Saturday, November 30, 2013

See CTA Holiday Train NOW!

CTA Holiday Train (via Chicagoist)

The Chicagoist blog gives us the schedule:
This year’s holiday train schedule starts Nov. 29-30 on the Green Line. The six-car train wraps up its Green Line run Dec. 3 before moving to the Orange Line Dec. 4-7; the Pink Line Dec. 10-11; the Blue Line Dec. 12-14; The Red Line Dec. 17 and 19; the Purple Line Express Dec. 18 and 20; the Red and Purple Lines Dec. 21 before wrapping up things on the Yellow Line Dec. 23.  
CTA’s Holiday Train is one of the regular staples of the season in Chicago. Now in its 22nd year, the train features “L” cars decorated with lights and an open-air rail car where Santa sits (hopefully in layers) wishing riders compliments of the season. Riders may track the train on CTA’s train tracker app, which will feature a candy cane next to its estimated arrival time information.

Friday, November 29, 2013

3 More Businesses Coming to Roosevelt Collection

It seems like every week we have some news coming out of Roosevelt Collection.  Whether it's a new store being announced or a new store opening, momentum continues for this once ill fated retail concept.

First off, a reader writes to let us know about a different type of "business" that is coming:
Northwestern Memorial physicians group is coming to The Roosevelt Collection -- sticker promoting it has appeared on the storefronts.
We couldn't find anything on the interwebs, but it wouldn't surprise us to see this happen.  Northwestern continues to extend their reach throughout Chicago and why not extend into the South Loop.  Seems to make sense to us.

Bentley's Corner Barkery Arlington Heights Location
In other more conventional retail news, Bentley's Corner Barkery is officially opening up in the shops as well.  Pet lovers will probably be happy (from their website): 
If you're like us, your pets have become family members. Bentley's Corner Barkery is dedicated to the health of your dogs and cats. We hand pick and research each item, so you can be at ease when making any purchase at our store. Customers like knowing we stand behind every product for sale. 
A big misconception is that quality means expensive, but our store carries an abundance of great-quality pet foods at affordable prices. Bring in your food labels to compare the ingredients of your current dog or cat food to our high-quality choices.

This is Bentley's first downtown store.  They have various stores in the suburbs.

Finally, That's Our Bag, the Michigan Avenue store that infamously has been "going out of business" for years has apparently officially closed their doors and will open them at Roosevelt Collection (according to an article on
That's Our Bag on North Michigan Avenue is really closed this time. 
The discount luggage shop at 200 N. Michigan Ave. shut its doors at the end of August and stripped its shelves this week after 33 years at the corner of Lake Street, according to a post on the store's website. 
But many Chicagoans — who say they have seen "going out of business" signs at the store for years or even decades — said they weren't convinced the store was closing until the storefront was actually bare.

The article goes onto say:
Officials with That's Our Bag did not immediately respond to requests for comment, but the store's website announced a new location planned for the Roosevelt Collection at 150 W. Roosevelt Road. No opening date was provided.
So yeah, good momentum at Roosevelt Collection.  Welcome to all these new businesses!

(Hat tip: TE, SP, AA!)

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving from Sloopin

It's been a great year here on Sloopin and the South Loop!

With that said, we wanted to wish everyone a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!

We are so thankful for all of our readers, tips, pictures, comments, suggestions and whatnot.

Simply put - Thanks!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Lingerie and Uniforms: Two New Clothing Options Coming to the Sloop?

Shopping (of the clothing variety) options in the Sloop continue to increase, but in our opinion continues to be underrepresented.

Well two new clothing stores are opening and while neither is what we would call "conventional" shopping options, at least one of them is interesting.

First off is Flirtatious Lingerie and Clubwear who is moving in at 1317 S. Michigan (the old Blink Eye Lash Studio space that closed in October).  This isn't a chain and as far as we can find they don't have a website or social media presence yet.  But one can assume that it will have lingerie and "stuff".

What is a bit confusing (for us at least) is the term clubwear.  What does that mean?  Maybe some "intimate" club like the South Loop's Pink Monkey (750 S. Clinton)?  Or are we talking about 50 Cent type of club?  Regardless, this gives us a chance to embed some 50:
Second up is a little less exciting.  Advance Uniform has apparently moved into 33 E. 13th street (between State and Wabash).  This space has been vacant for a long time.  Sloopin old timers might remember it as Kaw Kaw's Cigar Society which was evicted in 2009.
Anyway, if Advance Uniform sounds familiar it might be because you've walked by an old dilapidated looking building baring it's name at 1132 S. Wabash.  
Advance Uniform at 1132 S. Wabash moving down to 33 E. 13th Street?
Not sure if the new location is a second store front or maybe them moving out of the building at 1132 S. Wabash.  Anyone have the scoop?
(Hat tip: DK!)

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

New Spa, Red Pearl Chicago, Coming to 1933 S. Archer

We recently posted about a new commercial/residential building coming to the intersection of Archer and State.

Well this area is in the news again - we recently received another tip just down the street about a new spa coming to 1933 S. Archer called Red Pearl.  Here is a screen shot from their website:

Best of luck to them!

(Hat tip: ND!)

Monday, November 25, 2013

Tapas Valencia (1530 S. State) Opens Their Doors for Free Thanksgiving Dinner

We love that Tapas Valencia (1530 S. State) does this:  

It's a very nice gesture and something they've been doing for awhile.

Safe travels this week and wishing everyone a happy (early) thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Recently On the Sloopin Message Board....

It's been awhile since we've done a post about the activity on the message board, so wanted to bring your attention to some of the many topics discussed on the message board:

Friday, November 22, 2013

Kai Sushi (1255 S. State) Reopening Today?

Since everyone doesn't read our message board and sometimes consumers Sloopin via social channels, we wanted to bring a recent post to light:

If you recall, Kai Sushi had a "temporary closing" a couple of weeks ago, but didn't provide much information beyond that.  While we were skeptical about this whole ordeal, it seems like it was just a minor hiccup.

Anyway, hopefully their impending reopening is true and their fresh sushi is back for good in the Sloop.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Commercial/Residential Building Coming to 1845 S. State?

New Commercial/Residential Building Coming to 1845 S. State
We've had a couple emails and posts on the message board about some action at the intersection of Archer and State.  A reader writes:
Hey Sloopin. I've noticed recent construction at the intersection of Archer and State. The rather small building looked like it could be commercial and had kind of a similar appearance (to me) to the Jersey Mike's on Roosevelt. I searched online and came up with this description for the construction on the City of Chicago Permit site: 

So there will be some commercial new on the first floor. I just don't know what yet.
Over on the message board Mannie Fre$h received the following notice:
I received a letter in the mail stating that it was an expansion to a restaurant and have applied for a liquor license, but besides that I haven't heard anything else
Anyone got any additional scoop?

(Hat tip: BM, Steven, Mannie Fre$h!)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Casino Most Viable for Michael Reese Land

Over the years we've spent a little time covering the future of the former Michael Reese Hospital campus just south of the Stevenson highway.  Today, Mayor Emanuel's team released findings from a report they commissioned on the subject (via Chicago Tribune):
Remains of the former Michael Reese Hospital
(image from Chicago Tribune)
A Chicago casino anchoring a redevelopment that includes the former Michael Reese Hospital site would be more economically viable for the city than a Barack Obama presidential library or a cluster of convention hotels, according to a study Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration released Tuesday.  
A hired team led by the Chicago-based architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill was charged with creating a framework to redevelop the 48-acre Near South Side site, but their recommendations extended far beyond that parcel.

The article goes into more depth on the topic and is interesting if you're into big, city led projects.  We're still skeptical about the whole idea, but eventually something will happen down there.  What continues to be uncertain.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Lollapalooza Agrees to Chip in Money for Park on South Side of Grant Park

We got word of a potential skate park and entertainment space coming to the South end of Grant Park earlier this year and yesterday DNAinfo had an update on the project:
Area of Project (via DNAinfo)
Lollapalooza's organizers will chip in toward the cost of building a sleek 3-acre skate park and entertainment hub at the south end of Grant Park, said Bob O'Neill, president of the Grant Park Conservancy.  
Funding will be raised privately to augment the $2.5 million in Near South TIF money already allotted to the project, O'Neill said at a Greater South Loop Association state of the neighborhood meeting on Saturday.  
The project on the land bounded by 11th Street and Roosevelt Road, Michigan Avenue and Columbus Drive will include an obstacle course of ramps, rails and ledges and a projection screen and mini-amphitheater surrounded by landscaped hills.

Sounds like a positive project and one that would help beautify the strange area just west of the train tracks.

Assuming this does get the green light, we will be curious to see if it coincides with the Roosevelt street scape project.  The projects would overlap, so it seems like cost efficiencies could be had.

(Hat tip:  MT!)

Monday, November 18, 2013

Riff Music Lounge Looks To Fulfill Your Dancing Desires at 2239 S. Michigan

LED lit bar at Riff Music Lounge - 2239 S. Michigan (via Urban Daddy)
Much has been made about the future "entertainment district" that the city wants to come to Motor Row.  So far it's been mostly talk.  Yes we know about the impending Broad Shoulders Brewery.  Yes we know about the plans for a event center and hotel.  And yes we know about the new green line L stop the city is building at Cermak and State.  But until any of those things open or really progress, Motor Row will continue to be an enigma.

Well maybe not.

A reader tipped us to a new music venue that is opening up called Riff Music Lounge (2239 S. Michigan).  According to Urban Daddy:
Sometimes you want to dance.  
Sometimes you need to dance.  
And sometimes... well, sometimes you just need to watch other people need to dance.
So meet Riff Music Lounge, a South Loop recording studio repurposed for your getting-down and vodka-and-Red-Bull-ing needs, soft-open next weekend (weekend of Nov 22nd).  
Pressure Point Studios used to use this as a recording studio for artists like Justin Timberlake, J. Lo and Mariah Carey, but now the studio’s entirely upstairs. Still, don’t be surprised if you notice the occasional drop-in by a visiting recording-industry dignitary. 
Outside of Riff (via CBS Chicago)
Interesting.  We actually recently drove by the spot and did notice some activity in the area.  So it makes sense to hear about this opening.

While dancing might not appeal to the core demographic in the South Loop (maybe it does?), it's nice to have variety in the neighborhood.  Riff joins two other intimate music venues in the broader Motor Row area.

The Shrine (2109 S. Wabash), which mostly books hip-hop and rap music, and Reggie's (2109 S. State), which books a wide variety of live acts, are pretty popular despite their relatively desolate surroundings.

Maybe this Motor Row Entertainment District is real...

Anyway, welcome to the neighborhood Riff Music Lounge.  Oh and if you're interested they're officially opening on Wednesday, November 27th with DJ Trentino:

(Hat tip:  RZ!)

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Claim Your Sloopin Hat Tip T-Shirt

A friendly reminder to claim your Sloopin Hat Tip T-Shirt if you've submitted a story and your initials are listed below:
  • K-Pax
  • OS
  • ET
  • GM
  • SP
  • BP
  • AK
  • KB
  • RH
  • MM
  • EB
  • SH
  • RG

For more background on the hat tip t-shirt program click here.

As always, thanks for all the great tips!  Keep them coming!

Friday, November 15, 2013

New Giordano's (1340 S. Michigan) Gets Food License and is Open

We've received a lot of emails asking about when the Giordano's at 1340 S. Michigan would open.  Well a reader recently sent us a link to a post on that sheds some light on the topic:
The city of Chicago issued a new retail food establishment license on Nov. 7 to South Loop Pizza LLC, doing business as Giordano’s Restaurant.
The business license for a location at 1340 S. Michigan Ave. in the Near South Side lists a license payment start date of Nov. 7, expiring on Nov. 15, 2015.
We walked by last night and can officially say they're open.

Of interest is that the article goes on to discuss the origin of deep-dish pizza:
Giordano’s is an American pizza shop and Italian eatery chain based in Chicago. Giordano’s, founded by Efren and Joseph Boglio in 1974, is famous for Chicago-style stuffed deep-dish pizza. Although the claim is argued by Nancy’s, Giordano’s is generally credited with the creation of stuffed pizza, based on the Boglios’ mother’s recipe for Italian Easter pie.

Ironically this coincides with a segment from the Daily Show where John Stewart rips Chicago-Style Deep-Dish Pizza:

Finally if that's not enough for your reading pleasure this Friday, the website provides some background on the "Near South Side" and provides the following:
The Near South Side, absorbed into Chicago in 1853, was the site of the 1933-34 World’s Fair and has been home to Native American tribes, blue collar workers, public housing and a warehouse district. The area is currently experiencing rapid residential gentrification.
Oh gentrification - the word that is sooooo controversial.  If you want to read more on our thoughts here is a post from 2009.  We will leave it at that.

(Hat tip:  RG!)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Jo-Ann Fabrics Opens at Joffco Square (555 W. Roosevelt)

Entrance to Jo-Ann Fabrics (2nd Floor of Joffco Square Retail Building)

A reader writes:
Just got back from the new Jo Ann fabric and craft store at Joffco Square (upstairs from Best Buy on the same floor as Bed Bath & Beyond) 555 W Roosevelt. It's a large, bright store with a great selection of items and the people working there are super friendly.
Welcome to the neighborhood.  This is just one of many big box retailers that is opening on Roosevelt road.  For some older posts on the "thriving roosevelt road corridor" click here.

Business counter is updated.

(Hat tip: SH!)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Acadia Awarded One Star By Michelin Guide

Local fine dining gem Acadia (1639 S. Wabash) has been awarded one star from the Michelin Guide.  This is the second year in a row that the restaurant has been awarded this honor:

 Also, it looks like chef Ryan McCaskey had to work double duty for the annoucnement party last night:

Congrats and glad to have you in the Sloop!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

We Need 12 More Votes - Help Sloopin Get a Grant!

Thanks to everyone who voted for us in the "Mission Main Street Grant" contest! 

We are almost there!  As of last night we had  238 of the 250 votes needed to be eligible to make it to the final round.  We have 4 more days and need to get 12 more votes!

So if you haven't voted for us please do.  It's very easy & could potentially help us improve Sloopin.

For more information read our old post on the program.  Thanks in advance for the vote!

Update:  So you guys come hard!  We had 238 vote yesterday and now we have over 300 votes.  A simple post and you respond in such a strong way.  Thanks to everyone who voted and everyone who comes to Sloopin.  At this point we've done what we can.  It's now in the hands of the panelists and hopefully they see why we could use the grant.  Thanks again!

Bureau Bar Opens and So Does Clothing Boutique on East 16th Street

The Bureau Bar has finally opened at 75 e. 16th street (the old Three Peas art lounge space).  It hasn't been easy, but the owners persevered and are finally open.  As you may remember the bar was having issues securing a liquor license because of neighbors in the building objecting.  We haven't been to the bar since it's opened, but are looking forward to trying it out.

Just a couple stores to the west it looks like a new clothing boutique has quickly popped up.

While we don't know the name of the boutique, we can confirm that it's open.  We also searched the City of Chicago website, but couldn't find their business license (however we might have just missed it).

Anyway, a reader sent us this info on the spot:
There is a new store that has opened on 16th between Michigan and Wabash in the old upscale shoe store spot next to the Abyss salon and the nail place. I haven't quite figured out what the story is because the hours are odd, but there are a bunch of tee shirts displayed in a pretty sparse looking shop. 
I spoke with the owner of the spot (former owner of the now defunct shoe store that was there) when he was waiting for the guys to come collect keys a few weeks ago and he confirmed that info. He also mentioned something about geeky tees, and I am wondering if the place is maybe a new outpost for fashion geek 2k10 clothing, which seems to have sloop roots.  
Anyway, I'll send more info if I can catch the guys but thought it should be on your business counter radar.

Interesting.  First off, we're not sure what Fashion Geek 2K10 clothing is but they do have a Facebook page (however the last post was in 2011).  Second, best of luck to whatever new business this is.

Does anyone have any additional info?

(Hat tip: EB and JB!)

Monday, November 11, 2013

AMLI Rental Building at Clark & Polk Tops Out

AMLI Rental Building at Clark and Lake tops out at 11 stories (pic via Curbed Chicago)
Curbed Chicago had a post today about the new AMLI rental building:
The AMLI rental development at Clark & Polk in the South Loop is baring down on a mid-2014 completion. The 11-story duo, each building containing 199 apartments, has topped out. The massing is of great benefit to a blotchy section of Clark from Roosevelt to Polk (there's still more blankness to solve, and south of Roosevelt... forget about it). When Curbed last looked in the buildings were at four stories, just peeking over the Metra tracks at the site's western boundary.

Happy Veterans Day from Sloopin

Happy Veterans Day from your friends at Sloopin!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Printers Row Named 2nd Most Walkable Neighborhood in Chicago; South Loop Ranked 34th

We always slightly roll our eyes at rankings like these, but regardless Walk Score recently released their 2014 national rankings.  Chicago was ranked the 6th most walkable city in the country (behind  NY, SF, Boston, Philly and Miami).

Specifically looking at our neighborhood, Printers Row came in at 2nd place, Dearborn Park came in at 29th and the South Loop came in at 34th.  Other surrounding neighborhoods include The Loop (4th), Chinatown (24th),  Pilsen (38th) and University Village/Little Italy (53rd).

In 2011, Printers Row was ranked the number 1 most walkable neighborhood in Chicago.  We must be slipping.

Here is a list of the top 40:

Friday, November 8, 2013

Old News but Cali's Mexican American Grill is Closed in Motor Row

To stay true to our business counter we wanted to do a quick post on Cali's Mexican American Grill in Motor Row (2333 S. Michigan).

As you may recall they opened without much fanfare in late 2012.  From what we could tell people were generally pleased with the quality of the food, but beyond that there was not much to write home about.

Fast forward to a recent trip down to Motor Row and we noticed that their retail space was gone.  Upon trying to call them, the phone was disconnected.  The nail in coffin was Yelp confirming they're closed.

Judging that it's probably been awhile since they've been open and we never heard a peep about this place closing, most Sloopsters clearly aren't missing Cali's Mexican American Grill.

Does anyone know when they closed?

Regardless, the business counter has been updated.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Michelin Bib Gourmand 2014:
Kurah and Mercat a la Planxa in; City Tavern Out

Kurah (1355 S. Michigan)
The 2014 edition of the Michelin Bib Gourmand winners is out and two local restaurants are smiling wide.  Mercat a la Planxa (638 S. Michigan) and Kurah (1355 S. Michigan) have been named to the well regarded list this year.

They join an elite list of restaurants around the city to be recognized such as Girl & the Goat (West Loop), Publican (West Loop) and Nightwood (Pilsen) to name a few.

For those of you not familiar with Bib Gourmand rating (via Chicago Tribune):
The Bib Gourmands, named after the tire company's symbol, Bibendum (aka the Michelin Man), are awarded to those restaurants that Michelin's anonymous inspectors deem to represent good value. Bib Gourmand recipients are recommended restaurants that also deliver good value, at which a two-course meal with a glass of wine or dessert can be had for $40 or less.
Last year, City Tavern was included in the list, but given the shakeup with their chefs it not surprising that they fell off.  However, in their defense the food is still pretty solid if you ask us.

Of interest, Opart Thai's sister restaurant (in Lincoln Square) was named to the list again.  They're pretty much the exact same restaurant so we like to give them the benefit of the doubt and claim they're on the list.

Two Chinatown restaurants were also included on the list - Lao Sze Chuan (2171 S. Archer) and Lao Hunan (2230 S. Wentworth).  Both are delicious.

The Bib Gourmands precede the highly anticipated Michelin Stars, which will be announced next week on November 13th.  Last year Acadia (1639 S. Wabash) was awarded one star - an impressive feat for a brand new restaurant.

Anyway, back to the Bib.  Congrats to the peeps at Kurah and Mercat!  Glad to have you in the Sloop and job well done!

(Hat tip:  RH, EM & AM!)

E-Cigarette Store, Smoque Vapors, Opens in Printers Row

Smoque Vapors on Dearborn
It seems like everywhere we go, we hear and see someone talking about electronic cigarettes.

Well now we have an opportunity to post about it here on Sloopin.  A couple different readers sent us pictures and tips on a new store called Smoque Vapors opening at 537 S. Dearborn:
Walked by 537 S. Dearborn today and saw this space being worked on. Sign in the window and business license says it's going to be one of these: (another location at 2900 N Broadway).

Sort of bummed because I got my hopes up that it would be a second location of that Smoque BBQ place out by Ohare. I can dream right?
BBQ sounds delicious...but that dream will have to wait.

Anyway, back to Smoque Vapors.  This is their second location (original is in Lakeview and has 4.5 star rating on Yelp) and according to their website:
Smoque Vapours is a Chicago based purveyor of electronic cigarettes and artisanal E-Liquids. Our 2 store fronts are located in the neighborhoods of Lakeview and downtown in historic Printer's Row. Our stores feature courtesy Vapour Lounges, where our customers can stop by and sample our complete range of hand crafted E-Liquids.
The motivation behind Smoque was the desire to help you find a healthier way to enjoy the pleasures of smoking. Our products allow you to truly enjoy the smoking experience in sensation, feel, and effect, while at the same time negating the undesirable and dangerous aspects of traditional smoking. We work closely with all of our customers and find great satisfaction in helping them find the E-Liquid smoking setup that best suits their individual tastes and needs.
If that's not enough info, they have a video that gives you a taste of what they're about:

So you can get "custom clean juice" here...interesting way to refer to your product.

Anyway, best of luck to Smoque Vapors and welcome to the hood.

(Hat tip:  KB, SC, TR!)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Gabe Klein Resigning as Chicago Transportation Commissioner at End of November

Gabe Klein, Chicago Transportation Commissioner
and South Loop resident (via Chicago Tribune)
From the Chicago Tribune:
Chicago Transportation Commissioner Gabe Klein, best known for bringing bicycle-sharing and speed-enforcement cameras to the city and promoting alternative transit over vehicle travel, is resigning, effective at the end of the month, Klein told the Tribune on Friday.
Klein, 42, said he will return to the private sector, which was part of his original plan when Mayor Rahm Emanuel appointed him to head the Chicago Department of Transportation in May 2011.

In our opinion Mr. Klein has done some great things for the city and really brought a fresh, progressive view to transportation.  While his legacy won't truly be known for sometime, many are praising the work he's done in the short period he's been around (from
In only two-and-a-half years, the commissioner racked up an impressive number of achievements. Rahm Emanuel’s goals of launching a large-scale bike-share system, constructing the Bloomingdale Trail and building 100 miles of protected bike lanes within his first term seemed far-fetched when first announced, but Klein accomplished the first one, and the other two are well underway. 
Bus rapid transit and the Chicago Riverwalk expansion are also on the horizon, and Klein will leave behind a legacy of many less glamorous accomplishments, from publishing new CDOT guidelines on multi-modalism and sustainability, to launching automated speed cameras. I contacted a number of heavy hitters in the local transportation scene to get their take on the commissioner’s departure.

Pretty impressive list if you ask us.

From a more local standpoint, Mr. Klein was a resident of the South Loop while living in Chicago.  I had the pleasure of anonymously running into him a couple times and even once at the Divvy station at 14th and Michigan.

I was standing at the docking station checking my phone and he rode up on a Divvy bike.  He immediately came over and asked if everything was ok.  Slightly surprised, I said "yeah, I'm just checking my phone".

I know this isn't a super interesting story (cue Hansel -  Zoolander quote), but in my mind it showcased his dedication to the program and willingness to ensure things were going as good as possible.

Proposed Roosevelt Road Streetscape Improvements
Beyond him being a South Loop resident, we would like to think that our neighborhood received preferential treatment for some of these newer, progressive projects.  While we don't have any hard data to support this theory, the South Loop has received some solid improvements - especially in the biking department (see Divvy stations, Dearborn protected bike lane, 18th protected bike lane, Wabash bike lane to name a few).

The other potential improvement could be Chicago's first raised bike lane on Roosevelt Road (among other improvement to the Roosevelt streetscape).

Anyway, job well done Gabe and hope you like the Sloop!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Police Investigating Two South Loop Burglaries

1300 block of South Federal
From Fox Chicago:
Police are cautioning South Loop residents after two home burglaries were reported in the neighborhood in the last month.
In both break-ins, an unknown number of suspects broke glass patio doors and stole property from within the home, according to a community alert issued by Area Central detectives Monday.
The first burglary happened Oct. 25 in the 1300 block of South Federal Street between 12:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., the alert said. The second burglary happened Oct. 31 in the 1200 block of South Federal Street between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Get Your Free Flu Shot on Thursday (11/7)

Chipotle Slated to Open Today at 1132 S. Clinton

New Chipotle at 1132 S. Clinton
We've got a ton of emails over the past couple of months about the new Chipotle at 1132 S. Clinton.

It's been a fast buildout for the popular burrito spot and judging by this picture from a reader today is opening day:

While we have some good burrito/taco options in the neighborhood (see Flacos or Spanglish), Sloopers have been clamoring for a Chipotle in the neighborhood for awhile.  We even did a pole about in 2009 on where people thought it would be.

Anyway, good to have a Chipotle in the hood.  

(Hat tip: AK, KG, MT, JB, JC!)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Ann Taylor Loft Opens at Roosevelt Collection

Another week, another store opens at Roosevelt Collection.

This time it's popular women's retailer, Ann Taylor Loft.  The store has one of the most high-profile locations as it fronts Roosevelt Road.

Also of interest, is that it's been deemed a "concept store".  According to a post on the Roosevelt Collection blog:
The new concept store is complete with plush seating and open space, that encourages interaction among clients and features larger groupings of mannequins to show guests additional outfitting options.
Not sure if that's really different than other stores, but if someone goes and checks it out, let us know.

Anyway, congrats to Loft and welcome to the Sloop.

Oh and that's the eleventh store to come to Roosevelt Collection this year.

We Need Your Help! Vote for Sloopin to Receive a Grant

Mission Main Street Grants
Thanks to everyone who voted for us in the "Mission Main Street Grant"!

But we're not there yet.  As of last night we had 98 of the 250 votes needed to be eligible to make it to the final round.  We need to get the minimum number of votes by November 15th.

So if you haven't voted for us please do.  It's very easy & could potentially help us improve Sloopin.

For more information read our old post on the program.  Thanks in advance for the vote!

Construction for Fred Anderson Dog Park Begins on Wabash

A reader writes and sends us a pic:
Seems to be some work going on in the lot on wabash. They seem to be digging up the grass and trees (and old tires!). Any insights?
Well actually yes!  It would appear that the city has finally commenced construction on the Fred Anderson dog park on the east side of Wabash (just south of 16th).  As you may recall, this park has gone through many iterations and has been dragging on for six years.

We were also questioning the need for a new dog park.  Seemed like a strange to have a park honoring a local jazz titan and coupling that with a state-of-the-art dog park.  Maybe Fred Anderson was a Jazz fan and a dog fan?!?!?!

Regardless, something is better than nothing in our opinion - especially for this drab area of Wabash.

So there you have it...apparently it's go time for this park!

The last rendering of the park we saw was this (via DNAinfo):
Fred Anderson Park
(Hat tip:  BP!)

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Kai Sushi Temporarily Closed at 1255 S. State

Chicago Fire Roll & Sakura Blossom Roll at Kai Sushi (1255 S. State)

A reader writes:
We loved Kai Sushi! But seems like something is up there. We’ve tried to do carry out twice now in the last couple of weeks. . . first time they said they were having plumbing problems, second time no one answered. Have they already closed?
We've been by a couple times and there has been no signs of life.  We recently called and did talk to someone and they let us know that they were "temporarily closed due to management change".  They did say that they will reopen, but they weren't sure when.  We will believe it when we see it.

Kai has received pretty solid reviews according to Yelp (4.5 stars) since opening in mid-July.  We've been a couple times and like the quality of the food.  On the flip side, the service has been inconsistent and that's probably being generous.  It seems like they were never fully staffed.  However, thanks to the BYOB we never really cared.

(Hat tip: GM!)

Friday, November 1, 2013

We Need Your Vote! Help Sloopin Receive a $250K Grant

Mission Main Street GrantsWe at Sloopin are always looking for ways to improve our site and provide you with a better experience.

That's why we're asking you to do us a favor and vote for Sloopin to get a $250K grant from Chase (click here or click the vote now banner on the right).

Chase is partnering with Google to provide twelve $250K grants to small businesses that are helping their communities.

While there are undoubtedly thousands of entries and us winning is a long shot...we figure why not give it a shot.

The grant program is a three step process (to read more click here), but to sum it up:

  1. Register by October 31st - DONE
  2. Receive 250 votes by November 15th to be entered into the final round - THIS IS WHERE WE NEED YOUR HELP (click here to vote)
  3. Grants Awarded - Selected Panelists - January 2014

If we receive the grant we plan to do many things, but here are a couple things we've identified:
  • Provide better content
  • Provide more content
  • Better utilize emerging technology
  • Engage with more local businesses
  • Engage with more local news operations
  • Bolster/create local events for community
  • Improve functionality of our website

As always Sloopin wouldn't exist without you!  Thanks for your loyalty, contributions and passion towards our site and our neighborhood.

We thank you for your consideration and vote in advance!

The Sloopin Crew

Bridgeport Coffee Company Ready for Brewing in Center of Roosvelt Collection

Bridgeport Coffee Company at Roosevelt Collection (via Bridgeport Coffee Company website)

Momentum for retail at Roosevelt Collection continues as Bridgeport Coffee Company has officially opened their doors at Roosevelt Collection.  This is their third location.  The original is in Bridgeport (surprise!) and their second is in Hyde Park.

The new Bridgeport Coffee Company space is the only retail space located in the middle plaza at the shopping mall.  It's not a huge space, but seems like a good spot for a coffee shop.  We also presume that they will have a nice patio for outdoor seating with a fire pit (where people are standing in the picture above).

We've never had their coffee, but plan to shortly.

For those counting, this is the tenth store to open at Roosevelt Collection.  We've also updated our 2013 business tracker.

In other Roosevelt Collection news, it appears that Ann Taylor Loft is progressing nicely.  They have signs up and have maintained that they're opening in November...which just so happens to be this month!