Sunday, July 31, 2016

#ShotsAroundTheSloop: Keep Having a Gross Day!

In honor of two things we've spent a decent amount of time talking about on Sloopin, we figured it was only fitting to finally flush our Keep Havin a Good Day! shots around the Sloop series.

This will be our 14th and final shot.  We've actually received more pics of this tag, but it was hard to keep up with the flood of pics.  

Anyway, this was captured at Lollapalooza on Friday night.  It's poetically gross ending to this series of posts on Sloopin: 

Keep Havin a Good Day Tracker:
Take 1
Take 2
Take 3
Take 4
Take 5 
Take 6
Take 7
Take 8
Take 9
Take 10
Take 11
Take 12
Take 13

(Hat tip:  Sloopy!)

Saturday, July 30, 2016

The Sloopin Open House: Oh Hey Soldier Field!

This week we head towards the southeast side of the Sloop and gander into a 3 bed/2 bath condo at 1717 S. Prairie Ave.

The unit is in good shape and appears to have nice finishes.  But the real wow is the views - namely this nice one of Soldier Field, Grant Park, Lake Michigan and whatnot:

If you want to check out this view - as well as the inside - head on over to from 12:45 to 3:45pm on Sunday, July 31st.  Oh and here is the inside:

Friday, July 29, 2016

Rosebud's Artist's Cafe Apparently Coming to Old Artist's Cafe Spot (1150 S. Wabash)

A pretty big restaurant tidbit on Eater Chicago recently about a respected group comes to the Sloop:
There are also two other nuggets. A liquor license application shows Rosebud is taking over The Artist’s Cafe in the South Loop. The restaurant, which closed earlier this summer, has been renamed on the application to Rosebud’s Artist’s Cafe. A spokeswoman didn’t return comment when asked about the project.
As you may recall, back in early June a reader noticed that Artist's Cafe was apparently closed.  We have gone by since then and clearly they weren't reopening.

So instead it appears we're getting a Rosebud (or some iteration of it).  Does anyone have more info?

Regardless, seems like a good improvement to the restaurant scene.

(Hat tip: AG!)

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Gym Planned for 1449 S. Michigan (Big Shoulders Chicago) Not Happening

A reader writes:
I noticed the sign for Big Shoulders Chicago is gone from 1449 S Michigan and they have been pretty quiet on social media (also never saw them at the farmers market). Per below it looks like the location didn't work out so I wonder if this is a dead deal at this point. 
Thought I'd send your way in case anyone else was interested. They were originally slated to open in August.
The other email referenced is:
Thanks for checking in! Due to some epic issues with the building we just couldn't make BSC happen at 1449. We're on the hunt for other property! I'll keep you posted!

As a reminder, we posted about this new gym coming to south Michigan back in early February.  This news isn't surprising frankly.  The building they were going to build in was in BAD shape!

Hope they find a new spot soon.

(Hat tip: TG!)

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Progress at the Southeast Corner of 14th and Michigan

A reader writes:
Left = Firehouse
Right = postal union building demolition
Progress in the South Loop continues

The picture above speaks loudly for south Michigan.  We've spent a decent amount of time covering the (slow) progress at the Chicago Firehouse Restaurant, but the picture above starts to showcase movement at the lot which will become the 15-story mixed use high-rise that will be anchored by Rush Hospital.

(Hat tip:  PK!)

Monday, July 25, 2016

Kamin: Irregardless of Lucas Museum, Turn Soldier Field Parking Lot into Green Space

Chicago Tribune columnist Blair Kamin makes the case that now that there has been all this attention on a lakefront parking lot, why doesn't Rahm take matters into his own hand and transform this eye sore into green space (via Chicago Tribune): 
Now that a month has passed since "Star Wars" creator George Lucas withdrew his misguided plan to build a museum on Chicago's lakefront, it's time for Mayor Rahm Emanuel to get over the defeat and turn his attention to transforming the ugly parking lot where the museum would have been built into what it always should have been — a prime stretch of shoreline green space.  
Admittedly, that won't be easy. The mayor is said to remain angry about the loss of the $743 million museum. He continues to predict that the lot will remain an eyesore long into the future because Friends of the Parks thwarted Lucas' plan.  
Yet if Emanuel is guided by his better angels — the ones that led him to champion exemplary open-space projects such as the expanded downtown Riverwalk and the 606 trail — he could turn the Lucas debacle into a triumph and a choice illustration of his oft-quoted maxim, "You never let a serious crisis go to waste."
Seems like a tall task.  We can dream though...

Sunday, July 24, 2016

#ShotsAroundTheSloop: Quite the Storm

Quite the little storm this evening in the Sloop!  Hope everyone is safe.

A couple readers sent us some photos.  This first one was from Square One (14th and Michigan).  Apparently the door blew off:

Oh and we got another double rainbow shot:

(Hat tip:  PK, AOB!)

#ShotsAroundTheSloop: Who Are These Guys?

No seriously...does anyone know?


(Hat tip:  JH!)

Saturday, July 23, 2016

The Sloopin Open House:
Built-In Bookshelves and a View

One of the more historic buildings in the Sloop, the Transportation Building at 600 S. Dearborn, has an interesting past.  It also has been converted into a residential building and has some unique units.

This one caught our eye because of the built-in bookshelf.  Maybe not the most important feature when looking for a home, but something nice nonetheless:

This building also tends to have nice views and this unit is no exception if you're a fan of the Willis Tower:

This specific unit is a 1bd/1bth and is listed for $235K (but doesn't appear to have parking included).

If you haven't been to the building, it's worth a gander.  The open house is this Sunday, July 24th (11-1pm).

Friday, July 22, 2016

Police Officer Shot in Sloop Last Night at Fort Dearborn Park

A scary scene at a popular park and area of the neighborhood (Chicago tribune):
A Chicago police officer assigned to bike patrol on the Near South Side was shot in the leg and a suspect was killed in an exchange of gunfire after the man began "acting erratically" at a park in the Prairie District neighborhood Thursday evening, authorities said. 
The officer was taken by fellow officers to Northwestern Memorial Hospital from the shooting at Battle of Fort Dearborn Park after suffering what police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said were non-life-threatening injuries. 
The man killed by police was identified Friday morning as Derek Love, 50. He was pronounced dead at Northwestern Memorial Hospital at 8:49 p.m., according to the Cook County medical examiner's office.

Given all the shooting news recently involving police officers, it's always scary when these headlines pop up - especially when it's this close to home.

(Hat tip: TM, BB, JG, MS, NS!)

Response from Kerasotes Theaters About Parking Post Last Week

We received the following email from Kerasotes about a recent complaint from a reader:
To Whom It May Concern:  
The following post to Sloopin contains some inaccuracies that should be corrected: http://www.sloopin.com/2016/07/issues-with-theater-parking-rates-at.html 
To be 100% clear – the theatre has not changed ownership as the article indicates. The Chicago ShowPlace ICON Theatres location is still independently owned and family operated by Chicago-based Kerasotes ShowPlace Theatres.  
The parking garage at The Shops at Roosevelt Collection is owned by the shopping center, and managed by Standard Parking. Since opening in 2009, we were allowed by the shopping center to absorb the cost of parking for our guests – but unfortunately, this arrangement is no longer permitted.

Our answer to this situation is to provide all of our paid admission guests with a $7.00 Rebate in the form of a concession voucher valid at the Concession Stand or LoBBY LoUNGE (for guests 21+) within the same visit on the same day with each paid parking. On top of this, we’re offering unlimited refills on popcorn, soda, and ICEE. Plus, for EXTRAS Program Members – we are extending a savings of $1.75 on each RealD 3D experience surcharge, plus savings of up to $8.00 per ticket when you are signed in through our app or website when purchasing tickets. Factor in the $6.50 movies our members are eligible to see, or the free VIP upgrades – and we have a blockbuster deal for our loyal guests!  
As an alternative to parking – we are also incredibly accessible via the CTA (Red, Blue, Green, and Orange Lines – plus bus routes), Metra, and South Shore. For further questions about parking at The Shops at Roosevelt Collection – you may dial 312.583.0818 or visit: http://bit.ly/RSLTparking. For further questions about our offers for our guests – please feel free to reach out to me, or any member of our guest services team.  
We would love to hear from the reader who made this post to your page – and they are more than welcome to contact us at via http://bit.ly/ICONcares, or by dialing 312.775.3160.
(Hat tip:  NAS!)

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Big News on the Old Post Office - Court Approves Agreement for New Owner to Begin Rennovation

Some big news yesterday on arguably the biggest real estate quagmire in our neighborhood (via Sun-Times):
The vacant Old Main Post Office that hovers over the Eisenhower Expressway is about to be converted from a dilapidated civic embarrassment into a bevy of construction activity.  
Five months after Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s bold threat to seize control of the giant hulk, the city has reached a court-approved agreement with its new owner, 601W Companies LLC, to begin a five-year, $500 million renovation and restoration.
So what's planned for this building?  Here is what they're saying:
Strict and staggered deadlines have been set through 2018 to correct more than 20 code violations cited by the city since 2012. The work also will include: replacing the building’s massive roof; restoring its historic lobby; repairing building facades; new high-speed elevators; and overhauling the electrical, plumbing, heating and ventilation systems. 
Only after that nitty-gritty work is done can the decaying building be converted into commercial office space expected to house up to 12,000 people. The construction project alone is expected to take about 1,500 building trades workers. 
After the three-phase renovation, it is hoped tenants will be drawn to a strategically located building with 18-foot ceilings and wide-open floor plans of up to 250,000 square feet per floor. 
The final product also will include a landscaped riverwalk open to the public and a 3-acre rooftop park.

Seems like a major step for the northwest side of the Sloop.  We've learned to temper our excitement for this building over the year and will continue to do that.  Seems like progress, but we will see.

(Hat tip:  FD!)

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

National Teachers Academy (55 W. Cermak) Opening a Tuition-Based Preschool

A reader writes:
For those who are in need of a full day preschool, National Teachers Academy (NTA) is opening a tuition-based preschool. June 1 was when they first opened up for applications, but I believe they are still accepting them (I'm not sure of their hours). Here's a link to their website: http://nta.auslchicago.org/ The link to the application is in the upcoming events area. The screenshot is below. Thought I'd share! 

(Hat tip:  VH!)

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Nando's Peri Peri Chicken Planning On Sunday, July 24th Opening at Roosevelt Collection

A reader writes:
Nando's chicken looks close to opening at the Roosevelt Collection. Just finishing the final touches on the inside:




According to their website looks like they're shooting for a week from Sunday:
Our newest nest will be opening on Sunday, July 24 in the Roosevelt Collection in South Loop! Come out starting at 11 a.m. for your first taste of PERi-PERi chicken and stay for our incredible views of the Chicago skyline.
(Hat tip: TM!)

Monday, July 18, 2016

Gun Shots Ring Out at White Palace Grill on Saturday Morning

From WGN:
There were some scary moments for diners at the popular White Palace Grill in the South Loop Saturday morning, as shots were fired inside of the diner during the breakfast hours. Luckily, no one inside was hurt. 
Shortly after 6 a.m. Saturday, manager Peter Chiampas says two men who were eating inside of the diner at Roosevelt and Canal started arguing, so he told them to step outside. 
That's when he says the fight escalated, and each man pulled out a gun and started shooting at each other. Bullets shattered glass windows and tore through the building's facade. Luckily, no one inside was hurt.
(Hat tip: MK!)

Saturday, July 16, 2016

The Sloopin Open House:
Corner Unit with Windows Galore

Today we feature a nicely appointed condo in one of our favorite buildings in the Sloop - 1020 S. Wabash.  This corner unit looks spacious, has the loft feel many desire and has nice character pieces with big windows and unique shapes throughout the unit:

The unit isn't cheap for 2bd/2bth at $399K (and an additional $30K for parking), but this building has always seemed to command a premium.

If this looks interesting to you, head on over tomorrow Sunday, July 17th from 11am - 1pm.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Comcast Begins Data Cap Program in the Sloop and Other Neighborhoods

A reader writes:
I just wanted to give your readers a heads up, Comcast is starting their controversial data cap program in the South Loop and other areas of the Chicagoland. Under this new program, if you use more than 1TB of data in a month, because you stream TV via services like Netflix and Amazon Prime, you could be on the hook for up to $200 in overage fines.  
This goes against the spirit and letter of the FCC ruling last year that declared broadband internet to be a utility, preventing them from being able to limit their service in this way.  
If you want to help fight these unfair business practices, please submit a complaint to the FCC via Battle for the Net (https://www.battleforthenet.com/), contact your local alderman (http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/mayor/provdrs/your_ward_and_alderman/svcs/find_my_alderman.html) or email John Crowley, the Regional Senior Vice President of Comcast’s Greater Chicago Region, directly at john_crowley@cable.comcast.com
DG                      740 S. Federal St.

(Hat tip:  DG!)

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Photo Slider: Oh How the City and Sloop Has Grown!

A fun interactive Chicago slider picture thingy that shows a south view from the Hancock building.  It's pretty amazing to see how our city (and the Sloop) has grown since 1973 (via rentcafe.com):

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Proposed Rush Hospital High-Rise at 1411 S. Michigan = Chicago Firehouse Tear down? Seems Unlikely.

A reader writes and questions about a recent post we had on a new development coming to 1411 s. Michigan:
Hmmm... The 1411 renderings show the new building going all the way to the corner. Is that just artistic license, or are they going to raze the firehouse?
While we're not 100% sure, if we had to guess, the Chicago Firehouse restaurant (1401 S. Michigan) isn't going anywhere.  The restaurant is going through a massive rebuild and expansion actually.  So if they were just going to tear down the firehouse, they probably wouldn't be doing this work first.

Seems like the rendering might have had some "artistic license" as you said.

(Hat tip:  JF!)

Monday, July 11, 2016

1001 South State - Where Curiosity Lives

Sponsored Post

Chicago is brimming with curious minds solving challenging problems. With the grand opening of 1001 South State, those minds now have an innovative and inspiring place to call home. Designed for those who love style and technology, 1001 is a pet-friendly, luxury apartment building that lies within the Wabash Arts Corridor of the South Loop.

In the same creative spirit that energizes the neighborhood, 1001 seeks to provide residents an ideal balance of work and play by offering amenities unlike any others available in Chicago.

Whether residents need to prototype their new ideas or just need space to complete a project, 1001’s unique Makerspace is the perfect resource. In addition to the stimulating atmosphere, the Makerspace offers the technical tools to bring ideas to life, including the easy-to-use Nomad 833 Pro CNC milling machine and the Glowforge 3D Laser Printer. Residents will also enjoy the Living Biowall which features a vertical garden of fresh herbs and the Aqua Lounge located near the pool and fitness areas.

Traversing Chicago is made easier with charging stations for electric vehicles and custom-branded shared bicycles with a compatible reservation app. 1001 will also save residents travel time by providing refrigerated storage for grocery deliveries as well as dry cleaning and package delivery notifications, which are sent automatically, allowing for 24/7 pick-up.

Residents can also look forward to exciting apartment features such as keyless entry, stainless steel appliances including a full-size washer and dryer, a Wi-Fi and smartphone-compatible thermostat, and 1GB internet connectivity.

All of this combined with stunning views of the Chicago skyline, Lake Michigan, and the South and West loop neighborhoods make 1001 South State a matchless choice for creative thinkers looking for a like-minded community.

To find your new home – and to take advantage of a special $1000 savings – contact the leasing office at 312-283-3776 or leasing@1001southstate.com

Issues with Theater Parking Rates at Roosevelt Collection?

A reader writes:
Had a less than pleasant experience this weekend when we went to see a movie at the Roosevelt Collection theater. Parking rates for the theater have jumped from FREE to TWELVE BUCKS!! We were informed the theater was under new ownership hence the rule change. The $12 parking did give you a $7 voucher for the snack bar, which looks like it now offers free refills on soda and popcorn...but who gets up in the middle of a movie for a refill and try spending $7 even at the counter, you're just going to be opening your wallet again. Overall, it felt like a huge rip off...$60 total for two adult tickets and parking? No thanks!
We knew this was coming, but wonder how it will affect the businesses at RC.  You can find more info about parking at Roosevelt Collection here.

According to their website, with in-store validation the first 90 minutes are free.  What isn't clear is if this is only for the store, not the theater.

Since movies are usually 90 minutes or more, it seems like the policy should/would be different.

What does everyone think?

(Hat tip:  LZ!)


Friday, July 8, 2016

A Blow Dry Bar - &Blowdry - Looks To Be Opening Up at 1315 S. Michigan

A reader sends us the following pic:

We're guessing that roughly half of our readers know what a "Blow Dry Bar" is, but for those who don't here is an article snippet from the Daily Beast we found:
Michael Landau, a bald former Yahoo! executive, didn’t really get it when his sister came to him with the idea of a blow-dry bar. “As a guy with no hair, I thought she was crazy,” he said. “I didn’t understand why a woman needed a blowout or why they would pay for it.”  
The answer to his question took him a while to find—but his sister and business partner, Alli Webb, knew all along. Blow-dry bars offer a product—an experience, rather—that brings housewives, CEOs, and 10-year-olds to a place they can relax, chat, and come out feeling like a new person—all for about $40. “What we set out to do was create a place that felt nothing like a salon,” said Landau, now the chief executive officer of the booming “Drybar” chain. “It didn’t look like a salon. It didn’t feel like a salon. It didn’t smell like a salon.”  
Drybar is the leading player in a burgeoning industry, which includes smaller competitors like Boston’s “Be Styled” and New York’s Haute Air and Blow. Together, they are disrupting the traditional salon industry, offering women quick, affordable doses of fabulousness and me-time.

So it sounds like it's a popular concept.  We understand why it would be a good fit for the Sloop given that there seems to be a strong demand for these types of services (hence why we like to refer to Michigan Avenue as the Sloop's Spa Corridor).

That being said, the businesses that have occupied the retail space in this specific high-rise have had quite a bit of turnover during the past couple of years (see Take 1 Hair Salon, Levelz, Flirtatious Lingerie and Put it On for example).

Best of luck to them and hopefully they can put a better foot forward!

(Hat tip:  MG!)

Thursday, July 7, 2016

A Concept for High-Profile Parking Lot in Printers Row (SE Corner of Dearborn/Harrison)

A reader writes:
Interesting proposal/concept for the current parking lot in Printer's Row on the corner of Harrison & Dearborn - be sure to scroll through the pics.

This appears to simply be a concept by local architecture firm, MGLM.  This is what they say about it on their website:
Envisioned for a narrow empty site near the heart of Chicago, this mixed-use infill building creates amenities the area currently lacks.  
The design responds to a broad need for sustainable, hyper-local developments encouraging pedestrian traffic and revitalization in formerly industrial urban areas, as well as the specific needs of the Printer’s Row neighborhood itself. Nine adjacent universities lie within a ten-minute walk of the site, but no grocery stores. With a major grocer to anchor the building at its base, the 170 loft apartments above provide needed housing for students and others connected to the universities.  
The building’s brick fa├žade and terra cotta details complement the unique architectural identity of this former printing center of the Midwest. The well-known 19th-century Chicago loft aesthetic is continued with large windows, lending each unit plentiful natural light and skyline views.

It does seem baffling to us that this high-profile piece of land hasn't been developed in some manner.  A parking lot seems like such a waste of a great lot.  Eventually we imagine that will change, but in the meantime we will continue to just scratch our heads.

Also, the point about the grocery store seems interesting to us.  Printers Row doesn't have a grocery store, but there are a ton on Roosevelt and it seems like their are a decent amount of convenience stores if residents can't walk/drive to TJ's, Jewel, Target, Whole Foods or Mariano's.

Anyway, fun to dream about this one.

(Hat tip:  V808!)

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Another Check-in at Chicago Firehouse - July 2016 Edition

Still no official word on the rebuild of The Chicago Firehouse Restaurant, but still get a good amount of emails on the topic. With that said, wanted to post a couple recent emails and pictures:
Caught these today (June 30) walking the neighborhood. Looks like half of the old patio behind Chicago Firehouse Restaurant is being turned into a possibly 2-story addition. 
I can't seem to find any official news anywhere though on timelines/goals/etc.




It does look like they're expanding backwards.  We wonder if this might be indoor/outdoor usage - which would be great.

Regarding timing, we heard from a reader that December 2016 or January of 2017 seems more feasible for the buildout to be done.

Another reader sent us some pics they took looking inside:


Good to see the progress!

(Hat tip: GK & JO!)

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Southwest Corner of Grant Park is Getting a Buddha

In case you missed it last week, looks like we're geting a big Buddha (via DNAinfo):
On Saturday June 25, a new sculpture is coming to the south end of Grant Park. Sited in the skate park just south of the 11th Street pedestrian overpass, the new 15 foot tall Buddha sculpture will be not just be the park's newest art installation, but also the latest skatable feature. The edges of the wood sculpture are to be lined with steel angle irons allowing for patrons of the skate park to grind alongside the object.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy 4th of July from Sloopin

Happy 4th of July from your friends at Sloopin!

In honor of the holiday thought we post this video we found on youtube:

Saturday, July 2, 2016

The Sloopin Open House:
What Does a $1 Million Townhouse in the Sloop Look Like?

Upon looking at this weekend's open houses, this townhouse at 1433 S. Prairie Ave caught our attention - not so much for it's uniqueness, but more for it's price tag.

This 4bd/3.5bth unit is big and looks like it's in relatively decent shape, but nothing amazing sticks out in our mind.  With that said, it's listing prices is $1,125,000!

The one picture that looks nice to us is this one from the living room:

We don't want to say this unit isn't nice, it just surprised us that it's asking for $1,125,000.  Maybe it's a hot market.  Does anyone have some thoughts on this?  Is this where the market is right now?

Regardless, this unit is hosting an open house on Sat (7/2) and Sun (7/3) from noon to 3pm.  If you've got a million+ check it out.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Rush Announces 40,000 Square Foot Outpatient Facility at 1411 S. Michigan

Pretty big news coming from Chicagobusiness.com:
Rush University Medical Center is set to open an outpatient health center in the city's booming South Loop neighborhood. 
The new location, at 1411 S. Michigan Ave., will be part of a new 15-story mixed residential/retail/office building, and comes on the heels of an increasing industry trend to strategize outpatient care.
As a primer, this is currently the old post office union building that has been vacant for some time.  We heard of a development coming here in April, but that was about it.

The article goes on to give some solid updates on the plan:
Pending approval from the state, the roughly 40,000-square-foot facility would open in the summer of 2018 and occupy part of the first, fourth and fifth floors. A staff of about 30 to 35 physicians would offer primary care and internal medicine, along with a variety of specialties including obstetrics and gynecology, endocrinology, otolaryngology, cardiology, dermatology, gastroenterology and rheumatology. Weekend and after-hours visits as well as immediate care also will be available.
While Rush will clearly be the main tenant, it will be interesting to hear what else is in store for this development.

(Hat tip: GH!)