Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Chicago Fire Soccer Team Unveils New Look ; Adds Mural to Back of Roosevelt Collection

We've written a bit about the Chicago Fire football club moving their home from Bridgeport back to Soldier Field for the upcoming season.

As part of this move the club also announced a new look for the team.  You can find that on this MLS website.  One other thing we noticed in the article was that they're adding some art to the neighborhood:
The Fire also announced plans for a new mural by Chicago-based artist Max Sansing to be completed next week on the north side of the Roosevelt Collection Shops in the South Loop, overlooking the British International School’s soccer fields off South Wells Street.
This makes sense as we saw on the Facebook group Hello South Loop! that the mural is underway:

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Tis the Season for the Annual CTA Holiday Train

It's holiday train time on the CTA and we highly encourage you to check it out.  The CTA is usually the scapegoat for many of our woes, but on this subject they truly hit it out of the park.

If you're curious about the schedule here you go (all here is the weblink):

We also want to note that Curbed Chicago has a quick little post about the origin of the CTA Holiday Train.  Worth a read if you got a couple minutes.

Friday, November 22, 2019

PepsiCo Moving Into Old Post Office Building

More big brands coming to Old Post Office building (via Chicago Tribune):
PepsiCo plans to move its 1,300 Chicago workers from an entire 17-story building to a single floor in the redeveloped Old Post Office, becoming the latest company to spread out in an ultrawide building.
The Purchase, New York-based food and beverage giant has leased 192,000 square feet on the third floor of the 2.8 million-square foot former post office, where it plans to move in winter 2020, the company said.
PepsiCo’s Chicago office is the headquarters for its Gatorade, Quaker and Tropicana brands, as well as PepsiCo Beverages’ North America Central Division. It is the company’s second-largest office by employee count, trailing only the Frito-Lay headquarters in Plano, Texas.
The fact that this building has gained so much traction is likely a great thing for the Sloop.  More people, looking for more food/shopping options, looking for places to live seems like a good flywheel.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Discovery Partner Institute (DPI) Shooting for Opening in The 78 Development in 2023?

We just read a good article about DPI - the Discovery Partners Institute slated to be built on the 78 development.  While the article gives a good overview of the entire status of the project, one line stood out and is something we haven't seen yet (via the News Gazette):
DPI is working out of temporary space in downtown Chicago, holding classes, funding faculty research projects and ramping up its staff.
But the UI plans to build a new 500,000-square-foot facility in a $7 billion development known as “The 78” near the South Loop, using half of the $500 million promised by the state for DPI and the statewide Illinois Innovation Network.
The plan is to have DPI at “full strength” in its new building by 2023, UI President Tim Killeen said.
The city of Chicago recently approved incentives for The 78 development, which include housing, commercial space, a new train stop and reconfigured roads and Metra tracks.
“The road is going in, the bulldozers are there,” Killeen said.

While 2023 isn't exactly around the corner, it gives you a sense of how long this is going to take.  There has already been a lot of twists and turns on this one, so we'll see where it goes.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Man Shoots Gun in Air on State Street and Pierces Apartment Building

Damn this is terrifying:
Seems like the damage was minimal, but definitely make you uneasy.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Dearborn Denim and Apparel Opening Shop on Printer's Row

Well this is awesome - it looks like Dearborn Denim and Apparel is moving into 728 S. Dearborn in Printer's Row:

We're familiar with Dearborn Denim & Apparel, but not intimately.  That said, what we've read and seen makes us feel very excited - it's a local, hip, proven apparel company.  To be honest, that's not something the Sloop has much of.

For a little background, you can see more info from their website, but we pulled this from the About Us page:
EST. 2016
Set out to build a better apparel brand. Growing from the thought: People deserve access to a great product, made the right way, and sold at a great price.
Everything is cut, sewn, and crafted at our factory in Chicago - using U.S. materials.
Given their name, it seems like it was destiny that they sought out this location.  As a reminder, this was the space where the Chicago Bicycle Company abruptly closed their doors in August.

This seems like a great addition to Printer's Row and looking forward to seeing them open.

(Hat tip:  AB!)

Friday, November 15, 2019

Former Bears Player - Israel Idonije - Adds Plans for Hotel to Motor Row Project?

Israel Idonije has been an active investor in the South Loop in the past and his biggest plans are for a project called FBRK (pronounced "fabric") in Motor Row.

Crain's Chicago had a recent post about a new, tech incubator plan that he's launching further north in the Loop.  While reading about that, we saw an update on the plan in Motor Row:
The idea spun out of a project Idonije and former Bears teammate Julius Peppers have been developing on Motor Row, where a venture of theirs paid $10 million last year for the former Hudson Motor Building at 2222 S. Michigan Ave. They plan to turn that five-story building into FBRK, a co-working and member club space designed to foster collaboration in specific industry sectors including tech, nonprofits, sports and art. They've since added plans for a 109-room boutique hotel to that project, which Idonije aims to open in 2021.
Besides the updated open date, what's interesting is that this is the first time we've heard about the plans for the boutique hotel.  Not sure what that is, but intriguing.

The greater Motor Row area has seen a flurry of activity in recent years.  It still has a ways to go, but seems to be moving in a good direction.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

#ShotsAroundTheSloop: Fire in the Sky

(Hat tip: JH!)

Moody Tongue's Ambitious Concept at 2515 S. Wabash Ushers in Dinning Optimism for the Sloop

Every year when the Michelin guides come out we write about the lack of representation for the Sloop.  Yes, Acadia (1639 S. Wabash) represents in a very very strong manner and there are other places like Everest (425 S. Financial Pl) and Dagaun Noodle (2230 S. Wentworth) that are so close to the Sloop we feel like they're claimable. 

Outside of that you have to head to the West Loop, Pilsen or River North to get your share of award winning options.  That said, there are a couple of places on the horizon that may have a shot at earning some recognition.  Harbor (1312 S. Wabash) is working furiously on their build-out and seems like a promising concept. 

Another one that actually opened yesterday - Moody Tongue - has laid out a very ambitious dinning vision.  Before we post, we will acknowledge that their location - 2515 S. Wabash - likely falls outside what we would deem the Sloop (it's south of the I-55!), but what the hell it's not far from us (via Eater Chicago):
One of Chicago’s most hotly anticipated restaurants of the season opens today, and its owners hope to break the mold of what beer-focused dining entails. Brewmaster Jared Rouben and business partner/cousin Jeremy Cohn of Moody Tongue Brewing Company launch the Bar at Moody Tongue and the Dining Room at Moody Tongue today in the company’s brand new brewery near McCormick Place. As the names indicate, it’s a two-fold venue with separate fine dining and casual drinking spaces, both helmed by executive chef Jared Wentworth (Longman & Eagle, Dusek’s, Mordecai).
Wentworth’s menu for the 28-seat Dining Room might startle those accustomed to standard brewpub fare — no jalapeno poppers or Buffalo wings here. Instead, he crafts a 12-course seasonal tasting menu with dishes including Maine lobster with matsutake chawanmushi, a delicate, savory Japanese egg custard, squash and wort consomme, and a course of scallop and foie gras with Tokyo turnip, leek, guanciale, and melon and barley wine. The chef does tip his hat to classic bar food with a house-made caraway pretzel with beer cheese. A full menu is available below.

If that doesn't seem interesting take a look at this food porn:

Looks pretty amazing all around.  Maybe this could user in some other options for the neighborhood!

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Curbed Chicago Checks-in at NEMA

NEMA is the largest building in the Sloop and has transformed the neighborhood's relationship with the famous Chicago skyline.  Turns out the rental building looks amazing inside as well and is jammed packed with a TON of amenities (via Curbed):
Enter NEMA’s ground floor and you’ll find a minimalist, mostly gray lobby plus two separate entrances and elevator banks for its two tiers of residents. Similar to Streeterville’s ultra-luxurious One Bennett Park, which provides dedicated entrances for its renters and condo owners. NEMA is rental only, but its units are divided between the building’s “Signature” and more expensive “Skyline” collections.
Residents of either have access to NEMA’s 14th- and 16th-floor amenity offerings (due to double-height ceilings the tower forgoes floor 15). The sheer amount of communal space is impressive. Every aspect seems supersized, even for such a big building with 800 units.
The 14th floor is dominated by a sprawling fitness center, which includes the only full Olympic sized boxing ring in any Chicago residential building. There’s a basketball court, spin room, yoga studio, pilates room, golf simulation with a lounge, squash court and just about every conceivable exercise machine and weights decked out with NEMA branding.
A coworking lounge on the 16th floor has nine glass-walled conference rooms, each outfitted with a flat-screen display and Apple TV. The area is one of the building’s most attractive communal spaces—in part because of its uninterrupted northern views of Grant Park and skyline beyond. There’s also a movie screening room, a kids club, locker rooms, and a dedicated space set up for couples massages.
The 10,000-square-foot outdoor terrace and pool was closed for the season when we visited. But, residents still have access to a 75-foot indoor lap pool which actually extends beyond the tower’s southern facade.
If all of that isn’t enough, NEMA offers another lounge space with a pool table, fireplace, and kitchen. There’s a 21-and-over sports bar, the Station, a nod to the South Loop’s demolished Grand Central Station terminal. It features a wall of TVs, old school skeeball machines, and a self-serve beer tap (pending a city liquor license approval).

It's a good read and there are a ton of pics worth taking a look at:

Monday, November 11, 2019

Taking a Look at the 2019 Business Counter

Ok Ok Ok....we got a really late start on the 2019 business counter this year, but better late than never, amiright?

Anyway, as usual we want you to let us know if we missed or need to revise something.  Right now, we have the Sloop tallied at a +7 for the year:

Opened in 2019
  1. Kido (Roosevelt Collection)
  2. Elite Eye Care (555 S. Dearborn)
  3. Grant Park Bistro (800 S. Michigan)
  4. Bob's Furniture (Roosevelt and 90/94) 
  5. Kids Wonderland Play & Party (2028 S. Michigan)
  6. SX Sky Bar (808 S. Michigan)
  7. South Asia Institute (1925 S. Michigan)
  8. 9 Round (777 S. State)
  9. Sumi Japanese Restaurant (1303 S. Michigan)
  10. Mei's Asian Small Plates & Dumplings (1101 S. Wabash) 
  11. Totto's Market (751 S. Dearborn)
  12. Giglio's (825 S. State)
  13. Harold's #88 Chicken Shack (1450 S. Michigan)
  14. Lips (2229 S. Michigan)
  15. Il Culaccio (2134 S. Indiana Ave)
  16. Molly's Cupcakes (1150 S. Wabash)
  17. GoGrocer (1401 S. Michigan)
  18. Dentart (2106 S. Michigan)
  19. Pacino's Classic Italian (1010 S. Delano Ct.)
Closed or Moved Out of the Sloop in 2019
  1. Z Gallerie (Roosevelt Collection)
  2. Bongo Room (1152 S. Wabash)
  3. The Lobo Cantina (1307 S. Wabash)
  4. Vice District Brewing (1454 S. Michigan)
  5. Wabash Tap (1233 S. Wabash)
  6. Bella Bronze Tan (1503 S. Michigan)
  7. Mai Tai (614 S. Wabash)
  8. Chicago Bicycle Company (728 S. Dearborn)
  9. HAX Hops & Hamburgers (733 S. Dearborn St.)
  10. Cycmode (1333 S. Wabash)
  11. Fruve (1130 S. Wabash)
  12. The Nail Social (73 E. 16th)
Here are some other businesses that may or may not open up in 2019:
Min & Hin (1234 S. Michigan)
Sage Room (67 E. Cermak) 
• Chipotle (1136 S. Wabash)
Harbor (1312 S. Wabash) 
Jet's Pizza (1140 S. Wabash) 
New Asian Fusion Restaurant (Roosevelt Collection - S. Delano Ct.)
Roots Pizza (NW Corner of Dearborn/Polk) 
All-Star Seafood & Spirits (730 S. Clark) 
Overflow Coffee (1449 S. Michigan) 
Wabash Tap New Concept (1233 S. Wabash) 
The Lucky Well (Roosevelt Collection) 
The Grail Cafe (715 S. Dearborn) 
Teriyaki Madness (829 S. Wabash)  
Crab Bucket (South Michigan & 21st) 
Williams Inn Pizzeria (2210 S. Michigan) 
Hoots (TBD) 
Chick-Fil-A (Clinton & De Koven) 
• 7-11 (Clinton & De Koven) 
• Aspen Dental (Clinton & De Koven) 

Are we missing anything?

Thursday, November 7, 2019

South Loop Montessori School Holding Fall Fest Fundraiser this Saturday (11/9)

If you're looking for something to do this Saturday:
Now that it seems like fall has finally arrived, we would like to announce that, on Saturday, November 9th, South Loop Montessori School (47 W Polk St) will be hosting a Fall Fest from 10am-2pm! This will be a fundraiser to help us cover the cost of resurfacing our playground with high-quality turf and other modifications. 
We will be selling tickets at the entrance of the Fall Fest for families to participate in activities like face painting, a photo booth, pumpkin decorating, as well as serving refreshments and bake sale items. We will also have other free craft activities such as veggie stamping, fall play-dough mixing, and a greeting card station. In addition to selling tickets for activities, we will be accepting donations and selling SLMS stickers!

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Fruve xPress Juicery and The Nail Social Close Up Shop

Upon a recent trip we noticed a couple shop that are closed.  Maybe they've been closed for awhile, maybe not.  Anyway, here are two spots that closed:

First off - Fruve xPress Juicery closed up shop at 1130 S. Wabash.  This spot has been open for about 5 years and to be honest had a good run.  The place was good, but was very 'high-end' (aka expensive).  Anyway, will be interesting to see what might move in:

Second, The Nail Social has apparently closed at 76 E. 16th.  We didn't know much about this place, but this strip of businesses on 16th seems to have a revolving door.  Yes, some places have done well, but there is a handful of businesses that come and go:

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Deconversion of Condo Buildings to Rental is a Trend in Chicago

We spilled a decent amount digital ink on the de-conversion of River City from condo building to rental.  The Chicago Tribune has a good read on the topic and cites River City as an example:
Chicago apartment buildings can have many lives. “It used to be you bought an apartment building and converted it into condominiums,” said Susan Tjarksen, a managing director in the Chicago office of Cushman & Wakefield, “and now we’re seeing the reverse of that.”
While that’s the simplest definition of the condo deconversion trend sweeping the city, turning condos into rental apartments is not a simple process for residents, the community or investors. Residents who buy a unit in a building seeking the stability of homeownership are often forced to move when an apartment investor buys the building. Investors often find themselves scrambling to find buildings that cater to the city’s hot rental market. And aldermen in neighborhoods that have seen rising deconversions are facing pressure from condo-owning constituents. 
Condominiums that have surpassed their 1980s and 1990s heyday are prime targets for offers from investors. “It’s been a good way of finding an alternative source of investments,” said David Goss, co-founder and managing principal at Interra Realty. His firm did its first deconversion transaction of a 101-unit building in Uptown in January 2017. Since then, he’s noticed an uptick in the number of condos being turned into apartments.

The piece on River City:
The onset of new amenity-filled apartments coming to the market has created competition with many of the vintage condos found in Chicago. People are shifting away from some of those dated high-rise buildings and going to the brand-new apartment buildings next door. “Today, condos have a hard time competing with apartments in terms of what they can offer for rent and amenities,” said Rocio. 
In the case of one deconverted downtown building, River City, the new building’s owners are creating a welcoming lobby, new fitness center, multiple co-working and gathering spaces including a dog run, outdoor grilling stations and shuffleboard courts.

The River City drama took place over a long period and was certainly not smooth.  This seems like a trend to us, but not a sustainable one...guess we will see.

Friday, November 1, 2019

Pacino's Classic Italian Announces Soft Opening on 11/5

Looking forward to trying this new spot at Roosevelt Collection (via their Facebook page):