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 - https://www.midwaydispensary.com/open-house

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!)

Monday, July 20, 2020

Intense Scene Erupts at Columbus Statue in Sloop (Columbus and Roosevelt)

In case you missed it on Friday, a pretty intense scene erupted as a protest crew unruly (via WGN):
A large protest erupted at the Christopher Columbus statue in Grant Park on Friday night.

Officers were hit by fireworks and other items as they guarded the statue. Chicago police said 18 officers were injured and 12 protesters have been taken into custody.

The protest started near Buckingham Fountain and marched south.
Officers left the statue as protesters attempted to bring it down. They returned to the statue after reports pepper spray was deployed. Chicago police brought in SWAT officers after the group tried to pull the statue down.


 

Friday, July 17, 2020

South Loop resident/2020 Walter Payton Graduate Maggie Rivera Named 2020 Bank of America Student Leader

We received this in a press release.  If you see Maggie around the neighborhood give her a thumbs up and say thanks and keep up the good work:
Walter Payton College Prep graduate Maggie Rivera is one of just 300 high school students nationwide – and one of just 5 in Chicagoland – to be recognized as a 2020 Bank of America Student Leader.

Throughout her high school career, Maggie has amassed more than 250 volunteer hours, lending her time for causes that are important to her. After learning about the impact the immigration system can have of families and children during a Capstone project, she sought out a volunteer opportunity with the Hyde Park Refugee Project. For the past year, she’s served as a tutor and mentor to an 8-year-old student immigrant, helping her navigate schoolwork as well as social issues that come with adolescence. Maggie also served as a volunteer English language tutor with Catholic Charities. Maggie also worked on a project that examined judicial bias in the Chicago Immigration Court, where she interviewed immigration lawyers in Chicago and analyzed data from the Transnational Syracuse Recordhouse.

In school, Maggie was Editor-in-Chief for Payton’s Art & Literature Magazine and was co-captain of her high school debate team. Extremely passionate about debate, Maggie has spent time after school helping younger debaters through one-on-one lectures and file prep. Currently, given many local students don’t have access to debate camps this year, Maggie is working with four girls to develop and run a virtual six week debate program for all Chicago Debate League participants.

This fall, Maggie plans to attend University of Chicago where she plans to study either sociology or immigration law. She looks forward to dedicating her career to reforming Chicago's immigration court and mentoring children caught within the immigration bureaucracy.

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!)