Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Sloopin Open House:
Soaring Ceilings at 70 East 18th Street

As we said last week, we're going to try to highlight some of the more interesting open houses we see every week.  We're not claiming they're the best deals or that we would necessarily recommend jumping all over an opportunity, but I doesn't hurt to look, right?

If you're a sucker for soaring ceilings and Kroll's (we do), then you might want to head on down to 70 East 18th Street on Sunday between 1-3pm.  While this 2 bed/2 bath seems pretty pricey at $494K, this living room looks pretty sweet to us:
It also appears that the price for this unit recently had a price reduction.  Enjoy!

Friday, February 27, 2015

South Loop Market to Open a Store at Michigan and Cermak

A reader sends us the following:
"You may or may not be aware, but The LEX has a business tenant coming into the commercial space at the corner of Michigan Ave & Cermak Rd. South Loop Market is coming this Spring! Please pardon the intermittent noise as the build out takes place. We apologize for any inconvenience and we look forward to welcoming the 4th location of South Loop Market, and to the fresh grocery options coming soon. Check out for more info."
It appears that the South Loop Market empire continues its out 7-11!

This will be their 4th South Loop Market in the neighborhood.  They are also opening up a market in the Marina Towers in River North (it's unclear, albeit doubtful, that they will call this one South Loop Market).

While a convenience store might not be the most sexy retail business, it seems like you have to chalk this up as another good development for the Motor Row area.  The guys at South Loop Market clearly seem to have a model that's working but there is another market (McCormick Market) that's just across the street in the retail strip on the northwest side of Cermak and Michigan.  As they say...competition is a good thing.

Could Motor Row really be gaining momentum?   Maybe...maybe.

(Hat tip:  DT!)

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Jamaica Jerk Villa Signs Lease on Motor Row

Burn (via Chicago Tribune)
On December 31st, 2014, Jamaica Jerk Villa was victim to a huge fire that destroyed their business and all the others at the rundown strip mall at the northeast corner of Cermak and Indiana.

However, with every obstacle comes an opportunity and it appears that the owners of the restaurant have seized this moment.  DNAinfo reports:
Jamaica Jerk Villa plans to return to the South Loop despite losing its business to a fire late last year.

The Caribbean restaurant serving jerk chicken and fish has signed a lease at 2216 S. Michigan Ave., according to building owner Windy City RE LLC. Jerk Villa is applying for a liquor license and plans to open the new Motor Row restaurant this summer.
While we've never been to the restaurant, we have contemplated it many many times.  For whatever reason the conspicuously questionable corner of State and Cermak has always caused us to opt for different options.

Anyway, the move to Motor Row seems like a great thing for this business.  While they might not get the foot traffic, theoretically they could be setup better for the longterm as the city continues to push for Motor Row to become something.

Looking forward to trying them out (finally!).

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Missed the PDNA Community Meeting? Don't Worry Read the Overview Powerpoint Deck

It's unfortunate that it took us this long, but we just wanted to give a big shout-out to the Prairie District Neighborhood Alliance for a great community meeting back on February 16th.

We weren't able to attend, but they did a great job providing live tweets on what was going on.  Honestly, job well done.

Townhouse Project at 18th and Prairie
If you didn't have a chance to attend the meeting and weren't following via twitter, don't fret.  You can flip through their powerpoint deck at this link.

The meeting had a wide range of topics.  Some serious (see South Loop Schooling situation as well as Crime/Safety update) and some not as much (look a new dog spa called Blu Dog Play Stay Spa at 2000 S. Wabash) it was pretty informative - even if you weren't able to attend.

There were a ton of development updates.  It looks like attendees were treated to an overview of all the prospective Motor Row developments.  They also had updates on two new townhouse projects (one at 18th and Prairie and the other on the 1800 block of South Calumet).

Keep up the good work - the community thanks you!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Loop "Connector" Could Revolutionize Public Transportation for the Sloop

While public transportation is pretty good in the sloop, an old plan called the "Loop Connector" has apparently resurfaced and is gathering support and love from local groups. DNAinfo has the story:
A big ghost of urban planning past is returning to Chicago.  
The Loop "Connector," an ambitious public transit plan that has been discussed and discarded by city officials for decades, is the subject of a new report being developed by the University of Illinois at Chicago and the Chicago Central Area Committee, a Downtown planning group.  
The report's steering committee will meet next week after securing more than $100,000 supporting the study, Chicago Central Area Committee Executive Director Kelly O'Brien said.  
The Connector, which was first proposed in the 1970s, would connect the east and west sides of the Loop via train, and add new stations at presently unconnected destinations, including Navy Pier and the Museum Campus.

While it sounds enticing, it also sounds pretty unlikely.  We're fortunate that people are willing to see the big picture, but we're not optimistic that the necessary government agencies could pull something like this off.

But regardless it's fun to dream.  The image on the right pretty much speaks for itself.  At the idea's core, a new CTA El line would intersect various existing lines.  The major selling point is that the new line would better connect the Metra lines to the El lines as well as provide one train access to Navy Pier, Museum Campus and McCormick Place (which is seems like a no brainer given the amount of tourists each attract from around the area).

From a loop standpoint, this could also mean some new stations that could better serve our neighborhood.  The map above shows a new stop at Roosevelt and Wells, Museum Campus, 18th street and McCormick place.  The last three stops would be a pretty big deal since it would better connect the southeast portion of the neighborhood (albiet also probably make it more crowded and noisy compared to its current state which is tranquil and quiet).

The plan also shows a potential "south loop" of the El which could also create a line that seems to follow Wells south and would have a stop at 18th street and then turn left at Cermak (and utilize the new Green line stop at Cermak).  While this seems even more unlikely, it could dovetail with the city's plan to build the Wells/Wentworth connector (seems like there would potentially be some efficiencies if you were building a road and train track at the same time).

Anyway, this all feels like a pipe dream.  Or could it be a revolutionary solution for Mayor Emmanuels desire to provide better access to museum campus?

Obviously his focus is on his re-election, but wasn't he the one who said "you never want a serious crisis to go to wasted."

While this might not be a "crisis", maybe he can drum up the support to solve this problem.

Monday, February 23, 2015

La Haven Coffee by La Colombe Coming to 1240 S. Michigan

A reader writes:
If you have not heard already, the Crave space has a sign up that says Barista wanted. Hopefully a coffee spot works there this time!
La Colombe in the West Loop
After some more digging based on the image above, it appears that La Colombe has three established coffee shops in Wicker Park, West Loop and Andersonville (and all appear to have pretty solid Yelp ratings of 4+ stars).  They also have other locations in New York, Philly and DC.

While we've never been, it clearly seems like they have a model that has proven successful (and we imagine good coffee to boot).  The fact that they're an established company seems like they will have a better chance of succeeding compared to the last two or three businesses that have habited this retail spot.

If you recall, Winestyles (1240 S. Michigan) was open their the longest, but closed in 2010.  After that, Karamela Cafe had some hiccups trying to open, but eventually did in 2012.  But they appeared to have some consistency and management problems and then closed in 2013.  The last business to give it a go, was Crave.  Their model of being a bar/restaurant/night spot was a tough ask for this little retail space.  They opened in late 2013, but closed in 2014.

Anyway, it seems like a coffee shop could flourish in this space.  We've heard comments that the neighborhood has been clamoring for something like a coffee shop where neighbors could gather and hang out along this stretch (specifically along Michigan Avenue between Roosevelt and 16th), so have to imagine this could quell those desires.

Like much of Chicago and the country for that matter, coffee seems to be the hottest thing around (that and craft beer).  Obviously there are numerous places to get coffee in the area whether it's your standard restaurant or convenience store.  But more and more, we're getting coffee shops to enjoy your cup of jo and hang out.

Let's not forget about locally owned, Overflow Coffee Bar (1550 S. State) which has been going strong since 2011.  Bridgeport Coffee Company opened at Roosevelt Collection in late 2013.  We also heard news of a Coffee Shop opening at 800 S. Clark.

Just North of us, there are a bevy of specialty coffee shops ranging from HERO Coffee Bar (439 S. Dearborn),  Dollop Coffee Co. (343 S. Dearborn),  Intelligentsia (53 W. Jackson) and Asado Coffee Roasters (22 E. Jackson)

While we don't need to spend a ton of time talking about Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts, another large, well regarded coffee shop, Peets coffee & tea, replaced Caribou last year at 8th and Wabash.

Point being, there are more and more places to get your caffeine fix and hangout in the Sloop.

(Hat tip:  GS!)

Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Sloopin Open House: Townhouse Living at 1522 S. Prairie

Real estate activity is always a hot topic in the Sloop and with that said, it seems like we're constantly perusing the interwebs to see what's on the market.

Whether or not your active in the market, either buying or selling, it's fun to see what the Sloop has to offer.  Hey, if you're sitting at home and have nothing to do, why not drop in on an open house and see how someone else might live.

With that said, we're going to try to highlight some of the more interesting open houses we see every week.  We're not claiming they're the best deals or that we would necessarily recommend jumping all over an opportunity, but I doesn't hurt to look, right?

With that said, for our first inaugural post on the topic, we're peeping out a spot at 1522 S. Prairie.  If you're looking for townhouse-type living but don't want to break the bank, this 2bd/2.5bth unit seems to have a nice layout and be relatively affordable just under $500K.

This open house is today, Sunday 2/22 from noon to 2pm.

For more pics and info click here.

#ShotsAroundTheSloop: Tearing Down the Roof

@Cullerton and Wabash

(Hat tip: MD!)

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Get Your Girl Scout Cookies Tomorrow at 1250 S. Michigan

Get some cookies and support a good cause!

Police Investigating a Possible Armed Robbery at Harrison Red Line Stop

Be cognizant and alert (via ABC7):
Police are investigating a possible armed robbery on a CTA platform at State and Harrison in Chicago's South Loop.  
A woman said she was waiting for a southbound train at the Harrison Red Line station around 1:30 p.m. Friday when she was approached by a young man, believed to be in his early teens, who demanded money from her. She said the man took cash from her before fleeing to a stairwell.

(Hat tip:  NK!)

Recently on the Sloopin Message Board...

In case you didn't know, the Sloopin message board provides a great place to ask questions and engage with your neighbors.  Here is a smattering of some of the most recent posts/conversations:

Friday, February 20, 2015

More Rumors & Information About Potential High-Rise at Southeast Corner of Michigan and Roosevelt

Massing Model for Building
@ SE Corner of
Michigan & Roosevelt?
Well yesterday we received a tip from a reader that a poster on had some more rumors/information on this corner:
Hello all, First time poster on SkyscraperPage. I recently moved to Chicago and also from skyscrapercity to skyscraperpage. I am a Landscape Architect for a great landscaping company in Chicago.  
I scanned back through the last 50 pages of the forum and see a lot of great projects in the pipeline! I didn't see anything about a project being bid in our commercial estimating department right now (but I could easily have overlooked). It's a 50+ story scraper just off Grant Park. It has a series of step backs with green roofs. I'll try to get more info about the exact location and who the architects are if this project has not already been reported in here.  
I look forward to contributing photos and whatever comes across my path to the forum. Cheers!
As the thread goes on, it becomes clear that the parcel of land the reader is talking about is none-other than the the lot at Michigan and Roosevelt:
So the project is called Grant Park Tower III. It is on the south side of the park. Architect is Rafael Vinoly. I counted over 70 floors - parapet height is 830'. I did a google search and it appears that it is a project back from the dead with an overhaul on the design. Many step backs with cool pocket green roofs.
If you're interested in the story, we highly suggest heading on over to the page to read through the posts.

The conversation gets pretty detailed, but eventually some pics come out of what the building might look like from a massing model standpoint (see image above).

While it still seems like there is a lot of unknown information, this story seems to be getting more real by the day.

Stay tuned.

(Hat tip:  AT!)

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Loyal Sloopin Readers, Tejas Yoga Has a Deal For You

sponsored post

Jim Bennitt and James Tennant, co-owners of Tejas Yoga (1300 S. Wabash), are happily established in the South Loop. They feel the energetic and friendly atmosphere that’s found here is cultivated by people like you and they’re offering several discounted rates on classes and memberships to the Sloopin community. 

Tejas Yoga values yoga as a living tradition: a dynamic, flexible practice grounded in the ancient teachings and suited to contemporary conditions and concerns. They believe there is an ideal yoga practice for every body and every intention, and aspire to help everyone who walks in our doors in finding an effective path to health, inspiration, and fulfillment.

You can learn more about Tejas Yoga, Jim and James on their website at

All first-time students/Sloopin readers can choose from the following deals:

 A 2-week unlimited yoga package for $25 (regularly $50) 20% off any bundle of 5, 10, or 20 classes. (regularly $70, $130, and $240 -- you can see that 20% off of these packages means a lot of $$ saved)
Restrictions: These deals are only for students who have never been to Tejas Yoga before and who are readers of Sloopin.

To redeem this special offer, check out the schedule, choose a class you'd like to attend, then call or email the studio. Mention the Sloopin deal and we will reserve your spot . Come 10-15 minutes before the start of class so you can settle up and settle in.

If there are any questions before then, please contact Jim/James through email at or give us a call at 312-386-9642.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

High-Profile HighRise Alert: Surveyors Spotted at Southeast Corner of Roosevelt & Michigan

Could something really be happening at the empty, high-profile southeast corner of Michigan and Roosevelt?  A reader writes:
There were surveyors on the empty lot today on the southeast corner of Roosevelt and Michigan.
Rendering of "The Chicago" at Michigan and Roosevelt
Well this isn't the first time we've talked about this lot - cue required mention of grandiose high-rise that many have completely discounted.  While we're not saying "The Chicago" will be built (which is the rendering in the image on the right), it only seems like a matter of time until something gets announced here.

We heard a rumor about the British School of Chicago looking at this lot, but that seems HIGHLY unlikely (and probably unnecessary given their current building just north of Roosevelt Collection). 

While surveyors don't always mean something is definitely coming, it does usually mean there is some interest.  

With the real estate market heating up (see post yesterday) it just seems like this lot getting developed is inevitable.

If it happens, hopefully it's a statement high-rise.  This is about as high-profile of a spot that there is in the South Loop.

(Hat tip:  AK!)  

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

South Loop Real Estate Median Sales Price Rose 8.3% in 2014

2014 is done, but real estate numbers are still rolling in and being crunched.  A couple of weeks ago we did a post about the top 5 highest selling homes in the Sloop in 2014.  Well we have some other broader real estate numbers to share about the neighborhood courtesy of Jim LaHa:
With data coming in for the final months of 2014, we’re getting a closer look at how the real estate market fared over the last year and where it is likely headed in 2015. 
At the state level, Illinois home prices continued to recover with the median sales prices showing year-over-year gains in every month of 2014. Home sales, while modestly lower than last year, pointed toward a stabilizing market, according to the National Association of Realtors. 
In 2014, the Near South Side (South Loop, Dearborn Park, Printers Row and Prairie District neighborhoods) saw a 0.87% year-over-year home sales decrease with 2014 sales at 794, down from 801 in 2013. However, the median sales price rose from $350,000 to $379,000. An 8.3% increase during that same period. 
Other South Loop market area stats of interest include: Average market time 68 days, Percentage of original asking price received 99.8%, Average Sales price $449,089 (attached single family) $1,118,667 (detached single family) and Current monthly supply 3.1 months. 
Our real estate recovery should continue to make strides in 2015. Even with tight inventory, motivated buyers are still looking to take advantage of nearly record low interest rates, as they are expected to rise as the year goes on. Sellers will continue to benefit from higher median sales prices and short market time.
Jim LaHa is a South Loop resident and second generation Realtor with 10 years of Real Estate sales experience. He can be reached via email at, by telephone at 708-935-9858 or visit his website at “For all your Real Estate Needs.”

Monday, February 16, 2015

Chicago Tribune Critic Likes New Green Line Station at Cermak, But Has Questions About Motor Row Plans

Inside the new CTA Green Line Station at Cermak (via CBS)
Blair Kamin, Chicago Tribune Architecture Columnist, has positive thoughts on the new Green Line stop at Cermak that just opened last weekend. (behind Chicago Tribune paywall):
The new $50 million Green Line station, designed by Chicago's Ross Barney Architects, corrects that mistake and makes a civic statement in the bargain. 
Forgoing a typical forest of columns, lead architect Carol Ross Barney wrapped a steel-frame tube around the midsection of the station's 600-foot-long platform. There's no clutter, just an airy, column-free space. Lights, directional signs and speakers are carefully integrated into metal trays suspended from the tube. From within, travelers can look through the tube's perforated metal skin and see McCormick Place, orienting themselves. 
The design recalls the bold gesture Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas made in 2003 when he enclosed the "L" structure above his Illinois Institute of Technology campus center with a sound-baffling concrete tube clad in corrugated steel. But the design grew from a different set of needs: to make a narrow passenger platform feel as spacious as possible.

While the review of the station is pretty positive, he has doubts on the city's plan for Motor Row and the surrounding neighborhood.
"I would love to see tree-lined streets … where people are walking," Dowell said. The Planning Department's recently released study of the Near South Side calls for turning Motor Row into a "walkable, pedestrian-scale 'Main Street'" and for "streetscape enhancements" along Michigan, Cermak, and 23rd and 24th streets.  
These well-intentioned, but vague, goals need to be fleshed out with the same spirit of innovation that the Pier and Exposition Authority brought to its 2012 design competition for remaking Navy Pier's public spaces. We need more than cliched images of sidewalks lined with umbrella-topped tables. Or historic lampposts decorated with colorful banners. 
On Motor Row, for example, why not put lightly trafficked Michigan Avenue on a "road diet" that would widen sidewalks and make way for bike lanes and trees? A bold gateway, like the monumental steel Puerto Rican flags that span Division Street on the West Side, would signal the area's presence and modernity.

If you have access to the Chicago Tribunes premium content, it's worth a read.  Regardless, Kamin concedes that the new green line station is a step in the right direction, but there are a lot of new things that need to happen.

While we don't completely disagree, there is some news happening on Motor Row and we just read on Prairie District Neighborhood Alliances facebook page that they have some new news to share:

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Hurry Hurry - Get Your Sloopin T-Shirt

A friendly reminder that the Sloopin "Hat Tip" T-shirts are available for those of you who have recently submitted tips on 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:
  • RS
  • TG
  • VC
  • SR
  • KR
  • BE
  • TM
  • JH
  • PO
  • SC
  • SS
  • AS
  • RC
  • SW
  • RH
  • JH
  • KRW
  • CF
  • SG
  • SW
  • CG
  • DJ
  • JM
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!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Come to First Draft on 2/18 for Fundraiser for 3-Year Old Who Lost Mother in Jan. Car Accident on Lake Shore Drive

We wanted to post about a fundraiser for Brianna, a 3 year-old who tragically lost her mother to a car crash on Lake Shore Drive in January.  There is a Give Forward account setup to help support Brianna and her grandparents (who are now raising her).

Beyond that, Rainforest Learning Center (where Brianna goes to daycare) and various other South Loop and Chicago businesses are hosting an upcoming fundraiser for the family:
We hope you'll join us for the Friends of Brianna Fundraising Event + Raffle next Wednesday, February 18 at First Draft in Printer's Row. Attached you'll find more details about the event and the terrific raffle prizes we'll be drawing that evening---all proceeds going to Brianna and her grandparents. If you are unable to attend, raffle tickets are for sale at the front desk.You don't need to be present to win most of the prizes. Most importantly, I wanted to mention that I talked to the family and they are very appreciative of the Rainforest community and everyone's best wishes, prayers and support.

Work, Meet and Entertain at The Bureau (1420 S. Michigan)

It looks like the Sloop will soon have a new place to "work, meet and entertain".  What exactly that means, we're not 100% sure, but judging by the picture to the right a new place called The Bureau (not to be confused with The Bureau Bar at 75 E. 16th) is getting ready to open at 1420 S. Michigan:

If we had to guess, the business will serve as a rent-able space for meetings and events.

This building has sat vacant for a little while now, but randomly seems to have people in and out of it.  If we're not mistaken, this property was previously owned by Mathew O'Malley (owner of Wabash Tap, The Chicago Firehouse and the now closed Grace O'Malley's and City Tavern that are next door to this new place).

The last tenant was Britten, a printing company who used the space as a showroom for their business.  They closed up shop back in 2012.  While it was nice having a business instead of a vacant retail space, Britten didn't bring much to the neighborhood.

And while we're not sure what The Bureau is, it's definitely an improvement over what is there now...nothing.

Does anyone have the scoop on this place?

(Hat tip: JM!)

Thursday, February 12, 2015

CMK Gets the Green Light on 28-Story Condo Building at 1333 S. Wabash

28 Story high-rise planned for 1333 S. Wabash
It sounds like CMK properties has received the green light to proceed with their second condo building on the 1300 block of South Wabash (via Curbed Chicago):
In December, we toured the topped-out 16-story tower at 1345 South Wabash, aptly titled 1345Wabash, a soon-to-be-finished condo development by CMK and symbol of the momentum building for new South Loop construction. Late last week, we found out via Chicago Cityscape that a new permit has been issued for the boxy building's big, Brininstool + Lynch-designed brother. The 28-story tower will bring 307 units and 213 parking stalls to the hood at a cost of $53 million.
There are definitely some pros and cons to this news in our mind.

The con is that the building seems pretty blah from an architectural standpoint.  Just another run of the mill condo building going up in the hood.

On the positive side, it will fill in an empty lot on South Wabash and presumably provide new options for additional retail.  The 1300 S. Wabash block is arguably the best stretch of restaurants/bars in the neighborhood with Scout, Flo & Santos, Zapatista, Asian Outpost and Gioco holding down the fort.  Hopefully this new retail space can attract some solid tenants that will continue to make this stretch desirable (and hopefully not a spa - think we're covered on that front).  

Anyway, this isn't really a surprise as it was announced back in 2013 that this second tower would be built eventually.   Hopefully you weren't one of the people who bought into the southern smaller building assuming you would have a kick-ass northern facing city view.  If so, looks like you'll now have a nice view of someones unit.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Local Non-profit enrolls Americans in Healthcare

Sponsored Post

Love it or Hate it, the Affordable Care Act, ACA for short is in full effect. So much so that many Americans will face a tax penalty if they have not enrolled in a healthcare plan by Feb 15th. Whether you decide to beat the lines and enroll early or make a last minute dash to the Illinois Healthcare Marketplace on Sunday, Feb 15th, there is a local non-profit that has an entire team of state licensed enrollment counselors that are well trained and ready to enroll you or answer your enrollment questions. By the Feb 15th deadline, they will have enrolled hundreds in Chicagoland.

Sounds good? The story gets even better, you can call them to schedule an appointment and they will assist you with your enrollment FREE of charge. It’s hard to believe that this is their first enrollment year and they've helped Americans save thousands of dollars in the Illinois Healthcare Marketplace. The team boasts many success stories. One of which, an Enrollment Specialist was able to apply a $444 tax credit which brought her client’s monthly premium down to $30 a month.

Interested in speaking to an Enrollment Counselor? Visit their website or call their toll free number: 888-809-0810

Bull Chicks Closed at 606 S. Wabash, but New Concept "Wingers" Replacing It

A half a year in business and two break-ins is apparently all Bull Chicks could handle.

The chicken chain that opened in July of 2014 has apparently closed their doors based on this picture a reader sent:

This is the first retail spot to close in 2015 and as a result we've updated our business counter.

Is something else coming?  We will see.

UPDATE:  A reader sends us this image, which explains the new concept:

(Hat tip:  DJ!)

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Warning Issued: More Robberies & Break-ins in the Neighborhood

The Police department issued another warning for the South Loop (and Loop) via ABC7:
Chicago police are warning people to be on alert after three robberies were reported in the Loop and South Loop. 
In the holdups, the man displays a handgun and demands cell phones and money, officials said. 
On Saturday, two robberies were reported: one in the 100-block of North Beaubien Court and the other in the 300-block of East South Water. On Sunday night, a robbery was reported in the 1200-block of South State Street.

Another reader sent us a note about a recent break-in at their condo building:
Just wanted to give you all a heads up that an entire ______________ condo building (on the 1200 block of south Wabash) was broken into today. I know you reported a recent string of burglaries recently, so here's one to add to the list. The robber(s) knew everything about each tenant's schedule and had obviously been scoping us and the place out for some time before pulling the trigger. If you all hear of any recent burglaries in the area please let me know asap.
This all is happening on the heals of some assaults that were happening a couple of weeks ago.

Moral of the story, stay safe and be aware of unusual things going down.

(Hat tip:  CG!)

Monday, February 9, 2015

CTA Green Line Stop at Cermak Marks First Major Completed Step in Evolution of Motor Row Entertainment District

Rendering of the CTA Green Line Stop at Cermak
The first major civic infrastructure improvement for the Motor Row entertainment district is now complete as the CTA Green line stop at Cermak is open and ready for use (via CBS2):
Just in time for next weekend’s Chicago Auto Show, the CTA is opening its new Cermak-McCormick Place Green Line station.  
The station, at 13 E. Cermak Rd., will be impossible to miss, thanks to the distinctive tube-shaped canopy that encloses the platform. CTA spokesman Brian Steele said there has been no station on the Green Line between Roosevelt and the 35th/IIT-Bronzeville station since the 1970s.

As you may recall this construction has been in the works for awhile and we've been talking about here at Sloopin since way back in Oct of 2011 (wow!).

Anyway, the major story here is that it's now going to provide another access point to what the city hopes is the revitalization of this area and especially the Motor Row Entertainment District.

It's taken a long time to get this far, but hopefully things continue to materialize for Motor Row.

(Hat tip:  SW!)

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Meet Caitlin, Ready For Adoption at PetSmart in the Sloop

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 Caitlin:
This fun-loving girl is a blast to have around. She's always up for some play time with people and her doggy friends. An active household would be best for her where she can get lots of mental and physical exercise. Obedience training will help her learn her manners as well as build a strong bond with her new family. If you're looking for a social and friendly companion, then Caitlin may be the one for you! Stop by the Everyday Adoption Center to meet her today!
The Anti-Cruelty Society, Chicago’s oldest and largest animal welfare organization, opened up the South Loop satellite location in 2013! So far they have adopted close to an impressive 1,000 cat, dogs, puppies and kittens.

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, February 6, 2015

A Sloopin Fave:
Wraps at Kurrah

A big nam nam nam nam on the Kurah wrap
It's been awhile since we've posted about a Sloopin fave, but that doesn't mean we haven't found any.

Lo and behold the wraps at Kurah (1355 S. Michigan)!

These scrumptious wraps are large and in charge.  Packed with all types of goodies, we promise you won't be disappointed.  It's as unique as it is filling.  So what's involved, check it:
All wraps are filled with arugula, olives, red onions, garlic cream spread, hummus, tomatoes, Persian cucumbers, and potatoes. Served with a side of tahini and/or ghost pepper hot sauce  
Don't be afraid of the prices, these things are BIG!  Also, if you like a kick we highly recommend the ghost pepper hot sauce!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Free February at the Field Museum

If you're looking for something to do and don't feel like spending anything, here is something worth noting (via Chicago Parent):
Field Museum is offering free basic admission to every Illinois resident in February, a savings of $13-18 per person. Special exhibits and the 3-D movies cost extra.

Have fun!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Racing Cars Gathering at 18th Foot Bridge Every Weekend Night?

A reader writes:
Hi, I live in the area and called the police several times during the weekends at night. Large groups of racing cars gather near the foot bridge on 18th and come from the lakeshore drive ramp skidding their wheels, showing off and making noise. They turn onto the 18th drive towards museum campus still driving recklessly. The police never show up...I'm afraid an unsuspecting car will get hit by these idiots. What else should I do! The noise is irritating especially at 1am.
The reader followed-up with some pictures and some additional thoughts:
Finally, after months of calling, the police show up for a second time tonight! I wonder if has to do with the recent crimes in the area that are getting the south loop media attention.  This happens every Friday and Saturday night. This past weekend There were over 25 cars.


Has anyone else noticed this?

(Hat tip:  CF!)

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The Spoke & Bird Build-out Continuing; Publishing Opening Timeline Next Week

The Spoke & Bird, the new breakfast/brunch/lunch spot replacing Cafe Society @1801 S. Indiana, is apparently progressing nicely.  According to their Facebook page, they will be publishing their "(opening) timeline will be published next week!"

The outdoor patio at Cafe Society was always one of our favorite outside eating spots in the Sloop and it really seems like the owners of The Spoke & Bird are upping the game.

Not only is their vision and concept intriguing, they clearly have an eye for marketing.  They've got a snazzy website which features this a fun logo gif (it's the simple things that impress us here): 

While we've published other videos of theirs in the past, the current one on their site appears to be the most comprehensive in terms of what to expect:
Sounds good to us.  
We're already day dreaming about spending some time on their patio instead of being caged up in our place due to this lovely weather.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Tejas Yoga Now Offers Prenatal Classes

A yogi writes:
I live in the South Loop and I also am a yoga teacher at Tejas Yoga Studio. We just started a prenatal yoga class on Thursdays at 6pm. Tejas studio is one of the the only ones in the area that has prenatal yoga, specifically. Is this something you might be interested in covering? I think it's a great addition the neighborhood and a great way to support families and mothers in our wonderful South Loop community!  

We've had a couple people ask about prenatal yoga, so figured we would do a quick post.

(Hat tip:  KRW!)

Sunday, February 1, 2015