Saturday, May 31, 2014

Ticket Happy Parking Officer or Something Else?

A reader writes:
I noticed walking this morning Sunday 5/25 that every car parked along S Wabash in the Mon-Fri 2 hour parking and and free parking along 14th place around Coliseum park were ticketed. 
I was curious why this was the case since I usually have friends park in that area when they visit. My curiosity got to me so I actually looked at one of the tickets to see what it was for and it said "Parking in a residential permit zone" 
Do you know anything about this? There are no new signs saying this is a residential permits zoned area. Maybe just a ticket happy parking enforcement officer?

This is the first we heard of this.  Anyone have any ideas or face any similar issues?

(Hat tip:  ME!)

Friday, May 30, 2014

Gadget Geeks Aiming for Mid-June Opening at 620 S. Dearborn

A reader writes:
620 S. Dearborn (in the Transportation Building) is being divided into two spaces/businesses. To the north- Gadget Geeks for computer and cell phone repairs, expected to be open mid-June to the south- a personal trainer (per the Gadget Geek guys; they didn't have more info) the street numbering for the two businesses has yet to be worked out.  
That space has been empty for the longest time.  
So glad to have them coming!

We also heard from the Gadget Geek owners recently:
My business partner and I have the opportunity to open our own store in South Loop called Gadget Geeks that focuses on providing mobile device repair services, consulting, and innovative accessories to consumers and small businesses in our area. One of the aspects of South Loop that we love is the variety of different residents and people that frequent this area....runners, bikers, readers, dog-lovers, music-lovers, etc. There are so many different gadgets and accessories that support these different lifestyles, and Gadget Geeks aims to be the "one-stop shop" for these devices and any repair services needed.  
We are in the process of renovating our store (located on Printers Row at 620 S. Dearborn) and anticipate opening in mid June. Thanks for your help, and I look forward to hearing back from you!

Another reader writes something similar but apparently the business to the South isn't happening:
The space to the left with the double doors was supposed to be a "fitness related" business, however the for-lease sign went back up in the window so maybe that is not happening anymore.

(Hat tip: GM, TR, V808, RB, MM, K, MJ, GM, BT!)

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Petco Officially Open on 611 W. Roosevelt Road

Well we missed their grand opening, but regardless pet owners/lovers have a new place to shop in the Sloop:

Business counter has been updated!

(Hat tip: NR!)

Sloopin Brew Update: Broad Shoulders Brewery Re-brands as Motor Row Brewery, South Loop Brewing Company Reaches CrowdFunding Goal, and Vice Brewery Buildout Begins

Broad Shoulders Brewery has sparked a lot of interest from various people in and around the Sloop, but has had a rough go on their attempt to open their doors.  We first wrote about it in 2011.

Fast forward two and half years later and they're still pressing forward.

Over the past couple of weeks various readers have let us know that they've changed their name and our shooting for a fall opening:
They're changing the name of their brewery (2337 S Michigan) from Broad Shoulders to Motor Row Brewing. Also, buildout is moving along and he is shooting for an August 1 opening. 
I know its been a long time coming, but it sounds like he's getting close. Plus, I guarantee it is going to be worth the wait. I have tried a few of his beers and they are fantastic.

Sure enough the website confirms this.

Their facebook page does a decent job with updates so you can check that out.  Judging from that, they still have a little ways to go.

Back in December of 2013, South Loop Brewing launched a crowdfunding initiative to bring a tap room to the Sloop.  We just went back and it looks like they exceeded their goal - congrats!  They raised $23,785!  While we didn't see any official update, we did find this on a blog called guysdrinkingbeer.com:
South Loop Brewing is planning to brew at Une Année for a year or so before hopefully moving into their own digs. They don’t have a location pinned down yet but are eying the area of the South Loop bordered by Roosevelt Rd to the north, 18th St to the south, Clark Street to the west and Michigan Ave to the east.
Hopefully they find a place soon!

Finally it seems like the guys at Vice District Brewing are moving at a feverish pace. We learned about the project in January.  Read about additional plans in Crain's in April.  And now a reader sent us an email blast they received in May:
We wanted to thank you for your patience and support over the past few months. We’re proud to announce that we now have our Brewer’s License (as of today). We are scheduled to begin the buildout in the coming weeks. What this means is that you’ll be hearing a lot more from us regarding our beers and the specifics of our grand opening in the next two months.
If small batch craft beer is your thing, it looks like the Sloop is going to be home to a variety of great spots for you.  We wish them all the best and can't wait to sip some of their brews!

(Hat tip: DM, CL, AR, JC!)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

New Midway Landing Pattern Over the Sloop?

A reader writes:
Anyone else excited about the new Midway landing pattern that has all these Southwest 737s on final approach over the Sloop?!
It's funny because we just were on a Southwest flight and noticed that we flew right over the Sloop.  We didn't think much about it at the time, but now that the reader mentioned it we're thinking some more about it.

Not sure why it makes you excited...seems more a nuisance to us, but whatever floats your boat!

(Hat tip:  ML!)

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

JTA Schools Moving to 80 W. Harrison

A reader writes:
New day care is moving into the NE corner of Harrison and Clark

This would make sense.  Some informed readers had a couple comments on an old post we did outlining that Kids & Company was replacing JTA at 1255 S. State.

Not sure what exactly transpired to make JTA move, but apparently they aren't going out of business and instead are opening up a little further north.  Good to see visual proof!

(Hat tip:  KJB!)

Monday, May 26, 2014

White Collar Crime at 1255 S. State

1255 S. State (via Crain's)
If you're interested in some white collar crime, Crain's has a story for you (in case you missed it last this week):
Condominium developer Warren Barr and five associates face federal criminal allegations that they orchestrated a $23 million loan fraud scheme at a South Loop condominium project.  
Warren N. Barr III, 62, of Riverside and the five other men were charged with defrauding lenders by providing misleading information on about 60 mortgages for purchases of condos in the Vision on State tower at 1255 S. State St., according to a 13-count indictment filed yesterday in U.S. District Court in Chicago.  
They are charged with taking part in a scheme to sell units at artificially high prices, boosting sales in the 253-unit building and misleading lenders by secretly funneling down payments and assessment fees to so-called straw buyers.

(Hat tip:  AR & VC!)

Memorial Day Gratitude

To all those who have served - thank you!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Roosevelt Collection Is Paying Off for Investor McCaffery

For those of us who are fascinated with business case studies, the story of Roosevelt Collection is an excellent one on the chaotic uncertainties associated with real estate (via Crain's).

We're not real estate investors, but it didn't take a rocket scientist to understand that Roosevelt Collection has immense upside and opportunity.  Not saying it was easy for McCaffery and associates to make Roosevelt Collection a success, but to a layperson it seemed like it was inevitable (granted you have to have a lot of credit/cash to be able to pull off a deal like acquiring this building and real estate).

Roosevelt Road has dramatically changed over the past decade and in another 10 years our guess is that it will continue to expand into a busier and more vibrant commercial and residential corridor.

(Hat tip:  AR!)

Friday, May 23, 2014

WOW - Look at Northerly Island!

Yesterday we were reading Curbed Chicago and came across something that stopped us in our tracks - an arial picture of the progress at Northerly Island:

Pretty amazing that this much progress has been made (not sure why - but it looks pretty striking).  For some reason, we were very skeptical of this project.  We even went back to a post we did in April and this has been the plan all along. 

However, seeing it in this manner really brings it into focus for us.  Looks pretty sweet and can't wait to check it out.

Anyway, Curbed provides some additional information:
Northerly Island's $7 million makeover is still underway, however, according to a recent update on Facebook, the city hopes to have the first phase of the island's massive construction effort completed by this summer. The 91 acre man-made peninsula was once the home to Meigs Field, a single strip airport that was famously bulldozed in the middle of the night on orders from Mayor Richard M. Daley. However, several years after the famous incident took place, a dramatic plan to turn the small island into an urban oasis was presented. Hometown architecture heavy-weight Studio Gang was tapped to develop the master plan and came up with a vision that called for five different ecosystems with winding trails and a deep-water lagoon.
Pretty interesting!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

May "The Force" Be Coming to the Sloop?

Image via Curbed Chicago
Big news around Chicago recently was that the task force for the city's bid for the George Lucas Museum has suggested that the museum be built south of Soldier Field (via Tribune):
A task force appointed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel has recommended the parking lots to the south of Soldier Field as the home for filmmaker George Lucas' collection of art and movie memorabilia, should the 'Star Wars' creator choose Chicago over San Francisco for his planned museum.  
Lucas is expected to select a site for his Lucas Cultural Arts Museum this summer, according to a museum spokeswoman.

Upon first blush, this seems like it would be a great thing for Chicago and the Sloop.  However, Bears fans might not be happy because it seems like it could alter tailgating drastically.

That doesn't seem like a good reason to shoot this down.  The Tribune has a great summary on the situation.  For us we would love to see this happen.  A world class museum is better than a parking lot (this I know to be true).

Besides the museum, it sounds like the area would get major infrastructure improvements.  The Sun Times provides a couple highlights:
  • Building a “pedestrian connection” from the Lucas museum to Northerly Island — either a bridge or a “mid-harbor crossing that prioritizes pedestrians, cyclist and non-motorized transit” — to reduce traffic volumes on the few roadways that connect Northerly Island to the museum campus.
  • Upgrading the 18th Street entrance and exits to McCormick Place and the museum campus as well as the Roosevelt Road interchange.
However, reading between the lines, it seems like Chicago is a long shot behind San Francisco (where Lucas has lived most of his life).  Obama museum seems ripe for Chicago.  Lucas museum still feels like a long shot.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Thinking Kid-Friendly? Think Adler Place.

Sponsored Post


Surround your little ones with the charm of a budding local neighborhood sprawling with green parks, world-class museums, noteworthy schools and sporting events for all ages and seasons. Where “sweet dreams” are defined by contemporary interiors overlooking spectacular vistas, Adler Place offers you and your children endless discovery and room to grow. With the benefits of a bustling city paired with the tranquility of a protected community, it’s no wonder why the South Loop is an ideal neighborhood to call home.

With amenities that ease the hassles of urban family living, Adler Place enables working parents to spend more time with those that matter most. The outdoor pool and sun deck complete with grilling stations are ideal for relaxing family weekends, playdates for the kids or hosting a gathering of friends. For active parents on-the-go, Adler Place houses a fitness center complete with cardiovascular training equipment, a sauna, a hot tub and his and hers locker rooms.


For more information, open houses are on Sunday from Noon-4 PM at Adler Place. Please call us at 312-662-1900 to schedule a private showing.

Learn more at Relatedsouthloop.com.

A Sloopin Fave:
Chicken Spinach & Guacamole Wrap at Cafe Society

We spend a ton of time talking about new things in the Sloop, but that doesn't mean we're only out there trying new stuff.  Through the years we've encountered some things that really stand above the rest.  You may not agree, but these things have truly become one of our favorite things around the South Loop (cue Sound of Music).

With that said, we're introducing a new feature on the blog called "A Sloopin Fave" where we will identify one little thing that continues to keep us coming back for more.  It could be food, an event, a bike route or whatever - it's something that we truly love about the Sloop.

To kick it off, we're starting with the amazing Chicken Guacamole Wrap at Cafe Society (1801 S. Indiana):

Sitting in the serenely peaceful courtyard next to Cafe Society (1801 S. Indiana) is truly a pleasure.  Couple that with a Chicken, Spinach & Guacamole wrap and we're in heaven (cue Outkast SpottieOttieDopalicious soundtrack).  Not only is it an enormous portion, but it's pretty damn...damn....damn exotic.

It tends to explode in your hand, but that's not a bad thing.  We're not a fan of super messy dishes, but the flavor makes up for that.  The chicken is remarkably tender and actually has a subtle spiciness that we love.  This blends perfectly with the other more mild ingredients of guacamole, spinach and tomatoes (note tomatoes aren't always included).

While that seems pretty pedestrian for a wrap, the sprinkled Parmesan cheese and drizzled raspberry dressing on top make this an amazingly savory and sweet blend of deliciousness.

We personally love the chaotic charm of Cafe Society.  They're about to go through an evolution to Spoke & Bird, but we really pray that they don't lose the Chicken, Spinach & Guacamole wrap.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Porkchop Looks To Be Opening on Dearborn - Not in Roosevelt Collection?

In a slightly surprising move, Porkchop will apparently open up shop at 555 S. Dearborn (the old spot where Pockets was):
Perhaps it was the fake out we had a few months when Smoque turned out not to be a BBQ joint, but it looks like printers row is getting a place for ribs! Taking over the old Pockets location. An interesting companion to their upcoming Roosevelt collection. The awning is already up!
Why is this surprising you may ask?  Well word just came out in April that they were going to open a South Loop location at Roosevelt Collection.

While we don't have this confirmed, it would seem like the Roosevelt Collection Porkchop won't be, right?  I mean, why would you open up two BBQ stores so close to each other?  While we think the neighborhood will be happy for some BBQ, it probably wouldn't necessitate multiple stores in one neighborhood.

Does anyone have any insight on this?

A reader provides an update:
I called an confirmed that they are indeed opening both locations!
So looks like Porkchop is looking to double down on the Sloop's desire for BBQ.

(Hat tip:  BB, AD, TR, V808!)

Monday, May 19, 2014

Construction Season Underway at 1300 Block of S. Wabash and Michigan

If you live near 14th street and woke up to amazingly loud pounding noises recently, it's not because you had too much to drink last night.  Construction is in full swing at 1345 S. Wabash, the new condo building being developed by CMK:

While this isn't really new news, there are also some other developments close by.  It appears that construction for Lakeside Bank has finally commenced as judging by the fence that was recently put up at the corner of 14th and Michigan:

If you recall the renderings will look like this and be a much welcomed addition compared to the torn up parking lot:

It also looks like the rental building just north of the future Lakeside Bank headquarters is putting the final touches inside the old courthouse building at 1340 S. Michigan.  The building is being marketed as Aviation Lofts and you can see some good pics/videos at it.  They also have a good amount of history about the building.  However, they conveniently left out the portion that the building was last used as the Cook County Circuit Court for divorces and family court in the 1980s and 1990s - maybe not the best selling point for young Chicago couples.

Finally, just north of Aviation Lofts is a small structure that was built by the team who was also working on the Lofts.  We're not really sure what it is, but it resembles some type of retail.  Does anyone have the scoop on this?  Here is a pic we snapped recently:

Next year these two blocks are going to look much different and that's a good thing!

(Hat tip:  RM!)

Friday, May 16, 2014

8 New Fashion Photographs To Be Revealed as Part of Wabash Arts Corridor

Via Columbia College:
Plans are underway for Columbia College Chicago and the Hilton Chicago to unveil a series of eight 15-by-25-foot fashion photographs gracing the exterior of the Hilton Chicago, 720 S. Michigan Ave. The unveiling with city and business leaders is scheduled for Friday (May 16) at 1:30 p.m. at the corner of 8th Street and Wabash Avenue, during the college’s annual Manifest Urban Arts Festival.
This project is an update and expansion of four large-scale student photographs installed on the building on Wabash Avenue a year ago. Students in Columbia College’s fashion photography class, instructed by noted editorial fashion photographers John and Andree McArthur, worked in partnership with the Global Design Services Team of Hilton Worldwide to develop the initiative. Chicago-based IC Signs & Graphics printed the large-format digital photos, produced custom frames and installed the works.
This is one part of Columbia's annual Manifest festival that kicks off today as well.  If you're curious there are a lot of events and most are open to the public.  Here is a promo video:


Oh and if you're not sure what the Wabash Arts Corridor is check out this old post from Sloopin.

(Hat tip:  AM!)

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Bike Shop Moving into Heart of Printers Row (728 S. Dearborn)

It still amazes us that more of the retail space in Printers Row isn't occupied.  It's one of the more visually appealing retail strips in the city if you ask us and seems ripe for more activity.  Not saying there isn't activity, just saying it seems like it could be much much more.  Maybe the rents too damn high...

Anyway, we do get excited when new stuff goes in on this stretch and it sounds like something interesting is coming:
Since no one seems to have any info, a friend took upon herself this morning, and talked to the builders…it will be a Bike Shop. In the old Medaterra/Gourmand space.
For those of you who don't know the Gourmand space is at 728 S. Dearborn.

Having a bike shop here makes a ton of sense to us especially given that it's on one of the main protected bike paths in the city (and the only one that goes through the heart of the loop).

Hopefully the rent isn't too damn high...and they can stay around for awhile!


(Hat tip: TR!)

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Lights Go Out at City Tavern Ending a Tumultuous Ride

City Tavern garnered a lot of excitement when it opened in 2012.  For many it was a sign that the neighborhood retail was starting to emerge from the fog of the real estate bubble and recession.

If you recall, City Tavern was one of four new eating/drinking establishments that were in the process of opening around this time in the spring of 2012.  The other three were Alain's, Karamela's and Square One.  Out of the four only Square One is going strong.

But that doesn't mean that City Tavern didn't have it's moments.  The highlight was winning a Bib Gourmand Michellin rating in 2013.  Unfortunately it was mostly downhill from there as the executive chef Kendall Duque unexpectedly left shortly thereafter.

After more various rounds of turnover in the kitchen, the whispers began to creep in on our message board and finally yesterday it was confirmed in various outlets (Chicago Tribune):
City Tavern (1416 S. Michigan Ave., 312-663-1278), a neighborhood restaurant in the South Loop, has closed.  
Phones are not being answered, and the restaurant's website has been taken down.  
In a terse email, the owners said, "Future plans for the space are undertermined at this time. Thank you for your patronage over the last two years."

We actually just had a decent meal at City Tavern, but for us it never really one of our favorites in the Sloop.  Regardless we're still sad to see it go.

What we do know is that Mainstay Hospitality owns the building (and the building just to the South) as well as Chicago Firehouse and Wabash Tap.  Something tells us this won't be the last we hear from them and the former space that included City Tavern and before that Grace O'Malley's.

(Hat tip: AS, BM, KZ, CPF, NL, BR!)

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

SXL Nails & Massage Spa Coming to 1460 S. Michigan

Looks like the Sloop is getting another nail and massage place:

This will be next to the Vice District Brewing spot that's planning to open in a couple months.  So if you want a freshly brewed beer and a massage this is your spot.

Monday, May 12, 2014

2014 Festival Season is Upon Us

Wow what a beautiful Chicago spring weekend (minus Sunday evening)!  If you weren't out enjoying the weather you were really missing out.  With all the strolling around, it got us excited for festival season.  Besides concerts and walks at Soldier Field (Jay Z & Beyonce) and Northerly Island (Phish, DMB, Widespread Panic, Backstreet Boys) we wanted to outline some of the festivals in our area (or within a close walk or ride).  We found most on Metromix and Chicago Now, but let us know if we missed something:
  • May 16: Manifest Urban Arts Festival | South Loop
  • May 25: Bike the Drive | Lake Shore Drive
  • May 31: Chicago Veggie Pride Parade | Grant Park
  • May 30-June/1: Millennium Art Festival | Streeterville
  • June 7-8: Printers Row Lit Fest | South Loop
  • June 7: Chicago Food Truck Fest | U.S. Cellular Field
  • June 11 - Aug 16: Grant Park Music Festival | Grant Park
  • June 13-15: Spring Awakening | South Loop
  • June 13-15: Chicago Blues Fest | The Loop
  • June 19-21: Thai Festival Chicago | The Loop
  • June 21: L.A.T.E. Ride | Starts at Buckingham Fountain
  • June 21-22: Gold Coast Art Festival | Grant Park (Butler Field)
  • June 28: Chive Fest | Soldier Field
  • June 28: 2014 Chicago Dragon Boat Race for Literacy | Ping Tom Memorial Park
  • July 4: Fourth of July Fireworks | Navy Pier 9:30pm
  • July 9-13: Taste of Chicago | Grant Park
  • July 20: Chinatown Summer Fair | Chinatown
  • July 31- Aug 3: Fiesta Del Sol | Pilsen
  • Aug 1-3: Lollapalooza | Grant Park
  • Aug 23: Taste of Greektown | Greektown
  • Aug 23-24: Bash on Wabash | South Loop
  • Aug 28-31: Chicago Jazz Fest | Grant Park
  • Sept 26-28: Gourmet Chicago | Harris Theater and Millenium Park

(Hat tip:  LL!)

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Hat Tip T-Shirt Reminder

We're running out of Sloopin Hat Tip T-Shirts, so if you've gotten a hat tip you better claim your shirt quickly.  We're out of all the mediums and smalls are running low - so get into Well Future Pharmacy to get yours quickly.

For background here is the background on the Sloopin Hat Tip T-shirt program. If you see your initials below and have submitted a story, you're eligible for a t-shirt:

  • MM
  • VM
  • SLV
  • JK
  • MT
  • MJ
  • BC
  • AL
  • JC
  • KM
  • JH
  • CM
  • JSW
  • TE
  • JJ
  • JMK
  • AL
  • CC
  • GS
As always thanks for the tips!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Old XO Site at 1700 S Priaire Rezoned; Demolition of Old Building Coming

Rendering for XO Development
A reader writes:
I just wanted to let you know that as residents within the Prairie District, we have been notified that the old XO site on the 1700 block of South Prairie has been approved for demolition commencing no later than August of 2014. The property has been rezoned for 6 stories and below, residential.
If you recall the XO building came under fire back in the condo boom and never got off the ground.  It was a controversial development given its scale and its surroundings on the historic Prairie Avenue.

Should be interesting to see what the new development is and sounds like it might be more in-line with other buildings on the block.

(Hat tip:  MM!)

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Chicago Reader Watchdog Weighs in On Pace of Progress for DePaul/Marriott Plan

Chicago Reader's Watchdog Ben Joravsky provides some thoughts on the pace of the DePaul/Marriott deal:
For all the energy he's exerted on his big DePaul/Marriott deal, you'd think Mayor Emanuel would be shouting its praises from the rooftops.  
Like he's really proud of it and wants everyone to know what he's up to. 

But, no, he's stealthily sneaking this baby through the City Council approval process like a thief in the night, as the great Mayor Harold Washington might put it.  
Over the summer, Mayor Emanuel rammed through one aspect of the deal on a voice vote—most aldermen probably still don't know what went down.  
He was up to his old tricks at last Wednesday's meeting with the zoning committee for the DePaul basketball arena and the Marriott hotel—which you, the taxpayer, will pay to build on land that you will also pay to purchase.
An interesting read for suspicious Sloopsters who don't like this deal.


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Time Out Chicago Names The Scout As One Of Chicago's Best Sports Bars

The Scout - Front Room (via Time Out Chicago)
Time Out Chicago gives The Scout some love and names it one of Chicago's best sports bars:
The Scout (1301 S. Wabash)There are other sports bars in Chicago. There are even other sports bars in the South Loop. There is, however, no use in telling either of those things to the crowd of Bears fans waiting up to an hour to secure a table (and with it, a 14-inch grilled-cheese sandwich and a prime view of a TV or 30) at the Scout: They'll just think you're trying to cut in line.
(Hat tip:  VM!)

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Open House for National Teachers Academy on May 13th

Schools are always a hot topic, so with that in mind a reader provides a good read about NTA:
National Teachers Academy (NTA) is the public Chicago K-8 school at 55 West Cermak. A lot of people think it is a college or a charter, but it's not. It is one of the most beautiful public schools in the city. And its under-enrolled, even though South Loop Elementary* 10 blocks North is busting at the seams.  
NTA has an interesting past. It was built to accommodate the families in the Icke homes, so they took a "community" approach. The homes are gone, but NTA is still going strong. Within the school is a UIC-led health clinic for students and their families. NTA is connected to "The Park at NTA" which is a Chicago Public Park building. It has a really nice gym and a pool. NTA students get to use the gym and have swimming as a "special" class every week. There is also a gorgeous music room and huge cafe, not to mention playgrounds and green space. Test scores are low, but that is changing. NTA also started a Regional Gifted Center this school year in grades K & 1. It will grow each year.  
NTA is a public school, and it has a contract with Academy for Urban School Leadership (AUSL). AUSL uses it as training grounds for teachers. Practically, this means that each class has 2 teachers: a mentor and mentee. See the website here, which has all history and info: http://nta.auslchicago.org/  
I'm a parent at NTA, and we are really impressed. None of my neighbors attend, and none have toured yet due to old information - it is just not on the radar. The boundaries are 18th on the North, 2499 on the South, Clark Street on the West and the Lake on the East.  
NTA is hosting a neighborhood Open House on Tuesday, May 13th at 6pm - 7pm. Free parking in the school lot, or just walk on over. Flyer attached. If you could post, that would be wonderful. If you want to do a piece on NTA and would like a school contact, please let me know.
(Hat tip:  SLV!)

Monday, May 5, 2014

What's Happening at 1132 S. Wabash?

Late last year we posted about Advance Uniform moving out of the relatively dilapidated building at 1132 S. Wabash.  This year it appears something is changing at the location:
I just saw yesterday they put up scaffolding at 1132 S. Wabash where the Advanced Uniform building is. Do you happen to know what's going in there? Anything would be better than that dump!
While we don't have the update, we vaguely remember a Sloopin comment at one point about a bar and/or restaurant going in this spot.

Does anyone recall?

On a different note, as you will also see in the retail space just to the right of the scaffolding, it appears that "The World's Most Complete Juice Bar" named FruVe isn't actually.  The white paper on the windows have now replaced the signage that was once their.  Seems like a pretty clear sign that they're not opening:

Over on the comment board, Steven writes:
Will in fact be an upscale lounge/sports bar. i had posted this earlier but it was taken down for some reason....most likely due to trolling
(Hat tip:  JK!)

Saturday, May 3, 2014

A Look At Uber Rides in the Sloop


Pretty map thing from Uber (via Curbed Chicago):
Lots of people take cabs to O'Hare Airport and down Lake Shore Drive according to this map, which illustrates trips in Chicago made using Uber, a service that allows users to hail a taxi or hitch a rideshare via their mobile phone.

Apparently Michigan Avenue, LSD and Roosevelt gets the most Uber rides in the Sloop according to the map above.

Friday, May 2, 2014

1300 Block of S. Michigan to Be Named After "King of House"

South Michigan gets a honorary name (via DNAinfo):
The "King of House" will soon get a section of South Michigan Avenue named after him. 
The City Council Transportation Committee moved Monday to approve the honorary renaming of the 1300 block of South Michigan Avenue to Farley Jackmaster Funk Way, after the renowned house-music disc jockey and producer. Farley "Jackmaster" Funk (nee Farley Keith Williams) was one of the earliest and greatest purveyors of house music when it came to the fore in the mid-'80s. 
His version of "Love Can't Turn Around" — produced with Jesse Saunders and with gospel singer Darryl Pandy providing the over-the-top, Chicago-centric vocals — took the music international to Britain and beyond and remains a house classic almost 30 years later.

We weren't familiar with the Jackmaster, but did thoroughly enjoy watching some of his stuff on youtube:

If you're around this afternoon, there will be a walk:
Funk is slated to spin for an hour at noon Friday at the Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington Blvd. The city has set a House Music History Walk down Michigan Avenue for immediately after at 1 p.m., followed by the street renaming ceremony at 2:30 p.m. at 14th Street and Michigan. That's all after the full City Council is expected to approve it on Wednesday.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Wells-Wentworth Connector Gets a Green Light - Literally Paving the Way for Future Development

Wells-Wentworth Connector will be done in three phases (via City of Chicago)
Big city planning news for the South Loop - which literally paves the way for more development of a long (and infamous) vacant patch of land (via Tribune):
The Emanuel administration presented plans Wednesday for a new road that by late 2016 would provide smoother connections from downtown to Chinatown and other areas along the south branch of the Chicago River.
The $62 million project, called the Wells-Wentworth Connector, would also realign Wentworth Avenue between Archer and Cermak roads to bring this section of Wentworth in line with the portion of Wentworth south of Cermak, according to the Chicago Department of Transportation.

Besides safety improvements and better access to and from Chinatown, this most likely will make the infamous "Rezko" lot easier to develop.  One of the main reported issues for developing this swath of land was that basic city infrastructure wasn't in place.  We assume this would change that and based on this comment it sounds like momentum is building for development:
“This project has been in the works in one form or another since the 1960s,’’ CDOT spokesman Pete Scales said. “CDOT did a feasibility study in 2002, but the project stalled because the large residential development (planned) to the north didn’t happen. There is renewed interest in this project now, which is why we are moving forward with the plan.’’
Seems like a good move to us.  Thoughts?

(Hat tip:  MJ & SC!)

Soil Samples Mean Development at 609 S. State?

Interestante - a reader writes:
Hi Sloopin,   
I noticed today that there's a soil sample drilling rig in the combined parking lots on State between Harrison and Balbo. I know that this lot was once set to become the new headquarters of the YMCA, but that fell through. I wonder if this means a design or project is imminent, or if this is just preliminary for something further down the road. If you google Huzenis brothers buy South Loop development site, you get the Crain's article.
We've seen these trucks before and usually it means something is coming (ex - 1000 S. Clark).

Anyone have the scoop?

(Hat tip:  BC!)