Thursday, July 16, 2020

Some Shots of the Progress at the Well Wentworth Connector

A reader writes:
The Wells Wentworth Connector is nearly ready to break through the barrier between Wentworth and the newly-formed Wells Street emerging through The 78.
https://chi.streetsblog.org/2019/09/10/work-begins-on-wells-wentworth-connector-linking-chinatown-downtown-and-the-78/
The work to go under the CN tracks at the Northernmost section of Wentworth is going REALLY deep .


(Hat tip: LG!)

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Iconic Manny's Deli Pleads for Support on Social Media

A South Loop classic is reaching out for support:

The Tribune also posted about this tweet and interviewed the owner:
“We started doing deliveries when everything was closed, the suburbs more than the city,” said Raskin, a suburbanite himself. “We’d find the customers and bring the food to them. People weren’t even getting to groceries then, so no-contact delivery worked well.” 
Manny’s still does carryout and delivery, parking the logo-painted van in a parking lot where people could drive over, pop open the trunk and have the food placed inside. The North Shore suburbs were a reliable source of business. 
But business, as the Facebook post indicates, has been declining. “Since things have gotten better (for restaurants), there’s way more competition, and orders dropped a lot,” Raskin said. “I just want to remind people that we’re still doing this stuff.” 
Suburban orders are crucial to Manny’s, Raskin said, because Loop offices are sparsely occupied. Downtown lunch business, especially at lunch, has dried up.

Even if you're not in the mood for a big sandwich, think about a t-shirt or gift card.  It would be a big blow if this classic institution had to close up.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Mau's House of Grooming at 901 S. Plymouth Ct.

A reader writes:
Mau's House of Grooming has moved into 901 S. Plymouth Ct. My wife and I have been taking our dog to get groomed by Julio, formerly at Kriser's in the South Loop, for years and while we were sad to see him depart with Kriser's we're very happy to see him open his own pet salon in the sloop.
Our much-beloved dog is riddled with severe separation anxiety but he has always taken a liking to Julio and we only trusted leaving our dog with him. He's an AMAZING groomer, awesome person and is super careful and loving to our dog. 
We let his fur go longer during the first stretch of the CORONA-19 pandemic and were worried about the safety of getting his fur groomed or going to a new place as businesses were reopening at different times. wearing a mask, Julio met me and my dog outside and was very careful about social distancing while we caught up. 
I know the sloop -- especially Printer's Row -- is filled with dogs, so please help give his business some love -- you won't be disappointed. 

This space was most recently an outlet for the Not Just Cookies store.  We predicted that it likely would be a tough spot for that business. 

That said a dog groomer likely is more well situated to thrive in this retail space as it's a little off the beaten trail.

Best of luck!

(Hat tip: S!)

Monday, July 13, 2020

Vanille Out ; Taketei Sushi In at 800 S. Michigan

It appears that a new sushi spot is moving into the corner retail spot of Hotel Essex at the corner of 8th and Michigan:


For those not familiar with this corner, it's where the Vanille coffee and bakery was located.  It seems as if that outfit is out of the space.  They opened with the hotel in the Spring of 2019.

While we love sushi, the neighborhood already has a good amount of sushi and Asian food at this point.  Just down the block there is Niu B (888 S. Michigan) is focused on Sushi.

We're not super familiar with Taketei but it appears that they're relocating from River North.  The restaurant has a solid 4.6 rating on Yelp so that's encouraging.

(Hat tip:  JTS!)

Friday, July 10, 2020

Bureau Bar Looks to be Moving in at Former Asian Cajun Plus Location (2115 S. State)

A reader writes:
The fa├žade of this location has been undergoing a facelift from former Asian Cajun Plus at 2115 S State.  Also Momentum Coffee next door finally has some custom happening.  Nice to see.

This was also covered in Eater Chicago:
South Loop: Chinese-inspired Cajun restaurant Asian Cajun PLUS is permanently closed and has vacated its former State Street space. A photo of new signage posted to the Hello South Loop Facebook page indicates it’ll be shortly taken over by the Bureau Bar, a University Village bar and restaurant.
This is from the same crew who owns The Bureau Bar on 16th street (which apparently was re-branded to 16th Street Bar according to their website).

Congrats to them and good to see more progress on this strip of the State.

(Hat tip:  LG!)

Thursday, July 9, 2020

"The Last Dance" for The Scout as the Popular Restaurant and Bar Announces it Won't Reopen

It appears The Scout Waterhouse & Kitchen - a popular sports bar at the corner of Wabash and 13th - won't be officially reopening (via their Facebook page):

The news is surprising because during normal times this bar and restaurant was one of the more vibrant scenes in the Sloop.

It's not clear on why they've gone this route, but it's been a pretty successful run for the crew at The Scout.  As a reminder the restaurant opened in the summer of 2011 and was highly anticipated (see our write-up from that summer).  

Throughout the years The Scout was a go to for all types of people in the South Loop.  You could even see sports celebrities every now and then.  The most notable thing we remember about The Scout was when it played host to Blackhawks Stanley Cup party in 2013.  Here is a pic of captain Jonathan Toews walking into the restaurant with Lord Stanley:

It also came back in 2015 for a similar party when the Hawks won their third Stanley Cup.

It's been a good run, but we will be curious to see what's next for this high-profile spot in the Sloop.

(Hat tip:  DO!)

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Michigan Avenue Highrise - 1000M - Stops Construction as Lender Pauses Funding

It looks like one of the larger developments in the Sloop is on pretty shaky ground (via Chicago Tribune):
A Helmut Jahn-designed skyscraper along South Michigan Avenue is on hold at least until September and buyers of the luxury units are being offered some of their deposits back, after the project’s lender stopped funding its construction.
The latest delay, resulting from economic concerns tied to the coronavirus pandemic, raises questions about the viability of the biggest condo project to break ground in Chicago in more than a decade.
At 74 stories and an expected cost of $470 million, the 1000M tower would be difficult to pull off even in the best of times.
It would not be the first audacious project in Chicago to succumb to a case of bad economic timing. The most memorable is the 2,000-foot-tall, Santiago Calatrava-designed Chicago Spire, a project that fell apart after breaking ground and became a global cautionary tale about the fickleness of construction cycles.
Construction lender Goldman Sachs has put the 1000M project on hold until it can be reviewed after a 90-day period ending in September, providing more time to assess the impacts of COVID-19 on real estate demand, according to developers Time Equities, JK Equities and Oak Capitals.

It's another sign of the tough times ahead, but this specific development has always seemed to be on a roller coaster.  Many writers questioned the feasibility of the project, but it did press on with a ground breaking ceremony last fall and legitimate work being done on the foundation at the end of last year.

The Covid-19 hit and some ominous foreshadowing occurred as construction was halted for this project as they cited concerns of spreading the virus.  While this was certainly a valid reason, we imagine some of the financial uncertainty also played a role.

Regardless, it will be interesting to see what happens next with this development.  We shall see.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Soldier Field Parking Lot to Become Drive-in Movie Theater This Wednesday (7/8)

Well this is a creative event for these crazy times (via Block Club):
Chicago is getting another drive-in movie theater — this one at Soldier Field.
The city and the private event company Fueled Events are teaming up on the new drive-in, which opens Wednesday.
Movies will start around 8:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays.
Up first is “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” “Groundhog Day,” “Fast & Furious,” “Grease” and “Shrek.”
Tickets are $55 per car and include a bucket of popcorn.
Drive-in movie theaters are making a comeback during the pandemic, with indoor theaters shuttered. Drive-ins have opened at Lincoln Yards, in Pilsen and in Lincoln Square in recent weeks.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Roots Handmade Pizza Opens for Takeout and Delivery in the Heart of Printer's Row

It's a strange time to be opening a restaurant (if you can call it opening), but Roots Pizza has fired up the kitchen (via Facebook):
We're taking delivery & carryout orders starting this Sunday 7/5 through our app & our official opening date is 7/10! We can't wait to see you all!
Download our app to order here --> http://www.rootspizza.com/download/See our South Loop EXCLUSIVE menu here --> https://www.rootspizza.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Roots-Menu-6.26.20-1-1.pdf

While we can't enjoy the 2nd floor yet...it's still worth looking at:

This is a great location and seems like it will anchor the vibe in Printer's Row for some time (hopefully)!  Looking forward to trying this spot

(Hat tip:  AB!)

Royal Puppies Closing ; Sets Up Go-Fund-Me To help with Debt and Personal Challenges

We know Covid-19 has been brutal on local businesses.  Here is an email that was forwarded to us about Royal Puppies (2000 S. Wabash) detailing the challenges:
Hello
I would like to thank you for your business and friendship during our time together in the South Loop, but it is with a saddened heart that I have to deliver this news: As of July 1st, Royale Puppies is permanently closed.
Our 3 year anniversary was in May and we had so many amazing things planned for you and your pups! My new team and I were working hard to organize exciting events and to improve all aspects of our facility. We upgraded our system, repainted the indoor park, redesigned our daycare and installed a new camera system for you to watch your pups, expanded our boarding, and even had plans with the Westminster Kennel Club to install turf so we could create an agility club!
One by one, people began to cancel on us. Our adoption event with L.E.A.D. Rescue was postponed. The Easter bunny was having second thoughts. The Westminster Kennel Club started working remotely and couldn’t find a way to deliver the turf... and then the lockdown happened.
For more than 2 months we were forced indoors and had to close up shop. We tried to stay positive and applied for the PPP like a lot of businesses did, we didn't get any funds!!!! . We waited patiently for the government to give us the OK to reopen. We looked at a lot of cool new products for your pups to enjoy once we could sell things again. Finally, it was announced that grooming was an essential service so we started taking appointments!
For two weeks we were booked non stop. What seemed like a blessing was actually part of the reason we had to close down. Grooming is only one part of our business and without the other parts we simply have too much overhead. But, because we were “operational”, our landlord expected their rent in full. And then, in the last weekend of May, the riots began.
From the security footage, the looting seems like it was completely opportunistic and not part of any protest that night. At around 1am, the looters broke the glass window next to the door and entered the building. They then proceeded to destroy or steal over $10,000 in property and goods. We submitted the footage to the FBI so hopefully they can catch these people, but there’s nothing else we can do about it.
With current affairs being the way they are, it is simply too much for us to bear. With our landlord unwilling to negotiate payment or terms beyond what we have now, having covid shut us down for 2 months, then the looting... all of it has left us very deep in debt. We took a long look at what reopening would look like, and we just couldn’t make it work. The damage had been done.
On top of all of this, some of you may know that I was diagnosed with cancer just last year and had multiple surgeries to remove it. With covid still being a threat for the foreseeable future, it would not be wise to continue working with a compromised immune system. I hope you can understand.
This community has been amazing to us and this is the last thing we wanted to do, but the debt that we have is so tremendous that we absolutely need help. We set up a gofundme page to pay down some of the debt and expenses we have incurred over the last months. Anything you can contribute is greatly appreciated.
These past 3 years have been unforgettable. Thank you all for your patronage, your friendship, and most of all, your pups who we will always hold dearly in our hearts. Give them a belly rub for us. We will miss them the most.
Please consider helping us www.gofundme.com/royale-puppies-closing
Sincerely,
Ash

(Hat tip:  ME, SD, LA!)

Friday, July 3, 2020

Honey Berry Pancakes & Cafe to Replace Bulldog Tavern

A reader writes:
Looks like a new place is opening up! I guess bulldog's went out??

We've never heard of this place, but according to google they have some locations in the Western Suburbs. 

Anyone have any intel on this place?  It's a huge space with nice outdoor seating so imagine it will do pretty well - assuming the food and service are solid.

While the neighborhood has a good amount of solid brunch spots, we could see this being a solid location given the building it is in.

Bulldog opened about three years ago and we're sort of surprised to see it go - although it never really stood out as anything but standard.  The food was eh at best and the crowd just always felt strange to us.  It just didn't really fit in with the vibe of the Sloop.

Regardless, looking forward to seeing how Honey Berry does.

(Hat tip:  JTS!)

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Local Mini-Chain Surf's Up Eyeing Expansion in Sloop?

We've never heard of Surf's Up, a local casual seafood mini-chain, but judging by some reviews it seems pretty popular (4.3 stars on Google Reviews!).

The chain now has 10 locations and just opened a new one in Old Town according to Eater Chicago. Upon reading the post on Eater, we also saw this blurb that caught our interest:
They want to open Surf’s Up restaurants outside of the Chicago area. They’ve already opened in Huntsville, Alabama. LA, Houston, Milwaukee, and Indianapolis are also being considered. Locally, South Loop and suburban Chicago Heights locations are also planned. Earlier this year, the family-run chain also added a virtual kitchen in Avondale for online ordering and delivery.

We will see if this happens.  Obviously it's a strange time and we imagine broad expansion plans will have to be reconsidered during the pandemic. 

More interesting to us is a trend around seafood themed restaurants.  Just in the Sloop we've seen All-Star Seafood and Sports open on Clark street recently and Low Country open in the last couple of years.  Curious to see how they all do.


Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Kids Store Carter's Will Not Be Reopening at Roosevelt Collection

According to a picture on the Hello South Loop Facebook page it looks like Carter's at Roosevelt Collection won't reopen:

There has been a lot of ink spilled about the challenges Covid presents for businesses.  Many large retailers have already declared for bankruptcy and it's expected that more will.

We're going to do our best to update our Business Counter to get a sense of the impact.  See the counter link here and let us know if we've missed any that have already closed or any that have opened in 2020.

(Hat tip:  AL!)

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Last Day of Covid Comeback Initiative from Solo Eye Care


A great initiative from Solo Eye Care:
As you know, the restaurants in our community are at great risk.  We lost South Coast today and have the potential to lose several more in the coming months.  I wanted to update you on a program that we developed earlier this month called the South Loop COVID Comeback sponsored by SoLo Eye Care.  Over the last few weeks we have been giving away $500 in $20 gift cards everyday we are open to support some of our favorite restaurants in the South Loop.  No purchase or appointment is required.  Residents simply need to show up at SoLo Eye Care to claim their certificate during business hours while these daily supplies last.  We have featured business such as Harold’s Chicken #88, Flo n' Santos, Dunkin Donuts, Victory Tap, Tea Pot Brew and Bakery, Waffles, Kroll’s South Loop, The Chicago Firehouse, and Il Cullacino.  We will hit the $5000 mark tomorrow and will be featuring a Sloopin favorite, Acadia.  There are no strings attached.  The only requirement is that the recipients of these cards get out and support the businesses that make up the fabric of our neighborhood.  For more information, check out our Facebook page.  

Even if you don't get a gift card, it's a good reminder that our local restaurants and businesses have been hit really hard by Covid.  The South Coast Sushi news is really unfortunate.  We've had a ton of great meals there.  Sorry to see them go.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

From Last Week: Investigation into Scary Scene at South Loop Parking Garage

A scary story from last week (via CWB Chicago):
Police are investigating after a woman reported being beaten and sexually assaulted at gunpoint early Tuesday in a Loop parking garage. No one has been arrested.
Officers responded to a call of a criminal sexual assault that had just occurred on the 1100 block of South Delano around 3 a.m., said CPD spokesperson Sally Bown.
Police found a 35-year-old woman standing in the parking garage, but she was unresponsive, Bown said. A security guard told the officers that he saw a man exiting the garage a few minutes earlier. The woman then approached the guard and said she had been raped on the garage’s lower level.

(Hat tip: AW!)

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

A Look at Chicago's and the Sloop's "Down-the-Alley" Views


A fun read by Chicago Tribune columnist Blair Kamin about Chicago's "down-the-alley" views.  The reason for the article is a new view heading north on LSD that was created by the new Vista Tower.  If you're a Sloopster who heads north on LSD you've probably seen this, if not stop looking at your phone and admire our city's fine architecture:
In Chicago, a certain view of buildings — long, head-on and thrillingly dramatic — is as rare as a warm day in February.
This is not Washington, D.C., where the diagonal avenues of Pierre L’Enfant frame stunning views like the one of the Capitol down Pennsylvania Avenue.
Instead, our buildings are boxed in by the street grid, hard-pressed to call attention to themselves unless they face the Chicago River, Lake Shore Drive or central Michigan Avenue — or, like Willis Tower, they break free of the grid by soaring into the sky.
Every so often, though, architects get extraordinary opportunities to liberate their buildings from the relentless regularity of the grid and fashion images that resonate in our collective mindset.
The latest (and by far the tallest) example of this phenomenon — the soon to open 101-story, 1,191-foot-tall Vista Tower, by Chicago architect Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang — is giving northbound drivers on Lake Shore Drive a high-octane visual jolt.

Kamin uses the opportunity to explore some of Chicago's other "down-the-alley" views and many of them are best showcased from points in and around the Sloop:

Wrigley Building head north on Michigan Avenue:

Trump Tower heading north on Wabash:

Field Museum heading south on LSD:

The article also references the Chicago Museum of Art peaking through while looking east on Adams and the Shedd Aquarium in full display while heading east on Roosevelt.

It's funny, because we've also spent time gazing east towards Grant Park loving the carefully placed fountains and statues - such as the General Logan statue looking east on 9th street:

It's an interesting read if you're into these types of things.  If you've never noticed it before, look down a street and take stock of the planning and thinking that goes into these design elements.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Teriyaki Madness Opens at 829 S. Wabash


Despite what's going on in the world, looks like a new restaurant is opening on South Wabash (via Eater Chicago):
Denver-based fast-casual chain Teriyaki Madness opened its first Chicago location Wednesday in South Loop, offering rice or noodle teriyaki bowls and stir-fried noodle dishes for patio service, takeout, and delivery. The franchise is the first entrepreneurial venture from longtime best friends, South Side natives, and Chicago Department of Water Management colleagues Tony Underwood and Phil Courtney. They plan to open two more Chicago locations. A different franchisee opened an outpost in 2019 in suburban Lombard.
Teriyaki Madness — or “TMad” to fans — features a menu that’s known primarily for customizable dishes that are made to order: customers can choose a bowl base (white rice, brown rice, or noodles), stir-fried vegetables, proteins (chicken, steak, salmon, tofu, and more), plus eight sauce options. Diners can also order from a selection of appetizers and sides including chicken egg rolls and edamame.
The chain includes 116 restaurants. Most look identical to one another, but Underwood and Courtney’s new location at 829 S. Wabash Avenue is unusual. It’s on DePaul University property between 8th and 9th streets, below the Flats at East-West University. The space is shaped differently than other locations, with the greeting and cashier area completely separated from the kitchen. Chicago restaurants aren’t yet allowed to serve customers inside, but when that ban is lifted Teriyaki Madness will seat around 18. The location does have some outdoor seating, which the franchisees want to keep limited. For now, there are eight spots.

We posted about this back in June of last year.  As you may remember this was formerly an Au Bon Pain for 3 years.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

City Announces Lakefront to Open on Monday, June 22nd


Well this is good news (via Chicago Tribune):
The city of Chicago continued its slow return to normal on Monday as officials reopened Millennium Park, announced that bars and brewers will be allowed to serve outdoor customers on Wednesday and set the reopening of Chicago’s iconic Lakefront Trail for June 22.
But all three moves will come with restrictions aimed at preventing a resurgence in the coronavirus and could be rolled back if the city sees COVID-19 cases spike down the line.
The Lakefront Trail will reopen solely for exercise and transit, from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. starting Monday, but residents must “keep it moving,” either while walking, running, biking or rollerblading on the trail, the mayor’s office said in a news release. Beaches and parks east of Lake Shore Drive, however, will remain closed.

We imagine it will be pretty packed so stay safe, but good news that the lakefront is finally reopening.

Monday, June 15, 2020

A Look At What's Open in the Sloop

We received this from a neighbor:
As we emerge from a tough spring of staying inside, followed by a night of vandalism, South Loop Neighbors fanned out and surveyed South Loop restaurants and retailers to see who's back in operation. 
Most survey work was done on June 6; some has been updated since then. You’ll find the results at https://www.southloopneighbors.org/open-for-business
The website also includes a list of restaurants open and offering outdoor dining.

It's a great resource and thanks to South Loop Neighbors for compiling!

(Hat tip:  DC!)

Friday, June 12, 2020

Free Face Mask Distribution at Roosevelt Collection This Sunday

We could all use some more masks - if you agree head to Roosevelt Collection this Sunday:

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Owner of Warehouse Liquors Looks to Reconnect with Woman Who Protected His Store During Looting

A nice read about a stranger protecting a South Loop Liquor Store during protests and looting (via Block Club):
The owner of Warehouse Liquors was attacked and his store robbed during recent looting — but one woman helped save him and his business, standing guard and keeping people at bay for hours.
Now, Gene Charness, the store owner, is trying to reunite with Ceondra Porter, the woman who stood outside Warehouse Liquors and tried to keep him safe. Charness and his wife, Leslee, want to thank Porter.
On May 30, Porter, 22, of Avondale, was Downtown to join a large protest over the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
At the same time, Charness, 62, got a call from his alarm company and went to his store, 634 S. Wabash Ave. He saw multiple people looting the store.
That night saw widespread looting and vandalism in the Downtown area. Officials have said people used the protests for Floyd as cover to steal and damage local businesses.
Security video from Warehouse Liquors shows a large group of people breaking the store’s doors to get inside and then carrying out bottles and boxes. The video shows shelves pulled down with debris everywhere.
Charness got to the store and tried to get the people looting it to leave. Someone threw a bottle at Charness’ back and another person knocked him down and stole more items from the store’s shelves.
Charness got the people out, though, and then held up a security gate to try to keep them away — until someone attacked him with a fire extinguisher.

(Hat tip:  GC!)

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

City Officially Cancels 2020 Lollapalooza and Other Summer Events

In one of the most anti-climatic announcements, it looks like Covid-19 has taken a big bit out of the summer festival scene (via Chicago Tribune):
Summer is over in Chicago before it even began.
The city announced Tuesday it is canceling special events through Labor Day, including Lollapalooza, Taste of Chicago, the Air and Water Show and the Chicago Jazz Festival to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. The city had already announced the cancellation of its summer festivals devoted to gospel, blues and house music.
Lollapalooza — Chicago’s largest music festival — typically draws 100,000 people to Grant Park for each of its four days, and it was said to be the highest revenue-generating event for the Chicago Park District last year. Festival promoter C3 Presents had not announced a lineup for the July 30-Aug. 2 event, and tickets were not for sale. More than 170 acts typically play Lollapalooza each year.
“The reality is, bringing 100,000 people en masse, in close quarters, which is what the daily head count is every single day at Lollapalooza, bringing that many people from all over the country, downtown, in Grant Park, every single day, we might as well just light ourselves on fire. It makes no sense,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said at a news conference Tuesday.
Lightfoot said a later date for Lollapalooza was considered “and that was part of the discussion and why we delayed for so long, but it became clear that that later date probably wasn’t going to get us out of the woods, far enough away from where we are in the cycle of COVID-19 here in Chicago. So we look forward to welcoming them back next year.”

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

A Look at the Sloop's "Yarn Bomber"


It's a nice touch to see spots of color throughout the neighborhood in unexpected places and this video from ABC7 talks about the woman who is doing it:
Bike rails and trees have been looking a lot more colorful thanks to a resident in Chicago's South Loop.

Valerie Sherman has taken her crocheting skills to the streets in what she calls "yarn bombing."

Sherman has been crocheting since she was a kid, and she moved to Chicago a couple of years ago.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Sherman wanted to brighten her neighborhood's bike rails and trees with her crochet work.

She said it takes around 15-20 minutes to finish a piece, and all of her projects are done at home.

After several neighbors noticed her work around the South Loop, Sherman made an Instagram page, @valerieplz, so that others can follow along.

We've seen other people doing this as well and we definitely think it's a fun attribute for the Sloop.

Monday, June 8, 2020

Construction on 1000M Tower Halted Amid Covid-19 Concerns

In case you missed it last week, looks like one of the city and Sloop's biggest building sites has halted construction (via Chicago Tribune): 
Construction of a 74-story condo tower designed by Helmut Jahn has been halted, and the project’s developers say it was done to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The 1000M skyscraper on South Michigan Avenue is the first prominent high-rise project to shut down during the coronavirus pandemic, which has dragged down the economy and led to widespread job losses in Chicago and throughout the country.
Construction is considered an essential industry by Gov. J.B. Pritzker, and other projects have continued despite stay-at-home orders that were issued in March.
Distancing, staggered work shifts, temperature checks and other measures have been implemented on job sites in an effort to protect workers from the coronavirus.
Industry observers have closely monitored the virus’ potential long-term impact on the more than decade-long development boom in Chicago, which leaves in question the fate of several megadevelopments in advanced planning stages.
The 1000M developers, Time Equities, JK Equities and Oak Capitals, on Thursday said construction work has been stopped since the first phase of foundation work was completed. It’s unclear when the work stopped, or when the $470 million project might resume.

This is interesting and we'll be curious to hear what happens next for this high-profile spot.

Friday, June 5, 2020

Neighbors Create Instagram Handle to Help South Loop Businesses

A reader writes:
I’ve lived in the south loop for the last 15 years and I’ve been following your blog since the beginning.
I was hoping you could help with a project we started to recognize and support the local south loop businesses.  We have an instagram page @yourneighbors2020 where we’d like to document the damage done to businesses and follow them and help them as they rebuild.
Would you consider following the page and possibly getting the word out?  It’s a simple message, saying that we, as neighbors, are sorry for the difficult times and that we are here to stand strong with them.
I’ve included some pictures, please take a visit to our Instagram as we build more support. Thank you and thanks for your great reporting over the years!




(Hat tip:  AP!)

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

City Starts Reopening Process But National Guard Still Remains

It seems like the city is starting to reopen - but it's unclear what exactly that means.  Here is a quick blurb in the Chicago Tribune:
Access to downtown Chicago will also start to reopen. Metra, which has been out of service since Monday morning, planned to resume a modified schedule on most lines on Wednesday. The CTA planned to restart bus and rail service to downtown at 5 a.m. on Wednesday, though some train stops located within or near downtown will remain closed, according to the city.
The citywide curfew for all residents and visitors, effective from 9:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. will remain in effect until further notice.

Speaking of which, we've seen pics of the national guard throughout social media.  A reader sent us this one from Canal and Roosevelt:

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Downtown Chicago and South Loop Will Be "Restrictive Area" on Sunday After Last Nights Protests, Riots & Looting


Most of the South Loop will have restricted access on Sunday given the protests and riots from last night (5/30).  Here is a blurb from the Chicago Tribune:
City limits access to Loop, CTA service in and out of Loop suspendedThe city of Chicago Sunday morning announced that “multiple routes to the Central Business District will be temporarily reduced today following multiple public safety incidents and property damage that occurred overnight.”
In a news release the city said it was taking the action “to further ensure the health and safety of residents and the hundreds of peaceful protestors participating in rallies” today.
According to the release, starting today, “the Department of Streets and Sanitation (DSS), Department of Water Management (DWM) and Chicago Police Department (CPD) will reduce access in the Central Business District and Loop area to only employees whose businesses are located within the designated boundaries, individuals who reside in the surrounding area and residents engaged in essential activities as defined in the Municipal Code.”
The boundaries include:
Division Street from Lake Shore Drive and North Halsted Street.
North Halsted from Division Street. to Milwaukee Avenue and Grand Avenue.
Milwaukee Avenue from Grand Avenue to Kinzie Street.
Canal Street from Kinzie Street to 26th Street.
26th Street from Canal Street to Lake Shore Drive.
The release continues:
"Additionally, CTA service has also been suspended for trains and buses coming in and out of the Loop for public safety reasons. CTA will provide regular service updates at: transitchicago.com.
"Following today’s announcement, the City is working closely with the organizers of rallies and protests scheduled to take place within the area this afternoon to provide an alternative, optional route for marches to peacefully and safely return in Chicago. This latest effort follow’s Mayor Lightfoot and Commissioner of Public Health Dr. Arwady’s joint-issued citywide curfew for all residents and visitors, effective from 9:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. daily beginning Saturday, May 30, until further notice.
“Mayor Lightfoot, Dr. Arwady and Chicago Police Superintendent David O. Brown continue to reiterate that their number one priority is the safety and health of all residents, including protestors and police officers. In addition to these latest preparedness efforts, Mayor Lightfoot will join CPD and OEMC today to provide an update on the City’s preparedness efforts to ensure peaceful organized protests, rallies and marches.”

#ScarsAroundTheSloop: The Morning After...

Hope everyone stayed safe.  It was a scary night in the Sloop.  We've curated some aftermath photos we've seen via social media.

Twitter Videos:














These are tough pictures to see, but the next morning it was uplifting to see so many neighbors out and about trying to help clean up after the chaos.  If you have any pics - please share with us (sloopin@gmail.com).

Stay strong Sloopers!

(Hat tip: KS, DK, DH, MJ, TA, SS, CM, TF, DD!)