A Sunday night rain storm; my soundtrack was Townes Van Zandt and bottle of decent enough red wine. And the sound of falling water.
and the actual 30 second video, theoretically… (Flash, sorry)
A Sunday night rain storm; my soundtrack was Townes Van Zandt and bottle of decent enough red wine. And the sound of falling water.
and the actual 30 second video, theoretically… (Flash, sorry)
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.)
The retail space in R+D 659 has never been leased in the history of the building – it has sat vacant since 2006. Especially since there will not be a garage here, I’m happy to have Fiat as a neighbor.
Fiat of Chicago hopes to open its 12,900-square-foot dealership at 647 W. Randolph St. by July, says Carmelo Scalzo, who will co-own the dealership with his father Antonio Scalzo. They chose the location, on the ground floor of the 15-story R+D 659 condo tower, largely because of its location next to the highway, Carmelo Scalzo says.
After 28 years away from the U.S., Milan-based based Fiat SpA, which also owns Chrysler, began selling its Fiat 500 model here last year and has already opened dealerships in the suburbs. Since its American return, the company has rolled out a publicity blitz including television advertisements featuring Jennifer Lopez and Charlie Sheen. Fiat of Chicago aims to generate its own attention with visibility and easy accessibility to hundreds of thousands of drivers a day.
“With the right signage, that’s about the heaviest traffic there is in Chicago,” says Greg Kirsch, principal at New York-based Newmark Knight Frank, who represents retail tenants in Chicago but was not involved in this deal. “It kind of follows what Mercedes did on North Avenue. That was a good example of taking advantage of the expressway traffic. The rental income from billboards alone can be tens of thousands of dollars a month, so why not use the high visibility and make it convenient for the customer at the same time?”
The Scalzos already own and operate Volvo of Oak Park. They sought out the Fiat brand because Antonio Scalzo worked as a Fiat technician in his native Calabria, Italy, before coming to the U.S. and eventually owning his own Fiat and Alfa Romeo dealership in Berwyn and later Maywood. “It was an opportunity for my father to get back to his roots with Fiat and Alfa Romeo,” Carmelo Scalzo says. “We’ve been pursuing it for a couple of years, and with our history and heritage they thought we’d be a good fit.”
The younger Mr. Scalzo says he plans to sell 600 Fiats a year out of the dealership, which would give it one of the highest volumes in the country. When the higher-end Alfa Romeo brand returns to the U.S. in 2013 or ’14, those sports cars will become available in the Chicago showroom, he says. That will create price ranges from about $16,000 for the Fiat 500 to more than $60,000 for some Alfa Romeos, Mr. Scalzo says. Fiat of Chicago will have a bright, red-and-white showroom — or “studio,” as the company calls it — with high ceilings. It will not have a service garage.
(click here to continue reading Fiat dealer, parking on Randolph, aims to turn heads on Kennedy – News – Crain’s Chicago Business.)
Maybe the Scalzos want to purchase some Chicago-esque photographs to hang in their showroom?
Without preamble (if you want explanation, check December’s children), here are my favorite twelve photos from February. There were 133 to choose from.
And I Still Do Not Know What It Was That I’ve Done Wrong
Honorable mention goes to:
I did eat at Veerasway once, and I thought it ok, not great. Nothing had much flavor, and I never returned. I’m not adverse to a good hamburger now and again, but how many new “organic” hamburger joints can the West Loop support anyway?
Last weekend at Lollapalooza, Veerasway owners Chris and Angela Lee set up shop as Juhu Beach. Little did anyone know that the tent setup would be the modern Indian restaurant’s new form as the Lees shuttered the Michelin Bib Gourmand-stamped Veerasway on Sunday and now will begin transforming it into Grange Hall Farm Burger.
Despite getting recognized by Michelin, Veerasway just wasn’t pulling in the business. “Not enough people gave Indian a chance,” said Chris Lee. “In other words, everyone who had the food thinks it’s great, but not enough people were willing to try the food.”
The new approximately 55-seat free-range burger joint will open sometime this fall to, as the Lees feel, fill a quality burger void in the West Loop. They were inspired to open Grange Hall after seeing the popularity of DMK Burger Bar. “There are many restaurants with good burgers, but the point is that there are no dedicated burger places in the West Loop,” he said. “We want to do it to Angela’s style.” Lee does recognize that Epic Burger recently opened not too far from their location, but considers that more in the Loop.
The restaurant will grind all the hormone-, drug- and antibiotic-free beef in house. They will source all the products—meats, vegetables, fruit—from family farms as close to Chicago as possible and plan to use only in-season ingredients. The menu, which is still being worked out, will also feature turkey and veggie burgers, as well as just-baked pies and hand-churned ice cream. And on weekend mornings, they’ll hold farm breakfasts.
(click here to continue reading Veerasway Closing, Grange Hall Farm Burger Will Replace; Juhu Beach to Carry on Legacy – New Beginnings – Eater Chicago.)
update, walked by here this evening:
Here are a couple, plus a silly little video I shot with my phone, set to the opening strains of Adagio in G Minor for Strings and Organ. Click to embiggen, of course.
Cloudscape in the West Loop – Number 2200
and another version for no apparent reason…Footnotes:
Kevin Pang reports about who is going to move into the old Rushmore location:
Chef Mark Mendez, who left Carnivale last September, has revealed his next move: opening a Spanish small bites/wine bar with his wife Liz in the West Loop.
They’re calling it Uva, Spanish for grape, and it’ll be located at Lake and Carpenter Streets (1023 W. Lake St.) in the West Loop. His neighbors will include Next/Aviary and Maude’s Liquor Bar.
Mendez said he and his wife are working with Charles Bieler of The Gotham Project, who’s been working on a proprietary system of kegged wines on tap in New York City. Mendez will also be sourcing what he calls “oddball, small batch varieties.”
(click here to continue reading Former Carnivale chef Mark Mendez to open West Loop wine bar – chicagotribune.com.)
Former location of Marché, soon to be reopened under new management:
Nellcôte (833 W. Randolph St.; no phone yet), the previously unnamed venture by Jared Van Camp (Old Town Social). The restaurant is named for Villa Nellcôte, the mansion on the Côte d’Azur where the Rolling Stones threw a notorious house party that somehow spawned the album Exile on Main Street.
“Over-the-top luxury without pretense” is how a spokeswoman describes the look. “There will be white Italian marble, wrought-iron gates, [and] cartouche crown molding, but also irreverent accents like bohemian pop art,” she says. The menu will feature a changing-daily lineup of house-made foods using local ingredients, including pizzas and pastas made with house-milled 00 flour. The flour mill is a 9-by-11-foot leviathan that the kitchen was built around, and the finely milled flour will be available for retail sale. Van Camp is targeting November or December for opening.
Sounds somewhat intriguing, the proof will be if it is a place that Gram Parsons would hang out in while consuming heroic amounts of opium derivatives.
Good news re: an old, seemingly abandoned historic Chicago building on W. Madison. Local ad agency Schafer Condon Carter has purchased it, and it going to restore it. I don’t know how much they paid, nor how much they’ve budgeted to modernize it, but I’m happy they are doing so.
An employee left the following comment on the above Flickr photo:
Hey, good news! The advertising agency I work for, Schafer Condon Carter, recently bought the building and are in the early stages of internal demolition. We will be moved in by November of this year! The space has been vacant for quite some time and desperately needs some love which we’re all excited to give it! You can track the buildings progress from our site, www.sccadv.com. We will be installing time-lapsing cameras to catch its development. Cheers.
charles p. holden was a well-known chicago resident during the 1860’s & 70’s. he was deeply involved in real estate and/or development in and around the westside of chicago. this particular building was built shortly after the great chicago fire of 1871. as a consequence of the fire, this structure contains 8 seperate vaults w/ ornamental cast iron safe doors. that way, any valuable assets stashed away could be rescued if another conflaguration was to arise. in addition to the vaults, the first floor contained cast iron fluted columns w. corinthian capitals. the window and door casings were milled in a deep relief pine wood (typical of this period). interestingly, the load bearing columns on all of the upper floors were fashioned in the form of rounded wood columns w/ simple banding near the cap. the decorative stone facade will be rehabilitated during the building’s conversion to other uses.
From the SCC website:
Schafer|Condon|Carter (SCC) is pleased to announce its purchase of the C.C.P. Holden building at 1027 W. Madison Street in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood. The agency plans to move its operations to the 34,500 square-foot building in the fall of 2011 after an extensive renovation.
C.C.P. Holden, a well-known Chicago political figure, railroad magnate and real estate developer was very involved in the massive reconstruction efforts after the Great Chicago Fire in 1871 and built the Italianate limestone, sandstone, terra cotta, brick and timber structure in 1872. It is one of only a handful of such architectural gems in Chicago. SCC will be working with Chicago-based Widler Architecture on the restoration. When finished it will be a model of conservation and sustainability.
(click here to continue reading Schafer | Condon | Carter.)
I’ll have to stop over there later this summer and see what changes are visible from the outside.
InBev aka AnheuserBusch has purchased the iconic Chicago small brewer, Goose Island. I’m saddened, but money talks louder than pride, and I hope John Hall spends his new cash wisely. I will continue to drink Goose Island beer, unless they start cutting back on quality, but it just won’t be the same to drink Budweiser in a fancier bottle. President Obama can now give politicians Bud Light instead of Goose Island without blinking.
Chicago-based Goose Island, one of the nation’s most respected and fastest-growing small brewers with sales concentrated throughout the Midwest, today announced it had agreed to be acquired by AnheuserBusch, its current distribution partner, in a move that will bring additional capital into Goose Island’s operations to meet growing consumer demand for its brands and deepen its Chicago and Midwest distribution.
Goose Island’s legal name is Fulton Street Brewery LLC (FSB). Anheuser-Busch reached an agreement to purchase the majority (58 percent) equity stake in FSB from its founders and investors, held in Goose Holdings Inc. (GHI), for $22.5 million. Craft Brewers Alliance Inc . (CBA), an independent, publicly traded brewer based in Portland, Ore., that operates Widmer Brothers, Redhook and Kona breweries, owns the remaining 42 percent of FSB and reached an agreement in principle to sell its stake in FSB to Anheuser-Busch for $16.3 million in cash. AnheuserBusch holds a minority stake (32.25 percent) in CBA.
Goose Island sold approximately 127,000 barrels of Honkers Ale, 312 Urban Wheat Ale, Matilda and other brands in 2010. To help meet immediate demand, an additional $1.3 million will be invested to increase Goose Island’s Chicago Fulton Street brewery’s production as early as this summer.
“Demand for our beers has grown beyond our capacity to serve our wholesale partners, retailers, and beer lovers,” said Goose Island founder and president John Hall, who will continue as Goose Island chief executive officer. “This partnership between our extraordinary artisanal brewing team and one of the best brewers in the world in Anheuser-Busch will bring resources to brew more beer here in Chicago to reach more beer drinkers, while continuing our development of new beer styles. This agreement helps us achieve our goals with an ideal partner who helped fuel our growth, appreciates our products and supports their success.”
The two Goose Island brew pubs are not part of the deal, but will continue in operation, offering consumers an opportunity to sample Goose Island’s award-winning specialty beers and food selections.
Founded by John Hall in 1988, Goose Island Beer Company is one of the Midwest’s first small breweries. Located at 1800 W. Fulton St., Chicago, Goose Island is acclaimed for creating world-class ales, including 312 Urban Wheat Ale, Honkers Ale, India Pale Ale, Matilda, Pere Jacques, Sofie and a wide variety of seasonal draft only and barrel-aged releases, including Bourbon County Stout, the original bourbon barrel-aged beer.
(click here to continue reading Goose Island Selects Current Partner Anheuser-Busch for Growth Strategy; Chicago Small Brewer, Craft Brewers Alliance to Sell Stakes in Goose Island; Expansion of Chicago Brewery Planned.)
John Hall explains
When I first started Goose Island Clybourn in 1988, drinkers were just beginnning to explore new beer styles and “craft beer” was a term that no one had even thought of. I couldn’t imagine the explosive growth that craft beer has had in the last few years, or the amazing creativity of so many new brewers, and the discovery of the amazing possibilities of beer by a whole generation of drinkers.
I am very proud of Goose Island’s contribution too this craft beer movement, of the many awards won by our brewers, our growing number of employees, our support of the communities and life of Chicago, and the friendship of so many beer lovers in Chicago and elsewhere.
Over the past five years our partnerships with Craft Brewers Alliance and Anheuser-Busch have enabled Goose Island to reach a growing number of beer drinkers. This has fueled our growth to the point that demand for our beers has outgrown the capacity of our brewery. Recently, we’ve even had to limit production of some classic and medal-winning styles. To keep up with growing demand from drinkers we’ve explored a variety of paths too secure new capital to support our growth.
Today’s agreement to consolidate ownership of Goose Island under Anheuser-Busch will provide us with the best resources available to continue along our path of growth and innovation.
I am more excited than ever about Goose Island’s future. With the support and financial backing of our new partner, we will continue to brew our authentic classic styles, develop new amazing beers, and serve our drinkers.
Yeah, well, we’ll see.
Haven’t eaten at Red Light1 in quite a while, but I pass it frequently walking down Randolph. Hope Jerry Kleiner’s KDK Restaurants pulls out of its death spiral…
Crain’s Chicago reports:
Red Light restaurant in the West Loop has closed due to an expired state license, the same week its South Loop sibling succumbed to its own license problems. Red Light, a pan-Asian restaurant at 820 W. Randolph St., on Wednesday posted a sign on its door saying it was closed, according to a woman who answered the phone at neighboring De Cero restaurant.
Calls to Red Light went unanswered Friday.
A spokeswoman with the Illinois Department of Revenue said that Red Light’s retail license expired Jan. 31 and the restaurant had been operating illegally and against the direction of the state office to cease operations. The Illinois Liquor Control Commission revoked Red Light’s liquor license in January, she added.
(click here to continue reading More trouble for KDK Restaurants: Red Light goes dark amid license problems | Restaurants | Crain’s Chicago Business.)
This deal has been discussed in various forms for a while now
Roundy’s Supermarkets Inc., which has been pushing to break into the Chicago market for more than four years, has inked deals for two Mariano’s Fresh Market stores in the city that are to open next year along with a third suburban location in Palatine. The Milwaukee-based chain has signed leases for two city locations: a store at the northwest corner of Monroe and Halsted streets in the West Loop — where talks had faltered a year ago — and in the Uptown neighborhood, where Mariano’s is to anchor a big retail-residential development planned at Clarendon and Montrose avenues.
In the West Loop, the Mariano’s will be kitty-corner from a Dominick’s just west of the Kennedy Expressway. Developer Seymour “Sy” Taxman says the deal was resurrected several months ago as Mr. Taxman brought in a couple new equity partners and dropped plans to build a tower atop the grocery store.
“I took a very big risk on this property because I believe in this neighborhood,” says Mr. Taxman, CEO of Skokie-based Taxman Corp. “I’ve been at this project for a long time. I wanted to make sure, when we made a commitment to go forward, that this project was deliverable.”
Mr. Taxman, who wouldn’t identify his new partners, says a lender has agreed to a term sheet to finance the project. He expects to start construction in late summer or early fall so that Roundy’s could open by late 2012.
The store will be about 70,000 square feet, Mr. Taxman says, on the second level of a new building atop a 25,000-square-foot retail strip along Halsted. There will be a surface parking lot plus rooftop parking above Mariano’s.
(click here to continue reading Roundy’s signs deals for more local upscale grocery stores | News | Crain’s Chicago Business.)
Actually looking forward to trying this place.
An all-natural hamburger chain plans to open its third restaurant in the West Loop, part of an expansion that could bring 10 new locations to Chicago over the next two years.
Epic Burger, whose tagline promises “a more mindful burger,” signed a lease at 550 W. Adams St. for what is to be its largest outpost to date, at about 3,300 square feet. Founder and CEO David Friedman says he aims to open the restaurant in June or July.
Chicago-based Epic Burger debuted in May 2008 at 517 S. State St. in the South Loop with a menu that shuns processed cheeses and yellow mustard and champions fresh beef, eggs from cage-free chickens and locally grown produce. A Lincoln Park restaurant followed last June, at 1000 W. North Ave. The organic, fast-casual concept sprang from a road trip that left Mr. Friedman craving a better alternative to the standard burger joints.
(click here to continue reading Natural burger chain picks third location | News | Crain’s Chicago Business.)
Epic Burger says it provides “a better burger experience,” offering all-natural beef with an assortment of environmentally friendly toppings — cage-free organic eggs, nitrate-free bacon and all-natural Wisconsin cheeses.