Friday, October 31, 2014

School of Art Institute Buys Large Lot at 609 S. State Street

The one remaining large vacant lot on south State street that's north of Roosevelt has a new owner, which points to some form of new building eventually (via Crains):
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago's newest purchase isn't a masterpiece of the artistic canon, but something that's a bit more of a blank canvas.
SAIC, as the school is called, recently paid close to $24 million for a 56,000-square-foot parking lot at 609-673 S. State St., according to a person familiar with the deal. That's almost double the approximately $12.3 million its seller, a venture of Chicago real estate firm JRG Capital Partners LLC, paid for it two years ago, the person said.
SAIC plans a “new, purpose-built school building” on the site, it said in a statement posted to its website.
“The school has not yet identified when or precisely what it will build on the land, but in the short term, SAIC will benefit from the funds received while it remains a parking lot,” according to the statement, which did not specify the address of the acquisition.
As you may recall, at one point this lot was going to be a new YMCA headquarters but that was scrapped back in 2009.

The other currently vacant lot on this stretch (at 9th and State) appears to be moving forward with a plan to build a 30+ story a condo building.

Anyway, it doesn't sound like anything concrete is in the works for the School of Art Institute at this lot, but we will keep our ears open.

The Crains article also talks about how the South Loop has solidified itself as a key hub for students and schools:
The deal is yet another sign of how the South Loop has solidified itself as the key hub downtown for colleges and universities and the development projects that play off of them. 
A gaggle of schools, including Columbia College Chicago, Roosevelt University and others, operate classrooms and have students living in the area. 
More student- and college-fueled projects are on their way. Last week, Chicago developer CA Ventures LLC debuted a new student housing complex called Infinite Chicago at Jackson Boulevard and Wabash Avenue, a few blocks north of SAIC's new property. CA Ventures also is part of a group remaking the historic Old Colony building at Dearborn and Van Buren streets into student housing.  
Dennis McClendon, vice president of development and planning issues for South Loop Neighbors, a community rganization in the area, said it made sense for SAIC to buy the parking lot on State Street for a development. 
“There's no office market for that parcel. The residential market probably doesn't want to be right there, with a site backing up to the el,” he said, referring to the tracks on the east side of the parcel. “Institutional is kind of the perfect use for it, I think, from a real estate standpoint.”

Put It On Clothing Closing at 1319 S. Michigan

Judging by the sign in the window, it looks like Put It On Clothing is closing at 1319 S. Michigan.

It was a nice store, but never really seemed to be busy.

If you recall they opened in April of 2012.  Business Counter is up-to-date.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Could Soil Boring/Sampling at SE Corner of Roosevelt and Michigan Mean Something is Coming?

Rendering of New Building at SE Corner of Roosevelt and Michigan 
A reader writes:
I'm writing to report that soil boring/sampling is being conducted at the Michigan/Roosevelt lot owned by Crescent Heights today. Perhaps the speculation about this site is almost over.

Another reader sent a similar note:
Activity at SE Corner of Roosevelt and Michigan. Today there is a small crew with a mobile drill truck. They appear to be taking soil samples and measuring.

We caution everyone to not get too excited yet.  While this could mean a development is coming, it could also mean little.

For background, there has been a lot of speculation about this lot given it's high profile nature.  Back in 2013 some crazy renderings emerged at  Nothing really came to be, but again those renderings surfaced with some additional ones back in June of 2014 - which made it seem more feasible.

We even heard a rumor that the British School of Chicago was eyeing the lot for another location (however that seemed unlikely).

If anyone has anything additional to share please let us know.

It seems like we continue to hear rumors and see "signs" but usually nothing comes to be.

(Hat tip:  BZ and AS!)

South Side Weekly: A Nice Overview of the Sloop's Past, Current and Future

18th Street Pedestrian Bridge (via South Side Weekly - Juliet Eldred)
A good read on the current state of the Sloop via South Side Weekly - although we're slightly biased since I was interviewed (South Side Weekly):
The scene is peaceful, bucolic—it’s hard to believe that it unfolds just blocks from the pulsing commercial center of Chicago. The South Loop, or “Sloop,” as it is commonly called, stretches from the Stevenson Expressway to Congress Parkway and from the lake to the Chicago River. The area has seen waves of affluence and decades of desolation, high culture and heavy crime over the last century. In the past two years, after suffering through the 2008 housing crash, a tight-knit community has begun to spread its roots in the Sloop, reflecting a desire among Chicagoans to live, once again, in a commercial center.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Elephant Room Celebrates 5 Years in the Sloop and Looks to Expand Via IndieGoGo Campaign

Elephant Room, which is a small art gallery at 704 S. Wabash, always seems to have some interesting stuff inside.

It's a nice unique business to have in the neighborhood and they're trying to expand:
Dear Friends, 
We are excited to announce our plans for growth and expansion over the next year, but we need your help to make it happen! We have been operating out of a small gallery storefront in the South Loop for the past 5 years and we are excited about our new opportunities to exhibit in other spaces with dear friends and colleagues. The idea that we can exhibit artists and network all over the city is very exciting and will allow us to continue our mission to bring under-represented artists into the forefront in a more exciting, unique and mobile fashion. 
We have partnered with Fractured Atlas in order to raise the funds necessary to reach these goals and those of our artists through our current IndieGoGo Campaign. Please take a moment to view our video and detailed information here. Check out the perks we're offering as well! 
Thank you for taking the time to check out the campaign and for your support over the last 5 years. Let's keep this going for 5 more! 
Kimberly L. Atwood
co-owner/director of Elephant Room, Inc.

But don't worry...Kimberly confirmed the current space on South Wabash will continue to be the home base.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Yoga Six to Officially Open for Stretching at Roosevelt Collection Thursday, 10/30

Looks like Yoga Six is opening this week at Roosevelt Collection:
Wanted to let you know that Yoga six opens on October 27th for our soft opening and we are offering complimentary classes from Monday the 27th through Thursday October 30th!  
Our grand opening party is Thursday evening (30th) from 6:30-9:30pm.
This was announced back in April.

Business Counter is updated.

(Hat tip: JV!)

Monday, October 27, 2014

GSLA Hosts Event at Vice District Brewing to Discuss Museum Campus Transportation Study Task Force

If you're looking for something to do tonight, this would probably worth a good brew and a nice conversation on how to improve the Sloop:

What is "The Chicago Cultural Mile"?

Upon walking down Michigan Avenue recently just north of Roosevelt, we noticed a sign we haven't seen or just simply overlooked - it says "Welcome to the Chicago Cultural Mile".

While we've heard of this and even posted about the moniker once (back in February 2013), for some reason the signs surprised us.  Upon doing some digging on the interwebs we found the following from May 2014 (via NBCchicago):
A Chicago not-for-profit organization has transformed part of Michigan Avenue into what they’re calling the “Chicago Cultural Mile” to recognize cultural institutions and historic buildings along the stretch.  
The Cultural Mile starts at the Chicago River and extends south to Roosevelt Road and east to the Museum Campus. On a map, it appears to be an extension of Michigan Avenue’s Magnificent Mile, which begins at Oak Street and ends at the river.  
Bronze signs announcing the boundaries of the Cultural Mile will be placed in medians on Michigan Avenue at Wacker Drive and Roosevelt Road this month. Owners of buildings along that stretch will also be provided with flags bearing the name “Chicago Cultural Mile” to hang from their buildings.
Seems like a nice idea to us and there surely is reason to tout all of the things on this stretch.  Frankly, all of the parks and museums along this stretch are some of the best things about Chicago.

It also seems to us that more and more interesting things are happening on Michigan Ave south of the River.  We give a ton of credit to Millennium Park and all of the tourists and people it has brought to this stretch.  Seems like the "Cultural Mile" is trending upwards.

There is even a website with background and news as well as the map above.

Anyway, it's nice to see the Sloop's stretch of Michigan Avenue get some much warranted love.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Meet Missy, a 2-Year-Old Lab Mix

Sloopin is proud to work with The Anti-Cruelty Society and the PetSmart Charities Everyday Adoption Center (EAC) in the South Loop (1101 S. Canal) to help bring awareness to their adoption program.  Every month we will be posting about a local animal who could use a home.

This week please meet Missy:
Say hello to Missy! Missy is a very sweet 2-year-old lab mix.  When she first arrived at the Everyday Adoption Center, she was slightly worried and reserved. Her new family should expect to give her the time and patience she needs to become comfortable in her new home. When Missy feels at home, she opens up and shows her true and playful personality! She absolutely loves romping around with her doggy friends, and receiving belly rubs and affection from her human friends. If you have the time to give this pretty petite lady, than stop on in and meet Missy! She's patiently waiting for you!

The EAC has room for 42 dogs, cats, puppies and kittens. The 2,075 square foot facility includes kennels for dogs of all sizes, a cat adoption center, play areas for dogs waiting to find a home and an area for adopters and pets to hold meet-and-greets. More info on the EAC and the animals available can be found here.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Windy City RE LLC Going on Motor Row Buying Spree

2210-2212 S. Michigan
Via Crains:
Windy City RE LLC is going as long as anyone is on Motor Row, teeing up a spate of acquisitions in the area next to McCormick Place. 
The Chicago-based firm is acquiring around 70,000 square feet of mostly vacant commercial properties and an empty lot near the massive convention center, betting the city's investments in a stadium for DePaul University, new hotels and a new stop on the Green Line at Cermak Road and State Street will allow it to find tenants to fill up the buildings. 
“We're trying to do what the Friedmans did in River North,” said Windy City Partner Milan Rubenstein, refering to Friedman Properties Ltd., which gobbled up properties in the neighborhood over many years, before it became hot.
If you've got the money, it seems like a good investment to us.  Yes, things are slow in and around Motor Row, but it's going to has to, right?  We've been saying this since we moved down to the Sloop in 2008...sigh.

Anyway, here is a list of the properties Windy City RE LLC has bought or are in the process of buying (via Crains):

  • 2210-2212 S. Michigan Ave 
  • 2216 S. Michigan Ave. 
  • 2244 S. Michigan Ave. 
  • 2112 S. Michigan Ave. 
  • 2241-2245 S. Michigan Ave. 
  • 1449 S. Michigan Ave. 
  • 2012-2036 S. Michigan Ave. 
  • 2001 S. State St. 
  • 2000 S. Wabash Ave.

Seems like a nice little "monopoly" stretch they're acquiring.

(Hat tip:  TOC!)

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Golub & Company Get Permits for 40 Story Tower at 1001 South State

Image from Curbed Chicago
Back in September we posted about a residential building finally moving forward at the southeast corner of 9th and State.  Well if you had doubts, more "official" things are happening to progress this project (via Curbed Chicago):
Back in November 2011, the company announced that it would build a 35 story tower on a site that was at the time a city owned property, however there was no movement on the project until this past September when the property was surrounded by fences and signs indicating that the parking lot had been closed. This led us and others to wonder if the project was finally moving forward. However, the mystery was finally solved yesterday when the city issued a construction permit to the developer to build a 397 unit, 40 story tower at 1001 S. State Street.
There still seems to be some uncertainty on what the final building will look like.

Anyway, another one of the vacant lots in the neighborhood is being developed.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

String of Burglaries Hit South Loop on Wabash

We've had some issues in our building on South Michigan, so figured it's worth posting about this we just saw (via Sun-times):
Police are investigating five recent burglaries on South Wabash in the South Loop neighborhood.  
The suspect or suspects breaks into residences while tenants are not home and takes various items, Area Central detectives said.  
Two robberies happened Oct. 7 in the 1900 block of South Wabash Avenue, one in the daytime hours between 8:15 a.m. and 6 p.m. and another between 7:45 a.m. and 8:30 p.m., police said.  
Three more burglaries happened in the 1300 block of South Wabash Avenue, police said. Two happened during the daytime on Oct. 8, while a third happened sometime in the week between Oct. 8 and Oct. 14.

Owners should keep their properties well lit and report any suspicious activity to police.  
Anyone with information about the burglaries is asked to call Area Central detectives at (312) 747-8384.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Curbed Chicago: Prepare Yourself For a Sponge-Like Lucas Museum

top left: Absolute Towers photo by Iwan Baan,
bottom left: Ordos Museum photo by Iwan Baan 
Image from Curbed Chicago
The Lucas Museum continues to get a lot of attention around the city and the interwebs. Real estate/architecture blog, Curbed Chicago is preparing us for an unusual structure for the Lucas Museum:
While we wait for designs from Beijing's MAD Architects, we're left to interpret vague hints about the design from Lucas himself and to infer from MAD's portfolio of work. We've tried to be subtle about it, but we think it's important to get used to the idea of an... unusual look for the building now, because we have a feeling that when the general public actually sees this thing there's going to be a minor whirlwind of shock and indignance from people who are already skeptical about a George Lucas museum. At Chicago Ideas Week, George Lucas spoke with Charlie Rose a bit about the forthcoming design, and Lucas said it's "going to be organic architecture" and that it's going to look like a living thing, "like a sponge." If you ask us, that sounds a lot more like MAD's Ordos Museum design, than the neoclassical rectangles the average Chicagoan might think of as standard-issue museum design.
Whatever it ends up being, it seems like it will be unique.  We're pretty excited, but also strangely nervous about this new museum.  Yes, we have problems.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Gymboree Play & Music Center Closes at 600 W. Roosevelt

A reader writes:
I haven't seen this yet on Sloopin (sorry if I missed it completely), but I have been having a hard time getting in touch with Gymboree. Finally this weekend I tried to call the one in North & Clybourn and in Lincoln Park. Lincoln Park's Gymboree confirmed that the two Gymboree's (our Roosevelt location and the North & Clybourn location) have shut down. I'm sorry to hear it, although I admit, it was a little difficult sometimes to get to via public transportation!
Seems kinda strange, but it does seem like the retail on and around Roosevelt west of the river is changing.  It was a strange mix of mom and pop stores that seemed dated.  Now it seems like big box retailers are moving in quickly.

However, it seems like Gymboree would fit into this newer mix (granted we have no clue who the target market is for Gymboree).

Anyway, business counter is updated with this closing.

(Hat tip:  VH!)

Friday, October 17, 2014

18th Street Metra Stop Gets Some Much Needed Love

A reader writes:
The 18th Street Metra Stop is in rough shape. Old, weak wood and rusty nails. Well... Metra is sprucing it up! It should - the Electric Line and the 18th Street Stop gets a lot of use on game days. And more South Loop residents are catching on that it is a great way to zoom to work in Hyde Park or the Loop. 10 minutes to Millennium Station. Zone A rides are under $2.75, so comparable to CTA (which is $2.25). 
By the way... The morning trains North to the Loop from 18th are at 7:42am, 8:23am and 9:42am. Access the stop via the foot bridge off of Calumet Metra told me they'd add more Flag stops if Sloopers show demand is there and email them at 
Pictures attached (bird's eye view from the Tic Tac Toe towers): full platform on game day + empty while they replace boards - snapped this morning Oct 11. I also threw in a shot of the new bus drop off space the City added two weeks ago. It is accessible from the service drive, which hopefully means less party busses clogging Prairie District surface streets during Soldier Field events.

This seems like smart, collaborative transit and pedestrian planning. 
Kudos to the City, to Metra, and to Sloopers for teaming up! The South Loop just keeps getting better...
(Hat tip: SLV!)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

More Evidence that Aurelio's is Actually Coming to the Sloop

OK.  This might not surprise anyone, but a reader recently sent us this picture officially promoting that Aurelio's is opening at the southwest corner of Michigan and Roosevelt:

Last we heard they were shooting for an opening date of January 2015.  Hopefully that's still the case.

Since we're focused on the corner of Michigan and Roosevelt, it also looks like something with a bar buildout is also happening at the northwest corner in the Columbian building.  We officially saw it with our own eyes.  I SEEN IT!!!!  Again all signs point to the Burger Bar.

(Hat tip:  HS!)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Peregrine Falcon Having a Snack at 5 E. 14th Place

Could it be Sloopy?
You'd posted a shot I'd gotten of a peregrine from a distance a while ago (a year or two?); couldn't believe my luck with the picture I got today...from my couch...maybe 30 minutes after reading about the Chicago Peregrine Program in the Field Museum 'in the Field' member magazine. This is from the 5 E. 14th Place building. Feel free to use one if you'd like :)
So here is the post the reader was referencing from 2012.

Anyway it's probably not Sloopy the falcon unfortunately.

If you recall we've had various posts on the topic of Peregrine Falcons here at Sloopin.  Back in 2009, Field Museum employee Stephanie Ware asked our readers to help spot some mysterious Peregrine's that were flying around the neighborhood.

Then in 2010 some of the flacons came back and were nesting on the top of 1130 S. Michigan.  Later we found out that since we helped the Field Museum locate some of the falcons they actually named a baby SLOOPY!  Yes, a Peregrine Falcon named Sloopy!

Ironically, SLOOPY doesn't live in the Sloop.  She actually lives in Indiana now (from the Field Museum website):
“Sloopy” (b/r, 06/E) a female produced in 2009 at the Broadway site in Chicago, Illinois. Sloopy paired with an unbanded male at the Inland Steel lime plant (Mittal Steel, Indiana Harbor East) in East Chicago, Indiana. This was Sloopy’s second year at the site. Raul Dominguez checked the nest box on 3/26 and found a banded adult present in box but no eggs observed. There were four eggs on 4/20 and 4/26. The adult was still incubating on 5/2. Two chicks and one egg were reported on 5/6. At least three chicks (probably 4) were seen on 5/9. Four chicks (3f,1m) were banded on 5/22. They fledged by mid-June.
Since then we've had various other posts.  Here is one from 2011 looking west.  Most recently we received an amazing pic from a Related Real Estate agent of one of the falcons perched on a high-rise on Roosevelt Road with an amazing view in the background:

If this has wet your appetite for more info, here is a Peregrine Falcon facebook page as well as a website about the Field Museum's program.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

October is Customer Appreciation Month at Chicago Oyster House (1933 S. Indiana); Get Complimentary $10 Gift Card

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1st Public Meeting Being Held Today to Discuss Transportation Ideas to Improve Museum Campus

DNAinfo has an article about the desire to create a new Museum Campus Transit Plan to improve access to/from many of the destinations:
The Chicago Park District and the Metropolitan Planning Council are seeking ideas from the public on how to "rebrand Museum Campus as its own destination" at a public meeting Tuesday, Grant Park Conservancy President Bob O'Neill said. 
The goal is to "to come up with a framework plan for the whole Museum Campus" that coincides with construction of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Arts and a Jeanne Gang-designed bridge connecting Northerly Island to the museum mainland, O'Neill said.  
Tuesday's meeting is the start of a six-month planning process featuring multiple calls for ideas from the public. The open house from 4-6 p.m. Tuesday at 140 S. Dearborn St., Suite 1400, will focus specifically on transportation ideas for Museum Campus's overhaul.

As you may recall back in August, Mayor Emanuel announced his desire to improve what he called a "bottleneck" to and from the Museum Campus.

The city has launched a website to seek out ideas (website here).  While many of the suggestions would be improvements, nothing seems like a game changer.  Obviously this is just the first step in the process, but we're hoping for some vast improvements.

Wasn't it Rahm Emanuel who said "don't waste a good crisis".  Not sure if we would classify this as a crisis, but it does appear that our mayor is using the Lucas Museum as a way to fix the Museum Campus access "crisis".

Monday, October 13, 2014

Old Post Office Project Will Not Be Delivered - Going Back to the Drawing Board

Image from Curbed Chicago
The old, massive post office redevelopment project has hit another major snag (via Tribune):
Bill Davies' plans for the old post office, the behemoth concrete building that straddles the Eisenhower Expressway, were once compared to believing in unicorns and fairy tales. 
True to expectations, this story will not have a happy ending. Not after Crain's reported Wednesday that a plan to redevelop the building in a joint venture between the fast-growing Chicago developer Sterling Bay and Davies had fallen apart, and that Sterling Bay had offered Davies nearly $150 million for it. 
That would be at least $125 million more than he paid for it in 2009.
Davies' London-based representative Richard Sykes told me Wednesday that "a new, grand plan for the whole site" is in the works. He describes it as a "much clearer idea" of what would be the "best possible scenario."  
When might the world see an outline of this wonder?  
"Three to four weeks," Sykes said.

Don't hold your breath.

This building and the grand plans for it remain elusive.  Earlier this year it was rumored that Walgreens Co. (based in Deerfield) was kicking the tires on the building to see if it could serve as their headquarters.

Beyond that it's been rumored to be a prime site for the similarly elusive Chicago casino.

Stay tuned, this story isn't getting resolved anytime soon.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Recently on the Sloopin Message Board...

It's been a grip since we've posted about our message board!

If you're not familiar, it's intended to be a resource for community topics and pretty much anything else you can think of.  Anyway, here are some of the most recent topics that have been posted and discussed:

Friday, October 10, 2014

More Chicago Marathon Shenanigans: #LastMileBeer

What we presume is a response to our "warning" post about the screaming and noise makers during the Chicago Marathon, a reader writes:
Oh we’ll be out there again this year.
#lastmilebeer #chicagomarathon

mile 25 of the #chicagomarathon giving away #beer

That guys expressions is priceless...

(Hat tip: CD!)

Details Emerge On Vision for Lucas' Narative Art Museum

New homepage for the
The Tribune has a detailed overview on the ambition of the museum:
Pledging to "challenge the way people think about museums," the coming Lucas Museum of Narrative Art will feature "popular art from illustration to comics, an insider’s perspective on the cinematic creative process, and the boundless potential of the digital medium."  
That's part of the most detailed vision yet offered publicly for the new museum backed by "Star Wars" creator George Lucas and slated for Chicago Park District land in parking lots south of Soldier Field.  
The museum quietly put up a new website this week ( that replaces a more basic site and lays out Lucas's vision in much more detail.

Seems interesting to us.  However, we're most interested to see the plan for the building and how it will fit into the Sloop and Museum Campus.  Designs are tentatively planned to be shared in late 2014.

Stay tuned.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

16th Street Train Tracks To Provide Express Route to McCormick Place from O'Hare?

Public transit is near and dear to our heart.  It's something that makes Chicago a world class city and differentiates our metropolis from some of those sprawling, newfangled "western" cities.  Anyway, upon reading the Tribune today, we see that some Alderman are pushing for a new study to improve access to and from O'Hare and the downtown core (among other things):
Five aldermen well-versed in Chicago's transportation issues on Wednesday called for yet another study to examine the feasibility and cost of launching high-quality airport express train service for O'Hare International Airport, Union Station and McCormick Place. 
The proposal for the speedy, upscale service to be operated by Metra or Amtrak — or possibly under a public-private partnership — follows yearslong studies by the CTA and the city's transportation and aviation departments, as well as a separate state analysis that called on the expertise of the University of Illinois.

This isn't a new concept, but what might be interesting to some of us Sloopsters is that there is focus on McCormick Place and potentially looking at the 16th street:
One of the benefits, the resolution said, would be direct South Side Metra service to O'Hare, using an elevated freight line along 16th Street from the lakefront to Halsted Street and connecting ramps.  
The Department of Aviation, meanwhile, should conduct a new round of solicitations requesting information from train operators around the world, as well as financiers, on the feasibility of establishing the express train service to McCormick Place, running along tracks owned by Metra and the Canadian National Railway, the resolution said.
That's an interesting thought.  While we've heard various articles talk about the tracks at 16th (aka St. Charles Airline) this is the first we've heard about it being discussed as a route to O'Hare.

While this probably isn't going anywhere fast (the trains on this track...cue sarcastic drum run), it's still something worth keeping our eye on.

Marathon Weekend is Here Which Means Street Closures and Ringing Noise Makers

Running a marathon is crazy and it's definitely a feat to complete.  The Sloop is ground zero for the agonizing pain that is associated with finishing a marathon.

As you may or may not know, South Michigan Ave and Roosevelt road are mile 25 and 26 of the end of the Chicago Marathon.  So while the conditioned competitive runners will have no issues (or visible signs of pain), if you wait long enough you will see what running that far means to your "average" runner.

Anyway, it's definitely an interesting event and for most of us, it's footsteps away from our front door.

With that also means some inconveniences.  For instance Michigan Ave between 35th and Roosevelt will be closed from 7am to 3pm.  Roosevelt road will also be closed from 6am to 4:30pm between Michigan and Columbus dr.  For the full list of street closures click here.

Also, if you're close to these streets chances are you will hear blaring music, screaming fans and the dreaded consistent ringing of noise makers:

Don't get me wrong, this isn't easy and these runners need all the encouragement we can muster, but if you're not expecting this on a Sunday morning you could be rudely greeted...early...just warning you.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Halloween Hallway Pop-up Store Opens at 9th and State

Halloween is a big deal here in the halls of Sloopin.  Yes it's a silly "holiday", but it's a fun excuse to be stupid.

Anyway, if you're of a similar belief and need to find a costume it looks like a Halloween Pop-up store is open at 9th and State:

Obviously there are some other places (target, etc) where you can find some Halloween garb, but probably nothing as extensive (or expensive) as the pop-up store.

President Obama's Visit Means Caravan Comes to the Sloop

As you may or may not know, when President Obama comes to Chicago his trip usually involves a trip on Marine Force One from O'Hare to Northerly Island (what we assume is to avoid/cause crazy traffic on the highways as well is probably better for security purposes).  This most recent visit sounded like he flew into Gary Indiana's airport before taking Marine One to Northerly Island according to CBS2.

A reader sent us some pictures as he came to Norther Island:
Attached are photos I took from my balcony of the air force one helicopters over northerly island, and then the motorcade driving by after on lake shore drive by soldier field.
(Hat tip:  PL!)

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Meet Bears Rookie Stud Kyle Fuller at the Opening of the Verizon Wireless at The Maxwell

It hasn't been easy watching the Bears lately.  A season that looked promising on paper hasn't really lived up to the hype (we haven't thrown the towel in yet, but the road isn't going to be easy here on out).

However, there have been some bright spots this season so far and probably the biggest is the play of rookie corner back Kyle Fuller (who also just won the defensive rookie of the month award):
So what does this have to do with the Sloop you may ask?  Two things:
  1. We like the Bears
  2. He will be appearing at the new Verizon Wireless store at The Maxwell this evening (10/7) so you have a chance to meet him and get your autograph/photo etc:

This also gives us an excuse to talk about the Bears while also posting that Verizon Wireless is apparently open at the Maxwell.

Business Counter is also updated.

Peet's Coffee and Tea Opens at 8th and Wabash

For the Coffee (and tea) lovers of the Sloop, you might like to know that Peet's Coffee and Tea at the southwest corner of Wabash and 8th is now open.

As you may recall, Caribou Coffee used to occupy this location but the company decided to close down all the stores in Chicago.  It was announced that some of the locations (obviously the one in the South Loop) would be converted to Peet's.

So here we are today, with the 13 seconds to cross the street to get to try out Peets...

Welcome to the Sloop.  Business Counter is updated.

(Hat tip:  LL!)

Monday, October 6, 2014

Flo & Santos Earns Honor of One of Chicagoist's Best Pizzas

Flo & Santos gets some love from Chicagoist's 18 Best Pizzas in Chicago- 2014 edition:
Flo & Santos
This South Loop restaurant continues to impress me and people I suggest it to, four years after I first reviewed it for Chicagoist. The pizzas here are the foundation and Santos’ menu and perfectly encapsulates Flo & Santos’ Polish/Italian mélange. The Polish pizza, topped with house made kielbasa, sauerkraut and crumbled bacon, is a gut buster, while Santo’s Margherita pizza is a stellar, light pie. Fans of Canadian bacon and pineapple can’t go wrong with the Kai’s Hawaiian pizza. My favorite is still the Buffalo Bill’s pizza, a tangy, zesty eating experience with grilled chicken breast, bleu cheese, green onions and Buffalo sauce. Diners would do well to give the rotating farmers market-inspired pizzas a look, as well. —Chuck Sudo
Flo & Santos is located at 1310 S. Wabash Ave.

They do have some tasty 'za - our favorite is "Grace's Favorite" consisting of sausage, mushrooms, red onion and green pepper.

However, surprisingly our favorite thing on the menu are the tantalizingly tender "Flying Pork Wings" - all we can say is wowsa:

Saturday, October 4, 2014

City Begins Payment for Vacant Michael Reese Hospital Property It Acquired Back in 2009 for Olympic Village

The Chicago Reader weighs in on the city's Michael Reese property bill:
The Old Michael Rees Hospital (image via Sun-Times Media)
Yesterday was a banner day in the city's effort to waste more property tax dollars on dreadful tax increment financing deals. 
In this case, the city sent roughly $1.3 million—the first of many such payments, mind you—to one of the world's largest privately held medical supply companies in exchange for the Michael Reese Hospital property. 
A property that apparently nobody else wanted. 
My guess is that Mayor Emanuel didn't mention this in any of his daily press releases because there was just no way his media team, as nimble as it is, could possibly spin it into good news—though it would be fun to watch them try. 
Instead, I learned about the payment in an article by Micah Maidenberg, a real estate reporter for Crain's Chicago Business. 
But for Micah, you may have forgotten that in 2009, we, the taxpayers of this fair city, agreed to buy Michael Reese—and its surrounding 41-acre campus—from Medline Industries for up to $91 million.  
Actually, we didn't agree to that, as nobody asked us.
Instead, Mayor Richard M. Daley agreed to it, using TIF dollars that he'd diverted from schools, parks, and pensions.

As you may or may not know, this property was first acquired by the city to be the home of the Olympic Village.  Obviously we know what happened with that (we didn't get it...).  The site has been rumored to be a location for The Obama Presidential Museum, a Casino and most recently as an alternative for the George Lucas Museum.

Despite all this chatter, the site sits vacant and now we're paying for it.  Sigh...

2015 NFL Draft Coming to Auditorium Theater on Congress Parkway

It may be hard to get excited for football these days (that Bears game last Sunday made me throw up a little), but the future always breeds new excitement.

And next year, it sounds like you will have the opportunity to witness the future in person as the 2015 NFL draft well be held at Roosevelt University's Auditorium Theater at Congress Pkwy and Wabash (via ESPN):
The NFL draft has a new date -- and a new home.  
Next year's draft will be at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University in Chicago from April 30 to May 2.  
The Chicago Bears confirmed the news in a tweet Thursday. Yahoo! Sports was first to report the location.  
The draft will be a week earlier than last year and a week later than normal.  
Los Angeles was the other contender to replace New York City as the home of the draft, which became a necessary move due to Radio City Music Hall -- the traditional venue -- being unavailable.  
The draft was held in Chicago in 1938, 1942-44, 1951, and 1962-64.
It's a nice win for Chicago and the theater is truly beautiful (although some of the seats in the balcony are FAR away from the stage.

Anyway, should be a fun event!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Buffalo Wild Wings "Coming Soon" to The Maxwell

A reader writes:
Looks like another food spot is setting up shop on the corner of Taylor and Clinton!

(Hat tip:  RP!_

New Fox Show "Empire" Filming in the Sloop

A reader writes on our Facebook page:

While this seems slightly contrived, we're pretty big fans of Terrence Howard.  That alone is reason enough for us to tune.  Couple that with some South Loop scenes and now we're officially intrigued.

Here is the trailer:

(Hat tip: MD!)

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Get Your Sloopin "Hat Tip" T-Shirt!

The new Sloopin "Hat Tip" T-shirts are here and for those of you who have recently submitted tips or published posts you're now officially eligible to get your t-shirt.  If you see your initials below, please send an email to to let us know you're going to go to Well Future Pharmacy (1442 S. Michigan) to redeem your shirts:
  • CK
  • NS
  • GS
  • DN
  • BT
  • Ash
  • AB
  • BB
  • MO
  • HH
  • MD
If this post doesn't mean anything to you and you're like "Wha?!?!? click here for some background on the Sloopin Hat Tip program.

Thanks again for all the tips, photos, suggestions and whatnot.  Without you Sloopin wouldn't exist!

Roosevelt/Wabash Divvy Station Moved to Parking Lot on Wabash Just North of Roosevelt

A reader writes:
Do you know what happened to the DIVVY bike station at Roosevelt and Wabash?

Yes...yes we do.  Thankfully another reader alerted us to this change:
I noticed this morning that the Divvy station at Roosevelt and Wabash was gone. From Divvy's FB page:

For those of you who can't see the image very well, the divvy station is now located in a vacant parking lot just north of 5 Guys.

(Hat tip:  MO & HH!)

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

A Video of the Rees Coach House Moving Down Prairie Ave.

Well the Rees Coach house has moved down the street and in the event you didn't see it a reader took a great video for your viewing pleasure:

As a reminder the actual Rees house is scheduled to move in early November.

(Hat tip: BB!)

Eating Vincent Price Pop-up Dinner Invades the Sloop

This sounds interesting:
Eating Vincent Price is a one-of-a-kind pop-up dinner event that will feature dishes based on the cookbook, A Treasury of Great Recipes written by the legendary actor, oenophile and gourmand. Enjoy dishes prepared by Chef Aram Reed and themed-cocktails prepared by drink chef and W Hotel Chicago resident mixologist, Lauren Parton. Price’s daughter, Victoria will also be in attendance with samples of her soon-to-be released Vincent Price Signature Wine Collection. The event takes place on Monday, October 6, 2014 at a South Loop mansion.
Allows us to post this:

(Hat tip: AB!)