Thursday, March 30, 2017

Chef Luciano + Baderbrau Brewery = Baderbrau Kitchen

Two neighborhood joints team up (via Eater):
Baderbräu brewery has no problems with quenching their patrons’ thirsts, but now they’re doing something to satisfy their customers’ hungers. Starting in April, the brewpub will collaborate with another South Loop business, Chef Luciano, the Italian restaurant that’s been around since 1982. Together, they’ll launch the Baderbräu Kitchen, offering patrons a menu that complements the brewery’s beer. 
The menu will feature small plates and entrees including beer-battered shrimp made with Baderbräu’s flagship Czech-style pilsner, according to a brewery spokeswoman. The Tribune just last week named the beer among the 15 most-important beers in Chicago. In an act of synergy, Chef Luciano is serving up the shrimp in honor of Catholic Lent. This way eager eaters can get a preview of the forthcoming menu.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

What's Going In at 1006 S. Michigan Retail Space?

A reader writes:
Do you have any info on the construction going on in the 1006 S Michigan Ave street level? This is the space the Hyde Park daycare was advertising in the windows but never opened. Construction crews were hard at work around 6 AM today and some of the paper was off the windows. The metal studs appear to suggest lots of walls so not a restaurant. Maybe the sales/construction offices of the new high rise that now has the advertising wall along Michigan Avenue?
The reader was referring to American Kidz Academy (post from 2013)...but that never opened.

Does anyone have any scoop?

If we had to guess, the sales office is a pretty good one.

(Hat tip:  B2)

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

I Need a Hero...Coffee Bar

Upon a recent walk south from the Loop down Dearborn, we had a couple extra minutes and need a caffeine jolt.  Luck for us, Hero Coffee Bar (439 S. Dearborn) was in our vicinity.

Ok, ok.  This is north of Congress and in our opinion isn't really the Sloop, but whatever - we're going to talk about it today because we liked it!

It's always been a qualm with peeps in the Sloop...peeps want more coffee shops!

Anyway, this is a good one if you haven't been.  It's nothing fancy, but has some delicious coffee (we opted for an afternoon cappuccino).  We especially liked this wall:

Monday, March 27, 2017

New Renderings Reveal What Looks Like a 74th Floor Terrace at 1000M

Curbed Chicago had a post about some new renderings for the 1000 S. Michigan high-rise that's supposed to break ground in 2018:
As the yet-to-be-built 74-story South Loop skyscraper known as 1000M prepares to start marketing its 323 luxury condominiums, a pair of newly-provided renderings offer the best look yet at the upcoming Helmut Jahn-designed tower. The 832-foot building will feature greenish blue glass, metal horizontal spandrels between each floor, and a crown screened in metallic mesh.
While that's nice and all, we clicked over to their website and noticed a close-up of what we presume is either an amazingly high penthouse terrace or a crazy shared amenity outdoor rooftop space:

Pretty crazy to imagine a terrace on the 74th floor - might be a little windy up there.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

"Keep Grant Green" Group Isn't Happy With the Commercialization of Grant Park

Those be some fighting words (via Crains):
Move over, Friends of the Parks. The group that kept the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art from landing in Chicago now has company in Keep Grant Green, a grassroots organization whose mission is to prevent what it calls the overcommercialization of Grant Park. 
Keep Grant Green, a coalition of South Loop residents founded in 2016, objects to "the push to develop Grant Park along commercial lines." It cites specifically Grant Park Conservancy's plans for a proposed outdoor gym, Health Space @ Grant Park. The 36,000-square-foot project, planned for south of Balbo Drive and just west of Columbus Drive, would take over the park's former skate park. That skate park closed after a new skate park opened off Roosevelt Road in 2014.

Keep Grant Green takes issue with "the ever-increasing stream of corporate-sponsored festivals" that take place at the park. Keep Grant Green's website quotes a 2015 University of Chicago study showing that for about 54 percent of the time between April 1 and December 1 of 2015, large portions of the park were closed to the public.

It also questions the relationship between the nonprofit Grant Park Conservancy and Grant Park Advisory Council, one of the city's 50-some advisory councils linked to public parks. Robert O'Neill has been president of Grant Park Advisory Council for 18 years. He is also president of Grant Park Conservancy, which he founded in 2002 to advocate for the park. "This is really just insulting to me," O'Neill says of Keep Grant Green. "I have spent 35 years advocating for green space in Chicago."

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Teppanyaki + Mexican = Interesting New Concept for Former Zapatista Space?

Mexican Teppanyaki Coming to the Sloop?
This story continues to develop thanks to our friends at Eater Chicago:
Inspired by Japanese teppanyaki, a new—and unnamed—South Loop restaurant from the team behind the Scout Waterhouse + Kitchen will feature a private room with a tabletop grill serving Mexican food. Chris Bravos, a Scout partner, said he envisions groups as large as 24 reveling around the table with margaritas in hand, commiserating while skirt steak or octopus sizzles. They’re hoping to open this summer after giving the former Zapatista a facelift.  
Bravos, who was also on the opening team at The Pony in Lakeview, said a shot of tequila or pitcher of sangria would only enhance the tabletop grill experience. Bravos has a chef in mind to helm the kitchen, but he’s not ready to make an announcement.  
“We’re thinking tacos, you can pick your ingredients—if you want a corn or flour tortilla—right at the table,” Bravos said.
Well that's an interesting concept and would definitely provide a unique offering for the neighborhood.  We love both of these cuisines, so we'll be watching this one closely.

The concept is pretty far out (and honestly if it was April 1st we may be questioning this one as April Fools), but we appreciate the potential ambition here.  

For those new to this story, one of our perceptive readers noticed some activity at the old Zapatista spot as well as some Scout people going into the restaurant.  It appears that this tip proved to be true - super hat tip to MM!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Looks Like The Scout Ownership is Indeed Doing Something at Old Zapatista Space

Late last week we received an email about some activity at the old Zapatista.  Well Eater Chicago followed-up and got some more intel:
Ownership of Scout Waterhouse + Kitchen, one of the best sports bars in the South Loop, appear to be taking over the neighboring Zapatista space at 1307 S. Wabash Ave. Scout partner Jeff Wolff is listed on a city building permit for the shuttered restaurant. Wolff is a contractor, designer, and also a partner at Ronero, the recently-opened South American-inspired restaurant and cocktail club on Randolph Restaurant Row.  
Wolff’s company, WolffHager, is listed on the permit to work on kitchen fixtures and dry wall work at the address. The permit was dated for last week. Wolff didn’t respond to a request for comment so it’s not clear if this is a Scout expansion or a new project from the team.

Looking forward to hearing more.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Is "Riverside District Master Plan" the Current Concept for 62-Acre Rezkoland?

We know that the vegetation at the 62-acre lot has been cleared out.  We know there is someone working on a master plan for the lot.  We also posted about a potential conceptual design back in December of 2016.  But realistic we don't have a lot of concrete info.

That being said, a reader writes:
Was surfing the web and found this page regarding the rezko lot - not sure if its current but somethings happening over there.

This info is coming on the SCB website for a project called "Riverside District Master Plan" and goes on to explain:
Challenges encountered during the plan’s development included site accessibility, construction over an existing active rail line, establishing physical and visual linkages to the project, and creating a unique sense of place. SCB Planning’s design concept envisioned the landscape as a key design feature reinforced by a linear “Central Park” that would connect a network of ecological landscapes, pocket parks, and greenways. A river walk promenade links the riverfront development through a series of multi-family residential buildings and townhomes. The open spaces in the plan serve as pedestrian gathering spots and linkages to the surrounding neighborhoods. The redevelopment of this currently vacant site will greatly improve the transition between the downtown and South Loop neighborhoods, and activate the riverfront of the near south side.

This looks much more realistic than the post we did back in December.  Anyone have additional detail?  Can anyone corroborate?

(Hat tip:  JD!)

Monday, March 20, 2017

Porkchop in Printers Row Leaves the Neighborhood

We received a bunch of emails from readers about this topic - here is one:
I saw when I was walking that porkchop on Dearborn next to Starbucks closed. Apparently it moved to adam's street out of the sloop.

Porkchop has a bunch of locations and actually also operates Chop in Roosevelt Collection.  We never tried this place, but also never saw much foot traffic inside (oh and the Yelp reviews ain't very good).

Never like to see places leave the Sloop, but something tells us most readers won't be missing this one.

Hopefully they can get a good tenant.  The space is slightly strange if we recall correct.  Why not just have Starbucks take it over and make it have more seating...that would be nice.

(Hat tip: AN, SB, SG!)

Saturday, March 18, 2017

The Sloopin Open House: Sweet Design & Decoration

This week we take a look at what appears to be a studio masked as a 1bd/1bth at 732 S. Financial Pl (unit #414).  That being said, don't sleep on this's an interesting unit.

It's a corner unit and appears spacious:

It also has some cool design elements like this moose!

The unit is listed at $255K and from what we can tell it doesn't include parking.

You can go check out this open house at 732 S. Financial Pl this Saturday and Sunday from 2-4pm both days.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Are Scout Peeps Working on a Concept at Old Zapatista Space?

A reader writes:
There is work going on at Zapatista. Last week the lights were on and the lease sign had come down. Now the windows are covered up and there is a dumpster outside with work going on inside. Further, saw some Scout personnel walking in there - maybe there opening something else?
Well this is a juicy one!  Sounds promising - anyone have additional info?  If true, any thoughts on what Scout might be thinking about?  Seems like it would have to be a pretty different concept to have success (not just another sports bar...).

As a reminder, back in October of last year we posted about this retail space getting a new owner.  The old restaurant, Zapatista, was a neighborhood stalwart that seemed to have a steady crowd. The closed abruptly back in June of 2015.

(Hat tip:  MM!)

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Lollapalooza 4-Day Tickets Go On Sale Tuesday; Get Ready for Lineup Leak

Yes we have a lot of snow on the ground, but that doesn't mean we can't dream of warmer times and sunshine....and lollapalooza (via chicagoist):
There's still no word on who is actually playing Lollapalooza when it returns to Grant Park this year, from Aug. 3 to 6. But since some folks stopped caring less about the music and more about the party years ago, it makes total sense that four-day tickets will go on sale sans any news of the bands playing next week, on March 21.
While we still don't officially know who is playing the massive festival, the post goes on to say that the lineup is usually leaked sometime soon - so stay tuned.

Lollapalooza has a solid history of selling out, no mater who's playing, so if you don't want to take chances waiting on single day tickets and lineups, get ready to hit that refresh button at 10 a.m. next Tuesday.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Old Hackney's to Be Re-Branded "Hax" and Supposedly Opening This Month

Last week we posted about a reader who noticed activity at the old Hackney's (733 S. Dearborn).  Today another reader sent us a link about the chain and a blurb about this location (from the Daily Herald):
The family is renovating and changing the name of its Chicago location, Hackney's in Printer's Row, at 733 S. Dearborn St.  
To be called Hax, the eatery is expected to reopen within the month and will cater to a younger crowd. "It will be quick, more of a fast-casual location," Landri said.
We knew it was going to be a faster concept, but the name Hax is new information to us.  Even better, glad to see they're hoping to open later this month!

(Hat tip:  JJ!)

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Suspected South Loop Target Carjacker Apprehended in Atlanta

Remember that carjacking at Target back in January during the middle of the day?  Yeah, that was scary...

Anyway, the suspect has been apprehended in Atlanta (via DNAinfo):
A man suspected of carjacking a BMW in the parking garage of the South Loop Target is in custody in Atlanta, according to federal authorities and the neighborhood's alderman.  
Carnell King is also accused of firing shots during a Jan. 10 crime spree that included at least one other carjacking.

Monday, March 13, 2017

How Much Concrete is Needed for a 76-Story Foundation?

A reader sends us the following picture checking in at the 76-Story high-rise coming to Roosevelt and Indiana:
Armada of Trucks delivering cement to be poured in Foundations. May be 25 trucks.

(Hat tip: CL!)

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Workers Apparently Ready to Move Inside Old Post Office

According to Curbed Chicago:
A new permit from the city has signaled that workers are preparing to move inside Chicago’s massive Old Main Post Office structure to begin rehabbing the Art Deco building’s lobby. Workers were first spotted on the scene back in October of last year to begin exterior facade repair and restoration. Having stood vacant for over 20 years and suffered through multiple fires and the neglect during that time, the overhaul of the building is expected to be a $500 million undertaking.
Everyday (and weekend) it seems like there is significant action at the building.  Last weekend we saw a helicopter actively buzzing around moving stuff around.  Good to see some progress at this place!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

New 39-Story Marriott Marquis on Cermak "Topped Off"

Curbed Chicago checks in on the new Marriott on Cermak:
Crews working on the largest Chicago hotel project in years have hoisted the final piece of the upcoming Marriott Marquis’ structural steel into place, effectively “topping off” the 39-story hotel. When it opens this summer, the dark blue tower will deliver a staggering 1,205 guest rooms to the recently rebranded McCormick Square entertainment and hospitality district flanking the McCormick Place convention center. 
According to the hotel’s official website, the Marriott Marquis Chicago will feature a large ground floor restaurant/food court and a pair of 25,000-square-foot ballrooms for a total of 90,000 square feet of meeting space. An indoor/outdoor rooftop bar on the eastern setback of the tower’s 33rd floor is also rumored to have been added to the mix.
We recently were driving down Cermak and have to admit that the hotel design is sleek and striking.  Obviously it's bringing a lot of rooms to the area and should aide in bringing more foot traffic as well (which is desperately needed if the city's grand ambitions for this area are to be realized).

The indoor/outdoor rooftop bar is a nice addition also.

The post on Curbed also calls out two other big development projects coming to this stretch of Cermak - a 22-story hotel and retail development on the Southside of Cermak between Indiana and Michigan and a hotel/apartment complex at the NE corner of Cermak/Wabash.

Assuming all three of these projects are fully completed it's easy to see how they could supercharge the area.  There is definitely a smattering of restaurants and businesses in the area, but it's pretty sparse.  Maybe these developments will help change that.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Checking In at the Old Hackney's Space (733 S. Dearborn)

A reader writes:
Sorry for the terrible pic, but thought folks would like to know there are "Coming Soon" signs in the windows at Hackney's Printers Row. They've been pretty active with construction, so hopefully it will be sooner rather than later.

That's good to hear, because it does feel like there is something missing in Printers Row with Hackney's not open.

As a reminder, in September of last year we posted about the news that Hackeny's was re-concepting.
The group that owns Hackney's successfully launched Flaco Tacos which is just a couple storefronts north of this space and is also working on Gordo's Handmade Ice Cream (which hasn't opened yet).

(Hat tip:  AH!)

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Pizano's Pizza Officially Opens at 2106 S. Indiana

A reader tipped us to this, but it looks like Pizano's at 2106 S. Indiana is officially open: 

Another iconic Chicago pizza spot officially has a presence in the Sloop!  Welcome!

For those interested, we've updated the business counter.

(Hat tip:  TG!)

Monday, March 6, 2017

1001 S. State Provides Balance of Work & Play for Residents

Sponsored Post

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In the same cutting-edge 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.

1001’s unique Makerspace is the perfect resource for residents whether they need to prototype their new ideas or just need space to complete a project. In addition to the stimulating atmosphere, the Makerspace offers cutting-edge 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.

Venturing throughout the city 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.

Exciting apartment features await residents 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 an ideal choice for creative thinkers looking for a like-minded community.

To find your new home – and to take advantage of up to 2 months free rent – contact the leasing office at 312-283-3776 or

Chicago Tribune Food Critic Ranks Acadia #11 and Everest #14 in His Top 50 Restaurants in the Area

Chicago Tribune's food critic - Phil Vettel - just released his current top 50 restaurants in the Chicagoland area.  It's pretty sparse on the South Side - which probably isn't super surprising to most readers here.

The two spots that register for our neighborhood are Everest (440 S. LaSalle) coming in at #14 and Acadia (1639 S. Wabash) coming in at #11  

Unsurprisingly, the West Loop continue to be regarded as the dinning mecca of the city.

Acadia - where food is Art (via Chicago Tribune)

Friday, March 3, 2017

Old Union Station Power House on Top 7 List of Chicago Endangered Buildings

Old Union Station Power House on the Chicago River, just North of Roosevelt
We were frankly surprised to see a picture of the Union Station Power House featured as one of the city's 7 most endangered buildings by a group called Preservation Chicago.

Why?  Just take a look at the building!

It feels like a misplaced, cartoonish version of something that was built for a movie to showcase how "old energy" was created.

Curbed Chicago explains:
Union Station Power House While the power house at Union Station has not been active since 2011, Preservation Chicago says that the building is notable for a number of reasons. First, its stoic and austere Art Moderne design from Graham, Anderson, Probst & White is an important work of architecture. However, the building also represents Chicago’s might and importance as a rail hub during the twentieth century. According to Preservation Chicago, Amtrak, the building’s current owner, is exploring various options for the site, including demolition.

It's such a comical looking building in our mind, we kinda would like to see it stay - just for the novelty of it.  That being said, it's presumably pretty valuable land and wouldn't shock us if it's sold.

What do you think?  Do you want it to go or do you want it to stay?

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Chicago Fire Filming Today Around 23rd and 24th Street

Chicago Fire fans trying to grab a glimpse of the show, here is your chance:

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Popular Chinatown Spot, MingHin Cusine, Coming to 1234 S. Michigan?

Late last week we posted about some potential activity at 1234 S. Michigan (former home of Ma & I).  The rumor was that an Asian restaurant might be moving in.

In case you missed it a reader did some additional digging and apparently found out the following:

For those not familiar, MingHin Cuisine is a pretty popular Chinatown spot and actually was awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand ranking this past year.

The restaurant seems to be expanding and has 4 locations (Chinatown, Loop, Naperville and Rolling Meadows).

We'll be curious to see how this plays out and whether it's the same "brand" or a variation.  While we wouldn't be shocked if it's another MingHin, it's pretty close to Chinatown so seems a little excessive.

As we mentioned before Ma & I seemed to have solid business around the neighborhood, so we would imagine this restaurant would also do well at this location.

What still isn't clear is what is in store for the rest of the building.  Ma & I only took a small portion of the building.

(Hat tip:  REMO!)