Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Rainforest Learning Center Moving to the Corner of 14th and Wabash

It looks like Rainforest Learning Center is relocating one street west to the ground floor retail space at the Coeval Apartments (51 E. 14th Street):

We actually have some experience with Rainforest and have very positive things to say about their childcare and education.  

As a reminder they are currently at 1325 S. State and have been there for awhile.  That said, it seemed like a move would be required as the Willow Creek Community Church bought the entire building where they resided back in 2018 and at the time had long term plans to utilize the space.

It appears that plan is moving forward for the Church, but it's good to see Rainforest find a new home. 

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Checkout Some Strings at Women's Park Tomorrow (7/22)

We love the tranquil vibes of Women's Park and so it's not surprise that an event like this appeals to us:

Grant Park Music Festival Strings Quartet Project Inclusion 

July 22nd -  6:30pm - 7:30pm (Thursday)

Facebook Event Link: https://www.facebook.com/events/2626898370936106 

Grant Park Music Festival brings free string quartet performances to cultural centers, parks, and community venues throughout Chicago, featuring the rising stars in our Project Inclusion Fellowship program. Bring a blanket and join us in your neighborhood park for a free, family-friendly and socially distanced outdoor concert with a little something for everyone to enjoy - from classical to tango, jazz/blues, and modern music! Project Inclusion is a unique artist development program for exceptionally talented early career singers and string players of color aimed at increasing diversity and guiding young professionals toward successful careers in music. www.gpmf.com

Monday, July 19, 2021

Sweet Bean Opens at Roosevelt and Wabash

A mentioned a couple weeks back a new bakery has opened at 1162 S. Wabash (via Facebook Hello South Loop! Group and Savanna Moore Gardner):
I saw someone post about a new spot and I had to check it out! 

Stopped by  Sweet Bean ( Roosevelt & Wabash) today and it’s super cute with coffee, gelato & a bakery! As of right now, the bakery is Chinese themed and they are waiting for another Sous chef and then they’ll be 

Chinese, Japanese and European themed! Items on healthy seemsed a little healthier too 😍they also have a seating area.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Could Bears Affiliation with One Central Development be a Tell That They're Staying at Soldier Field?

Streetsblog Chicago has an in-depth overview of a public meeting that the One Central development team recently held.  We still question how real this project is, but one relatively small piece that we found interesting was this comment about the Bears:  

Since Soldier Field does not host retail establishments, One Central is partnering with the Bears to allow them to run several restaurants and memorabilia and gift shop for attendees and tourists. If Landmark Development is this far along in a partnership with the Bears, that calls into question the Bears’ supposed interest in relocating from Soldier Field to Arlington Heights.

It wouldn't be crazy for the Bears to keep their options open and stay engaged on both fronts.  That said, we recently pondered how the city could find ways for the Bears to generate more revenue since Soldier Field is the smallest NFL stadium.  At some point, we wonder if the city could use One Central as a carrot to keep the Bears downtown.

The plot continues to thicken.

Monday, July 12, 2021

New Event Space Called G314 Moving Into Former Vice District Brewing Space on Michigan

Looks like a new business is moving into the former Vice District Brewing space at 1454 S. Michigan:

G314Chi is a prestigious event studio located in Chicago's South Loop Neighborhood. Our studio approaches designing the perfect event with a critical eye that challenges the typical vision of a event space.

From the simplest gatherings, to the more sophisticated soiree, we are passionate about delivering a positively unforgettable experience. Our team thrives on creating client relationships that foster a connection where we are not only providing an amazing space for your event, but actually becoming a part of its success.

It's unclear who exactly this is catered to, but it appears it won't be an amenity that is constantly open to the neighborhood.  That said, as the city hopes the convention business bounces back from the pandemic these types of spaces seem well positioned to cater to these groups. 

As a reminder, Vice District Brewing closed back in 2019.  We were very excited when they opened as it brought a completely new dynamic to the neighborhood.  Unfortunately they ran into some challenges on various fronts.  It seemed like it was more of an internal issue that cause Vice's business to fail (they were also opening up other locations on the South Side) vs. the neighborhood not supporting them.  It was probably a combination of it all.

Anyway you cut it, G314 seems to be taking advantage of the space and simply updating the look (via HelloSouthLoop:

It's not clear when they're officially opening, but seems like it will come quickly.

FWIW - looks like this company also has a location in Atlanta so it appears that this is not their first rodeo.  

Regardless - welcome to the Sloop!

Friday, July 9, 2021

Time to Go to the Museums - Covid-19 Restrictions Lifted!

Yeah museums (via Sun-Times):

If it seems like forever since you visited any of Chicago’s many museums and cultural arts attractions, there’s no time like the present to check out all that the area has to offer. And with COVID-19 pandemic restrictions lifted, you can do so — in person.

So here’s a look at some of the exhibits waiting to be discovered (or rediscovered) by you, your friends, your family. The museums listed have reopened unless otherwise indicated. Most require advance tickets, so check websites for more information.

Here are some of the museums in the Sloop:

Adler Planetarium, 1300 S. Lake Shore Dr. Reopens July 3. Ongoing exhibits: “Astronomy in Culture,” “Chicago’s Night Sky,” “Mission Moon,” “Our Solar System” and more. Admission: $19-$50, $8-$39 children 3-11; adlerplanetarium.org.

Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S. Michigan. To Aug. 15: “The Obama Portraits” featuring the official portraits painted by Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald. To Sept. 6: “Bisa Butler: Portraits,” an exhibit of the artist’s quilts informed by photographs. To Oct. 18: Joseph E. Yoakum: What I Saw” speaks to the self-taught artist’s vision of drawings of mountainous terrain, arid deserts and majestic waterways. Admission: $14-$35; artic.edu.

Field Museum, 1400 S. Lake Shore Dr. To Sept. 6: “Becoming Jane: The Evolution of Jane Goodall” follows the primatologist’s journey to becoming a passionate scientist studying chimpanzees in Africa. To July 18: “Apsáalooke Women and Warriors” celebrates the history, values and beliefs of the Apsáalooke people of the Northern Plains. Admission: $18-$32; fieldmuseum.org.

Museum of Contemporary Photography, 600 S. Michigan at Columbia College Chicago. To Aug. 29: “Toward Common Cause: Art, Social Change, and the MacArthur Fellows Program at 40,” a multi-museum venture, here features the work of An-My Lê and Shahzia Sikander,” two Asian-American artists who explore their relationship to America. Admission is free; mocp.org.

Shedd Aquarium, 1200 S. Lake Shore Dr. Immerse yourself in the aquatic animal world with sea otters, turtles, beluga whales, sharks, sea lions, jellyfish, reptiles and more. Exhibits include the Caribbean Reef, Abbott Oceanarium and Polar Play Zone. Admission: $4.95-$39.95; sheddaquarium.org.

There are a lot of other call outs in the Sun-Times article that seem interesting.  We're thinking about checking out "The Art of Bansky" exhibit on the west side.

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Changes to Stalled 1000M High-Rise Gets Approved By City Council ; Aims for Fall Restart

Looks like this is going to move forward (via YIMBY):

Groundbreaking is expected to occur this fall after the Chicago City Council has approved the revised design for 1000M, a long-planned residential skyscraper at 1000 S Michigan Avenue in South Loop. Fronting S Michigan Avenue, the project site is an infill site between E 9th Street and E 11 Street. Currently a stalled construction site, the development already has caissons in the ground. Time Equities and JK Equities are the developers behind the project.

This update design is one of multiple iterations since the building was originally approved as a Planned Development in 2016. Designed by the late Helmut Jahn and his office JAHN, the 73-story tower is now expected to rise 805 feet, reduced from the previous height of 831 feet. The entirely residential building will now hold 738 rental apartments instead of 506 condominiums and offer 325 parking spaces. Additionally 356 bike parking spaces will also be provided. There will be no retail space, with a leasing center for the building taking up the open space on the ground floor.

If it does in fact move forward, it's unfortunate that there won't be any retail opportunity.  Curious why that isn't happening as we would imagine Michigan Avenue retail space is pretty valuable these days and could add to the general street vibe.  

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Bureau Pizza Co. Moving Into Former Pauly's Pizza Spot on South State

We posted in June about another pizza place moving into the old Pauly's Pizza at 719 S. State and it looks like a name has emerged on the window:

So Bureau Pizza Company looks to be the name, but beyond that we're unsure much about this spot.  Their website has pretty limited info as of now with a splash page:

The immediate thought is whether this new Bureau Pizza Co. has any association with Bureau Bar + Restaurant further south on State (2115 S. State).  Kenny Johnson, the owner of Bureau Bar + Restaurant, also had a small bar called The Bureau Bar at 75 E. 16th awhile back so maybe this is just another expansion of his operation? 

If anyone has intel let us know.

Anyway, we'll be watching this one.  It is well documented that the neighborhood - and specifically the printers row area - has a lot of options when it comes to cheesy pie.

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Arlington Heights Approves Zoning Draft That Would Allow For Bears to Build Stadium

So the Bears....hmmmm (via NBC5):
As the Bears navigate a long road to possibly moving out of Soldier Field and the city of Chicago, one hurdle— albeit a small one— was cleared. On Monday night, the Arlington Heights village board voted to approve an overlay zoning draft that would allow a football stadium to be built on Arlington Park.

Last week, Bears president Ted Phillips announced that the team had made a bid to purchase the property. However there has been some debate whether the Bears are serious about moving, or are using the bid as a negotiating tactic with Chicago, including Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

Of course Arlington Heights is going to approve this - still seems like unlikely, but....maybe?

Beyond the idea that this is a negotiation ploy, we're curious if the controversial One Central development proposal has any impact on the Bears plans.  We're not sure if they're affiliated with the project, but similar to how the Rickets (Cubs owners) have found ways to monetize Wrigleyville since the historic Wrigley Field only had so much room to "expand" and "modernize", could the Bears try to capitalize on that development?  This is just my conspiracy theory.

This story has a long ways to go, so will be curious to see how it plays out.