Monday, June 30, 2014

L'Oreal Closing Institute at 2101 S. Wabash

A reader sends us a link from the Chicago Tribune:
L’Oreal USA’s institute that researches ethnic hair and skin is moving from Chicago’s Near South Side to the company’s innovation hub in New Jersey.

In terms of timing:
The institute is expected to close by the end of this month and will affect 21 employees working in areas from advanced research to product development and evaluation.  
DiGirolamo said employees were given the opportunity to relocate to Clark, N.J., or another L’Oreal location, and those who could not move were offered severance packages and other assistance.  
The institute is located in the 57,600-square-foot, six-story building at 2101 S. Wabash Ave, which L’Oreal owns and plans to sell.

(Hat tip:  AL!)

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Do Your Social Media Thang With Sloopin!

In this ever changing media world we know consuming content takes on a different shape for everyone.  Whether it's in your browser, on your phone, through your tablet or even in your morning newspaper (ok...that's a lie), however you consume Sloopin, we want to say thank you!

And we wanted to remind you that one of the easiest and best ways to stay in the loop on what's going on in our neighborhood is by following us on social media.  Here is a link to our Facebook page and here is a link to our Twitter handle.

Friday, June 27, 2014

First Draft Officially Opens at 649 S. Clark

First Draft (649 S. Clark) from Eater Chicago
A couple of weeks ago we noted that First Draft (649 S. Clark) announced their opening date.  Well it looks like that date passed and they are in face open!

Eater Chicago and Urban Daddy recently confirmed.  Sounds like a good place if you're into beer:
...First Draft, a new public house with 200 beers and other beer-infused marvels (like pizza), open as of today in the South Loop.

It’s pretty pub-y in here—Chicago sports memorabilia, 23 flat-screens, 100-year-old timber beams, doors rescued from Loyola University. Everything points to you saying, “Good place. Good beer place.”
We're big fans of Villain's and are still eagerly anticipating their opening across the street.  Regardless, we always like when more quality places move into the Sloop and First Draft looks pretty solid.

Welcome to the Sloop and looking forward to stopping in!

Business counter is updated.

(Hat tip:  GM!)

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Summer in the South Loop:
Life at The Grant, South Loop Luxury by Related

Sponsored Post 

It’s clear that life in the South Loop is hard to beat—especially in the summer. If you’re a fan of Chicago’s music scene, you won’t want to miss the Chicago Blues Festival. The event, considered the largest free blues festival in the world, takes place June 13-15 in Grant Park. You can also catch touring musicians at the FirstMerit Bank Pavilion on Northerly Island, or swing by Millennium Park’s Jay Pritzker Pavilion for the Grant Park Music Festival, a series of free outdoor classical concerts that kicks off June 11.

With the charm of a budding local neighborhood, the South Loop offers a convenient and tailored lifestyle thanks to quick access to major retail and grocery stores, a handful of cultural offerings in the area, and a selection of gastronomical restaurants. With the feeling of being connected to a bustling city yet with the tranquility of a protected community, it’s no wonder why the South Loop is an ideal neighborhood to call home.

Explore the residences that define South Loop Luxury.

Learn more at

"The Chicago" High-Rise Renderings Appear Again for Vacant Land at the Corner of Michigan and Roosevelt

Looks like juicy renderings of a unique "planned" high-rise at Roosevelt and Michigan, arguably the most high-profile piece of real estate in Sloop, are making their way around the interwebs again (see post from last year here).

While we are very skeptical of this project, it would be a big deal and would definitely change the look and feel of South Loop architecture (via Curbed Chicago):
Is this Stanley Saitowitz designed tower coming to Chicago's South Loop? According to an inquiry to Natoma Architects last year, a rep from the San Francisco based architecture and design firm basically told us "Don't hold your breath". In late 2012, developer Crescent Heights purchased a two acre site at the southeast corner of Michigan Avenue and Roosevelt Road, and last April, renderings for a sleek glass tower supposedly planned for the site surfaced online. However, yesterday afternoon new renderings for the mystery tower were spotted on Buzz Buzz Home. The renders also appear on Stanley Saitowitz' website.
There are a bunch of other renderings on Curbed Chicago and for those of us who like these types of things it's definitely worth a look.

But onto the real question - is this going to happen?  It doesn't seem like anyone really knows, but if we had to guess we would put it at less than a 5% chance of happening.  Just an educated guess and it appears that there isn't any real news here, just some new renderings that have appeared.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

In a Surprise Move Museum Campus Looks Like It's Getting George Lucas Museum

Well this is a surprise!  Late breaking news yesterday evening has word that the sought after Lucas Museum is in fact going to be coming to our neighborhood (via Chicago Tribune):
“Star Wars” creator George Lucas has selected Chicago over Los Angeles and San Francisco as the future home of his collection of art and movie memorabilia, according to a spokeswoman for the museum.  
A vote by the museum’s board, which would make the decision official, is expected Wednesday. The board also is expected to change the name of the museum from the Lucas Cultural Arts Museum to the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art.  
Pending approval of the Chicago Plan Commission, Lucas' institution would be located on parking lots between Soldier Field and McCormick Place and would open in 2018. Architectural renderings will be presented to city officials in early fall, according to a statement from the museum.

It's a pretty fascinating story and in our opinion seems like a good thing.  A museum is better than a parking lot, right?!?!?!

We thought Chicago was just being used as a negotiation tactic against San Francisco, but clearly we were wrong.

Many more details (and likely opposition) are likely to emerge.  While we never like to "block" the lakefront, it seems like a museum with park would be better than a parking lot.

Beyond the museum, the original proposal from the city states that this development would also include a pedestrian bridge from the site over to Northerly Island as well as upgrading the 18th street entrance/exits to the lakefront (which is pretty bad right now).

Stay tuned to this story, it seems to be just starting.  Our guess is it will be a roller-coaster of a ride (see city's handling of Motor Row expansion as evidence), but sounds like it's moving forward for better or worse.

(Hat tip: JG, KP, AR, DF!)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Haberdash At Roosevelt Collection Closed Until the Fall

Barbershop at Harerdash Roosevelt Collection
A reader writes:
There is a sign in the window of the Haberdash store at Roosevelt Collection that indicates they are closed for the day for inventory. It has been there since 6/9. When I checked with one of the barbers who worked there he indicated the store is indeed closed until at least the fall. 
Given the lack of business at the location at would say this one is a goner and should be added to you the list of closed businesses.

We called the River North location and they did confirm that they're closed until the Fall for "renovations".

We are going to give them the benefit of the doubt and say they're not closed.  We will continue to monitor this closely and see what happens before updating the business counter.

(Hat tip:  JY!)

Monday, June 23, 2014

Do You Have $750K and Want to Charter a Yacht? If So Please Email Us!

Do you have $750K?  Do you need a local neighbor to hang out with on a boat?  If so, please email us at because we would love to hang out.

A reader writes and poses a similar (and valid) question:
Any idea who can afford a yacht that costs $750,000 per week to charter?
The first picture is of it fueling at the gas dock at Burnham Harbor.
With a 47,000 gallon fuel tank she probably costs more to fill up than many of the boats in the harbor.
You can also see people starting to gather for the Spring Awakening Friday afternoon.

If that hasn't sparked your interest, we highly recommend clicking to the boats page and looking through the picture gallery.  Must be nice...

(Hat tip:  JG!)

Saturday, June 21, 2014

U.S. vs. Portugal Viewing Party on Sunday (6/22) Moved to Lower Hutchinson Field in Grant Park

Well it seems like World Cup fever is sweeping the country and that energy will be on display again in the Sloop on Sunday.

As you may recall, this past Monday there was a viewing party at Arvey Field in Grant Park for the U.S. vs Ghana game.  Apparently a lot of people came.  The Chicago Tribune reported 8,000.  We heard 10,000 on CBS.  Judging by this picture that may be true:

Anyway, apparently they're expecting even bigger crowds on Sunday (6/22) for the U.S. vs. Portugal game that starts at 5pm.  As a result, they're moving to lower Hutchinson field which has played host to many recent high-profile large events (Blackhawks Stanley Cup celebration, Obama's First Presidential Celebration and Lollapalooza annually):
The second 2014 FIFA World Cup viewing party hosted by U.S. Soccer will take place at Lower Hutchinson Field in Grant Park on Sunday, June 22 at 5 p.m. CT. The U.S. Men’s National Team faces Portugal in both teams’ second Group G match.  
“All of us, the guys, the staff, everyone here in Brazil saw clips of the celebrations at watch parties and gatherings throughout the U.S., and what we saw from our fans back home was beyond amazing,” said U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. “You don’t have to be with us in Brazil to make an impact. I know the turnout this Sunday in Chicago and all over the U.S. will be incredible and I thank everyone for coming together to show the world that we take a backseat to no one when it comes to supporting the national team.”  
Supported by the Chicago Park District and the Chicago Sports Commission, each event is free and open to the public. The viewing parties will also feature ESPN’s live feed of the matches displayed on a 33’-by-19’ high-definition screen and will include live look-ins on the fans gathered in Chicago. The match viewing area will open at 2 p.m. CT.

While there most likely will be a lot of people, it shouldn't be nearly as crowded as some of the other big events we listed above.  Regardless, it will probably be a fun event if you're looking to watch a soccer game in Grant Park with 10,000 of your closest friends.

(Hat tip: AR!)

Friday, June 20, 2014

A Guide to Family Fun in the Sloop

Women's Park (via Red Tricycle)
The Sloop's pretty great.  And by great we don't just mean for singles, married couples, students and retirees.  Families continue to flock to the nabe and the website Red Tricycle sums it up pretty well:
The South Loop: An Insider’s Guide to Family Fun 
The Museum Campus. The White Sox. Streets with numbers instead of names. This springs to mind when thinking about the South Loop. Well, we’ve got another highlight to add to the list: a goldmine of family attractions. Historically a dicey and undeveloped area, this fast-growing nabe is full of hidden gems and original activities. Venture with your little ones south of Congress to these spots and see how fun the South Side can be.

The article goes onto to name a bunch of reason why the Sloop is great for families.  Don't believe us, check it out.

If you don't know, now you know!

PS - Never thought I would be ending a family fun Sloopin post with a classic lyric from the immortal Notorious B.I.G.

(Hat tip:  MS!)

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Old and Long Vacant Main Post Office Rennovation Plans Back in the News

Old (and Vacant) Main Post Office - via Crains
Looks like the Old Post Office that sits just west of what we consider the Sloop is getting some attention again (via Crain's):
Five years after buying the empty Old Main Post Office, British developer Bill Davies has formed a joint venture with Sterling Bay Cos. in an effort to kick-start a $500 million redevelopment of the hulking West Loop structure. 
The Chicago-based developer said it is teaming up on the project with Mr. Davies, who will contribute the building as his investment in the joint venture. 
An office and retail redevelopment of the 2.7-million-square-foot structure is likely to cost about $500 million, said Sterling Bay Managing Principal Andy Gloor, who did not disclose financial terms. A spokeswoman for Mr. Davies declined to comment. 
That figure does not include plans for about four acres of land along the Chicago River at the site, possibly for a residential project or more commercial development.
As Crain's reported last month, Walgreen Co. has looked at the site as it considers a potential move of its headquarters from north suburban Deerfield. But Mr. Davies, who bought the vacant building and adjacent land for $24 million in 2009, has yet to sign any tenants for the highly visible building, which straddles the Congress Parkway.
This quagmire of a building has a history of grand plans that seem unrealistic (see old plan from Davies to build 120 story tower and other buildings).  We've always thought that this building was destined to be the downtown Chicago casino for better or worse.

Bringing on Sterling Bay seems like a move to make legitimate progress and seems to pave the way for the "corporate headquarters" angle that has been discussed in more depth recently.

This is definitely not a done deal, but does seem like a positive move for those hoping that this enormous building gets used in some capacity.  

Sloopin Fave:
Cocktails at Acadia

As the Sloop continues to grow there seems to be more and more options to enjoy a bite and a drink.  But after a recent trip to the bar at Acadia (1639 S. Wabash), we have to admit that they have the most intriguing and interesting cocktails in the 'nabe.

Not only are they delicious, they are also beautiful.  Without further ado we present some of our faves based on our recent trip (FYI - we had to include the Sloopin cocktail for obvious reasons, but it is truly a great spring/summer drink):
Sloopin' - CH Key Gin, Cucumber, Mint, Strawberry Pop
Acadia Bloody Mary:  Next Star Vodka, Blended Canadian Tomatoes, Sriracha, Soy Sauce, Pepper (among other ingredients) topped with pickled ramps and oysters granita  
Fishmonger's Nightcap:  Next Star Vodka infused with lemongrass, cardamom, clove & star anise, Fing Sherry, St. Elder Liquer, Sparking Wine

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Noodles & Company Also Officially Open at The Maxwell

It looks like Dick's Sporting Goods isn't the only new business to officially open their doors at The Maxwell (1100 S. Canal) this past Sunday.  Popular unleavened dough company, Noodles & Company is also open:

Business counter is up-to-date and now we're at +3 for the year.

Mayor Promotes New "Northerly Island"

Mayor Rahm Emanuel, architect Jeanne Gang and other officials
tour the Northerly Island site on Tuesday. (via Chicago Tribune)
Back in May we did a post about how the "new" Northerly Island was amazingly taking shape (as evidenced by this side by side picture).

Well yesterday, the PR patrol was out and about touting the changes at the "island" (via Chicago Tribune):
Work on transforming the southern 40 acres of Northerly Island into a six-ecosystem nature park is well underway, and the area is set to be partially open to the public this fall, officials said Tuesday. 
 “(People) can come out and expect to see a remarkable site that has changed dramatically,” said Kirston Buczak, Chicago District project manager for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which managed the initial phase of renovations to the 91-acre man-made peninsula. 
By this fall, visitors will be able to use a pathway that will traverse a wetland area, hills up to about 30 feet high, a campground and two overlooks. Some areas will be fenced off to protect newly planted vegetation.

A new spin on the project that we've never heard (but actually makes some sense) was presented by our Mayor:
The mayor said the idea is to tie Northerly Island's outdoor classroom to the Museum Campus to the north.  
“There is going to be, when we're done, no museum campus that will take the study of the stars, the study of the water and study of natural history — the Field, the Adler and the Shedd — and put it together like we have here in making sure that (the natural habitats on Northerly Island are) part of that Museum Campus, nowhere else in the country, nowhere else in the world,” Emanuel said.
We like the idea of the new Northerly Island, but truth be told are slightly worried that it will now get crowded.  In the past it was such a remote sanctuary that felt unique and hidden to the rest of Chicago.

That will probably change.  Hopefully for the better, but we will see.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Shooting this Past Saturday (6/14) at 1600 Block of South Indiana

We've received a couple emails from readers asking if we had any additional details on a shooting this past weekend on the 1600 block of South Indiana.  We actually weren't aware of it, so did some googling and found the following (via NBC5):
At the same time (2:45pm on 6/14), a 22-year-old man was shot in the leg in the 1600 block of South Indiana Avenue. The man took himself to Northwestern Memorial Hospital where he was listed in stable condition, police said.
Beyond that we don't have any additional information.  But a good reminder to be vigilant.

One of the readers writes:
I read that there was a shooting yesterday afternoon around 3pm in the 1600 block of S. Indiana in the Prarie Ave district. One man injured. Very interestingly, there was actually a fatal shooting last summer (in July) that was quite close to this location. I believe that prior shooting, with one man killed, was near Indiana and 15th Place. This obviously raises concerns about what is going on in this particular area - is there a park or other public space in this area that attracts gang members to congregate? Or, is there a resident or small group of residents in this specific area that have some type of gang affiliation or gang ties? Is there any narcotics selling in this specific area?
Another ponders if it has anything to do with the Spring Awakening festival that took over Soldier Field during the weekend:
Can you find out any more about the shooting that supposedly took place at 16th and Indiana Saturday afternoon? Wondering if it was related to people attending the Spring Awakening festival. Worried about this somewhat.
Does anyone have any additional info?

(Hat tip: S & RC!)

Monday, June 16, 2014

U.S. Soccer Hosting Viewing Party at Arvey Field (in Sloop)

If you're like us, the World Cup excitement has swept us into a frenzy of anticipation to see how 'merica will fare in the vaunted group of death.  Well tonight is our first chance to see what's in store and if you're looking for a fun way to watch the game, U.S. Soccer is hosting a viewing party in our front yard:
This June, U.S. Soccer will host three 2014 FIFA World Cup viewing parties for the U.S. Men’s National Team matches. The events are free and open to the public.
“All soccer fans are invited to the event to celebrate the spirit of soccer and the U.S. team for these three important matches,” said U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati. “We hope these events will help connect the fans with the team and strengthen the bond between the two.”
Supported by the Chicago Park District and the Chicago Sports Commission, the viewing parties for the USA’s Group G opener against Ghana on June 16 and the U.S.-Portugal match on June 22 will take place at Arvey Field, near the Columbus Drive and Roosevelt Road intersection, in Grant Park. The Petrillo Music Shell at Butler Field, located near Columbus Drive and Jackson Street in Grant Park, will host the June 26 event around the USA’s final group match against Germany.

Pretty sweet and sounds fun.  Maybe we will see a goal like this:

Not holding our breath...

(Hat tip: E!)

Country Financial Moving in at Long Vacant 1401 S. State Retail Space

Back in April a couple readers noticed some movement within the long empty retail space at 1401 S. State.  At the time, no one really knew what it was, but hoped for a convenience store.  Sounds like they're going to be a little disappointed:
I know it's not sexy, but it looks like an insurance office called Country Financial opened in the office space of the building at 1401 S. State. Can't remember if I had seen a post about this before or not.
In other "non-sexy" retail news, it seems like American National has setup an office at 1250 S. Michigan Suite A.  We're not 100% sure if this is new, but it appears to be.  This suite used to be the sales office for the building.

(Hat tip:  RB and KW!)

Saturday, June 14, 2014

South Loop Resident, Eli Branson, Stars in "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" Musical

Always nice to see Sloopers doing good things:
We wanted to let you know that South Loop resident, Eli Branson, will star as “William Barfee” in the Tony Award-winning musical comedy THE 25th ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE at Drury Lane Theatre from June 19-August 17.  
THE 25th ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE is the uproarious story of six overachieving and quirky adolescents pitted against each other in the spelling challenge of a lifetime. The show brilliantly integrates an element of improvisation into each performance as audience members are chosen at random every night to participate in the bee along with the show's characters, allowing the excitement and humor of a spelling bee to be experienced through the thoughts, emotions, and tribulations of the young competitors. SPELLING BEE is a satire with heart that teaches the characters and audience alike that winning isn't everything and losing doesn't necessarily make you a loser.
Break a leg!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Weather Mark Tavern Celebrates 8 Years in the Sloop

We spend a lot of time on Sloopin talking about new places, but wanted to give a shout-out to Weather Mark Tavern for 8 solid years in the Sloop:

Fit Results Bringing Fitness to Printers Row

We recently posted about Gadget Geeks moving in at 620 S. Dearborn.  At the time there was also some talk about a fitness business moving in next door.

Seemed like there was some conflicting information swirling, but recently a reader sent us a picture that makes it seem like Fit Results is in fact moving at 645 S. Dearborn.

Their website is also up and running (pun intended) with information and confirmation on the location.

For the fitness buffs, you may be interested in their Triple 30 workout:
Triple 20 is a unique fitness concept which combines rowing, cycling and functional training. Designed for those who want to improve their endurance or give a kick to their training regimen. Similar but more intense & efficient than the P90X. Maximizing calorie burn during and post-workout. Up to 36 hours of calorie burn!

Seems intense.

Best of luck on your impending opening!

(Hat tip: K!)

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Sloopin Retail Roundup: Niu B & Porkchop Open; First Draft Opening Soon; Monkey Bar Gym Closes

There seems to be a flurry of businesses opening and closing recently, so here is a quick recap on some of the news we're hearing/seeing:

Now Open
Niu B (888 S. Michigan)
It was just January when word leaked out that Niu B was going to replace OYSY sushi at 888 S. Michigan.  Well a couple readers sent us notification that they opened and we recently walked by and snapped the picture below.  Congrats to them and looking forward to trying out the new spot:

Porkchop (555 S. Dearborn)
It was just May when we just heard (and saw) that Porkchop would open a second South Loop location in Printer's Row.  Porkchop will also be opening up in Roosevelt Collection.  Why have two restaurants so close to each other?  We're not sure.  Regardless, apparently they're open on Dearborn and a reader sent us this info:
Porkchop on Dearborn is open!!! My husband and I had dinner there last night and it was fantastic! I snapped quick pics of the menus, and we can vouch for the ribs, pulled pork, mac & cheese, and cornbread. The delightful girl working the front register said they're testing hours, currently open 8-8. I don't know who's eating BBQ at 8am, but there is something called the "Fat Elvis" on the menu, which is some combo of waffle, peanut butter, and bananas. So excited to have them in the neighborhood, and hoping we can drive traffic there to support them!

Opening Soon
First Draft (649 S. Clark)
There has been many false alarms on the opening of First Draft, the bar/restaurant replacing Villain's at 649 S. Clark.  Last we heard, they were shooting for an April opening.  Clearly that didn't happen.

A couple readers sent us emails and according to their Facebook page, June 16th is the official opening date:

Another blow to Motor Row as Monkey Bar Gym has closed up shop at 2255 S. Michigan.  The gym opened in late 2010 and had a pretty devoted following.  Sounds like it just wasn't working from a financial standpoint based on this Facebook post a reader sent us:
(Hat tip: ES, AK, VG, SC, SW!)

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Aerial View of Progress at the Future Fred Anderson Park

Aerial view of the progress being made at the future Fred Anderson Park:
I've been following the development of the park on Wabash between 16th and 18th. I've attached a picture from last Saturday. Should be pretty cool. I am planning to make a little time-lapse movie showing the progress. Enjoy!
The park should eventually look like this (via DNA info):
Looking forward to seeing the time lapse!

(Hat tip:  CJ!)

Golfsmith Latest Retailer Planning on "Roosevelt Retail Corridor" Presence

Roosevelt Retail Corridor is officially a thing!

Yesterday we posted about Dick's Sporting Goods opening and then immediately after that we received a bunch of emails from readers directing us to a article:
A golf retailer is stepping up to the tee in the South Loop, which has filled in with new stores over the past two years. 
Golfsmith International Inc. has leased about 14,000 square feet in the Roosevelt Galleria, a 42,000-square-foot shopping center at 603-627 W. Roosevelt Road, a spokesman for the Austin-based company confirmed. The store will be the firm's second in the city and its sixth in the Chicago area, according to the firm's website. 
“We identified the South Loop area as attractive, given its strong retail presence and convenient accessibility in the heart of the city,” the spokesman said in an email. He declined to discuss lease terms.

The company is joining a crowd of retail chains that have agreed to open stores in the South Loop, betting the Roosevelt Road retail corridor will draw shoppers from nearby neighborhoods.
This isn't terribly surprising and something many people predicted would happen eventually.

Anyway, the article goes on to compare this to North Avenue in Lincoln Park:
“I think it's somewhat comparable to what North Avenue (near Lincoln Park) has turned into,” Jeffrey Annenberg, a Skokie investor in a venture that acquired Roosevelt Galleria in 2012. The venture bought the bulk of the property from Bank of America N.A., which had seized it through foreclosure in 2011.
And if that's not enough apparently there are other developers trying to capitalize on the momentum of the shopping area:
As retailers ink more deals in the South Loop, developers are trying launch new projects in the neighborhood.

Mr. Annenberg, for example, is part of a venture that owns an approximately 66,000-square-foot parcel at 550 W. 14th Place in the South Loop. The venture has hired the Chicago office of RKF to find tenants for the site, which Mr. Annenberg said could be used for retail, medical offices or other uses.

Chicago-based investor JRG Capital Partners LLC, meanwhile, wants to develop a new shopping center at 1120 S. Clinton St.
While we've heard some people who detest these national big box retailers coming to the South Loop, we don't have those same issues.  Yes, we prefer locally run businesses but we also like for the neighborhood to continue to progress.

(Hat tip:  AR, MS, RW, NL, OI!)

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Dick's Sporting Goods Opens as the First Tenant at The Maxwell

Looks like the first tenant of The Maxwell shopping center, just north of Roosevelt, is opening it's doors (via Wall Street Journal):
DICK'S Sporting Goods (NYSE: DKS), the largest U.S. based full-line omni-channel sporting goods retailer, invites the city of Chicago to their three-day grand opening. The celebration runs Friday, June 13 through Sunday, June 15 at the new location at The Maxwell (1100 S. Canal Street). Special extended hours will be in effect all weekend. The store opens at 8:00 a.m. Friday and Saturday and 9:00 a.m. Sunday.
They will be running a bunch of promotions, but if you're a Bears fan you might like this one the most:
On Sunday, Chicago Bears player Brandon Marshall will make an in-store appearance from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.**
It seems like it's the proper time to say this, but the Roosevelt Shopping Corridor appears to be in full swing.  Yes, it's heavy on the national big box chains, but it's still a nice resource to have in the neighborhood if you ask us.

Upon request from a reader, we're instituting a new poll on the right hand side of site (it's been awhile).  Which shopping complex will have 100% occupancy first - The Maxwell or Roosevelt Collection.

(Hat tip:  VG!)

Monday, June 9, 2014

Crave (1250 S. Michigan) Not Closed - Just a Remodel

There was a lot of buzz flowing around when paper appeared on the windows at Crave Cafe and Lounge (1250 S. Michigan).

Were they closed?  Were the remodeling?  What was to be?

After some more time has passed, it appears that it was just a remodel.  Gone is the awkward "island bar" in the middle of the space.  Instead the bar has been moved to the north side of the space.

We recently walked by on Thursday night and the place was bumping.  Live band in the front and apparently standing room only.  Good for them.  Hope this renovation helps.

(Hat tip: RK, GN!)

East-West to Build 26 Floor Dorm on South Wabash?

A reader provides some real estate rumors and poses some questions:
A crew was surveying the parking lot on Wabash between 9th and the Columbia College Park last weekend.  
Rumor is the site is owned by East-West and might become 26-floor dorm. Heard anything about this yet?  
Also, do you know who owns the property just south of the 910 S Michigan building that includes parking and two Columbia College buildings? Years ago it was being developed as a condo building but I believe the property went into bankruptcy. Still bank owned?  
Finally, the On the Route bike shop next to Yolk has a sign in the window stating they're moving to a Printers Row location…you probably already know this, but just in case…
We haven't heard much on the real estate questions/rumors you posed.  Does anyone have any insight they can lend?

As you may recall East-West University did just built a beautiful 17 story building just North of this location.  We're pretty sure it includes student housing, so not sure why they would build a second dorm building.

In regard to the bike shop, we did post about that recently (link here).

(Hat Tip:  MKR!)

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Get Your Sloopin Hat Tip T-Shirt While Supplies Last!

We just stopped by Well Future Pharmacy and we're almost out of Sloopin Hat Tip T-Shirts.

First off, just wanted to say thanks.  The fact that we get so many emails from our readers is truly a testament to the amazing pride and care everyone has for the South Loop.  As we've said before, Sloopin wouldn't exist if it wasn't for all the participation we get from you.  So a big "Hat Tip" to you!

Second, if you're initials are below, hurry up and get to Well Future Pharmacy while supplies last.  Looks like there are only a couple large and XL sizes left.

For background here is the story 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:

  • YHL
  • LL
  • AS
  • TR
  • AM
  • KK
  • RM
  • BB
  • AR
  • KQ
  • VC
  • KJB
  • ML
  • DM
  • NR
  • GM
  • ME
  • MR
  • RC
  • MU
As always - thanks for the support and keep the tips coming!

Friday, June 6, 2014

The 30th Annual Printers Row Lit Fest Kicks Off Tomorrow

One of our favorite street fest's kicks off tomorrow in Printers Row.  And this year they are celebrating their 30th anniversary of the event.

The tribune sums it up nice:
What a difference three decades make. The first Printers Row book fair, in 1985, featured about 40 booksellers and attracted a reported 6,500 attendees to what once had been a somewhat dicey neighborhood. Considering the crowds in recent years, the 2014 Printers Row Lit Fest is likely to attract more than 20 times that many people. The festival, which is owned by the Chicago Tribune, will host around 150 booksellers and a full slate of readings, panel discussions and other events, featuring more than 300 authors and presenters.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

HomeMade Pizza Co. Shuts Down its Business

In case you missed this story (via Chicago Tribune):
HomeMade Pizza Co. has abruptly shut down its take-and-bake pizza stores.  
The Chicago-based chain offered ready-to-bake pizzas made with local, fresh ingredients, pitting itself against competitors ranging from pizza restaurants to grocery stores. A company co-founder and a store manager confirmed the shutdown.  
Efforts to reach Chicago-based HomeMade Pizza Co. and its officials on Monday were unsuccessful.  
Along with the closing of an estimated 22 retail outlets on Friday, HomeMade Pizza appears to have shut down its website. The move comes after sales slipped last year at U.S. pizza establishments focused solely on take home and delivery, according to industry data.

HomeMade Pizza Co opened in the Sloop in 2008 at 1347 S. Michigan and from what we could tell did a decent business.  Clearly this was more of a corporate decision, but nonetheless you never like to see businesses close.

For people on South Michigan all isn't lost in terms of getting some 'za.  Giordano's literally opened up across the street last year.

(Hat tip:  MU, PM, CPF, KP, CD, JG, PS, EM!)

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Roots of Integrity Holistic Fitness Opens at 1550 S. Indiana

We recently heard about a new fitness business called Roots of Integrity.  They opened in late February of this year and their website sums it up:
Roots of Integrity, Holistic Fitness offers Pilates, Yoga, and GYROTONIC® training for individuals of all ages and ability levels. Our mission is to find the best holistic fitness program for your needs and interests to help you achieve overall well-being.
For more info check out their website.

Congrats on the opening and welcome to the hood!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Grant Park Skate Park & Roosevelt Road Protected Bike Lane Construction Commences

Construction begins on Roosevelt and Skate Park @ Grant Park

The Chicago Tribune provides the update:
Construction on a 3-acre skate park in Grant Park begins this week as city lawmakers consider granting the project $2.5 million in tax increment financing assistance. 
The skate park, near Michigan Avenue and the 11th Street pedestrian bridge, will replace a modest skate area built eight years ago. The new space will feature a variety of elements, including structures like ramps, rails and stairs, three viewing platforms, art space, an amphitheater and landscape gardens.
Not surprisingly it appears that the proposed protected bike lane on Roosevelt is also moving forward judging by the picture above and this paragraph in the Tribune article:
Separately, construction also will soon begin along Roosevelt Road, between State Street and Columbus Drive, to widen sidewalks and create a buffer of trees between bike and car lanes, integrating the nearby CTA station with Grant Park, Soldier Field, Northerly Island and the Museum Campus.

Both of these projects are pretty interesting and should be interesting improvements to the neighborhood.  Roosevelt will apparetnly soon look like this:

For more background check out some of these older posts on the topics (skate park, roosevelt bike lane).

(Hat tip:  RC and OI!)

Monday, June 2, 2014

Enterprise Rent-a-Car Moving in at 1830 S. Wabash

A reader writes:
They've been excavating on empty lot next to goodyear (18/wabash). was hoping for some residential at some point, unfortunately building permit looks like a parking garage and enterprise rent-a-car... I don't really know anything more than this permit, so maybe put it out there and see if anybody knows anything about this.

Definitely not a sexy addition to the neighborhood, but is it better than an empty lot?


(Hat tip:  MR!)