site at the southwest corner of Clark and Polk streets, where it would build the project, just north of a 440-unit apartment building it owns.

“We really want to start this thing this year,” Mr. Mutz says. “We think the South Loop has a lot of upside.”
If you're familiar with that area, you know that Amli already has a building at 900 S. Clark (just South of the proposed development). While we're a fan of anything over a parking lot, the renderings are hard to get excited about.

A reader even went as far to send us a letter that he sent to Rahm, Alderman Fioretti and others (here is the link if you're interested).

(Hat tip: Curbed Chicago)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Follow-Up on Volunteer Opportunities Near You

Thanks to our readers for sending us great ideas for volunteering in and around the South Loop! Here are some opportunities near you that fit a wide range of interests and schedules:

The Anti-Cruelty Society - Located in River North, The Anti-Cruelty Society adoption center is just a short walk from the South Loop. They offer both on-site and off-site volunteer options. The shelter is open 365 days a year with volunteer hours from 8:00am-8:00pm. For more information, contact volunteer@anticruelty.org. (50 N. La Salle Drive)

Clarke and Glessner House Museums - Train to become a volunteer docent or volunteer your time completing curatorial tasks. Click here to download a volunteer application. (1800 S. Prairie Ave)

Hostelling International - This unique, nonprofit organization offers a wide variety of volunteer opportunities such as being a tour guide for hostel residents, working in the cultural kitchen, and serving as a community liaison. Click here to fill out a volunteer application. (24 East Congress Parkway)

Minds Matter of Chicago - Become a mentor and help low-income high school students in Chicago prepare for college. Mentoring sessions are held on Saturdays just north of the South Loop at Plymouth and Jackson. Click here to fill out a volunteer application online. For more information, contact mindsmatterofchicago@gmail.com. *This is a great volunteer option for working professionals*

St. James Food Pantry - The St. James Food Pantry is the largest pantry serving the 60616 zip code and the only pantry within the 60605 zip code. Volunteer hours are typically in the early to mid morning although there are opportunities available on Saturdays and Sundays. For more information, contact the St. James Food Pantry volunteer coordinator at cswanson@stjameswabash.org, 312-842-1919 ext.214. (2907 S. Wabash)


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

For People Who Don't Know What or Where to Eat in Chinatown...

Chinatown is so close to the South Loop, it would be a shame if you didn't go and experience it every so often. While it can be slightly daunting to find the right dish or restaurant, we recently read a great post from Serious Eats Chicago giving some helpful advice:
Four years ago, I didn't really understand the allure of Chinese food. Most of my experiences were with American-Chinese buffets, where items were mostly gloppy, sweet, and one dimensional. Then I took one bite of Tony's Three Chili Chicken at Lao Sze Chuan and haven't been the same since. Suddenly I realized that there was this whole world of Chinese food that I'd never known, and that it was my duty to learn more.
It's a helpful read for the Chinatown novice and we're still drooling over the picture above.

(Image from Serious Eats)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A New Year's Resolution to Volunteer in the Neighborhood

A reader writes:
Hi Sloopin,

One my new years resolutions is to give back more, so I have been looking for some place to volunteer. I am not aware of many organizations that are active in the neighborhood and I'm hoping that you and your readers can help. As a working professional, I am looking for something that has evening or weekend volunteer hours. I tried looking at Chicago Cares but they didn't seem to have much in our neighborhood. I like the idea of working at children, immigrants or adult education, but really I'm open to anything. Are there any volunteer opportunities that I can try?
This is the type of email we love to see at Sloopin! First off, last year we did a post about literacy tutors at the Mercy Housing Lakefront building at 1521 S. Wabash. That might be a good option.

Does anyone else have some ideas for reader with great intentions?

Good luck and thanks for the email.
(Hat tip: B!)

Monday, February 6, 2012

New Residential Parking Zones Coming to the Sloop?

It's a common fact - city living usually means parking headaches. That seems to be true in the South Loop as we constantly hear horror stories and frustration. However, Alderman Fioretti seems to want to try to improve this usually painful topic according to the Chicago Gazette:
There soon may be five residential parking zones for the South Loop based on an ordinance by 2nd Ward Alderman Robert Fioretti.

“This ordinance reflects the findings of a long-term analysis by the Chicago Department of Transportation,” said Fioretti. “Currently there are too many different parking zones in the South Loop,” he continued. “The current residential parking plan has created confusion and has been difficult to understand. In addition, the entire process is cumbersome, with many of the residents having to obtain letters from my office in order to purchase the parking permits.

If you don't like the map we created above and prefer to read, the zones would be:
Zone One: Congress Parkway (north boundary) to Roosevelt Road (south boundary) and the Chicago River (west boundary) to Lake Shore Drive (east boundary).

Zone Two: Roosevelt Road (north) to 18th Street (south) and from the Chicago River (west) to Michigan Avenue (east).

Zone Three: Roosevelt Road (north) to 18th Street (south) and Michigan Avenue (west) to Lake Shore Drive (east).

Zone Four: 18th St. (north) to Stevenson Expressway (south) and Clark St. (west) to Michigan Ave. (east).

Zone Five: 18th St. (north) to Stevenson Expressway (south) and Michigan Ave. (west) to Lake Shore Dr. (east), excluding McCormick Place.
While we don't know many of the details or if this would help alleviate any of the current issues, we have to imagine it would help in some capacity. The South Loop parking situation never seemed to make intuitive sense to us, but this plan seems a little more straightforward in regard to normal shapes (unlike the new ward map which makes a mockery out of your standard shapes).

Hopefully this helps. What are your thoughts?

Friday, February 3, 2012

Britten Chicago Closes Up Shop at 1420 S. Michigan

It appears that Britten Chicago, a showroom for a Michigan printing company, has moved out of 1420 S. Michigan judging by the signs in the windows:
While you never like to see businesses close up shop, we imagine many in and around the neighborhood aren't going to be that upset with this one.

For those of you looking for some background, here is a link to a post we did on Britten back in January of 2010.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Mavis Staples to Headline 2012 Chicago Blues Festival

So now that it's February, we think it's time to begin dreaming about concerts in Grant Park. We recently read that Mavis Staples, the talented Chicago crooner, will headline this year's Chicago Bluesfest. Mark your calendars for June 8th - 10th (we did - see our google calendar feature on the right scroll bar).

If you're lucky maybe we will see one of Chicago's other legends - Mr. Jeff Tweedy from Wilco - join her for a debut like he did at Lollapalooza in 2011:

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Mariano's Fresh Market to Begin Construction on S. Clark Store in June?

An anonymous tipster sent us over some information about the new Mariano's Fresh Market that is coming to South Clark street (between 16th and 17th street):
Here are some preliminary drawings showing the proposed design/layout for the Mariano’s looking to go on the corner of 17th & Clark (drawings attached, page 6 shows the best building design shots). They are stating a 6/1/12 construction start date, but unfortunately there are still in the conceptual/prelim pricing stage.
They make it sound like the June 1st start date isn't possible. We will see.

Looks good to us and looks like it would be a good addition to the relatively desolate strip of South Clark.

(Hat tip: Anon!)