Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Float Sixty Officially (Fo Real) Closing Up Shop at 1143 S. State

Looks like Float Sixty in the Sloop is officially closing down shop at 1143 S. State (via Hello South Loop Facebook Page):

It is with a heavy heart that I must report the news of the permanent closing of my business on State Street, Float Sixty South Loop. We have worked out a break from our lease and will continue to operate from our original Float Sixty Chicago in River North, Float Sixty Northwest Indiana and our newest location Float Sixty in Lake Zurich. 

As the owner and founder of this business I personally wanted to thank the vibrant South Loop community for all of the support since we opened in late 2018.  Your help as we endured multiple issues at this location will always be remembered and appreciated. 

Pictured: The wonderful painters that painted our board ups after the riots. 🙏 

Be well and thank you for your support.

It's been a tough go for this business, but wish them the best.  Back at the end of last year we posted about them closing and at the time the owner reached out to say it wasn't 100% clear if they were closing for good, but seems like that's what officially just happened.

Monday, March 29, 2021

Charred Wing Bar Opens Ghost Kitchen in 1150 S. Michigan Burger Bar Location

 We recently stumbled upon a rather innocent story that caught our attention on the Newcity website: "R-E-S-P-E-C-T for Wings: Charred Wing Bar, South Loop Ups the Game".

What is this you say?  The Sloop bringing some heat on Wings?

Surely there are a bunch of places in the neighborhood that serve wings, so which one is this author referencing. seems like it's one we didn't know exists:

Given the popularity of wings during the year’s biggest football game, it’s no accident that Charred Wing Bar in the South Loop (1150 South Michigan) opened right before Super Bowl Sunday.

Hmmm - we don't recall seeing a new restaurant go up on Michigan avenue, so what gives?  According to the article:

At this ghost restaurant within Burger Bar (with two Chicago locations), chefs John McLean and Martin Murch serve eighteen different preparations of wings, which is around sixteen or seventeen more than I’ve seen offered at places like Buffalo Wild Wings. As the name Charred Wing Bar implies, these wings are not fried, as at other wing-centric restaurants like Wing Stop.

All this wing talk has me hungry and it's only Monday morning - so i guess we'll have to wait to try out this spot.  

Has anyone been yet?  Thoughts you'd like to share? 

Friday, March 26, 2021

What the Headline?!?!?
"Lollapalooza 'Zombie' Attacker Rises From the Undead to Attack Cops in South Loop"

While this probably isn't a super interesting story to most of you, the headline certainly caught our attention:

Lollapalooza “zombie” attacker rises from the undead to attack cops in South Loop

We had no idea what was in store after seeing this headline, so if you're curious keep on reading (via CBW):

The infamous Lollapalooza “zombie” who earned 15 minutes in the spotlight by biting a complete stranger at the annual music festival in 2014 has apparently signed up for an extra couple of minutes of fame.

Prosecutors say the zombie — his actual name is Sergio Vicenteno — tackled a Chicago police officer who had a gun drawn while investigating a burglary in progress in the South Loop.

And Vicenteno won’t be biting anyone for a while — the cops broke his jaw.

Officers responded to multiple calls of a man trying to break into apartments on the 15th floor of a high-rise in the 1400 block of South Michigan around 10 p.m. Monday. According to dispatch records, one caller told a 911 operator that she thought the man was going to get into her apartment and attack her.

There is some more on the story and the 2014 incident at the link if you want to go deeper.  We were hoping for something a little more with a headline like that, but what can we say we're a sucker for some good words.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

New eSports Arena - named Surge - Approved by City Council Zoning Committee for Location Near Motor Row

An interesting development just south of the Sloop (via Sun-Times):

Esports has been touted as having one of the largest fan bases in all of American sports — second only to the National Football League.

Now that fast-growing sport could be coming to Chicago’s Bronzeville community.

The City Council’s Zoning Committee on Tuesday gave final zoning approval to Surge, a $30 million esports and virtual reality arena.

If pandemic restrictions ease and allow increased capacity at the arena, Lincolnshire-based developer Scott Greenberg plans an immersive experience for up to 1,040 people, including game participants and spectators.

The 108,000 square foot arena — with restaurant and bar service, free-roaming space for virtual reality and technology for national broadcasts — would be built without city subsidies at 2500-2548 S. Wabash Ave., just across I-55 from McCormick Place.

Seems like a good move and nice to see Alderman Dowell getting some praise from her colleagues on what seems to be a great project for the area.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Naf Naf Grill Moving Into South Loop Marketplace (1248 S. Canal)

Love this post by Mr. South Loop and the impending opening of Naf Naf Grill.  We just wish they picked a location that was easier to access by walking.  That said...beggars can't be choosers:

Monday, March 22, 2021

City Exploring Broader Alfresco Dining Options for Neighborhoods - We Emphatically Support that for the Sloop!

The Hello South Loop Facebook group is soliciting info via a poll on the neighborhoods desire to close off some streets to allow for expanded alfresco dinning.  The poll can be found here (since Facebook doesn't allow us to easily embed - thanks FACEBOOK!).

We've pondered similar ideas all the back in 2014 and strongly feel that it would add a positive dynamic to the neighborhood.  Our post back then was more of a permanent 'european-style' idea, but we totally support what is being thrown out now.

WGN talks about this city's interest in this topic:

The city has announced a new initiative to increase outdoor dining areas through long-term outdoor spaces.

The ‘Chicago Alfresco’ program has city officials encouraging chambers of commerce and other neighborhood groups to think beyond emergency traffic barricades and construction cones of last year’s outdoor dining expansion to propose and build outdoor community spaces.

“Outdoor dining has become a lifeline for so many of our neighborhoods, but not all of them have been able to take advantage of our safe, outdoor dining programs,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “And by creating and transforming public spaces, the Chicago Alfresco initiative will significantly increase our city’s ability to fully revitalize the public way. Last year, we started this program out of necessity to help bars and restaurants stay open safely, now we’ve seen how well this program works and how much the City loves it, so we want to keep it going.”

In our mind the most logical areas are Dearborn between Polk and Harrison and Wabash between 13th and 14th.  

Dearborn is a slam dunk in our opinion mostly because it has the benefit of two smaller North/South streets (Federal and Plymouth Ct) that could help with traffic issues.  It also has more restaurants and bars to fill in this street (Roots, Totos, Caribbean Jerk Palace, Flacos Tacos, Printers Row Wine Shop, The Grail Cafe, Kasey's Tavern, Sofi, Amarit Thai).  Finally, all those businesses could theoretically use the extra outdoor space - maybe with the exception of Roots who has a custom-built rooftop that seems perfect for the situation.

While we would support closing down a block of Wabash it seems less of a necessity.  Flo & Santos already has a sizable beer garden.  Asian Outpost and My Place have the benefit of a wide sidewalk that allows for a good amount of patrons.  The Scout is closed and we're not sure if/when anything is coming to that space.  That leaves Harbor which probably could benefit from more outdoor space, but is it worth closing down for one restaurant?  Maybe?   

That said, it doesn't seem like this need to be an everyday type of initiative.  Weekends (and maybe include Fridays?) would seem just find in our opinion.  Fingers crossed that this happens!

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Physicians Immediate Care Opening (or Moving or Expanding?) Into Former Giglio's Space Down the Street

Looks like Physicians Immediate Care is opening a new location in the former Giglio's space at 825 S. State:

What we're not sure about is why this is happening.  They currently reside at 811 S. State so are they going to have two spaces that aren't connected?  Are they moving out of the space up the street?  Is Lou Malnatti's in need of more space and expanding?  

Guess we'll find out soon.

While a new restaurant would likely be preferred than an immediate care spot, this space has had a rough go for restaurants recently.  The original tenant - Jimmy Green's - had a good 7 year run, but since then Pazzo's and Giglio's have both struggled.  

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Manny's Creates (Unrealistic) Mask Wearing Promotion and it Doesn't Last a Day

0% chance this is going to work out.  So let's just start there.

You may have seen a recent tweet or story about the iconic Manny's Delicatessen in the Sloop with a unique health conscious promotion (via Chicago Tribune):

The 79-year-old institution that has been a backdrop for generations of politicians, celebrities and those of us simply in search of a quality corned beef on rye, announced on social media Sunday night that it would “give away free sandwiches for the day” if staff could go 30 days without needing to remind customers to mask up during the COVID-19 pandemic.

While we applaud them on getting in the news (again) and bringing some attention to wearing masks, it seems like an almost impossible ask.  It's not that we think people are malicious about their intent to cough all over this promotion, it's just that customers are going to forget or not even be aware of this promotion.  Maybe they will somehow plaster this promotion all over the door - but probably not going to happen even with that.  

Unsurprisingly, it looks like this didn't last long - even one day:

We'll see what today brings, but chances are more of the same.  

Good job Manny's for getting some free promotion...but maybe we can start from a reasonable place - one day without having to remind people to wear their masks? 

Monday, March 15, 2021

A Typical Day in the Sloop - A Pizza Review and a Carjacking

Just a bizzaro video on so many fronts - but namely the carjacking:

So many questions and not enough answers.  NBC5 has some additional info but we still are puzzled:
According to Chicago police, a 27-year-old man observed his vehicle on the street within an unknown male offender inside. The victim then flagged down officers in a nearby marked Chicago Police Department squad vehicle, which was seen in the Barstool Sports video.

The offender then accelerated and struck the rear of the squad vehicle before fleeing, police officials added.

As the theft didn't involve force, it was classified as a motor vehicle theft and not a carjacking, according to the Chicago Police Department.

No injuries were reported, and the incident remained under investigation by detectives Saturday.

We actually drove by that spot right around that time as there were about 3 police cars on the scene.  At the time we didn't know much...but just crazy stuff.

Stay safe Sloopsters!

Sunday, March 14, 2021

#ShotsAroundTheSloop: A Year

The Tribune has a visual article on various pictures over the last year and it reminds us how crazy the last year has been on so many fronts.  Below is a pic from the Sloop:

May 7, 2020: Jen Majerus waves a flashlight on the balcony of her State Street high-rise condo in the South Loop while participating in the Chicago Unite at Night singalong and light show in honor of International Nurses Week. (Chris Sweda / Chicago Tribune)

Friday, March 12, 2021

Congrats to the South Loop Elementary Students for Positively Representing the Sloop in !

This is fun to see - congrats to all the great South Loop debaters (via South Loop Elementary School):

Chicago Debate League City Championship Tournament

Congratulations to our South Loop Students who participated in the City Championship Tournament!  to our South Loop Students who participated in the City Championship Tournament!  

Novice Team-11th Place, Kinley Lazare and Zainab Ahmad.

JV Speaker – 13th Place – Ruhi Agrawal

Varsity Speaker – 3rd Place Matthew Pfeiffer and 1st Place Maya Agrawal

Varsity Team – 1st Place – Maya Agrawal and Matthew Pfeiffer

Special thanks to Coach Rishi Agrawal and Baiju Malde Chauhan 

Thursday, March 11, 2021

One Central Development Gets Necessary (but Neutral) Endorsement from Metra

The massive One Central Development - aiming to build a development over the train tracks just west of Soldier Field - continues to make moves and news.  This time with Metra (
Bob Dunn, president of Landmark Development, said he had reached an agreement with Metra that would govern work to build “above, alongside and beneath” the Metra Electric tracks without disrupting commuter operations. His project foresees more than 9,000 residences, a hotel and office space built on air rights over the tracks.

Without spending of its own, Metra would get a maintenance yard and a replacement of its 18th Street station. It would be part of a $3.8 billion transit connection for the CTA and Amtrak that Dunn’s firm would build, taking the financial risk, and the state would eventually buy. Dunn has proposed putting a new CTA station at the site but discussions are still in an early stage.

Dunn said the project’s long-term nature and its design that requires the transit and civic improvements come first work in its favor. “You’re going to see multiple turns in the economy” over the life of the project, he told the Sun-Times Editorial Board. “A pandemic is a different factor than we’ve contended with before, but it’s not totally novel.”

He said market analyses show many economic impacts of COVID-19 will be short term. Dunn said he hopes to deliver the transit piece in 2025, before any high-rise development can begin. “We actually believe that it will time well during the COVID recovery period and then the growth that we believe will follow,” he said.
While many of the comments from Metra seem neutral, at least they seem open to the discussion - which obviously is needed to progress here.  

One things stands out is the 2025 timeline for delivering the transit elements.  According to Dunn that would be one of the first things done (it's referred to as the 'civic' elements of the development).  Maybe it's not surprising that he's shooting for 4 years away, but it just goes to show how massive of an undertaking this would be.  We still have our doubts about feasibility and need, but you have to admire their vision. 

The article has some other tidbits worth reading if you're interested in some of the thinking around the  transit elements of the vision.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

St. Charles Railroad Demolition & Work at Michigan Ave Happening Through Sunday (3/14)

A little late on this one, but in case you're out and about be mindful that a stretch of Michigan Avenue is going to be closed until Sunday, March 14th.  Or maybe if you have kids you can get an hour of entertainment by letting them watch the work?  We got the info sheet below from PDNA's facebook page:

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

JS Blossom Salon Opening at 718 South State

Mr. South Loop has the beat (and discount) on a new salon opening at 718 South State.  For more info on the business you can click here -

Monday, March 8, 2021

Royals in the News After Oprah Interview - A Sloop Connection?

With all the palace intrigue swirling around the interwebs last night and today given Oprah's bombshell interview of Megan and Harry, we thought we would take the opportunity to bring it home.  Granted - this post is a bit of a stretch but here we go.

So the connection to the story about Megan and Harry doesn't have anything to do with the Sloop (as far as we can tell).  The current story is sad and unfortunate and whatever you make of it more drama feeding the Royal Industrial Media Complex.  We aren't going to wade in those waters because frankly that's not our place and we're not experts (or that interested).  However, the royal family and its likeness has some proximity to our neighborhood with a landmark in Grant Park.  

Maybe you're thinking Buckingham Fountain given its shared name with Buckingham Palace.  However, you'd be wrong (see more info on who Buckingham Fountain is named after here).  It's close though - just across Lake Shore Drive is the "Queen's Landing":

It's a pretty unimpressive 'piece of concrete', but serves some role in Chicago's history (via Chicago Tribune):

Mayor Richard J. Daley invited the queen and her husband, Prince Philip, to Chicago to celebrate the city's emergence as one of the world's leading seaports following the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway in the summer of 1959.

The queen's visit, which occurred during the city's International Trade Fair in July 1959, marked the first time a reigning British monarch had come to Chicago. The royal couple sailed down the new seaway in the royal yacht Britannia and were brought ashore by a royal barge.

As Adam Cohen and Elizabeth Taylor write in their biography of Daley, more than a million people gathered along the shores of Lake Michigan to greet the queen and prince. Joining the Britannia was a fleet of seven warships and hundreds of smaller craft, including two Chinese junks.

You can find some more info about the Queen's visit on wikipedia if you'd like to go a little deeper.  We did and found an interesting fact about the world's longest red carpet being rolled out for them on Navy Pier.

Anyway, with the Royals in the news thought we'd bring the story home for you in the Sloop!

Friday, March 5, 2021

Motor Row Brewery Closes Down, but Makes Way for Duneyrr at 2337 S. Michigan

Sorry to read this story, but maybe a new flower will grow (via Chicago Tribune):

Motor Row Brewing is no more, felled by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In its place will be ambitious twin brewing concepts: Duneyrr, whose arcane name reflects its arcane pursuit of creating wild ales and beer-wine hybrids, and Moderne Dune, which will tread a far more accessible path with a focus on lagers and IPAs.

The new concepts, at 2337 S. Michigan Ave. in the South Loop, will be run by veteran Lagunitas brewer Tyler Davis and his partner Katie O’Hern, who helped run the Chicago taprooms for Lagunitas and Ballast Point.

Duneyrr (pronounced “dune-yer”) has had small amounts of beer in the market since September, contract brewed at Motor Row. Moderne Dune has yet to launch.

As Duneyrr began brewing at Motor Row last summer, Motor Row’s business had become paralyzed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Duneyrr eventually negotiated to take over the operation, buying the brewing equipment and leasing the space from Motor Row founder Bob Lassandrello.

We were very bullish on Motor Row Brewery and thought it could provide a shot in the arm for the much discussed "entertainment district".  Actually we first posted about this back in 2011 and at the time the brewery was going to be called Broad Shoulders Brewery

If you want a trip down memory lane go read that post from 2011 (and about how Cheap Trick was going to open a concert venue down on Michigan Ave).  To be fair, Michigan Avenue south of Cermak has evolved and seems to be heading towards the vision that was discussed.  But it still has a ways to go.

Regardless, thanks to the crew at Motor Row Brewing for pushing the neighborhood forward and looking forward to a time when we can enjoy some brew with friends at Duneyrr.

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Will Chicago Get Lucky and Have Lolla Back in 2021?

Are we getting ahead of ourselves?  Maybe...but it's fun to dream.

We recently read about Mayor Lightfoot's comments regarding a question about summer events and festivals possibly happening (via Chicago Tribune):

Live Nation acquired Austin-based C3 Presents, the company that puts on Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits. Chicago’s Lollapalooza was canceled in 2020, and the company and city officials have not yet commented on any 2021 summer festivals. A spokesperson for the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events said, “City of Chicago departments are considering options for summer events that follow all city and state health guidelines.”

Friday morning, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office released this statement about summer festivals in 2021: “While we are not formally planning nor permitting events at this time, our COVID-19 indicators continue to trend in the right direction and we are hopeful that some events that align with health guidelines may be possible later this year. As such, Mayor Lightfoot has directed City departments to prepare for the possibility of events this summer and ensure any resources that could be necessary are available.”

The article cites that Live Nation is selling tickets for some large festivals in the UK this summer.

So will Lolla happen in our backyard this year?  Our bet - don't count on it.

That said, maybe we can open our windows this summer, flip on our (smart) TV, turn up the speakers and watch your favorite concert from the past.  

Ours is the iconic Daft Punk set from 2007 - which seems appropriate to share since they just officially "broke-up" and since the full Lolla concert was just magically posted to YouTube in HD.  Could Chicago get lucky (pun intended)!

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Covid-19 Mass Vaccination Site to Open Tomorrow at United Center

While this isn't necessarily a specific Sloop story, we still think it's important to highlight positive developments on the front to fight Covid-19.  As was reported a couple days ago, the United Center is going to serve as a mass vaccination site run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) - via Chicago Tribune

Officials announced last week the United Center would open up and inoculate 6,000 people per day against the coronavirus, with those 65 or older going first. The mass vaccination site was a joint effort by local, state and federal governments to help vaccination rates in older Illinoisans and communities hardest hit by the pandemic.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency will play the leading role in operating the site, with shots administered in tents in Parking Lot E at the northeast corner of the stadium. The site is scheduled to be open for eight weeks under the federal program.

Illinois residents age 65 or older can start making appointments for the United Center mass vaccination site Thursday morning, officials announced Tuesday.

The site on the Near West Side won’t open until March 9 — a day earlier than officials had announced last week — but registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, Arwady said.

Starting that day, there will be more than 110,000 slots for those 65 or older, who can register at or call 312-746-4835, Arwady said. The call center will be monitored Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Through a city partnership with Uber, 20,000 free rides also will be available to those residents who need help getting to the appointment and back after they sign up.

If there are still open slots by 4 p.m. Sunday, the United Center site will allow sign-ups for the rest of Illinois residents under phase 1b, which includes front-line workers in essential industries and, for most non-Cook County residents, adults with existing health conditions.

The United Center will be administering the Pfizer vaccine, and the 110,000 appointments opening up later this week will be for the rest of March, with more to come afterward. For the first couple of weeks, residents will walk into large, climate-controlled tents for their injections, and drive-in appointments will possibly be added in the third week so people can stay in their cars, Arwady said.

“The bottom line is: Get ready to make your appointments,” she said.

While you may not be eligible in this immediate round of vaccinations, it does seem like things are progressing and it's just a matter of time.

We're unsure if any vaccinations are being administered in the Sloop currently, but clearly there are a bunch of locations around the city that are and the United Center is a short drive (or CTA ride) away.

So as the last line of the blurb says - get ready! 

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

City's Speed Camera Program Reinstated ; Where are the Sloop's Cameras?

You may have heard that the city is restarting the "speeding camera" initiative as a way to generate some of the lost revenue brought on by Covid-19.  So what does that mean for us in the Sloop?  It appears there is only one camera in the immediate neighborhood, but it's unclear if that will be "turned off" given this statement in the Chicago Tribune:

With new, more strict rules for Chicago speed cameras, a driver can get ticketed for going 6 mph over the limit.

In the first week of the grace period that started in January, 52,498 warning notices were sent out, according to the Finance Department. The change could be lucrative for the city, according to a Tribune report.

There are 140 cameras across the city tracking vehicle speeds, according to city Department of Transportation spokesman Michael Claffey. Those cameras are in safety zones near schools and parks. There are 21 cameras in high school speed zones that will still be shut off, Claffey said.

You can see a zoomed in screenshot of our neighborhood below:

You can play around with the interactive map at this link.  The one "Sloop" camera is by Jones College Prep High School - so will that be shut off?  Does anyone know?