Thursday, November 20, 2014

More "High-Profile" Restaurants Coming to South Michigan Avenue

Renovations at Chicago Athletic Association Hotel (via Eater Chicago)
Let us preface this post by acknowledging that our headline might be slightly misleading, but please hear us out.  Like many things in Chicago, it often seems like the media and people in general tend to focus on the happenings on the North side.  Fine - we get it.

However, as many of us know there are interesting things happening on the south side.  We've spent some time debating whether or not Michigan avenue (the part that borders Grant Park) could see a renaissance.  We briefly spoke about it in a post we did about "What is the Chicago Cultural Mile?" but we also specifically pondered the idea from the restaurant/bar angle when it was announced that the Grant Taproom was going to open (back in 2013).

Well the Grant Taproom never happened, but it does appear that there are some very interesting restaurant concepts coming to this stretch of Michigan ave (albiet just north of Congress and what we consider the Sloop).

At 12 S. Michigan, the Chicago Athletic Club Hotel renovation is in full swing.  With that comes two exciting restaurant concepts.  The first is the acclaimed NYC burger spot, Shake Shack, which will occupy the first floor of the hotel.  This will be the second location in Chicago for Shake Shack.  The first just opened a couple of weeks ago in River North and lines have been constant.

The second is a from some well regarded Logan Square restauranteurs (via Eater Chicago):
Land & Sea Dept., the guys behind Longman & Eagle and Parson's Chicken & Fish, have also signed onto the forthcoming hotel project in the long-vacant historic landmarked building across from Millennium Park, and is planning its first restaurant project outside Logan Square. The first inkling of the project was reported in June. 
Land & Sea says they'll handle the second floor space of the building at 12 S. Michigan Ave., which was once home to the Cherry Circle Room restaurant. They'll also operate a restored bar, part of the lobby, a tasting room and a game room—the latter of which will feature bocce, billiards, chess, and more. 
Land & Sea isn't yet releasing specifics on the food or beverage programs but they term the building, which was completed in 1893, and the spaces therein "stunning." The entire project is slated to open sometime in 2015.

Opening a block south at 122 S. Michigan is another high-profile restaurant (via Michigan Avenue Magazine):
(Alpana) Singh is expecting again, as her second Chicago dining spot, Seven Lions, is set to open in the landmark Peoples Gas Building on Michigan Avenue. Singh promises that the new lunch and dinner spot will be filled with artistic elements worthy of its historic location. As for the style of food, the restaurateur is coy but promises one thing: “I can tell you for a fact that it will not be Italian.” 
Couple this with the recent news that the Essex hotel will be getting an upgrade and that the build-out for the popular Lincoln Park Burger Bar is underway at 1160 S. Michigan, it appears that there is some serious momentum on the South Michigan restaurant/bar/nightlife front.

We're just saying that there looks like to be a bevy of new options on South Michigan and we're excited.  Yes, patience is required, but we can also be excited.

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