Thursday, May 12, 2016

Major Construction: 4-Star Restaurant's Tex-Mex Restaurant on the Southport Corridor

Major construction is underway at the former Justin's Bar and Grill site.  4-Star Restaurant Group's new Tex-Mex concept construction is underway, with full and open windows in the front and side. Enhancements include expanding the space into the patio area and a complete gut of all three floors. Scroll down to see the rendering from the original lease brochure.

Original rendering from leasing brochure:

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Sola Salon now open on Lincoln Avenue

Sola Salon Studio is a concept of 25 salon/spa studios in one location, located at 3355 N. Lincoln Avenue.  For new clients, they are offering 20% off of a hair/skin/waxing/massage/nail service. You can visit their Facebook page at for more information!   

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Coda di Volpe from Billy Lawless and Ryan O'Donnell with Executive Chef Chris Thompson is opening in July

Billy Lawless and Ryan O'Donnell with Executive Chef Chris Thompson are opening Coda di Volpe this July at 3335 N. Southport Avenue

The Coda di Volpe Team


TEAM:  Restaurateurs Billy Lawless and Ryan O’Donnell with Executive Chef Chris Thompson

ABOUT:  Opening summer 2016 in the Lakeview neighborhood, Coda di Volpe will be a neighborhood favorite and also a dining destination serving Southern Italian fare. Coda di Volpe will bring casual sophistication to the neighborhood. Restaurateurs Billy and Ryan have been friends for years and have always discussed the idea of working on a project together; first they found the space and then joined forced with Chef Thompson and the vision for the restaurant came to life. Chef Chris Thompson, previously at the helm of nationally acclaimed restaurants including A16 and Spruce in San Francisco and The Nickle in Denver, spent an extensive amount of time in Italy doing research and development for the menu, which will focus on the lighter fare of the South.

Coda di Volpe is a white Italian wine grape variety that has been historically grown in the Campania region around the town of Naples, it also translates to “tail of the fox” in Italian. Chef Chris Thompson is passionate about bringing Southern Italian cuisine to Chicago so Coda di Volpe, a grape from that region, fit perfectly with the team’s vision for the restaurant.

MENU:  Chef Thompson’s menu will showcase Southern Italian cuisine in a menu that offers something that will appeal to everyone, including Neapolitan pizza, for which Thompson has his VPN certification, and house-cured meats. Southern Italian cuisine encompasses regions south of Rome, which incorporates less dairy, heavy cream, and butter, and highlights more seafood, vegetables, and olive oil.

DÉCOR: The Coda di Volpe team is working with 555 International on the design and décor for the restaurant, which will have a Mid-Century Italian vibe.

HOURS: The restaurant will be open 7 days per week. To start, Coda di Volpe will only be open for dinner service, with lunch and weekend brunch following shortly after.

LOCATION: Coda di Volpe is located at 3335 N. Southport Ave.

PRICING: The pricing will be accessible and competitive for the neighborhood.

CAPACITY:  100 seats in dining room; 25 seats at the bar; 65 seats on the patio

"The Southern Italian restaurant will open at 3335 N. Southport Ave. under the direction of Executive Chef Chris Thompson, known for his San Francisco eateries A16 and Spruce. 
 "We want to bring a little sophistication to the Southport Corridor, which we feel is really up-and-coming," O'Donnell said Tuesday. "We'll bring some of what Billy does downtown and what I do in Lincoln Park."
From Eater Chicago:
"O'Donnell wants the restaurant to be a "neighborhood go-to," with a coziness that reminds diners of Gemini. They'll bring that to Southport along with the downtown hospitality from Lawless, breaking up the monotony of Lakeview's sport bars. 
They want to open within two months with 100 seats inside the dining area plus a U-shaped bar with 25 seats. There's also sidewalk seating that will wrap around the intersection of Southport and Henderson and a five-seat pizza counter. They've enlisted 555 International for the design: "Think Italy in the 1950s or 60s," O'Donnell said." 
We are very much looking forward to this great addition to The 'Port!

Future home of Coda Di Volpe on Southport

Monday, April 25, 2016

Southport's Low-Line Market returns on June 2, 2016

It's that time of year again!  The Southport Low-Line Market returns on June 2, 2016 at 3411 N. Southport Avenue (Under the "El"), and continuing through October 6, 2016. More information can be found here from the Lakeview Chamber of Commerce.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Friday, April 22, 2016

Hanna Andersson coming to 3452 N. Southport; Other Southport Development News

From Crain's Chicago, Children and Women's store Hanna Andersson is coming to the former Southport Suites location at 3452 N. Southport Avenue.  Hanna's only other Chicagoland shops are currently located at Oak Brook Center and Northbrook Court.  

Per Crain's: 
"JAB plans to start constructions on four-story buildings with 1,800 square feet of ground-floor retail and three apartment units at 3426 and 3452 N. Southport, after tearing down older buildings on each site, Campise said. Those buildings will be completed by next spring. 
Hanna Andersson has already leased the retail space at 3452 N. Southport, the Portland, Ore.-based clothing retailer confirmed. It is the first standalone store for the retailer, which has 52 stores and nine outlets in malls and shopping centers, spokeswoman Louanne Wach said in an email. 
Hanna Andersson will be coming to 3452 N. Southport.
The former Southport Suites building will be torn down
and redeveloped.
Its first neighborhood store “is the third prong in our store development strategy,” as Hanna Andersson plans 15 to 20 new stores per year, Wach said. 
“Our goal is finding locations closer to where moms live, making it easier for them to shop with us,” she said. “We have a strong customer base in Chicago; and Southport has a family feel about it and a wonderful mix of local and national tenants, making it feel like the right fit for us as a brand.” 
Say goodbye to 3426 N. Southport 
JAB was represented in the lease by Chris Irwin, a senior vice president at Chicago-based Jameson Commercial. Hanna Andersson was represented by Jeffrey McIlmail of Hewlett, N.Y.-based Greenberg Group."
"Within the next couple of years, JAB plans a larger apartment development at 3401-09 N. Southport along the Brown Line station, where a new building will have 6,000 square feet of retail space and 30 units, Campise said. Galleria Liquors, open on the site now, will be a tenant in the new building, he said."
3401-09 N. Southport will be developed over the next two years. Galleria Liquors will be coming back. Rise Sushi will not.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Monday, April 18, 2016

Bow Truss Coffee Coming to Southport & Belmont

We reported last month that the building housing Bel-Port Liquors at Belmont and Southport was being sold, and Bel-Port would be vacating. The building has now been sold and Eater Chicago is reporting that Bow Truss Coffee Roasters will be taking over the space. We reached out to them on a time-frame, and they are looking to open within the next 6 months (and they are still looking for a tenant for the Southport side where the FoxTrot rendering is).

This classic building needs some love, and by the rendering below, it looks like it will now get some!

Update on April 25, 2016: Bel-Port Liquors may be staying according to DNA Info Chicago.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Steve & Kate’s Camp in Chicago at at Blaine Elementary School this summer

Summer is just around the corner, and Steve & Kate's Camp is now accepting registrations for your children ages 4 through 13/14 at Blaine Elementary School. For more information contact Jess at, and you can visit their website here!

Friday, April 8, 2016

Dog-a-holics Retail Shop Changing Hands to Bentley's Pet Stuff

On Friday, April 8, Dogaholics posted a blog article saying that they are "handing over the leash" to Bentley's Pet Stuff.
"After 10 years of providing pet parents with the best products for their furry family members, this week, Dogaholics takes its final walk as a retailer. The time has come for me to officially hand over the retail leash... actually lots of leashes...and lots and lots of dog Bentley's Pet Stuff (formerly Bentley's Corner Barkery). Dogaholics will continue to service Chicago through doggy daycare, boarding, grooming and training."
We wish Candace the best of luck!  You can read her entire blog article here.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Join the WGN Morning News Team at Sluggers on Monday, April 11 from 7-10 AM

The WGN Morning News is hosting a Cubs opening day party on Monday, April 11 from 7-10am at Sluggers. They would love local residents to stop by and have a beer or bloody with the crew. WGN sports anchor Pat Tomasulo and Ana Belaval will be broadcasting from Sluggers LIVE all morning so stop by!

For local businesses or groups bring more than 10 people, WGN will give them a free shout out on air as well!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Bitter Pops is ready to open on Lincoln Avenue

Bitter Pops Original Beer Shoppe is opening in April at 3345 N. Lincoln Avenue the weekend of April 15.  

From Bitter Pops: 

Bitter Pops Original Beer Shoppe endlessly endeavors to create the “The Ultimate Beer Experience.” We are striving to create a place where beer drinkers can experience the stories and beers from their favorite breweries. We also hope our space will encourage people to come together and enjoy the social and relaxed atmosphere that beer naturally creates.

Additionally, with a myriad of beer options in today’s market, beer drinkers can easily become overwhelmed by the beer purchasing process. Bitter Pops seeks to remedy this by applying a three tiered approach:

1) Selection:
2) Education:
3) Experience:

Finding the right beer should be simple and intuitive Learning about beer should be rewarding Journeying the process should be exciting and fun

As a specialty retail beer store, Bitter Pops focuses on selling the best selection of American Craft and International beer. Social elements of the store include:

  • Special monthly events such as brewer/supplier guest appearances
  • Weekly tastings of new beers, rare beers, and seasonal beers
  • Mini Growler & Pop service in our Tasting Room
  • Giftables, Wearables, and Packaged Edibles

Bitter Pops is located at:
3345 N. Lincoln Ave. Suite 102 
Chicago IL, 60657

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Vivial Restaurant has abruptly closed

Vivial has replaced their menu outside their front door with a "We are closed" sign today. We reached out to Vivial asking if they had closed for good and they responded "Yes".  We also checked OpenTable which confirmed no tables are available any longer.  Vivial had re-concepted last November from Spencer's Jolly Posh Foods.

More information can be read here from Eater Chicago.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Bel-Port Liquors leaving when it's home at 1362 W. Belmont is sold

The building on the corner of Southport and Belmont that houses Bel-Port Liquors is currently for sale, and once a buyer comes through, the liquor store will be closing. Across the street, the building that once housed Flat-Top Grill, Burger Boss and Dojo Chicago is mostly vacant, so this area of Southport and Belmont could look quite different within a short period of time.

From the real-estate listing:
"The first floor is occupied by Bel-Port Liquors, which currently operates under a month-to-month lease and will vacate at the time of sale. Half of the first floor and the entire second floor is currently vacant, which was previously used as storage space. A new owner can take advantage of this opportunity by gut rehabbing the existing building, into a luxurious mixed-use; retail and apartment building. Each floor has one in-place bathroom and one room with plumbing in-place for a second bathroom.
The immediate area is populated with restaurants and bars, and many national retailers. The property's proximity to major thoroughfares and public transportation make it an ideal spot. This is a perfect value-add opportunity to a new investor."
The price is listed at $1,250,000 and is approx. 5100 square feet. You can see the listing here.

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