Friday, January 31, 2014

"Niu B" to Replace Shuttered OYSY Sushi on S. Michigan

As you might remember, a couple of weeks ago we got word that OYSY sushi (888 S. Michigan) closed its doors on 12/31/13.  At the time a reader had some intel that a "Chinese Spot" would be taking over.

While we still don't have the full story, it does appear that some form of an Asian restaurant will be opening up in the space (based on the reader submitted picture on the right).

Upon doing some searching we found that the Niu Japanese Fusion Lounge is in Streeterville at 332 E. Illinois.

We've never been, but have walked by a couple times and have been intrigued.  It has a 3.5 star rating on Yelp and has over 400 reviews.  So while it might not be the best rated restaurant in Chicago, that's a solid rating for that many reviews (IMO).

"Japanese Fusion" always makes us skeptical, but we're definitely willing to give them a shot.  Looking at the menu, it doesn't look terribly different than any other Asian restaurant in the area.

Will it be called "Niu B"?  Not sure.  Will it be similar to the restaurant in Streerville?  We would think so.  Should be interesting to see how it develops.

While we liked OYSY, we weren't super sad to see it go given the other Asian options that have sprung up in the neighborhood over the past couple of years (Umai, Kai, Asian Outpost).  It's always nice to see some fresh ideas come to the Sloop.

With that said, welcome "Niu B" - whatever you are.

(Hat tip: OI!)

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Chicago Architecture Blog Checks Progress of AMLI Clark and Polk Construction

Looking East at the New AMLI buildings at Clark and Polk (via Chicago Architecture Blog)
Not a ton of new information in the post, but does have a variety of photos if you would like to see the progress.  It does provide an update on when they're shooting to have the project complete (via Chicago Architecture Blog):
Word out of AMLI is that it will open by summer, with marketing materials going out 60 to 90 days ahead.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Chica Loca Owner Takes Cheap Shot at Roosevelt Collection; Kitty O'Shea's Still Open

Quick update on a post we did last week about two restaurants.

1)  Chica Loca at Roosevelt Collection
 Chicago Eater has confirmed that Chica Loca will not be opening at Roosevelt Collection.  The restaurant group, Restaurants America (most famously known for the Bar Louie concept), had announced four new restaurant throughout Chicago.

Sounds like 3 of the 4 have been scrapped and the fourth seems suspect.

Why are they not opening at Roosevelt Collection?  Here is what he had to say (via Eater Chicago):
Of Chica Loca, he (Roger Greenfield) says the "project was underperforming and we passed"; signage was recently taken down there as well and Roosevelt Collection's leasing agent declined comment.
Sounds like he's trying to save face at the expense of the Roosevelt Collection project.  Maybe the project's struggling?  Or maybe his grand plans are struggling?  We will let you draw your own conclusions.

One of the other locations that won't become a reality is the Grant Taproom just north of the Sloop at 320 S. Michigan, which we wrote about back in March.

While we know opening a restaurant isn't easy, it sound like the owner of Restaurant America has had a record of flops (judging from the Eater Chicago post and a linked article from Crain's back in 2007).

2)  Kitty O'Shea's is not closed!
Kitty O'Shea's at the Hilton Towers (720 S. Michigan) apparently went through a small renovation - it is not closed!  We had a bunch of readers send us info on the topic:
Kitty O'Shea's is not closed. The hotel sometimes closes it when occupancy is very low. Does look like they did some remodeling though.
Good to hear that they didn't close - and for those that are interested, we've updated the business counter to properly reflect that they haven't closed.

(Hat tip:  MJ!)

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

McCormick Place/Depaul Arena/Motor Row Entertainment Area Plan Gets Rejiggered Amid Litigation

"We will believe it when we see it" seems to be an appropriate phrase for the Motor Row area.  We've spent many hours and posts on the topic and in reality not much has materialized.

Unable to assemble key parcels near McCormick Place to develop the DePaul arena and adjoining entertainment district, city officials have revised plans, a move that could increase the cost of the project. 
The new plan expands the footprint of the proposed entertainment district, which could ultimately boost land acquisition costs. 
The city hopes that a private developer will step forward to help the project stay within its original $600 million budget. The city is rejiggering its vision because it is embroiled in litigation with the owner of those key parcels. 
Officials are adamant that the moves won't change the final price. But to achieve that, a private developer will have to finance the land acquisition and development costs of a boutique hotel on parcels at Cermak Road and Indiana Avenue. Officials have not yet sought a developer but plan to solicit proposals soon, a city spokeswoman said.


Monday, January 27, 2014

Vice Brewing Coming Soon Signs Go Up at Future Site

2014 was just getting started when we posted about Vice District Tap Room's plan to open up at 1454 S. Michigan.  If you didn't believe us then, maybe the picture below will help:

Back in January they said the were shooting for a June opening.  We will wait and see if this will happen. 

(Hat tip:  RGR, SH!)

Saturday, January 25, 2014

City Hall: Michael Reese Spot Too Big & Too Costly To Develop for Obama Presidential Library

Yesterday the Chicago Sun-Times had an exclusive with Mayor Emanuel about Chicago's announcement that it plans on having one unified bid to lure the Obama Presidential Library to the city.

While the main story was the unification of the bid, a bit of relevant South Loop news emerged on a potential site just south of the Sloop:
A U. of C. source told me the school has little interest in helping raise multi-millions of dollars for an Obama library if it is not near the South Side school. That’s their leverage in location selection.  
City Hall considers the former Michael Reese Hospital site at 29th and Ellis — close to downtown and an easy trip for tourists — as too big and too costly to develop.
By the sounds of that, Michael Reese is off the table.  However, this could just be posturing because they want this land to be a Casino (see old post from November of last year on the topic).  Anyway, should be interesting to see how this plays out.

While Columbia University (Obama's undergrad) entering the race makes it a little more competitive, we still have to think that Chicago will eventually win.  We also thought this about the 2016 Olympics, so what the hell do we know...

(Hat tip:  PB!)

Friday, January 24, 2014

Retail Roundup: Printers Row Doc? Chica Loca No Go at RC? and Kitty O'Sheas Closes?

2014 is off the a rousing start on the retail front.  Yesterday we were talking about two upcoming bar/restaurant on Clark Steet (Villain's and First Draft) and today we've got some more news to discuss.

Staying in Printer's Row, it appears that a new business is coming to the area.  A reader writes:
Passing by 730 S Dearborn st (across the street from Hackney's and Flaco's) the other day, I noticed some guys working on the space. Although the windows are papered up and the for-lease/sale sign is still up, I noticed a construction permit on the window (see attached). I'm curious and excited to see what will be coming!

We did some googling and the name on the permit appears to match that of a Doctor Akavut Suesakal who seems to have a couple offices around the city.  While that doesn't mean this will be a Doctor's office, it would assume to be a safe bet.  Does anyone have any scoop on this?

Moving slightly south to Roosevelt Collection, a reader writes:
I'm a resident at Roosevelt collection and saw them removing the "chica loca" sign on the 13th (see image to the right). Didn't think to see if more were removed. Dang it, I love Mexican!

For those who aren't familiar Chica Loca was supposed to be a Mexican restaurant from the Restaurants-America group.  It was pegged to be "Fun Mexican" on the metromix website.

While Roosevelt Collection had a solid 2013 with numerous businesses opening, for some reason no restaurants have moved in yet.  Maybe it's still coming.  Time will tell.

Moving over the Hilton Tower on Michigan Avenue, a reader writes:
Not sure if I has been said yet ( I try to read everyday) but it appears that Kitty O'Shea (inside the Hilton Hotel) is closed or they are remodeling and just closed for now. They have moved furniture and it doesn't look good.
In our opinion this is a good thing.  Kitty O'Shea's was pretty blah if you ask us.  Maybe Hilton is improving on the concept or rethinking it in its entirety.  We can't imagine that this will stay vacant.  When you have that many people in the hotel, the restaurant real estate is to fertile to stay vacant.

We're updating the business counter with the Kitty O'Shea closing.

(Hat tip: VB, KCM and MG)

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Villain's 2.0 Buildout Begins

A reader writes:
Attached are a couple of photos from the Villains 2.0's location when I walked by their new location last night.
It looks like they are making some progress. 
I guess it is race between First Draft and Villains on who gets their place open first.
As a reminder, Villain's closed in late 2012 amid what seemed to be a dispute with the building owner.  However, they announced that they were reopening across the street at 730 S. State street.  People really seem to be passionate about Villain's (for good reason) and seem to eagerly be awaiting this opening.

Hopefully the progress continues and they will open soon.

Moving into the old Villain's spot is the bar/restaurant First Draft.  While they haven't opened yet, we have heard that they're getting closer and closer.

If you want more info on First Draft they have pictures and info on their Facebook page.  They also have this post about from 12/17/13:

(Hat tip:  KW!)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Ald. Fioretti Highlights 2013 Achievements in Newsletter

While Alderman Fioretti might be on his way out of our neighborhood (who knows what the deal is with that), he still presides over the majority of our neighborhood - we think.

Anyway, he recently sent out a 2013 recap email newsletter which was rather lengthy.  Some stuff was interesting, some stuff not so much.  He touted achievements on Eduction, Jobs, Infrastructure, Legislation, Events, Giving, Parks, CHA and the "Progressive Caucaus" that he was part of.  You can read this all here.

The things that were most interesting to us were some of the updates on parks:
  • Anderson Park, to be located at 16th Street and Wabash, will include a dog-friendly area and performance stage. This park was named for Fred Anderson, an international jazz artist who owned the Velvet Lounge in the South Loop for many years, and contributed to the life and arts in the area by fostering many young musicians. Construction is expected to be completed in 2014.
  • The Corps of Engineers has agreed to fund the creation of a wildlife area on the southern half of Northerly Island, with bike paths and areas to camp and enjoy nature. This project is beginning, and should be completed in 2014.
  • The southeast corner of Grant Park will be renovated, including a new skate park, seating areas and landscaping.

We've seen some solid movement, despite the cold, at the 16th street park.  Also good to read some acknowledgment of the Northerly Island and Grant Park plans.

Also interesting was some of the updates on the controversial Jones College Prep:

  • I am pleased to note that a beautiful new Jones High School building was completed on State just west of Congress. As a condition for my approval of the funding for the building construction, CPS agreed to allow students who live nearby to apply to attend the new Jones. 75 students will be enrolled in Jones through this program each year. Jones will be open for neighborhood events and activities like swimming and sports. A new artificial turf field is also being constructed as part of the Jones project for the use of Jones students at National Teachers Academy, and this field will also be available for neighborhood use.

We weren't aware of the artificial turf field that was being constructed.

Some good stuff happened in 2013 and hopefully some solid momentum for 2014.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Hey Look We're On TV! Chicago Oyster House on Chicago Fire Last Week

This shows is always filming in the neighborhood, but figured we would do a quick post letting you know Chicago Oyster House was on the show last week:

(Hat tip: AR!)

Opening Alert! Devil Dogs & Imazaki Dojo Doors Open

A reader writes:
You haven't had it up yet, but Devil Dawgs opened up at 767 S State on Saturday. Haven't had a chance to swing over yet, but was curious if any of the readers have made it over there and tried it out.
We drove by and snapped the picture above.  Place was packed.  This retail strip now has everything a college kid could want (Devil Dawgs, Toppers and Jimmys - Not to mention 7-11, Pauly's Pizza, South Loop Club on the same block).  Here is an old post we did on Devil Dawgs coming to the Sloop.

We haven't been yet, but seems like a solid addition to the neighborhood.

Also of note, is that the Imazaki Dojo has officially opened at 1720 S. Michigan.  While it's not a fancy buildout, it's nice to have some more retail action in that area.

The 2014 business counter is now up-to-date and back in the black (+1)!

(Hat tip:  DK & RD!)

Monday, January 20, 2014

Acadia Earns Prestigious Five Diamond Award from AAA; Enters Rarefied Restaurant Category

The lobster pot pie at Acadia in the South Loop. (Brian Cassella / Chicago Tribune / January 25, 2012)

Some people roll their eyes about awards, but in the restaurant business it's a big deal.  While winning a Michelin Star for the second straight year was an accomplishment for Acadia (1639 S. Wabash), this honor puts them in an even more exclusive category of restaurant.  There are only 6 other restaurants in Chicago (Alinea, Arun's, Everest, Grace, Sixteen and Tru) with this classification and only 7 in total in New York.  Pretty impressive company.

For more background on the exclusivity, AAA provides this tidbit:
This exclusive group represents just 0.3 percent of the 59,000 AAA/CAA Approved and Diamond Rated hotels and restaurants. Five Diamond establishments stand apart using highly personalized approaches and creativity to enhance guest comfort and provide memorable experiences.
Congrats to Acadia on the honor and glad to have you in the hood!

(Hat tip:  SM!)

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Recently On the Sloopin Message Board....

Before we get into some of the topics on the Sloopin Message Board, we wanted to remind everyone that there is a new moderator helping us with the board.  You can read more about it on a post we did a couple weeks ago or here on the message board.

Without further ado, here are some of the active conversations/posts since December:

Friday, January 17, 2014

It's Official: Dominick's South Loop is Now Jewel South Loop

 As of yesterday, the Dominick's at 1340 S. Canal is now a Jewel.  While we're curious to see what changes (our guess - probably not much), one interesting thing appeared in an article we read on ABC7 about this conversion:
"The customers at Dominick's have been telling us for a long time that they would like a brighter store. Jewel has brighter stores, Jewel came in here re-lit the entire store and made it brighter, made it clean, fresh," said Chimera. "This store was the flagship store of Dominick's, and I am hoping to make it the flagship store of Jewel."
Interesting, we weren't aware that this location was a "flagship" store.  Maybe that would explain why they decided to get out of the biz.

Has anyone been?  Notice anything different?

We're curious to see how this plays out.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Pockets and Kingoberry Close in Printers Row

A reader writes:
Unfortunate news. I noticed "Retail Space Available" signs today in both Pockets on Dearborn and Kingoberry (555 S. Dearborn). Does this mean that the Sloop has now lost two businesses? This isn't how we wanted the new year to begin.
To do this day, we've never met someone who liked Pockets.  As a disclaimer, I've never tried it so can't speak to the food quality.  Regardless, businesses closing in the neighborhood aren't a good thing.

Kingoberry opened back in 2010 and we assumed the owner also owned Pockets (since the two businesses were connected inside).  The fact that they both closed would make it seem like this was the case.

But as the saying goes, "someones misfortune, is someones opportunity".  These are some prime retail spaces, so hopefully something good moves in soon.

While the year is just starting, the fact that these two businesses closed means we're in the negative for the 2014 business counter.  Sigh.

(Hat tip: BBC!)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Free Healthcare Seminar at East-West University on Jan 21st

One of the great things about living so close to a variety of universities and colleges is that they often have free seminars.  Couple that with the ability to check out a new building in the South Loop and it sounds like you could have a good night.

With that said, East-West University is have a free seminar on January 21st in their new auditorium:
Author and physician Dr. David Ansell will present a lecture titled “From County to Congress: The unfinished business of health reform” on Jan. 21 at 6:00 p.m. at East-West University’s new Riaz H. Waraich Auditorium at 829 S. Wabash Ave.  
Dr. Ansell’s research interests include access to health care, health disparity reduction, quality and patient safety and he has lectured widely on these subjects. Dr. Ansell has recently published a book based upon his experiences at Cook County Hospital entitled, “County: Life, Death and Politics at Chicago’s Public Hospital.

If healthcare isn't your thing at least you'll have to opportunity to see East-West's brand spanking new building.

(Hat tip:  JI!)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Panozzo's Retail Space Up For Lease; Won't Reopen

It appears that the South Loop neighborhood won't be chowing down on a Panozzo's (1303 S. Michigan) sandwich anytime soon or maybe ever again.  As you may recall the popular Italian deli abruptly closed back in October last year.

A reader recently sent us this picture:

We checked out the listing on Craigslist and here is what it says:
We have for lease a beautiful restaurant space on Michigan Avenue in the heart of Chicago's South Loop. This space offers approximately 1750 sq. ft. of like new facilities including two new customer washrooms, large prep area, large walk-in cooler and freezer, full kitchen with wash sinks, prep sink, newer hood, neon accent window lighting, full Honeywell alarm system and separate employee washroom. Also available for a negotiated price are a like new deli cooler, side display cooler, steam table, bakers racks, cash registers, scales and miscellaneous pans, containers and supplies. As we are the owners of the building we can negotiate a lease price without added commissions and fees.

We also confirmed this is accurate with Mike Panozzo.

My stomach is sad.

(Hat tip:  DK!)

Monday, January 13, 2014

Red Pearl Chicago is the First New Business in the Sloop to Open in 2014

Well we're in the positive numbers for the 2014 Sloopin business counter.  The first business to open for the year goes to Red Pearl Chicago (1933 S. Archer).

As  you may recall from the post we did in 2013, Red Pearl is a spa and as far as we can tell this is their first location.

On a different note, we are adding another business (Smoque Vapors) to the 2013 business counter.  We forgot to include them on the final list.  For more information on Smoque, here is a link to a post we did on their business.

Best of luck to both of these businesses and special thanks to Red Pearl for putting us in the black for 2014.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Giordano's Teams With Bears Care to Celebrate Their Opening in the South Loop this Monday (1/13)

If you like Deep Dish, Bears, Gigantic Old Bears Alumni and Charity then we've got the event for you: 

Friday, January 10, 2014

It's Cold Still...But We're Dreaming Of Listening to Outkast in Grant Park at Lollapalooza

Summertime seems far far away as we slowly defrost from this past week, but yesterday we read about Coachella (Southern California's version of Lollapalooza) announcing their lineup.

While Coachella's lineup has been the envy of the summer music festival circuit for a couple years, it often provides hints to some of the acts that might be making their way to Lollapalooza later in the year.
With that said, genre expanding hip-hop legends Outkast are reuniting and headlining Coachella.  While this doesn't mean they're coming to Chicago for Lolla, the possibility definitely exists.

Various sources are also stating that the Outkast Coachella set is the kickoff to a bigger tour in 2014.  We can only hope that this is true.

Yeah for Outkast and yeah for Youtube - now we can watch some old school 'kast:

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Chef Dean Zanella Steps in at Chicago Firehouse

Double-cut roasted pork chop at Chicago Firehouse   PHOTO: COURTESY OF CHICAGO FIREHOUSE
Chicago Magazine highlights some of the recent changes at South Loop stalwart Chicago Firehouse (1401 S. Michigan)- mainly the addition Chef Dean Zanella:
Although diners know Chicago Firehouse first as a steak house, Zanella plans to introduce some “fun stuff,” in events as well as dishes. For example, Zanella will continue screening movies on Firehouse’s patio with tie-in food, such as the restaurant movie Big Night with a timpano, a dish featured in the movie, or Star Wars with a dish Zanella created for his appearance on the TBS show Dinner and a Movie: Obi-Wan Cannelloni.
We also found this old video from WGN Midday News where Zanella showcased some of his talents:

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

New Project Coming to Vacant Land Between Target and Amli on Clark?

Truck at Vacant Lot (1000 S. Clark)
A reader writes:
Saw this truck which looks like it's taking soil borings between Target and Amli on Clark. Any idea what's possibly going in there?
Not sure if this means something is coming to this land or if they're just doing some other type of work.

Last we heard about this lot was way back in December of 2008 on Crain's.  At the time developer D2 was resorting to "Plan D" due to the impending recession:
The Chicago developer originally had proposed building about 600 condos on the property at 1000 S. Clark St., later switching to apartments when the condo market tanked. Then D2 hired CB Richard Ellis Inc. to sell the 2.5-acre parcel, with an asking price of $20 million.

Unable to find a buyer, D2 has dropped that plan and now wants to develop the site in two phases. The first would include a 60,000-square-foot retail building with frontage on Clark Street. In phase two, D2 would build a condo or apartment tower on the west end of the property when the residential market recovers.

The $35-million retail development would sit just north of the emerging Roosevelt Road retail corridor, around the corner from the 400,000-square-foot Roosevelt Collection shopping mall that will open next year, and next to a Target store.

Unlike the Roosevelt Collection, which targets specialty retailers, apparel merchants and restaurants, D2 aims to attract lower-priced retailers that need bigger spaces and want to be next to a Target, says Paul Bryant, a partner at Mid-America Real Estate Corp., an Oakbrook Terrace-based brokerage hired to lease the space.
Remember this is a portion of an article from 2008, so who knows what has transpired since then.  But with activity drastically picking up along Roosevelt it wouldn't be surprising to see this land get developed some time soon.

Anyone have any scoop on this?

(Hat tip: JS!)

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Asian Outpost Review: Not Asian Fusion, More Like An "Alloy"

We've been closely monitoring the opening of Asian Outpost (1315 S. Wabash) and reading mostly positive reviews of the place on yelp (currently 4.5 stars on Yelp).  While we still haven't had a chance to go, one frequent contributor pens this reviews:
First off, this place isn't imitating anyone. To say it's fusion is too simple: this place is an alloy; something made stronger by the combination of two things. The place setting comes with a fork and chop sticks, and you're invited to use them as you please.
The exterior's simplicity belies a complex and yet subtle interior. Dark but not dingy, with amazing steam punk lighting, herbs growing in the foyer and a tucked away bar with only one silent television. Even on this cold night, the room exuded warmth and comfort.
Drinks are inexpensive for the area with a top shelf Manhattan going for $9. and a number of their unique cocktails are even less. My wife was especially impressed with the Toshi, a mixture of sake, cucumber, mint, lemon and club soda named after the family's dog.

For the main course, I had the aptly named-Chicken with Spicy Nutty Noodles. It was exactly that, with nicely burnt and crunchy peanuts and a bit more zing than you'd expect. My wife had the Asian spare ribs which were only slightly Asian, but were very popular.

They have a sushi menu too, but we didn't need to get that far to know that we'll be back. Prices are somewhere between Flo & Santos and Giocco, and we Sloopers are lucky to have another fantastic addition to an already vibrant block of eateries.
We've been eyeing the Spicy Nutty Noodles ever since we saw the menu and now are craving it even more.

(Hat tip:  JW!)

Monday, January 6, 2014

Shots Around the Sloop: Minus 40

Given the ridiculous temperature and some of the amazing pictures it's generating, we're brining you a special "Shots Around the Sloop".  Keep this pics coming if you got them:
(Hat tip:  KC!)
(Hat tip:  SS!)
(Hat tip:  KI!)

Free Museum Days Come to Museum Campus in January

Don't forget - free museum days this month (via Chicago Red Eye):
In addition, other museums are offering free weekday admission as well. The Art Institute of Chicago is offering free weekday admission from Jan. 6 to Feb. 12 and the Adler Planetarium from January 6 to 15, 21 to 22 and 27 to 29. Additionally, the Shedd Aquarium is offering the free admission Jan. 6, 7, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, and 24 to 28.

Might be a little cold today, but hopefully we can enjoy these great cultural institutions that are next door!

New Moderator Will Help Monitor the Sloopin Message Board

It's a new year and with this comes time for reflection and change.

We're happy to announce that Sloop resident Jeannine K is going to be helping us monitor the Sloopin Message Board.  Generally speaking, here are some rules Jeannine is going to be monitoring:

  • Keep it clean. Strong language has no place here. You won’t be able to use profanities, racial slurs, or sexual innuendos. Posts containing these will be removed. 
  • Keep it respectful. Sloopin is a neighborhood community website that embraces different cultures, faiths, attitudes and points of view. Please be respectful of this. 
  • Keep it legal. We’ll delete posts defaming others, posting individual’s private information, plotting illegal activities, or posting other people’s private information, and ban the poster. 
  • Keep it on topic. Posts that strive to change the course of a topic may be removed.

Hopefully this won't be tough and hopefully this will encourage a more constructive conversation.

Thanks Jeannine and thanks to everyone for all the comments, suggestions, posts and pictures.  

Oh....and stay warm!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Claim Your Sloopin Hat Tip T-Shirt; They're Running Out!

Get em while you can - first come first serve!  

This is a friendly reminder to claim your Sloopin Hat Tip T-Shirt if you've submitted a story and your initials are listed below:
  • NB
  • SJ
  • BS
  • TR
  • SLV
  • NB
  • JZ
  • DB
  • KM
  • MW
  • RR
  • MM
  • EM
  • JW
  • TE
  • DK
  • ND
  • DK
  • BM
  • MT
  • RZ
  • ML

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

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

Friday, January 3, 2014

Revised Final 2013 Business Counter: +40 Net New Businesses in the Sloop

On January 1st we posted that there were a +39 net new businesses that opened in 2013 in the neighborhood.  After some further correspondence with readers we have revised the tally slightly based on the three newer developments below.  Short story is that the Sloop added +40 net new businesses in 2013!  Pretty good!

1)  Fleetwood (2333 S. Michigan) has officially opened.  Their website is functioning properly and their Facebook page confirms that they officially opened on December 22nd, 2013.  Looking forward to giving them a try.  It also looks like they will have live music occasionally.  For those of you wondering what the place looks like inside:
Via FleetWood's Facebook Page

2)  Sororitique (1932 S. Wabash) - Had their grand opening on December 15th.  The store's motto is "a boutique experience for the Soror".  We weren't exactly sure what that was, but apparently it's a sorority sister.  If you need some sorority gear you now know where to go!

3)  OYSY Sushi Closes (888 S. Michigan)
Via the Sloopin message board (locallady):
Just heard tomorrow (12/31) is their last day open. Apparently there will be a new tenant which will be a Chinese spot. Bummer. Sad to see one of the first places in the neighborhood close after 10 years.
We have also updated our official list from Jan 1st here.

(Hat tip:  DT and LL!)

Imazaki Dojo Moving to 1720 S. Michigan

A reader writes:
I was walking my dog on Michigan Avenue the other week and noticed that there were a few guys in the empty retail space at 1720 S Michigan Avenue (next to the cleaners). Last night, I was out for another walk and noticed a hand written sign in the window for "Imazaki Dojo" (see photo above) and it looked like some painting was going on inside. After Google searching it looks like the Dojo's current location is on 16th Street (Yelp) but their official website already has the new address listed: Not sure what their completion/moving date is though.

For some reason when we read this, we immediately thought of Rex Kwon Do:
But in all seriousness, glad to see them upgrading and glad to see this long empty retail space get a tenant.
(Hat tip:  LY!)

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Shots Around the Sloop: NYE @ Acadia

A reader sends us this video from Acadia's rowdy NYE throw down:

(Hat tip: DB!)

Vice District Brewing Announces South Loop Tap Room; Shooting for June 2014 Opening

We got wind of a new tap room opening and asked one of the partners, Curtis Tarver, about it and this is what he said:
Image from Vice Districting Brewing
Vice District Tap Room will be a new, quaint neighborhood destination in the South Loop located at 1454 S. Michigan. It will be a venue for guests to enjoy fresh, craft beer brewed on site as well as traditional alcohol and spirits in a communal atmosphere. We will also highlight wine and traditional spirits from local (think mostly Midwestern) wineries and distilleries. We hope that individuals enter as guests and leave as friends.  
We will not operate a kitchen but there will be packaged snacks available for purchase. Guests will be encouraged to bring food or order into our location. We will highlight several of the terrific food truck options popping up throughout the city. Also, we counted 63 restaurants that deliver to our location. We plan to maintain 10 beers on tap. We will primarily focus on ales. However, guests can expect there will always be a seasonal beer, a lager and one small batch that pushes the envelope. After all we are homebrewers at heart. We will sell Howlers (32-ounce bottles) and Growlers (64-ounce bottles) of fresh beer to go as well.  
My business partner (Quintin Cole) and I are neighbors, avid homebrewers and friends. I am a lawyer by trade and Quintin is a physical therapist. We decided to take our passion to the next level, drafted a business plan and raised the necessary equity in two days.  
We anticipate an early June 2014 opening.

We like the name and are very excited to hear about this new business.  By our account this is the third brewery/tap room that has announced their intentions to open up in the Sloop (Broad Shoulders Brewery at 2337 S. Michigan and South Loop Brewing Company at a yet to be determined location).

We know it's not an easy process to open up a business (let alone a Brewery in Chicago), so best of luck to Vice District and we can't wait to try your brews!

With this said, it's a perfect opportunity to plug the new 2014 Business Counter.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

South Loop Adds a Net +41 New Businesses in 2013

As we close the final chapter of 2013, we wanted to wrap up the year with a final post on our annual business tracker.  This is the second year of the Sloopin business tracker and while we're not statisticians we're pretty confident that the trend in the Sloop is that more and more retail businesses are opening in the South Loop.

In 2012 we recorded a net of 25 new businesses opening in the South Loop.  In 2013 that number increased to a net +40 new businesses opening in the neighborhood.  This was led by The Shops at Roosevelt Collection adding 9 new businesses this year.

Here is a list of what opened and closed in 2013.  As always if we missed something or didn't properly account for something please bring it to our attention and we will consider the case:

Opened in 2013
  1. 7-11 (State & 8th Street)
  2. Floyd's 99 Barbershop (27 E. Harrison)
  3. Snap Fitness (1212 S. Michigan)
  4. Umai Japaness Kitchen & Sushi (Clark and Polk)
  5. Blink Lash Studios (1317 S. Michigan)
  6. Mazi Dance Fitness Centre (716 S. State)
  7. Spanglish (555 S. State)
  8. Jersey Mike's (26 E. Roosevelt)
  9. Butterfield Kitchen (Roosevelt CTA stop)
  10. Sod Room (1454 S. Michigan Ave.)
  11. UPS store (1200 Block S. Michigan)
  12. Nepal House (1301 S. Michigan)
  13. Indique Hair (1922 S. Wabash)
  14. Chicago Oyster House (1933 S. Indiana)
  15. City Segway Tours (1315 S. Michigan)
  16. Haus of Reign (1345 S. Michigan)
  17. Dentologie (1259 S. Wabash)
  18. H&M (150 W. Roosevelt 1259)
  19. Sofi (616 S. Dearborn)
  20. Nuovo Aesthetics & Smartlipo (2037 S. Indiana)
  21. Isabella's (1316 S. Michigan)
  22. Kai Sushi (1255 S. State)
  23. Vitamin Shoppe (Roosevelt and Jefferson)
  24. White House | Black Market (150 W. Roosevelt)
  25. Kurah Mediterranean Tapas (1355 S. Michigan)
  26. Ulta (150 W. Roosevelt)
  27. Z Galleria (150 W. Roosevelt)
  28. Chicago Kernel (511 S. State)
  29. Francesca's (150 W. Roosevelt)
  30. Fleet Feet (150 W. Roosevelt)
  31. Chicago Recovery Center (1509 S. Michigan)
  32. Crave Cafe and Lounge (1250 S. Michigan)
  33. Bevello (150 W. Roosevelt)
  34. Sleepy's (605 W. Roosevelt)
  35. Mariano's Fresh Market (1615 S. Clark)
  36. Haberdash (150 W. Roosevelt)
  37. Goodyear (18th and Wabash)
  38. PianoForte (1335 S. Michigan)
  39. Bacci Pizza Express (Roosevelt CTA Stop)
  40. Bridgeport Coffee Company (150 W. Roosevelt)
  41. Ann Taylor Loft (150 W. Roosevelt)
  42. Chipotle (1150 S. Clinton)
  43. The Bureau Bar (75 E. 16th)
  44. Unnamed Clothing Boutique (E. 16th)
  45. Jo-Ann Fabric and Crafts (555 W. Roosevelt)
  46. Giordano's (1340 S. Michigan)
  47. Riff (2239 S. Michigan)
  48. Flirtatious Lingerie and Club Wear (1317 S. Michigan)
  49. European Wax Center (1103 S. State)
  50. Asian Outpost (1315 S. Wabash)
  51. Meli Cafe (500 S. Dearborn)
  52. FleetWood (2333 S. Michigan)
  53. Sororitique (1935 S. Wabash)
  54. Smoque Vapor Lounge (537 S. Dearborn)

Closed or Moved Out of the Sloop in 2013
  1. Donna's Cafe (1255 S. State)
  2. A'Cappella Bistro (1301 S. Michigan)
  3. Sweet Petal (537 S. Dearborn - Moved)
  4. Karamela Cafe (1250 S. Michigan)
  5. Computer Gurus (1130 S. Wabash)
  6. Trattoria Cantina (616 S. Dearborn)
  7. Triad Sushi (1933 S. Indiana)
  8. Caring Hands Pet Spa (1400 Block S. Michigan)
  9. Blink Lash Studio (1317 S. Michigan)
  10. Buttefield Kitchen (Roosevelt CTA Stop)
  11. Panozzo's (1303 S. Michigan)
  12. Goodyear (2017 S. Wabash)
  13. OYSY Sushi (888 S. Michigan)
Finally, we wanted to let you know that we have already started our 2014 business counter.  Please keep us in the loop as new businesses come or old ones close.  

Thanks for all your help and onward and upward to a positive 2014!