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.