Friday, July 31, 2015

Tribune: Can Street Art Boost Wabash Businesses?

New "Harmony" Piece on the Back of University Center between State and Wabash
Done By Prominent Street Artist Ben Eine (photo from Chicago Tribune)
A great read recently on Chicago Tribune about the momentum behind the Wabash Arts Corridor:
"The momentum now is remarkable," said Mark Kelly, vice president of student success at Columbia College and a driving force behind the eight-block corridor, which he hopes will become Chicago's pre-eminent destination for high-end street art. Kelly has identified 45 more building walls on the corridor that he thinks could serve as canvases and already is discussing projects for next summer with Vertical Gallery, a Ukrainian Village art gallery that has helped bring some of the big names to town. 
The corridor, a collaboration of the cultural and educational institutions concentrated in the area, is among several initiatives underway to make Wabash a more vibrant destination. Separately, a design duo recently raised $60,000 to test Wabash Lights, a colorful interactive lighting installation to run under the "L" tracks. 
The goal is to give the area an identity by tapping into the creative hive of its art schools, galleries and performance art venues, and in turn draw students, visitors and shoppers to support businesses, Kelly said.

Beyond the concept the article actually poses an interesting question - Can the corridor (aka street art) be a boon for business?  The article delves into it with the following snippet:
Dan Broughton, property manager at 1132 S. Wabash Ave., calls Kelly "the world's hardest person to say no to." On his property, a newly renovated six-story building with a restaurant coming to its first floor and five floors of offices above, a mural of a little boy in a cape and aviator goggles soars across the southern wall, painted earlier this year by Chicago native Hebru Brantley.  
In addition to liking the art, Broughton said the urban superhero has helped create an identity for the building, which is helpful as it markets itself to prospective tenants, including tech companies, galleries and nonprofits.  
"We're trying to create this idea of a building that has some creative energy, and that (mural) certainly lends itself to that vision and the type of tenants we want to attract," Broughton said. "It's all part of what gets people excited about getting in that building."
If you're not aware, 1132 S Wabash has received some attention from us here at Sloopin for a variety of items.  One being the mural by Hebru Brantley referred to above, but also because they've attracted a new BBQ concept called Belly-Up that seems unique for the neighborhood.

So maybe there is something to the idea that this street art can help business.  What do you think?  Is this a boon for business?

Thursday, July 30, 2015

PetSmart Confirms Multiple Cases of Canine Flu

A reader sends us a link:
An outbreak of canine flu has been confirmed in a pet store in Chicago’s South Loop.
In a statement, PetSmart confirms multiple cases of the respiratory illness in dogs at its South Loop pets hotel and one confirmed case of canine flu.
“We have seen multiple cases of canine respiratory illness in dogs in our South Loop PetsHotel location. At this point, we have one confirmed case of Canine Influenza. The health and well-being of pets is our top priority, and we are going to do everything we can to help contain the spread of this virus and ensure the pets in our PetsHotels receive the best care possible.”

(Hat tip: BT!)

Lollapalooza 2015 - Here We Go!

Perry's Stage at Lollapalooza
Well here we go again - Lollapalooza 2015!

One of the Summers most highly anticipated events.  Speaking of events, the Tribune had a recent look at the city's strategy to lure high-profile events to the area:
Lollapalooza will fill Grant Park with hundreds of thousands of people next weekend, the latest event that — like the Pitchfork Musical Festival and the Grateful Dead's farewell concerts at Soldier Field before it — puts Chicago center stage. 
With spring's NFL draft, which transformed itself and Grant Park into a three-day football fan festival, the city's plan to raise its profile and promote tourism through large-scale events is showing momentum. 
While locals may grumble about cordoned-off streets and lollygagging visitors, and skeptics question the bottom-line economic benefits, the city says its strategy is paying off. 
Lollapalooza generated nearly $82 million last year in direct spending, while the NFL draft — which returned to Chicago after a half-century in New York — added nearly $44 million, according to separate economic impact studies funded by the city and event organizers.
It easy to be skeptical (and believe us, these numbers are probably inflated), but regardless one of the benefits of living in a vibrant urban neighborhood is events and the hoopla that at times surrounds them.

Anyway, enough of the political and PR spin associated with events.  Let's dive into Lollapalooza.  While we're by no means music experts, there are some acts that we're pretty excited to see.  With that said, here is our some of our favorites that will be invading the Sloop this weekend:

BADBADNOTGOOD (Pepsi Stage:  2:50 - 3:30) - Three classically trained jazz students collaborate with former hip hop royalty - yes please:

Alabama Shakes (Samsung Galaxy:  5:45 - 6:45) - They're not a hidden gem anymore, but seemingly continue to get better with each album:

Paul McCartney - (Samsung Galaxy:  7:45 - 10:00) - While many younger fans will probably flock to see The Weeknd on the other side of the park, the reality is that they're idiots.  Sir Paul is probably the most important living musician in the world.  While The Beatles may not be turning out new music - there songs will live forever.  And while you're still living, you should probably hear some of them live by surviving members:

Sturgill Simpson (Bud Light: 2:45 - 3:45) - We're no fans of (pop) country music here, but if this is what the genre entails then maybe we need to reconsider:

Delta Spirit (Pepsi:  5:15 - 6:00) - We've read some mixed reviews on this band, but there song "California" is officially stuck in our head.  It's not new, but it's new to us and as a result will probably earn them a live listen from our crew:
Tame Impala (Samsung Galaxy: 6:00 - 7:00) - This australian band has played Lollapalooza before, but they were kids.  Coming off of a new hot album, these dudes have being playing live for awhile and have an abundance of sweet, psychedelic, moody rock that is sure to appeal to a prime slot on Saturday of Lolla.  Outside of Sir Paul, we're not missing these guys:
Sam Smith and Metallica headline the festival on Saturday.  Both are accomplished.  Both don't have a ton of appeal to us, but undoubtedly will for many.

Wild Belle (Pepsi 5:15 - 6:00) - There has been a lot of talk about 2015 and the prevalece of female lead singers.  Sunday is devoted to the females for us.  First up is local brother and sister crew who have an unmistakably cool sound and vibe which may be needed given that it's late July/early August in Chi:
Of Monsters and Men (Samsung Galaxy 6:30 - 7:30) - Solely based on their kick ass concert from Loll 2012, we are checking them out again this year.  While they've been relatively quiet ever since, they did just drop a new album - hopefully they can rekindle some of the energy from 2012:
Florence + The Machine (Samsung Galaxy 8:30 - 10:00) - Lead singer Florence Welch is a force.  While we're not aware of any religious themes in the bands music, it oozes spirituality.  A fitting way to end what is usually a sin filled weekend for many:
Oh and if you've made it this far and aren't going - be aware of street closures.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Belly-Up Saloon To Include Karaoke?

If this public notice is any indication, then yes!

We're pretty pumped to see how this place turns out at 1132 S. Wabash.  On the outside it has a lot of positives - owners who have run restaurants before, a seemingly nice space and good location, a concept that's unique as well as some additional activities (karaoke anyone) that don't seem to be prevalent in the Sloop.

While it's easy to be excited, the proof is in the pudding (or should we say BBQ sauce).  We shall see.

(Hat tip: JK!)

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Dunkin Donuts at Roosevelt CTA Station is Now Open

As we posted about back in May, Dunkin Donuts was going to open up in the retail space at the Roosevelt CTA stop.  Well looks like they're officially open:

It's been a tough spot for businesses restaurants - Bacci Pizza and Butterfield Kitchen didn't cut it.  Our guess is that Dunkin will do pretty well (duh!).

Business counter is updated.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Massage Envy Opens on 2nd Floor of Roosevelt Collection

Massage Envy has apparently opened up at Roosevelt Collection:
We also received the following from a press release:
Massage Envy, the nations’ pioneer and largest massage therapy provider, is pleased to announce today the opening of a new concept, Massage Envy Spa located in Chicago’s South Loop neighborhood. Guests will experience exclusive healthy skin facials featuring Murad® products in addition to therapeutic massages. 
The new clinic is located at The Shops at Roosevelt Collection, 1136 South Delano Court. Massage Envy South Loop will open on Tuesday, July 21 with an official Press Opening on August 4th. As part of the Grand Opening event, to be held Tuesday, August 4th from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Another place in the Sloop to get a massage - nice!

(Hat tip: SC, KK!)

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Sloopin Hat-Tip T-Shirt Reminder!

It's been awhile (sorry for the lengthy list below), so wanted to post 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:
  • TC
  • HB
  • DN
  • BT
  • JH
  • RB
  • SH
  • JY
  • JF
  • GC
  • NL
  • AM
  • KT
  • MS
  • CD
  • MP
  • CB
  • DS
  • LP
  • JM
  • HB
  • SF
  • SS
  • DM
  • GM
  • DL
  • JG
  • GM
  • KP
  • BS
  • DL
  • RM
  • CM
  • MG
  • MK
  • MS
  • AM
  • NM
  • WSR
  • BM
  • AA
  • AR
  • MJ
  • SC
  • PO
  • MLG
  • JP
  • ET
  • MEM
  • RB
  • PS
  • SM
  • MD
  • DN
  • DEB
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, July 24, 2015

The Sloopin Open House:
Townhouse on Top of a Parking Garage?

For the Sloopin Open House this week we look at a strangely secluded townhouse nestled just off of a high-rise at 1529 S. State.

If you're looking at the picture above, and look to the right and left side you will see shorter buildings - these are actually townhouses?!?!

We checked them out awhile back and were kind of surprised as to how you accessed them.

Essentially you go in the high-rise entrance, go up a couple floors on the elevator and then walk outside to the front door of the townhouse.  If you're a nervous nelly in terms of security, but want townhouse, you may want to check this out this Sunday from 11am to 1pm.

This particular unit is priced at a reasonable $425K for a 3bed/2.1bath on 3 levels (however the assesments are relatively high at $1,000 per month).

The unit itself looks nice, but nothing out of the ordinary.  While we haven't seen this unit, we did see a similar one and can attest that it's pretty spacious:

New Park Behind Roosevelt Collection and Above British School of Chicago Opens

A reader writes:
The park over British School is open....Including the artificial turf throughout. No real grass on the field or in the parks.

(Hat tip:  DEB!)

Thursday, July 23, 2015

A Look At Some New Sloop Art Galleries

A reader writes:
The build-out of this Shane Campbell Gallery at 2021 S Wabash has been ongoing for quite a while now but it now looks to be complete and open. I don't know anything about this sort of thing but this appears to be their second Chicago location, the other being in Lincoln Park. More info here: 

Also noticed this apparently new gallery at 2345 S Michigan, the Motor Row Gallery.

We weren't aware of Shane Campbell Gallery, so excited to hear that's new.  We will update the business counter with that one.

In regard to Motor Row Gallery, we've actually done a couple posts about exhibits they've had.  However, we were always under the impression it was a more overt operation.  Glad to see them put up some notification of their existence.

Art is alive and getting better in the Sloop.  As you probably know we're huge fans of the Wabash Arts Corridor.  There is also the Elephant Room Gallery at 704 S. Wabash that seems to have some interesting pieces now and then.

Are there any other galleries we're missing?

(Hat tip: DN!)

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Curbed Chicago Checks In On McCormick Place Redevelopment

Curbed Chicago checks in at McCormick Place and takes some pics and offers some thoughts:
The massive redevelopment of McCormick Place has been in the works for a long time now, but work is finally moving forward on the Marriott Marquis and data center planned for the continent's largest convention center.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Manny's Deli Getting $1 Million+ Renovation and Will Be Open On Sundays

Sign at Manny's (via Sun-Times)
The Chicago Sun-Times sits down with Dan Raskin, president of Manny's Deli (1141 S. Jefferson).  They are apparently going through a remodel to add more features:
With the renovation, we’ll be freshening up the cafeteria line with a steam table, a new counter, a larger area for salads — giving people more options. 
We sell [cookies] to Aramark at Soldier Field. They resell the cookies inside the venue at most events in the stadium. The cookies are also sold online and at the restaurant. We will have an actual bakery counter in the new space. We see a new sweet spot in takeout — a growing demand for fresh, organic and convenient food as more and more families move in to the South Loop, the West Loop and the Near North side. 
We have a big parking lot in the back of the restaurant, so people can stop by, get what they need and go home. We want to grow with the surrounding neighborhoods.

For more info checkout the video:

Monday, July 20, 2015

Confirmed - Villain's Food is Beyond Legit!

It's not a secret that Villain's was one of our favorite spots in the Sloop before it abruptly had to shut its doors back in October of 2012.  Their dark, hard to find, unassuming spot on South Clark was somehow refreshing in a neighborhood full of new, shinny retail space popping up.  At the time we were sad.

Then word came down that they would re-open, essentially across the street (730 S. Clark).  While we were jazzed, we were also unsure about the move into the aforementioned "shinny retail space". However, knowing these guys, we had a reserved excitement.

As you probably know they opened and have seen some positive press to validate their slight concept shift from dive'ish neighborhood gem to food/beer focused eating/drinking spot.  They've even been featured on Eater Chicago's Hottest Restaurants in Chicago list for July - something that isn't often seen in these parts.  

While that's all great and dandy, sometimes you have to see (and taste) it to believe it and we finally made it over for our first visit to the new spot.

We had little doubt that they would deliver on beer (FYI they have 40 taps and by our estimation the most diverse and interesting beer lineup you're going to find in the Sloop), but the food was a bit of the wild card for us.  However, after experiencing a variety of dishes, with a variety of people (pregnant woman and self-proclaimed "food is just sustenance" person) - we were all left to say, this food is LEGIT!

And now for some of the food porn:

First up was the Grilled, Milk Braised Pork Belly that also had Roasted Summer Squash, Peas, Honeycomb:

Our second app was a surprisingly flavorful explosion of City Farm Baby Carrots and had Mizuna, Creme Fraiche, Pistachios, Sherry Vinaigrette

Only two of us were eating main corses and apparently meat was on the mind.  First up, the infamous Villain's burger with some newer touches - Grilled Cameron Farms Beef Burger - Bacon, Hooks Cheddar, B&B Pickles, Smoked Red Onions

We like to think we've hit up most local restaurants in the Sloop and to be honest, this is probably one of the best entrees we've had in a long long time - Slagel Farms Dry-Aged Top Sirloin (medium rare) - Roasted Cremini Mushrooms, Grilled & Creamed Creens, Breadcrumb Salsa:

To round it out, some Cheesecake was consumed which was topped with Honey Roasted Cherries and Mint - an interesting and delicious combo:

Hopefully the pics do justice, but seriously - legit!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

The Sloopin Open House:
Let the Kids Run Free Inside Gated Townhouse Community

It seems to us like we continue to see more and more kids in the Sloop.  While some may scoff at city living for families, we encourage it here at Sloopin!

However, one of the downfalls is that it's hard to let your kids do their own thing outside (or at least we would presume that's a downfall).  While there are a handful of houses and townhouses that provide yards (mostly of the small variety and generally with little grass), they're are some but they tend to be SUPER EXPENSIVE.

More so then most townhouse complexes, we've found an interesting option at 1349 S. Indiana Parkway that should give your kids amble room to roam around (semi-autonomously albeit within gates):

This place has been on the market for a little while now (priced at $759K) and we've actually been to the unit to check it out.

While it ain't cheap, it does seem to have a lot of pros in our eyes.  We've already alluded to the nice gated yard that could be great for kids (just so you know it's shared with all your neighbors in the complex), but beyond that the space inside is nice.  There are 4 floors, 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths and an indoor parking spot underneath the unit.

If amenities are your thing, we're pretty sure there is an opportunity to pay to use some of the areas in the central station high-rises across the street on Indiana.  A nice option if that's your type of thing.

Anyway, if this sounds enticing, head on over to 1349 S. Indiana Parkway on Sunday, 7/19 from 11 to 12:30.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Peregrine Falcons No Longer On the "Edge of Extinction"

A reoccurring topic we think some loyal readers might like (via Chicago Tribune):
Talons clenched, eyes locked on prey, a peregrine falcon looks almost peaceful as it leans forward, relaxes and drops into a 200-mph dive for dinner. It is the fastest known animal on earth. And it has no predator.  
Yet there was a time when the raptors' screeches went silent along the riverside cliffs of Illinois. Their population here: zero.  
By the 1960s, humans had taken a toll. Pesticides like DDT thinned their eggshells, so parents crushed their chicks before they even hatched. Season after season, fewer and fewer.   
But after the population nosedive, a climb. 
The peregrine falcon's status in Illinois has improved over the years from endangered to threatened, and now the bird has been removed altogether from the state list of species needing aid, said officials, who plan to make the announcement Tuesday. Peregrine falcons are still federally protected but no longer on the edge of extinction.

Why does this story have anything to do with Sloopin.  Well, there are some of the Falcons who live in the Sloop.  You can see some of the tracking information on the Field Museums website.

Beyond that, awhile ago we did a post trying to help the Museum locate where some of the Falcons were nesting.  Thanks to our readers there was some help and the Museum actually named one of the birds Sloopy!

Since then we've had a variety of emails from readers taking amazing pictures when the spot the Falcon.  Here is our favorite:

Anyway, nice to see hear this news!  And keep your eyes open for these guys!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Chop Set to Open at Roosevelt Collection Today

It appears that Chop, the new steakhouse at Roosevelt Collection is opening today (via Crain's):
Jovanis Bourgoub's new steakhouse, Chop, is set to open tomorrow (actually today, 7/16) for dinner in the Shops at Roosevelt Collection.  
The upscale, 2,300-square-foot, 99-seat restaurant, which also will open within the next two weeks for lunch and weekend brunch, aims to appeal to both shoppers and residents of the area with a varied menu that includes six burgers, five salads, four seafood dishes and three pastas. But its calling card is grilled meats, including a $29 14-ounce double bone-in Berkshire pork chop, a $39 rack of lamb and seven cuts of steak ranging from a $19 fried steak to a swashbuckling $64 40-ounce porterhouse.
This is a bit of a milestone moment for Roosevelt Collection as it's the first real restaurant of significance to open in the complex.  As we wrote about last week, getting one to open has been a challenge.

We're curious to see how this restaurant fares.  Bourgoub obviously has had some success running restaurants (this is his fifth), so that's a good sign.

However, the location feels tough to get to and won't benefit from a highly visible spot.  On the flip side, there are numerous businesses and the popular ICON movie theater that could help them have steady business.  Guess we will see.

Best of luck to them!

Business counter updated!  

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Interesting Story & Sloop Tie About Controversial Group Aiming to Rehabilitate Swastika Symbol

Columbia College Building at Wabash and Congress that has Swastika Symbol
We read some stuff about a controversial movement to reclaim the Swastika as a symbol for peace and well being (it's original intended use and meaning) and distant it from its association with Nazi Germany.

Interestingly enough, the symbol is all over the city, including a Columbia College building in the Sloop (Congresss & Wabash) - Story via ABC7:
There are new concerns about an old symbol after an international religious group flew a swastika banner over Chicago's lakefront last weekend. 
Even with a recent focus on Confederate flags, it was the swastika symbol that attracted attention in the skies over Chicago, flown by a group hoping to rehabilitate the Nazi's hateful logo back to where it began, as a symbol of peace and well-being.  It's also a symbol the I-Team found across Chicagoland. 
In 1935, Nazi Germany adopted the longtime symbol of life as it's emblem of hate. 
The swastika's sudden change from good to evil left thousands of buildings in Chicago and across the globe displaying a symbol of Hitler's horrors. And many still do. 
A swastika is on the front of Chicago's most popular tourist attraction, Navy Pier, and seen at the one of Columbia College's South Loop buildings. It is embedded in marble floors at University of Chicago on the Lower West Side and an embellishment on a city monument to Jacques Marquette. The design is on what is now the Bridgeview Bank, and the former Continental Illinois Bank, along with countless pre-WWII Chicago homes and apartment buildings.
Definitely an interesting story and something we've noticed in buildings before.  Wasn't aware of the original meaning/use.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

L&A Healing Studio Bringing Broad Concept to 1620 S. Michigan

A couple readers write:
A new unique business venue is in the works at 1620 S. Michigan, featuring jewelry classes, retail "therapy," and more. They've already moved in some merchandise and furniture. This space has been vacant a long time, and was even emptier since CMK closed their sales office for the new development on Wabash. Looks interesting!

(Hat tip:  PS & SM!)

Monday, July 13, 2015

The Adventurers Club Moving Out of the Sloop?

A reader writes:
There's been a lot of action on Dearborn St lately. The listing for 714 S Dearborn St #6 has changed status to "sale pending". This is the location of The Adventurer's Club of Chicago, and they have collected some rather, err, unique items to display. Caught a picture of them moving a polar bear out of the building earlier this week. The real estate photos of the interior of this unit remind me of the Loyal Order of Water Buffaloes (the club Fred Flintstone belonged to)!  
You can check out the Adventurer's website here:  
Curbed Chicago wrote about it back in May 2014 when the real estate listing went up, I assume. 
We've actually stumbled upon this listing before and it definitely caught our eye.

Definitely an interesting head scratcher.  You can only imagine what type of conversations happened in this unit.  Does anyone know anyone who was part of this club?

(Hat tip: RB!)

Saturday, July 11, 2015

The Sloopin Open House:
Historic Living on Michigan Avenue

The Crane Building at 888 S. Michigan has always looked interesting and classy to our eye.  It's slender orientation and classical ornate facade seem to scream look at me.  Well if you have $279K handy for a one bedroom then head on over to this open house on Sunday, July 12th from noon to 2pm.

The unit itself looks highly upgraded and we like how they've incorporated their island into a table of sorts:

Beyond that, the bathroom looks like it's been updated well and offers some spa like luxury.

Best of all, it appears you might have access to a roof deck with a great view of Grant Park, Lake Michigan and

Friday, July 10, 2015

C.I.T.Y. Club Gymnastics Academy Opens at 1723 S. Michigan

A reader writes:
Wanted to share information on C.I.T.Y. Club Gymnastics Academy, led by World Champion and Hall of Fame Gymnast, Natalia Yurchenko, that just opened in the South Loop at 1723 S. Michigan Avenue. The website is being updated, but users can access via the following link:

Welcome to the Sloop!  Seems like there are a lot of young kids who would be ripe to enjoy this new business.

Business Counter is updated.

(Hat tip:  MEM!)

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Mirai Sushi Appears to No Longer Be Coming to Roosevelt Collection

A reader writes:
I don’t know if you’ve seen it yet or not, but it looks like there is no longer a Mirai Sushi project coming to Roosevelt Collection. There is no longer a coming soon sticker for Mirai on the Roosevelt Collection windows.

Also, Mirai took their South Loop project off their website:  
It’s a real shame. Mirai is one of my favorite Chicago restaurants.

It's been a rough go for proposed restaurants at Roosevelt Collection.  Chop seems to be on pace to open, but beyond that we're unsure.  There is a huge sign in one of the vacant retail spots for Mago Grill & Cantina, but it doesn't seem like any movement has happened inside.  Beyond that at one point there were rumors for BlackFinn American Grill, Yard House, and Chica Loca.

Maybe eventually you will be able to get dinner here (besides going to the movie theater or pastries at the coffee shop).

(Hat tip:  ET!)

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Wingers USA Opens at 606 S. Wabash

Sign for Wingers USA at 606 S. Wabash
A reader writes:
The new restaurant in the 600 South Wabash block opened today. I went there because I live in the building. It's fantastic. The menu is quite unique and the prices are about the best you will find in the Sloop. Please give them a look see and a write up. As a low-income and disabled resident of this neighborhood, I believe eateries that are inexpensive and good deserve to be recognized. We are not all wealthy in this neighborhood, so it's nice to find a reasonable place to eat for us. 
The restaurant the reader is talking about is Wingers USA.  As a reminder this was the restaurant that replaced Bull Chicks (which closed in February).

The business counter has been updated.

(Hat tip:  JP!)

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The Great Chicago Fire Fest is Coming to Northerly Island

Looks like the Sloop is getting a new event (via Chicagoist):
The great Chicago fest flub that was the Great Chicago Fire Fest is being moved to Northerly Island this fall, a couple miles south of the downtown Riverfront where the fest drew large crowds in its trial run last October.

As you may recall the inaugural event didn't go so well:
We were just as excited as the next person to witness the spectacle created on the Riverfront by the experimental theater company Redmoon to celebrate the rebirth of the city after the great fire of 1871. And we were just as dismayed by the fest's lackluster execution, with soggy rafts that refused to catch fire and stubborn fest-goers who lined the riverfront from end to end, making it near-impossible to catch a glimpse.

We shall see...

Monday, July 6, 2015

Kroll's Gets Some "Fresh" New Awnings

We spend a lot of time on this here blog talking about new restraurants and businesses that are opening, but today we write a small blurb from one of our time tested and favorite Sloop establishments.

A reader writes:
Not exactly earth shattering news, but Krolls has a new set of awnings that really freshen the look of this intersection.

Looking good Kroll's...looking good!

(Hat tip:  MLG!)

Who's Up for a 36 Mile Bike Ride to Wolf Lake?

Riding bikes - a nice activity for 8 months a year in Chicago (and that might be pushing it).

If you enjoy two wheel adventures, you might want to gander at a recent article on Chicago Magazine detailing 6 great biking routes around the area.  One of interest for us Sloopers is a ride that starts at Buckingham fountain:
ROUTE: Buckingham Fountain to Wolf Lake (bordering Indiana)

ROUND TRIP: 36 miles  
DETAILS: Take the lakefront path south, switching to South Shore Dr.’s bike lanes when the path ends. At 79th St., head southeast on U.S. Rte. 41’s bike lanes, which wind through the old U.S. Steel property and cross the Calumet River. Pick up the Burnham Greenway Trail, then enter the William W. Powers State Recreation Area: You’re a quick jog from the edge of Wolf Lake. Perhaps the best part: Your ride back offers killer skyline views.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy 4th from Sloopin!

Hope everyone has a wonderfully fun and patriotic 4th of July!

From your friends at Sloopin!

Friday, July 3, 2015

839 S. Well Parking Lot Closed to Make Way For Development

To follow-up from a post we did last week, a couple readers sent us pictures:

Seems like this means that the new 4 story development at 839 S. Wells is moving forward!

(Hat tip: SC, PO!)

Thursday, July 2, 2015

4th of July Weekend in the Sloop: Fireworks and Deadheads

A letter for security on how to deal
with Deadheads on LSD
It's 4th of July weekend in Chicago and that usually means there is a lot going on.  And this year, Chicago is actually the nations #1 fourth of July location according to Priceline (thanks Grateful Dead)!

If you're like most American's viewing some form of fireworks is a must.  If you're in a highrise on a high level with a view to the west and/or south, it's always cool to see the random explosions throughout the city.  If you're looking for the city's big show, it will take place on Saturday, July 4th at 9:30 pm.

Curbed Chicago scopes out some of the best spots to watch in the city and obviously include numerous spots in the Sloop (Museum Campus, Adler, Norther Island, Buckingham Fountain).

Beyond Fireworks, the other major event this weekend is the Grateful Dead Fare Thee Well concerts.  These start Friday night and end on Sunday night.  For the non-deadheads out there, this is being billed as the final shows for the remaining members of the band.  It will be nostalgic for many, but more interestingly it will be quite the scene throughout the neighborhood.

Tickets have been hard to come by (but it seems like prices might be coming down on the secondary market as the concert nears).  And if you can't get a ticket, there are an amazing amount of other "dead" events taking place around the city to cash in on the hype around the event.  DNAinfo has a nice interactive map highlighting some of these.

While we didn't score tickets, we (or at least some of the Sloopin crew) will be out and about soaking up the scene on "shakedown street".  It shall be interesting...and maybe we see some deadheads on LSD since apparently security is being warned on how to deal with "these people".

Also, if you're still scratching your head about what the Grateful Dead hoopla is about, they actually played some shows in California last weekend if you're interested:

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Take 1 and Cut Salon Closes at 1315 S. Michigan

A reader writes:
The hair salon "Take 1 and Cut" at 1315 S. Michigan recently closed. The storefront is for rent. I think the salon was there for about 3 years.

We snapped the picture above, so can concur with the emailer.

This strip of retail spaces in this building seems to be a revolving door of businesses.  The only one that has had a stable presence is Happy Cleaners.

Any hypothesis on why this is the case?  Is there not enough foot traffic on this side of the street?  Or maybe it's just that the businesses weren't the most well thought out?

We did write last week that a new reflexology foot parlor was going to be opening up in this building.  Ha!

(Hat tip:  MJ!)