Saturday, September 19, 2020

61-Year Old Woman Hit by Truck at Bus Stop on South Michigan

Glad there was a nice twist to this story about people stepping in to help, but wow (via ABC7):

Chicago police have released a surveillance image of a red pickup truck wanted in a hit-and-run crash that injured a woman in the South Loop Tuesday night.

The 61-year-old woman was struck as she was sitting in a bus stop booth in the 1100-block of South Michigan Avenue at about 11:45 p.m., police said.

The woman suffered injuries to her legs and good Samaritans jumped in to help her by creating a makeshift tourniquet by wrapping a Mexican flag around her legs.

The crash occurred while Mexican Independence Day celebrations were taking place downtown.

Friday, September 18, 2020

Noise Pollution Coming From Digital Realty in Printers Row?

A reader writes:

This topic was previously posted on the Hello South Loop page. We received a lot of feedback and found more residents affected by the noise pollution created by Digital Realty. I am hoping we can reach out to even more residents in the South Loop. 

Across from the west side of the Transportation Building, there are chillers on the rooftop of 600-740 S Federal Street. They are owned and operated by Digital Realty. Recently, they have doubled the amount of chillers that operate 24/7 above the city's noise ordinance, 55 dBa per Ord. 8-32-090. The sound levels recorded reached 79 dBA inside the units. The equivalent of 70 dBa is a vacuum cleaner, and 80 dBa is a garbage disposal. 

I am reaching out to understand if there are more neighbors in the area who are also affected by this. There is another Digital Realty location on 350 E Cermak Rd.  

Here are some videos of the noise pollution during different times of the day.  

Please comment below or email me ( if you have any stories or advice battling noise pollution.  

There is also a facebook page with more information on the issue:

We checked out the youtube videos and it sounds pretty f'ing loud:

(Hat tip: KZ!)

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Local Author Pens Cute Children's Book: Octopus Mom

A reader writes: 


My name is Jill Goldberg. I am a South Loop resident and have followed your blog for a long time! I recently published a Children's Book called "Octopus Mom." I was emailing you in case you were interested in spotlighting a local author. I'd be happy to send you a copy of the book if you are interested. You can see some pictures here:

Also, some copies will be at Sandmeyer's bookstore in the near future. If you would like more information about it or myself, please let me know!

Jill was kind enough to send us the book and it is a fun read.  We have a 6 year old in our house and he got a kick out of the book.  It's a full on story with clever rhymes - we all enjoyed, even our son who's review is "silly...but good"!

(Hat tip: JG!) 

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Well Look at That Listing: "House on the roof, literally!"

It's been awhile since we've highlighted some Sloop residential real estate, but this one is so unique we had to spill some digital ink.  The address is 714 S. Dearborn st. Unit 9PH and it's in the heart of Printers Row, but the unique thing is its orientation (via the listing):

House on the roof, literally! Perched on top of the historic Printers Row building this two-level penthouse is waiting for your great design ideas.

If you're walking down Dearborn and you've looked up in the past, you probably have noticed that the top of this historic building has siding that doesn't exactly jive with the brick style of everything below.  

Well apparently that's because there is a house sitting on top!

The interior is a little dated, but if you're looking for a one-of-a-kind property in the Sloop (and the city) - this could be it:

The unit is listed at $850K which ain't cheap, but also isn't crazy for a house on top of a historic building.  That said, HOA fees are high (almost $1K a month) and apparently doesn't include parking.

Regardless - cool property and worth a look if that's your sort of thing!

Monday, September 14, 2020

What's Next For Chicago?

These two recent Chicago Tribune headlines says it all:

If you're reading Sloopin, you're likely someone who loves Chicago and all that city living offers.  But that sentiment has probably taken a significant hit during 2020.  The pandemic, the civil unrest, the looting, the density are all things that cause one to question if it's all worth it. 

We're still here and trying to take the long view, but not going to lie - it's hard.  

What's even harder, is to imagine how things come back quickly.  Sure a vaccine will make it safer, but it seems like "work" will never be the same again as digital technologies have proven transformational in how/where we work.  

Sure people will come back to the office in some capacity, but it's hard to imagine that it will be the same as the past.  And with these changes that likely means less people flocking to the downtown core each day.  The tribune outlines it well:

A vaccine could create an eventual return to the pre-pandemic downtown. But even with a vaccine, some companies could stick with hybrid arrangements that let employees partially work at home. Surveys show that many employees like the arrangement, which saves them money and commuting time.

If the desire to escape the dense downtown persists, it also could boost the suburban office market as well as planned office and apartment megaprojects near the fringes of downtown, like Lincoln Yards and The 78.

"We stand on the possibility that we might have a reversal or a transformative effect that was entirely unpredictable,” said Ebner, the Lake Forest history professor.

But he and other historians emphasize that such reversals have been predicted before, only to see downtown Chicago reinvent itself with such features as Millennium Park and the downtown Riverwalk, leading not just to a rebound but to spectacular bursts of growth.

After 9/11, Lissner said she wondered if anyone would want to live or work above the eighth floor, but they did. “I don’t think this is the demise of downtown living or downtown working,” Lissner said of the current crisis.

Reilly acknowledged a likely long road back for many aspects of the downtown economy, such as tourism and retail, calling it “nearly a certainty that 20% of our bars and restaurants will close and will not come back.”

It will take more federal aid and flexibility in city regulations, such as increasing capacity levels, liquor-serving hours and street closures to create outdoor seating, for the rest of the bars and restaurants to hang on, Reilly said.

“Take a pandemic, layer on top of that an economic disaster greater than the Great Depression and then sprinkle in some civil unrest,” Reilly said. “No one could contemplate this happening 12 months ago, all at once. But Chicago has survived worse. We survived the fire, for crying out loud. We’re going to get through this."

It's hard to know what will come next and we haven't even touched upon the impending craziness of the November election.  

It's going to be hard for Chicago (and other big cities).  It seems like the best we can hope for is a slow, gradual ramp back up... worst, well - it pains us to even contemplate.  


SRO Chicago Appears to Close As "Space for Lease" Signs Appear

Welp - looks like Covid-19 has caused another longstanding South Loop establishment to close up: 

The first Yelp! review for SRO Chicago was way back in 2006.  The neighborhood has changed a ton since then, but this spot has been pretty stable.  To be honest, we never stepped foot inside (whoops!) and every time we walked by it seemed pretty dead. 

That said, a fourteen year run is solid for a restaurant.  Sad to see them go, but maybe - just maybe it will open the door for something new and different (although who knows if/when that could happen given the current state of the world right now). 

Friday, September 11, 2020

Paintball Shooting Incident on South Michigan is Strange and Scary

Hmmmm - stay safe (via Chicago Tribune):

A man was hit in the eye by a paintball fired from a car near Grant Park early Thursday, according to Chicago police.

The man, 29, was standing on a sidewalk in the 700 block of South Michigan Avenue around 12:30 a.m. when someone in a white sedan fired a paintball gun, police said.

He was hit in the right eye and taken in fair condition to Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

A 26-year-old man with him was hit in the chest but was not injured, police said.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Mercy Hospital to Intends to Sell Building and Real Estate Just South of the Sloop

In case you missed this one, Mercy Hospital - which is just south of the Sloop - looks like it's going to be sold next year (via WBEZ): 

Mercy Hospital on Chicago’s Near South Side likely will sell its building and real estate as it’s set to close next year – and shutting down won’t hurt patients, the hospital said in a new regulatory filing.

Mercy disclosed the potential sale to Illinois health care regulators. The hospital must file paperwork telling the state it plans to close, but by law regulators can’t stop the closure.

Public health advocates say the South Side is a health care desert, making it difficult for people to access medical care. Mercy is a historic hospital that mainly treats low-income people of color. It looms alongside Interstate 55 just blocks from the South Loop, where development has mushroomed around the McCormick Place Convention Center.

Mercy announced plans to close in late July after a failed bid to merge with three other hospitals on the South Side, and after years of losing money and patients. It has a busy emergency room, and is one of the few hospitals that delivers babies in the area.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Starbucks at 111 E. Cermak Reopens After Long Shutdown

This is a little old, but for those in need of caffeine on the south side of the Sloop you may be interested that the 111 E. Cermak Starbucks is officially back open:

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Chicago Press Coffee to "Pop-up" at Roosevelt Collection

It sounds like a new coffee option is coming to Roosevelt Collection (via Eater Chicago):

Kris Christian started her own coffee company hoping to share her love of coffee with others. Chicago French Press, which focused on the home and office markets, will now pivot as this week Christian unveils a pop-up coffeeshop at the Roosevelt Collection in the South Loop. The pop-up will last through the end of the year.

The coffees, which are certified organic, fair trade, and non GMO, come in flavors like maple pecan, chocolate blueberry, and peach nectar. The beans are roasted in Pilsen. Chicago French Press has previously partnered with groups like the Simple Good and The Take Back. For the pop-up, they plan on donating 5 percent of sales from each coffee bag to a charity. Christian is hoping to take the operation national. As Black Lives Matter protest continue to counter the number of police shootings of Black men, Christian has also expanded her company’s scope. In June, Chicago French Press donated to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

Christian hopes to open more locations. The pop-up is an effective marketing tool to introduce people to her brand and to push them toward monthly coffee subscriptions. Black entrepreneurs are getting more opportunities as the spotlight shines on racial injustices, Christian says. But, in a sentiment echoed by many Black members of the service industry, Christian mentions that those in power — the majority of who are white — need to lead.

“It’s really good to see the Roosevelt Collection is interested in diversity,” she says.

It appears that Chicago French Press will be opening in the space vacated by Bridgeport Coffeehouse earlier this summer.  

While this seems like a temporary arrangement, it's nice to see new businesses making a go of it (although we imagine rent is waived?).

Regardless, good luck with the pop-up and hope everyone enjoys it!

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Popular Global Hot Pot Chain - Haidilao - Opening in Motor Row

We were surprised to get this press release from construction company McHugh, but regardless the restaurant sounds interesting:

James McHugh Construction Co., a builder of unique interior spaces and one of the country’s largest commercial contractors, announces it has begun construction of a 7,000-square-foot Haidilao Hot Pot restaurant at 107 E. Cermak Road, on the second floor of Hiltons at McCormick Place in Chicago’s South Loop neighborhood. Scheduled to open this December, the project marks the China-based global chain’s entry into the Midwest market. With U.S. locations in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles, Haidilao Hot Pot offers a high-end, Sichuan-style hot pot experience.

“We’re all looking forward to the days when we’re able to enjoy dining out with family, friends and colleagues in a lively environment, so it’s encouraging to see restauranteurs like Haidilao moving forward with their expansion plans,” said Terry Gillespie, senior project manager of Chicago-based James McHugh Construction Co. “We’re proud to be delivering this unique concept and provide our expertise, especially on the project’s extensive exhaust systems. Haidilao has a great reputation internationally as a quality hot pot destination, and we’re excited to expand our relationship with them.”

When complete, the two-level restaurant will include a 700-square-foot waiting area, main staircase and elevator just inside its street-level entrance. Haidilao’s second level will span approximately 6,300 square feet and house the main dining area, kitchen, bathrooms and office space.

Is anyone familiar with this chain?  We found some interesting videos online, and this one is probably the most succinct:

It's been a rough go for restaurants and retail during Covid-19, but a silver lining is that some businesses are still looking to build and open up in the neighborhood.

Looking forward to trying this one.

Monday, August 31, 2020

Elevator Shafts Sprout Up at Southbridge Development on 2300 Block of South State Street

We recently drove through the intersection of 18th and State and upon looking south noticed some major infrastructure progress at the Southbridge development.  In search of pictures we found this from Joe Zekas on Linkedin:

As a reminder this development got their permits late last year and are moving forward on their plans for a large scale development.  Here is a rendering of what the complex could look like:

Seems like this will be a good development for the South portion of the neighborhood.  We are waiting to see how things turn out.  

Friday, August 28, 2020

Kroll's - Another Neighborhood Stalwart - Signals That They Are Likely Closing Their Doors for Good

 Ouch, really sad to hear this of our favorites (via Kroll's Facebook Page):

2020 is turning out to be such a horrible year on so many fronts.  Kroll's was one of the first neighborhood spots that we visited when we were getting acclimated to the neighborhood.  

We have fond memories of many nights hanging out a Kroll's with friends and family.  In fact here is our first post all the way back from 2009 talking about "Blackhawks Night" at Kroll's.  While it seems like they may think about reopening next spring, the fact that they're wrestling with this decision is hard to hear.

They will be missed and fingers crossed that they're able open back up.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Hyatt Regency McCormick Place Offers Discounted Rate for Sloopin Readers

We know the hospitality and hotel business has been hard hit during Covid-19, so when we got this note thought it was right to share:

Please allow me to introduce myself as a friendly face at Hyatt Regency McCormick Place. If there is anything we can do to support “all that is and could be life in the South Loop” please don’t hesitate to ask.

Additionally, we are excited to extend our Friends and Family rate to Sloopin and its followers. It is a $99.00 a night and valid through February 2021 at this time. Reservations can be booked through the link here.

We’d love to be our neighbor’s staycation spot or a place for their friends and family to stay while visiting.

We know it's hard to see family and friends these days and with Covid maybe you're not comfortable with them staying at your place.  As such, hopefully this is an option to help.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

A South Loop Gallery - D Gallery - Featured in an Exhibition at Hyde Park Art Center

Well look at this...a business we didn't even know existed in the Sloop.  We received this email recently about an upcoming show:

Wanted to share that D Gallery in South Loop will be part of an exhibition at Hyde Park Art Center, Artist Run Chicago 2.0, opening on Sept 1. This is the art center’s first exhibition after reopening, and will celebrate the work of 50 artist-run spaces and organizations that fuel Chicago’s independent art scene. Artists Run Chicago 2.0 marks the ten-year anniversary of the original Art Center exhibition, Artists Run Chicago (2009), and presents works from each of the spaces encompassing the entire Hyde Park Art Center footprint including six galleries.

Established in 2012, D Gallery believed that the logical next step from an apartment gallery was not a commercial gallery but rather an office gallery. D Gallery is run by Philip von Zweck. Philip von Zweck is an artist and a painter who lives and works in Chicago, IL.

Friday, August 21, 2020

Giglio's Tavern Closes After a Brief Run at 825 S. State

 It looks like Giglio's (825 S. State) is officially closed:

Talk about tough timing - Giglio's opened quickly in July 2019 and never had much of a chance to establish itself before Covid-19 hit.

Sorry to see them go.  Curious to what will go in next (and when).  It could be awhile...

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Chicago Fire Academy in the Sloop Closed Due to Covid-19 Outbreak

Looks like a South Loop academy had a Covid-19 outbreak (via ABC7):
The Chicago fire academy is closed until further notice after an apparent COVID-19 outbreak impacting both students and instructors.

Officials said they are working to determine the source of the outbreak at the Robert J. Quinn Fire Academy, located at 558 W. De Koven Street in the South Loop. It's not clear how long the building will be shut down.

Officials have not said exactly how many people tested positive for COVID-19, but there are multiple cases. Those individuals are now in isolation and none require hospitalization. For now, the other trainees will participate in remote instruction.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Fruve Express Juicery Opens at 1131 S. State

We didn't post about this, but wanted to give a shout-out:

I saw that the opening date has been set for Fruve Express Juicery. It will open this Saturday, August 8. 

As a reminder, Fruve actually had a location at 1130 S. Wabash but closed in Nov of 2019.

It was expensive, but had good, high quality juices.  Hopefully this new location treats them well (despite all the challenges facing retail businesses these days).

(Hat tip: MM!)

Monday, August 17, 2020

Timeout Chicago Highlights 8 of Chicago's Best Public Gardens - Including Some in and Around the Sloop

Covid-19 has put a hamper on some typical Summer activities in the Sloop and city, but that doesn't mean you can't be outside.  Timeout Chicago recently highlighted some of the city's best gardens and some are in the Sloop (and/or very close):

Chicago Women's Park and Garden

This South Loop park and community garden pays homage to women's history with a fountain and a statue honoring the Chicago activist and social worker Jane Addams. In addition to housing the Clarke House Museum, which showcases Chicago's oldest home, the garden's 3.2 acres of green space is home to tons of city programming, like Night Out in the Parks event and day camps for kids.

Outside of that, a couple other close ones are in Grant Park such as:

Grant Park Rose Garden

 An ever-popular destination for wedding photos, this picturesque garden is lined with rows of pillowy roses and hedges backgrounded by the skyline, like a mini English estate transported right into downtown Chicago. (Its proximity to the stately Buckingham Fountain only strengthens the comparison.)

South Garden at the Art Institute of Chicago

Step away from the bustle of Michigan Avenue and into this peaceful garden on the side of the Art Institute, which the museum commissioned in the 1960s from landscape architect Dan Kiley. Honey locust trees drape overhead to create an intimate, canopied effect; in the center of the garden, a rectangular pool leads up to the towering and sculpture-bedecked Fountain of the Great Lakes, originally built in 1913.

Lurie Garden

Located at the south end of Millennium Park, the Lurie Garden was designed to evoke nature's beauty during all four seasons. Come by in the spring for a mind-bending array of tulips and delicate anemones; in the summer and fall for butterflies drifting among bee balm and calamint; and in winter to watch snow and ice interact with the dormant plants. Chicago literature enthusiasts will also appreciate the 15-foot hedges ringing the garden's perimeters, a shoulder-like allusion to Carl Sandburg's poem "Chicago."

Hopefully you've been to some of these - if not get out and visit them! 

Friday, August 14, 2020

Jazz Showcase Founder - Joe Segal - Passes Away Leaving the World with His Love of the Music

The Jazz Showcase (806 S. Plymouth Ct) is a bit of a hidden Sloop treasure and it's founder passed away this week.  We really enjoyed the Chicago Tribune's write-up on him and how his love for the music propelled all of his decisions:

Joe Segal Introducing Musical Act at Jazz Showcase
Aside from the musicians themselves, no one did more for jazz in Chicago than impresario Joe Segal.

For more than 70 years, starting in 1947 as a student at Roosevelt University, Segal presented the world’s greatest jazz musicians in rented hovels, rundown showrooms, dilapidated hotels and, eventually, elegant clubs and concert halls.

Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, Sonny Rollins, Dexter Gordon, Von Freeman, the Modern Jazz Quartet, Herbie Hancock, Wynton Marsalis – all these jazz visionaries, and uncounted others, worked for Segal at one point or another.

For his lifelong championing of the art form, with scant financial reward, Segal in 2015 won this country’s highest jazz award, the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Fellowship (which came with a $25,000 check).

“He carries the distinction of being the city’s longest-tenured jazz presenter, in addition to being one of the founders of one of Chicago’s pre-eminent jazz organizations, the Jazz Institute of Chicago,” noted the NEA in its salute to the founder of the Jazz Showcase club.


Segal died Monday afternoon in Chicago, at age 94, said his son, Wayne Segal. The elder Segal was “listening to Bird!” said Wayne Segal, referring to Joe Segal’s great musical hero, saxophonist Charlie Parker.

Some of the stories in the article were fun, but this one about the struggles was our favorite:

“Hey – it hasn’t been easy,” Segal told the Tribune in 1992. “On some nights, I’d be so broke, I’d pay the musicians, then I’d have to ask them to lend me a buck so I could get home.”

In part, this was because Segal insisted on presenting the musicians he believed in, rather than those more likely to generate a profit.

“If Joe had been a pure businessman, he could have made a lot of money, but the money didn’t seem to mean anything to him,” the late Chicago jazz pianist Willie Pickens said in a 1997 Tribune interview.

“I’ve seen Joe have people like the late (fusion) drummer Tony Williams and (multi-instrumentalist) Eddie Harris, and he’d have lines around the corner, and Joe would be angry, because he didn’t like what they were playing. They were playing funk music, the joint is packed, and Joe is complaining because he hates this music.

“And then he’d have maybe 3 or 4 people in the club, and you could blow a cannonball through there and not hurt anybody, and Joe’s happily snapping his fingers and getting into the music. That’s the kind of guy he is.”

We've been to the showcase a variety of times and sure enough Joe Segal was at the front door in his 90s greeting patrons and presiding over the whole place.  One highlight of the evening was hearing Joe introduce the acts...

He will be missed, but hope his legacy at the Jazz Showcase lives on for a long time. 

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Ambulance Stolen in Front of Nursing Home in Sloop

An inconspicuous theft...geez (via Chicago Tribune):

 A private ambulance that was parked outside a nursing home, unattended, unlocked and running, was stolen overnight and later crashed into a car in the Lakeview East neighborhood, sending one woman to an area hospital with injuries, police said.

About 12:30 a.m. Thursday an Elite Ambulance vehicle was left parked outside a nursing home in the 1800 block of South Wabash Avenue in the South Loop. It wasn’t immediately clear if or when the ambulance was reported stolen.

Authorities did not say whether the ambulance was waiting to transport a nursing home patient to a hospital. Kellie Bartoli, a police spokeswoman, said since Because the ambulance belongs to a private company, police can’t say what the vehicle or driver were doing at the time, said Kellie Bartoli, a police spokeswoman.

This is a strange move on many fronts - leaving an ambulance running attended, someone thinking this is a good mode of transportation, someone thinking they wouldn't get caught...the list goes on...


Tuesday, August 11, 2020

More Looting Rocks City and South Loop Late Sunday Night & Monday Morning

 The city has been on edge again as looting took grip late Sunday night into the early morning yesterday.

We didn't post about it yesterday's tough to see and also tough to understand the impact on the South Loop.  We've read various reports on news sites and social media, but any way you cut it, it's unfortunate on many fronts.

Here are some stories we've read if you're interested in reading more:

  • Binny's, Target, Best Buy as well as other stores on Roosevelt targeted (via ABC7)
  • Roots Pizza gets brick thrown through window (via Chicago Tribune)
  • Saprino's at 1923 S. Archer looted (via CBS2)

We're sure there are others that were hit.

Similar to the looting that happened a couple months ago, the city restricted access to the downtown area starting at 8pm on Monday night.  It's unclear if similar measures will be taken on Tuesday evening.

Stay safe everyone!

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Friday, August 7, 2020

Bridgeport Coffee Company Closes Their Roosevelt Collection Location

This was posted to the Hello South Loop Facebook page a couple weeks ago, but it appears that Bridgeport Coffee Company has closed their location at Roosevelt Collection:
It's easy to see how Covid-19 is continuing to wreak havoc on retail, but we suspect that it is mainly speeding up the challenges and trends for this category.  It will be interesting to see how and when Roosevelt Collection bounces back given some of the closings to their tenants.  Some happened before Covid (see Z Gallerie and White House Black Market) and some are happening during it.  Regardless the landscape is changing fast.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Construction at 74-Story 1000M Condo Tower Appears to Restart

We just read on that some work is happening at 1000M:
One thing seems to be leading to another again at 1000M, the 74-story residential skyscraper coming to Chicago’s South Loop. Work on the Helmut Jahn-designed condominium tower was stopped in early June.

At the time, 1000M’s public relations company stated it was because construction workers couldn’t maintain a proper social distance during the COVID-19 pandemic while working on the foundation. A month later, it was widely reported that banking giant Goldman Sachs turned off the money faucet for this $470 million project. The Chicago Tribune reported that the skyscraper was on hold “at least until September.”

Now it seems that work is underway once again, as you can see in this photograph from YoChicago!, taken from the roof deck of 1000 South Clark this afternoon.

There are about a half-dozen construction workers visible in the picture, and compared to the shut down picture we showed you in July, some dirt has been dug, some equipment has been moved, and there’s some new heavy equipment on site that wasn’t there before, including an excavator.

 The will it or won't it back and forth for this high-profile building is exhausting.  Best of luck to them...but they have a long way to go!

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Tantrum - a Lounge at 1023 S. State - Closes Permanently Due to Covid-19 After 12 Year Run

Looks like another business feels the wrath of the pandemic (via Eater):
South Loop: Black-owned martini bar and lounge Tantrum is permanently closed after 12 years due to the financial ramifications of COVID-19, according to a June 26 Instagram post. “Tantrum meant a lot to many people,” the post reads. “For the more seasoned party goers, when we first opened it was the spot you just chilled at and it became your ‘Black Neighborhood Cheers.’ For those that are in their late 20s to mid 30s, we were your first party spot, some couldn’t wait to turn 21 to go to Tantrum.” Co-owners Shun D. and John McClendon promise a “new and bigger Tantrum in the near future.” The pair also own sports bar and dance club Renaissance Bronzeville.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Chick-fil-A Opening Location Close to the Sloop at 122 S. Michigan Avenue

We're sticking with the Chicken theme this week and posting about another popular fowl place moving close to the neighborhood (via Chicago Tribune):
Chick-fil-A plans to open two restaurants on Michigan Avenue next month and another six in the Chicago area next year, in an expansion that comes as many restaurants permanently close because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Atlanta-based chain in August will open in the former Purple Pig space at 500 N. Michigan Ave. and in a storefront at 122 S. Michigan across the street from the Art Institute of Chicago, the company said Wednesday.The two restaurants will create more than 140 full- and part-time jobs, according to the company.

Next year the company plans six more openings in the area, including three more in the city, according to a news release.
While 122 S. Michigan isn't technically in the Sloop - it's damn close and many of us walk right by this building all the time.

As a reminder, Chick-fil-A is also supposed to be opening up the city's first drive thru location at 1113 S. Jefferson.  We posted about that in January 2019 so no clue if and when this is happening.

Monday, August 3, 2020

Hoots Opens on South Canal Street

From a press release:
The fourth Hoots location is now open at 1238 South Canal Street in Chicago.  Hoots menu offerings include fresh never frozen wings in one of their 11 sauces or rubs, hand breaded jumbo tenders, huge buffalo chicken sandwiches, crab legs, buffalo shrimp, waffle fries and several new dipping sauces.  

Hoots South Loop current hours are Sunday through Thursday from 11 am until 10 pm and 11am until 11pm on Friday and Saturday. Hoots is also available on all third party delivery platforms including Grubhub, Uber, Door Dash, ezCater and Postmates.  To go orders can also be placed by calling Hoots at (872) 249-0001.

“We are excited for the opportunity to open our fourth Hoots and our third location in Chicagoland. We have hired 15 employees for Hoots South Loop,” said Hoots Director of Development and Operations Will LeBas.

We got word of this back in April of 2019, so it's been slow moving...guess that's understandable given that there is a global pandemic raging. 

Friday, July 31, 2020

Lowcountry & Half Sour Close For Cleaning as an Employee at Each Restaurant Tests Positive for Covid-19

In case you missed two South Loop restaurants closed for cleaning this week as an employee at each spot tested positive for Covid-19:

Via Lowcountry South Loop's Facebook page:

Half Sour (755 S. Clark) also had a case this week according to their Facebook page:
Half Sour's Facebook subsequently has a post talking about testing their doing for their employees and a video of disinfecting their restaurant.

Stay safe everyone and WEAR A MASK!!!!! 

We wish them and their employees good health and best of luck.  Hope they can open back up soon!

(Hat tip: ND!)

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Checking In at the Jazz Showcase During the Pandemic

The Tribune recently checked in to see how Chicago's Jazz club scene was handling Covid and our neighborhood haunt - the Jazz Showcase (806 S. Plymouth Ct) - got some love.  They interviewed the owner to see how things have been going:
The Jazz Showcase didn’t reopen until July 9.

“I waited a couple of extra weeks after the Green Mill and Andy’s opened up, to see how they fared,” says Segal. “I felt I’ve got to open it sometime, and I wanted to make sure that we had everything in place – all the COVID safety rules and sanitation.

“It opened up successfully. Everyone had their 6-8 foot distance,” adds Segal, noting that he had 25 customers on July 9, 37 on July 10 and 23 on July 11.

“It went better than I expected. I was a little nervous at first to see how people would act, if they would abide by the safety rules, and everyone did.”

None of the clubs is turning a profit yet. Instead, they’re trying to cut their losses, which is more easily done by staying open than closed.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Police Looking for Info on Suspect Linked to Two Stabbings of Homeless People in Grant Park

A scary story in the South Loop portion of Chicago's front lawn (via Sun Times):
Chicago police are seeking a man wanting in connection with a homicide and an aggravated battery with a knife in July in South Loop.

In both cases the person has approached a homeless person while they were sleeping in a park and attacked them with a knife, Chicago police said.

In the 1100 block of South Michigan Avenue about 9 a.m. July 9 a person was stabbed to death, and about 3:50 a.m. July 24 a second person was stabbed but did not die, police said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Area Three detectives at 312-744-8261.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Roots Handmade Pizza Opens Impressive Building in the Midst of Covid-19

We knew Roots Handmade Pizza had ambitious plans for their buildout on the northwest corner of Polk and Dearborn but wow!  The building is absolutely beautiful and has already added to the general vibe of Printers Row. 

Don't believe, head on over to Eater Chicago to see their write-up and amazing pictures.  If that's too much work, here are some pics and a blurb:
Chicago may see many pizzerias in the near future, but none quite like the new Roots Handmade Pizza in Printer’s Row. Pizza spots don’t rely on dine-in customers, and have the strong carryout and delivery capabilities to survive the pandemic. Roots, 744 S. Dearborn Street, has even more advantages, including a patio outfitted with a glass retractable roof.

This is Roots’ fourth location, following West Town, Lincoln Square, and Old Town. They all serve Quad Cities Pizza, cut into the strips with malted crust and loaded with cheese. Fifty/50 Restaurant Group co-owner Greg Mohr is a Quad Cities native. He says the extra cheese serves as insulation that keeps pies tasty during delivery or carryout. Roots is known for its chef’s pizza series with talent including Won Kim (Kimski), Rick Ortiz (Antique Taco), and Oliver Poilevey (Le Bouchon). The pizzeria is also known for its fried mozzarella sticks.

The bi-level behemoth, 744 S. Dearborn Street, is outfitted with two ground level patios and 23 TVs. Mohr says the $600,000 glass roof on the second floor takes about 20 seconds to retract. Roots is known for its family-friendly atmosphere, but the company has yearned to create more of a bar scene at night. The 21+ rooftop gives them that opportunity, and the design takes pages out of Fifty/50’s Old Town set up. Roots occupies the first floor, but ride the elevator on top of Second City comedy club, and visitors will kind Utopian Tailgate, the zany sibling rooftop bar.

Mohr hopes they can build some synergy with Chicago Bears fans as Soldier Field is a short distance away. Of course, many wonder if football season will take place this year. COVID-19 has also affected Roots’ design. They were able to integrate plexiglas shields and other social distancing precautions into the room. There’s also a separate carryout entrance where customers can pick up sweet treats from the group’s popular West Town Bakery.

We didn't know about the bakery but that's awesome...even better this view of Dearborn Tower:

It's a tough time to be opening a restaurant, especially one with such ambitious plans.  Regardless - we're very excited to try them out and judging by the solid crowd we've seen outside, much of the neighborhood is too!

(Hat tip: AB!)

Monday, July 27, 2020

Northwestern Medicine Immediate Care Center Opens at Roosevelt Collection

A reader writes:
Not the most exciting news in the world, but it appears Northwestern Medicine upgraded their existing South Loop location at Roosevelt Collection to an immediate care spot in June. Super beneficial for locals needing NM care!

From the Northwestern Medicine website:
 A new Northwestern Medicine Immediate Care Center opened in the South Loop on June 2.
The new Immediate Care Center is located at 1135 South Delano Court, Suite B201, in Chicago. It is part of an existing Northwestern Medicine location that offers several services, including primary care.

“We are very excited to open our 20th NM Immediate Care Center,” says Heather Keirnan, MS, RN, NE-BC, vice president of Operations, Immediate Care Division and Northwestern Medicine Occupational Health. “We bring with us X-ray capability that didn’t previously exist in this location. The physicians who work with the primary pare practice in the South Loop will now be able to obtain on-site X-rays and save their patients an additional trip to the Streeterville campus for imaging.” 

The Immediate Care Center in the South Loop is open every day of the week from 8 am to 8 pm. The last patient registration will be taken at 7:45 pm.

This is good news!

(Hat tip:  CD!) 

Friday, July 24, 2020

Columbus Statue in Grant Park Removed Late Last Night

In a surprise move, Mayor Lightfoot removes Columbus statue from Grant Park (Roosevelt and Columbus):
Mayor Lori Lightfoot ordered the statues of Christopher Columbus removed from Chicago’s Grant and Arrigo parks overnight, in part to avoid another high-profile confrontation between police and protesters like the one that happened last week.

Not all Italian American leaders in Chicago are on board with the decision, but it has received the blessing of some groups, sources said. By taking the statues down, Lightfoot may draw criticism from those who believe she caved to activist demands.

Later Friday morning, the mayor’s office released a statement saying that she had both statues “temporarily removed ... until further notice.”

“This step is about an effort to protect public safety and to preserve a safe space for an inclusive and democratic public dialogue about our city’s symbols,” the statement said. “In addition, our public safety resources must be concentrated where they are most needed throughout the city, and particularly in our South and West Side communities.”

It's an interesting development and interesting use of "temporarily" as we're curious what would warrant a reverse in this action.  

We do understand the rationale that the deployment of resources to areas of more need vs. this statue is warranted.  We will see what happens...

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Community Meeting Tonight for Potential Marijuana Dispensary at 1420 S. Michigan

A reader writes:
I wanted you to be aware of the Community Presentation for a planned marijuana dispensary at 1420 S Michigan. 

The link to join the Facebook Live presentation is below. The presentation is going to take place from 6:00 to 8:00 pm CDT on Thursday, July 23 (tomorrow).

I had a difficult time tracking down information about the dispensary, which is a shame considering how important of an issue this is for the South Loop Community. 

If you're interested in listening in it appears there will be a Facebook live link -

It seems like it would be a good spot for a dispensary...we're curious to see where the first South Loop one will open.

(Hat tip:  MM!)  

F45 Gym Coming to 1322 S. Michigan

A reader writes:
This is yet another gym on 13th & Michigan.
It does seem like gyms are the new "nail salon" for this stretch of the Sloop.

So what is F45?  We've never heard of it, but here is a video with their propisition:

Seems good????  We're not huge on the fitness class scene so they all feel similar to us, but does anyone in the Sloop know of this brand?  Thoughts?

(Hat tip:  JD!)

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Arts & Craftsman Supply Closes at 828 S. Wabash Due to Covid-19 Impact

Well this is a shame, one of our favorite stores - Arts & Craftsman Supply (828 S. Wabash) - appears to be closing:

The email one of our readers received states:
Dear Friends of Artist & Craftsman Supply,

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the difficult decision to close A&C Chicago permanently.

Our staff and senior managers have put great effort into the store, but due to the conditions of the local market and the financial losses we have faced, we are unable to sustain our operations to make business viable. We are truly grateful for the loyalty, dedication, and outstanding level of professionalism displayed by our employees.
A huge thank you to our loyal customers who have supported us in Chicago. You can still find Artist & Craftsman Supply online and throughout the country, including our next closest store in Madison.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

You will be missed!

(Hat tip:  SN!) 

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Renderings Appear for Vacant Parking Lot at 601 S. Dearborn (Southeast Corner of Dearborn and Harrison)

The stretch of Dearborn between Polk and Ida B. Wells is the heart of Printers Row.  It's also one of the more interesting visual stretches of the South Loop given it's historic architecture and Dearborn Station's iconic clock tower staring down the street.

We've always maintained that Dearborn was the most likely candidate to serve as a unique, neighborhood defining retail strip.  In recent years, much progress has been made as some of the vacant lots have been built on (see the just opened Roots Handmade Pizza and Toto's Market).  

That is why we were interested to see a reader send us an email with plans for the largest and only remaining vacant lot on the street at the Southeast corner of Harrison and Dearborn.  A reader writes and sends us this:
While I'm all for developing this lot, I'm totally against this crap box proposal by FitzGerald for our historic neighborhood. Interested to hear feedback from other Sloopers.

It's hard to know how this would turnout, but the rendering above does feel as if it isn't very "classic" and ultimately wouldn't fit in with the historic look and feel of this stretch of Dearborn.  

Maybe the first couple of floors would?  It seems as if they have a different color so maybe that would be old brick (similar to what Roots and Toto's has further south).

It certainly would be good to develop this lot as it would only further cement this stretch as THE MAJOR restaurant/retail corridor for the neighborhood.  

It looks like the date on these renderings was November 2019.  So they're pretty recent...but pre-pandemic so who knows what the current state of thinking is on this project.

(Hat tip:  KK!)