Tuesday, December 29, 2015

A Look Back at 2015: Openings & Closings

A lot of people feel that a neighborhoods vitality can be measured through it's retail and restaurant scene.  While in our opinion that is a slightly shallow way to view a neighborhood, we understand the thinking and as a result keep a close look at what happens in our hood.

By our count, the South Loop saw 30 new businesses open in 2015 and 11 close - for a net gain of 19 businesses in 2015.  As always, let us know if we missed something.

Dry-Aged Top Sirloin at Villains - by far our favorite dish in 2015!
We saw a lot of new, solid places open.  Standouts in our mind were the rebirth of Villain's (730 S. Clark), a reformulation of the great space at 18th/Indiana in Spoke & Bird (1801 S. Indiana), a well thought out and executed restaurant in Sociale (800 S. Clark) and hopefully the first domino to fall in the Motor Row Entertainment District in Motor Row Brewing (2337 S. Michigan).

In terms of closings - we were amazingly sad to see Ma & I close their doors after 10 years of service at 1234 S. Michigan.  Supposedly the building they called home is being razed to build a high rise.

Another big closing was neighborhood stalwart Zapatista (1307 S. Wabash).  While the restaurant seemed to elicit strong opinions both positively and negatively, it always seemed busy and had been a steady force for the scene on the 1300 S. Wabash block.  It's a nice building so we're hoping someone else moves in soon.

While it's been fun to see what 2015 has had in store, 2016 should be an interesting one.

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