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Archive for the ‘West_Loop’ tag

The Lunatic, the Lover & the Poet – A Planned wine bar for 736 W Randolph Street

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 Corkage

Corkage

Hmm. More wine drinking options in the West Loop are always good…

Thomas Powers, a sommelier, former director of Chicago-based KDK Restaurants Inc. (Jerry Kleiner’s defunct company) and the onetime owner of long-closed Harvest on Huron, plans to open a wine bar focused on American vintages on Randolph Street’s restaurant row.

Mr. Powers has signed a lease at 736 W. Randolph St. to open the Lunatic, the Lover & the Poet. It will sit across the street from Haymarket Pub & Brewery and Au Cheval, adding yet another element to the increasingly popular West Loop nightlife scene. Expected opening is late 2014.

Mr. Powers and his business partner, who declined to be named, have raised half of their needed $2 million investment from a group of about 40 individual investors. They have not yet hired a chef but have secured a beverage director, whom Mr. Powers declined to name.

He’s looking for a chef to build out a mostly small-plates menu featuring salumi, cheeses, oysters and a few entrees.

The 6,900-square-foot, two-story former warehouse is raw space. Mr. Powers’ plan is to build out the 1,700-square-foot first floor with 40 to 50 seats, 20 bar seats and 10 seats in a lounge.

 

(click here to continue reading Former Kleiner associate planning wine bar for Randolph Street – Crain’s dining blog – Crain’s Chicago Business .)

Written by Seth Anderson

July 28th, 2014 at 8:12 am

Planned Fulton Market district to get $42M from city

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 Fulton Market Lineup

Fulton Market Lineup

Update on the still-in-proposal-stage plan for making a Fulton Market Historical District…

The city plans to allocate more than $42 million to improve parts of the West Loop included in its proposed Fulton Market Innovation District, a plan being pushed by the mayor as a way to encourage yet corral the neighborhood’s explosive growth.

The investments will kick off with the construction of a $500,000 gateway arching over Fulton Market at Halsted Street to welcome visitors to a proposed historic market district honoring the meatpacking companies and food wholesalers that have been operating there for a century.

The bulk of the $42.6 million allocation of public money, about $16 million of which is still pending approval from the city’s Department of Transportation, would go to infrastructure improvements like street paving and sidewalk repairs along Kinzie, Fulton Market, Randolph and Lake streets. Most of the money will come from the existing tax increment financing district, set up in 1998, though an estimated $10 million proposed for rebuilding Lake Street would be a mix of local, state and federal funds.

 …

Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who spearheaded the innovation district plan, said the driving force for it was the surge in real estate deals that followed the 2012 opening of the $38 million Morgan Street CTA station.

“When we make these investments, they spur a series of private-sector economic development and opportunities for the city and growth,” Emanuel said. “And here, which is unique, you’ve got to do it in a way that strikes a balance between the history, and the preservation of that, while you embrace the change that is occurring simultaneously. And I think we’ve come up with that equitable balance.”

Designating the area an “innovation district,” a growing trend in cities, highlights the mix of traditional manufacturing, tech companies, social scene and transit access that has become important to attracting a young, creative workforce. Some of the employers coming to the area, including Google, SRAM, Uber, Brooklyn Bowl and Soho House, are expected to add 2,385 jobs, according to figures provided by the mayor’s office.

“It is and represents a new direction of the city’s economy,” said Andrew Mooney, commissioner of the city’s Department of Planning and Development. While the city has other emerging “innovation centers,” the restaurant-rich Fulton Market area is unique because of its historic and current connection to food, and the fact that it is not linked to a university.

(click here to continue reading Chicago Tribune – Top Business – Planned Fulton Market district to get $42M from city.)

Nothing Ever Stays The Same
Nothing Ever Stays The Same

Also, first time we’ve heard of this plan:

The city also announced a new public bike station it has planned for the lower level of an 83,000-square-foot former meatpacking building under redevelopment at 210 N. Green St., where New York-based WeWork plans to open a collaborative workspace next year.

The 3,100-square-foot bike station, which aims to accommodate bike commuters with locker rooms and showers as well as bike storage, will be privately operated by WeWork as a business and use no public funds, though the mayor brokered the arrangement, city officials said.

 Sounds good, more biking amenities is good news for the City, imo, especially when one of the options of becoming a WeWork member is “Free Beer”1

Fulton Market Food & Liquors - mural
Fulton Market Food & Liquors – mural

and still some current property owners are whining about not being able to sell their historic buildings to developers who will then raze the building, and replace the 19th century brick structure with a drab condo building with architecture inspired by Home Depot. Viva capitalism!

The land use plan, which will be adopted as policy by the planning department this summer, does not overtly change zoning but imposes guidelines for how parts of the proposed district — bordered by Halsted, Ogden, Randolph and Hubbard Streets — should be developed.

The most controversial part of the plan calls for portions of Fulton Market and Randolph Street to be given historic landmark status to preserve the character of storefronts that are the last remnants of the city’s food-manufacturing past. The neighborhood’s three major community groups — the Randolph/Fulton Market Association, the West Central Association and the West Loop Community Organization — have all formally opposed the landmark proposal, saying they’re concerned about the restrictions that would prevent demolition of some buildings and dictate the design of all.

Footnotes:
  1. I’m not kidding, look []

Written by Seth Anderson

June 23rd, 2014 at 12:52 pm

Fulton Market historic district

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I Think I Saw It On Fulton Street
I Think I Saw It On Fulton Street

We’ve mentioned this proposed historical district plan before, and we’re still enthused by it. However, not everyone is.

While it maintains the existing zoning, the plan provides guidelines for how the neighborhood should be developed so that officials deciding the fates of the many projects being proposed can follow a strategic vision, said Steven Valenziano, assistant zoning administrator with the Department of Planning.

The part of the plan that imposes historic landmark status on buildings within a section of the district — along Fulton Street between Racine Avenue and Green Street, along Randolph Street between Carpenter and Halsted streets, and the swath of Sangamon Street from Fulton to Randolph — is being met with staunch resistance from some Fulton Market business and property owners.

They worry the preservation restrictions will handcuff them to obsolete buildings, making it hard to do business if they need to make building improvements, or reduce the resale value if they decide to leave.

Holding My Life in My Hand
Holding My Life in My Hand

“It turns my business into an exhibit in this theme park,” said Melissa Otte, part of the family that owns the butter, cheese and egg distributor Meloney Cunningham & DeVic at 1114 W. Fulton St., which is one of the buildings that would be landmarked. “It’s really upsetting to hear that you’re history when you still work there.”

(click here to continue reading Fulton Market historic district could kill what it honors, critics say – chicagotribune.com.)

Eggs Cheese and Butter
Eggs Cheese and Butter

Seems like Melissa Otte’s long term plan was to raze her building, and sell it to developers to build generic condos on. So sorry.

Some more photos of Fulton Market are just a click away

 

Written by Seth Anderson

May 23rd, 2014 at 1:12 pm

Fulton Randolph Market District Plan Presentation First Draft

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 Cleaning Up

Cleaning Up

There is a new proposal to turn the Fulton Market corridor into an historic district, meaning that real estate developers would not be able to tear down existing structures here willy-nilly to put up cookie-cutter condos or boring square box stores. No more McDonald’s, in other words, unless they are put in an existing structure.

In general, I’m for this idea, I think it is intriguing, but the details are always key, of course. How heavy handed will the City be? Where is the money going to be coming from? Who will be the decision maker? How soon will the National Register of Historic Places act if asked? 

Dozens of buildings along major stretches of Randolph Street and Fulton Market — including ones that house some of the city’s best-known restaurants — would become part of a historic district under a city proposal that the Commission on Chicago Landmarks will consider Thursday.

The proposal — presented at a community meeting Tuesday night — calls for granting historic designation to a six-block stretch of buildings on Randolph between the Kennedy Expy. and a property just west of Carpenter Street and along Lake Street from Peoria to Morgan streets. An eight-block stretch on Fulton Market between Halsted Street and Racine Avenue would also be landmarked.

The 75 buildings that would be affected by the historic designation currently house restaurants including the Girl and the Goat and the Publican and multiple restaurant supply businesses and butchers.

The proposed historic district is part of a larger land-use plan that would regulate building construction and designs in the area and also bring streetscaping and other improvements to create a “distinct sense of place,” documents say.

The proposal stated the plan would help preserve “an area of historic buildings occupied by new and traditional food business that showcase Chicago as the culinary epicenter of the Midwest.”

It’s also an area that “has attracted innovative industries” — including Google — which the city believes will continue.

 

(click here to continue reading Randolph Street, Fulton Market to Become Historic Districts Under City Plan – West Loop – DNAinfo.com Chicago.)

I’ve taken a few photos of Fulton Market over the years, click here for some of them…

Technicolor Haze over West Loop
Technicolor Haze over West Loop

Fulton Street Wholesale
Fulton Street Wholesale

Fulton Street Nocturne
Fulton Street Nocturne

If you’ve ever visited Pike Place Market in Seattle, the River Market District in Kansas City, or the Gansevoort Market District (Meat Packing District) in New York, you’d have an idea of what the City of Chicago is thinking about.

Lets Make a Deal
Lets Make a Deal

Here’s the presentation itself if you are interested.

Fulton Randolph Market District Plan (Presented 4/1/14) from Neighbors of West Loop

(via Neighbors of West Loop – West Loop News: Fulton Randolph Market District Plan Presentation (April 1, 2014).)

The presentation mentions the transformation of the CCP Holden Building on W. Madison as an example of what could be done, and it is true, there are several older buildings left on Fulton Street that could use a little loving care and restoration after years of neglect.

Written by Seth Anderson

April 4th, 2014 at 9:06 am

Drapac USA Moving to West Loop – 1215 W. Fulton St

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Technicolor Haze over West Loop
Technicolor Haze over West Loop

I continue to be flabbergasted at the number of new businesses and restaurants moving into the West Loop, especially in Fulton Market, despite the large number of remaining food processing plants remaining that share the space. If you walk down Fulton St in the late afternoon, you still have to evade being splashed by bleach, or stepping on raw chicken bits. The old companies haven’t been forced out yet, in other words. It isn’t a sleek, modern neighborhood by any stretch of one’s imagination. The sidewalks are often cracked, if available at all, the train tracks are a scant couple of blocks away – with accompanying noise and diesel fumes – and yet…

NAI Hiffman represented Drapac Group, an Australian-based company with U.S. headquarters in Los Angeles, in its new lease with event planner, The Revel Group, at 1215 W. Fulton St. in Chicago. Drapac closed on the 36,730-square-foot building purchase on Dec. 31; the new lease was completed just 10 days earlier. “The collective goal of our team was to secure a tenant and stabilize the asset prior to closing,” said Kelly Disser, vice president with NAI Hiffman’s industrial services group. “The transaction was a great success for Drapac as it enters a popular Chicago market.”

The activity reflects the growing transformation of Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood as dozens of office, residential, hotel and restaurant developments are underway, including: the makeover of the Fulton Market Cold Storage Building that will be anchored by Google, a Nobu hotel and restaurant on Randolph Street, and Soho House on Green Street. 1215 W. Fulton offers a premium West Loop location on the southwest corner of Fulton Street and Racine Avenue. The property includes a 30,862-square-foot warehouse with office space and a fenced and secured parking lot.

(click here to continue reading Drapac acquires, leases 36,730-square-foot West Loop property | REJournals.com.)

This made me chuckle:

In 2010, Drapac Group USA was established with a head office in Los Angeles to invest in the rapidly rebounding US real estate market, and capitalise on the unprecedented real estate opportunities that were created as a result of the Global Financial Crisis.

(click here to continue reading Drapac Australia » Home.)

Sunset in Fulton Market, with pallets
Sunset in Fulton Market, with pallets

Cleaning Up
Cleaning Up

Nothing Ever Stays The Same
Nothing Ever Stays The Same

Fulton Market Lineup
Fulton Market Lineup

Written by Seth Anderson

January 24th, 2014 at 9:04 am

Proof of Your Privilege – Explored

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Proof of Your Privilege
Proof of Your Privilege

An alley I’ve photographed before methinks, but not with about six inches of snow covering.

Hipstamatic snapshot, using the Florence Lens, and BlacKeys Extra Fine Film

Currently #323 in Flickr Explore for December 12th, 2013.

Written by Seth Anderson

December 13th, 2013 at 2:08 pm

You Were Talking In Your Sleep

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You were talking in your sleep

You were talking in your sleep

Snow, Fulton Market, West Loop, Chicago.

Hipstamatic snapshot, using the Florence Lens and BlacKeys Extra Fine film.

Currently #252 in Flickr Explore for December 8, 2013.

Written by Seth Anderson

December 11th, 2013 at 3:33 pm

Public Park as Part of 150 N Riverside

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Streaking Home Streaking Home

As part of an interesting discussion of the planned development on Randolph and the Chicago River, 150 N. Riverside, we read this aside about Boeing’s infamous unfriendliness to civilians and tourists…

[Alderman Brendan] Reilly has been emphatic in noting that this will be a public park, not a publicly accessible private park. When Hines finally agreed to build its park at River Point, the Texas developer tried to start negotiations over how many days a year it would be available to the public. Reilly said words to the effect of “Homey don’t play that” and sent Hines packing until it realized that Chicago isn’t Houston and you can’t just build whatever you want without regard to the neighbors.

The Hines park will now be open all year round.

Neighbors, however, are worried that the the 150 North Riverside park will be significantly less than promised. They don’t want a repeat of what’s going on one block to the south at the Boeing building. When the Seattle aircraft maker moved here, what used to be a nice, welcoming public plaza became a fortress with security guards harassing the locals for walking through what’s supposed to be a public riverwalk, threatening tourists for the imaginary crime of camera possession, and keeping the place behind locked gates more often than it is open. That is also the case up the street, where the residential development north of Kinzie Street keeps the public riverwalk locked up. If you want to legally access it, you must go to a security office and ask a guard to unlock it for you.

The developer is trying to assuage the locals fears by promising to deed the 150 park to the city. But then he repeatedly states the park will be open “dawn to dusk.” City parks are open until 11pm. And it’s not like city parks have a stellar track record of openness, access, and not trying chasing tourists away because they’re holding cameras. When it’s not snowing, there are parts of Millennium Park repeatedly locked off for private events, and some parts that are closed to the public for big corporations for months at a time.

(click here to continue reading Grand Plans for “Millennium Park Lite” Come With West Loop Office Tower | The Chicago Architecture Blog.)

Photography is not legal at Boeing either Photography is not legal at Boeing either

Really, if you are walking through this area with a camera, Boeing’s guards (some of whom have weapons on display) will come to full attention, and gods forbid if you step towards their building with your camera at the ready. A very, very unfriendly neighbor, to say the least. Many, many years ago when I was a dew-faced young lad, I worked a temporary job here, when Morton Salt’s HQ was here (or nearby, memory is a funny thing) – I remember sitting by the Chicago River eating my lunch in a pleasant, public plaza. You would probably have to duck bullets if you tried this today, or at any time since Boeing moved in circa 2001.

Golden Plowshares Golden Plowshares

Back to 150 N Riverside: we are personally not opposed to a new development here, especially if Alderman Reilly can enforce the public park aspect of the plan. The Loop, west, and the West Loop areas are drastically underserved by greenspace. In an ideal world, 150 N Riverside aka 400 W Randolph wouldn’t be a building at all, instead, the City of Chicago could construct an elevated public park above the tracks, just like Millennium Park itself! But we are realists, so that’s simply a fantasy.

For your amusement, a few other photos of the general area in question, as it looks today. Double click to embiggen…

Waiting for the 216

Waiting for the 216

Transport is Arranged Transport is Arranged

train yard train yard

Merchandise Mart Negative Scan 9-10-12 Merchandise Mart Negative Scan 9-10-12

Misdirected Remarks - Agfa Scala Misdirected Remarks – Agfa Scala

Dusk in River North Dusk in River North

Map of the block

 

 

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Seth Anderson

August 2nd, 2013 at 8:03 am

Google Going to Fulton Market After All?

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A Tiny Little Cog in The Machine
A Tiny Little Cog in The Machine

There were credible rumors1 that Google was going to move into the West Loop, but then Google signed a lease in River North instead. However, according to Crain’s Chicago, it still might happen:

Google Inc. is mapping new office territory in Chicago. The Mountain View, Calif.-based technology giant is in talks to move its Chicago office to the city’s meatpacking district, where it would lease more than 200,000 square feet, sources say. If a deal is struck, it would dramatically reshape the gentrifying Fulton Market-Randolph area, where foodies flock to a thriving restaurant row but major office tenants have yet to arrive. Landing one of the world’s most recognizable companies would bring instant legitimacy to an office market now made up of small tenants in low-rise loft buildings.

… “Google is an unbelievable engine,” says Chicago tenant broker Bob Chodos, a principal at Seattle-based Colliers International who is not involved in the Google deal. “Wherever they go gets bigger.” Google’s employees, mostly in sales, are outgrowing the Kinzie Street tower where the company’s lease for about 150,000 square feet expires at the end of 2015. As Google expands here, it is expected to need more than 200,000 square feet, and possibly up to 300,000, sources say.

Enter Sterling Bay Cos., which reached an agreement to buy the 10-story Fulton Market Cold Storage warehouse, the tallest in the neighborhood, in 2011. The Chicago developer is converting the existing building and an attached new structure into about 540,000 square feet of office and retail at 1000 W. Fulton St. by late next year.

In addition to Google, Boka Restaurant Group—which includes chef Stephanie Izard’s nearby Girl & the Goat and Little Goat Diner—is finalizing a deal for a steakhouse on the ground floor of the former meat storage facility, sources say. 

Already, construction of a Soho House hotel is underway near the intersection of Halsted and Randolph streets. Nobu Hospitality Group, whose owners include actor Robert De Niro, in March confirmed its desire to put another boutique hotel and a Japanese restaurant on Randolph.

(click here to continue reading Has Google outgrown River North? – In Other News – Crain’s Chicago Business.)

I’ve taken a few photos of this building over the years…

Peel Back the Sky
Peel Back the Sky

You People
You People

West Loop Castle Magic
West Loop Castle Magic

In Need of A Few Good Windows
In Need of A Few Good Windows

Greater Fulton Market
Greater Fulton Market

May You Build a Ladder to the Stars
May You Build a Ladder to the Stars

Dreaming of Fulton Market Cold Storage
Dreaming of Fulton Market Cold Storage

Greater Fulton Market
Greater Fulton Market

Fulton Market with Lounge - Red Bleach
Fulton Market with Lounge – Red Bleach

A Photographer in Fulton Market
A Photographer in Fulton Market

Footnotes:
  1. which I swear I blogged about, but now cannot find []

Written by Seth Anderson

June 4th, 2013 at 8:22 am

Photo Republished at Blackbird In Chicago

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Snow Day at Blackbird

My photo was used to illustrate this post

Photo By Seth Anderson “Blackbird is one of the finest restaurants in the country” – Chicago Tribune. Sophisticated, earthy food in a modern, sleek setting. Owner of a Michelin star.

click here to keep reading :
Blackbird In Chicago

automatically created via Delicious and IFTTT

Written by eggplant

May 7th, 2013 at 12:07 pm

Posted in Links

Tagged with , , ,

Flickr Favorites Uploaded in March 2013

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I processed and uploaded 113 photos in March, much less than February’s total. Probably my ear troubles ate into my productivity, but that’s just an excuse. 

Anyway via Flickr: Archive of your uploads to Flickr in March 2013 here are my 22 personal favorites created in March. Click image to embiggen.

Go Back To Where You Have Been Again
Go Back To Where You Have Been Again

Take What You Have Gathered From Coincidence
Take What You Have Gathered From Coincidence

Money Isn't The Only Answer
Money Isn’t The Only Answer

Devil's Paintbrush - Upper Yurtistan
Devil’s Paintbrush – Upper Yurtistan

Butterfly - Upper Yurtistan
Butterfly – Upper Yurtistan

Wine is Good For You
Wine is Good For You

Minister of Design and The Future, Blue
Minister of Design and The Future, Blue

Somebody Please Tell This Machine I'm Not A Machine
Somebody Please Tell This Machine I’m Not A Machine

Ready For Take Off
Ready For Take Off

Guardian of Marfa East
Guardian of Marfa East

Assembling Tian
Assembling Tian

Fanoenix by Debbie Mullins
Fanoenix by Debbie Mullins

Heracles Shoots the Sun
Heracles Shoots the Sun

Cold Was the Ground
Cold Was the Ground
I don’t love all of this photo, but I do like how the clouds were filtered.

Where The Air Is Fresh And Clean
Where The Air Is Fresh And Clean

George playing the piano
George playing the piano

Let True Love Win
Let True Love Win
Garfield Park Conservatory

Fulton Vortex
Fulton Vortex
West Loop weirdness

Not A Simple Binary Choice
Not A Simple Binary Choice
Loyola Campus

Off The Grid
Off The Grid
Lake Michigan beach in Wilmette, IL

Towers
Towers
Bahá’í Temple, Wilmette, IL

Eliyahu Was Thirsty
Eliyahu Was Thirsty
Hipstamatic closeup of Elijah’s cup, a few days after Passover

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Seth Anderson

April 13th, 2013 at 8:55 am

West Loop II? Ambitious plan would cover Kennedy, create office hub

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Earlier today…

Preliminary plans call for eight to 12 acres of public park that would be built over the expressway, bridging the gap between the West Loop and the central business district, said Steven Fifield, president of Chicago-based Fifield. The recreational space would then serve as a catalyst for bringing new office towers, and tenants to fill them, to the neighborhood, he said.
The capping project would cost around $45 million if it were to span the three blocks between Washington Boulevard and Adams Street, and its first phase could be funded with tax-increment financing from the city, Mr. Fifield said. As more tenants move to the area, boosting tax revenue, the project would likely end up paying for itself, he said

Via:
West Loop II? Ambitious plan would cover Kennedy, create office hub
[automated]

Written by eggplant

January 14th, 2013 at 10:10 am

Posted in Links

Tagged with , , ,

Songs We May Have Forgotten

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Songs We May Have Forgotten
Songs We May Have Forgotten (click to embiggen)

Sunset in the West Loop.

A Flickr pal asked me how I named this photo.

My response:

Short answer, I don’t know.

Longer answer: Titles are hard, especially after coming up with over 8,000 already1. I try not to repeat myself when naming the photos that I upload to Flickr, but it is a challenge. Some photographs name themselves, others have only a tangential, tenuous relation between subject and title. I’m a bit of a magpie, snatching up fragments of phrases from wherever I find them, or sometimes just from turning off my conscious brain for a second, and seeing what emerges from my subconscious.

Footnotes:
  1.  8,891 items uploaded to Flickr as of 8-31-2012 []

Written by Seth Anderson

August 31st, 2012 at 11:08 am

A Brief Rain Storm

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A Sunday night rain storm; my soundtrack was Townes Van Zandt and bottle of decent enough red wine. And the sound of falling water.

30 Seconds of a Rainy Night in Chicago
30 Seconds of a Rainy Night in Chicago



and the actual 30 second video, theoretically… (Flash, sorry)

Not Wishing To Intrude
Not Wishing To Intrude

Rain Bokeh Number 2169
Rain Bokeh Number 2169

Out The Window Blues
Out The Window Blues

Absinthe Verte in the Rain
Absinthe Verte in the Rain

Listen to The Falling Rain
Listen to The Falling Rain

Inside A Broken Clock
Inside A Broken Clock

Youtube version:

Written by Seth Anderson

August 28th, 2012 at 8:59 am

City Winery Chicago Moving to Randolph

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West Loop at Night number 0142
West Loop at Night number 0142, approximately the 1000 block of West Randolph

Another new neighbor:

CHICAGO-Summit Design + Build LLC is underway on construction on City Winery Chicago, a fully operational urban winery and tasting room, restaurant with outdoor wine garden, concert hall and private event space at 1200 W. Randolph St. in the West Loop. The building is a former refrigerated food distribution warehouse built in the early part of the 20th century, is being renovated into a 33,000-square-foot contemporary winery and hospitality facility. Opening is scheduled for August.

(click here to continue reading GlobeSt.com – Duke Signs Leases for Three Industrial Tenants – Daily News Article.)

Written by Seth Anderson

April 24th, 2012 at 7:17 am

Posted in Chicago-esque,Food and Drink

Tagged with ,