The Chicago Architecture Biennial Catalog Is Live
The CAB program calendar is here. Organized by programs that are produced by CAB and partners across the city, the calendar includes an ongoing schedule of programs aligned with their mission—to explore how architecture shapes our communities, cities and environment. Offerings that range from workshops, events, virtual conversations and exhibitions will be added on a rolling basis. “The Available City” kicks off in five weeks on September 17 at twelve sites across Chicago, featuring sixteen projects, augmented by programs, essays and workshops from more than eighty contributors. In a release, CAB says, “The programs that bring these projects to life are a central part of the Biennial and a key part of our work with contributors around the globe, so we are very excited for you to join us in participating!”
Drake Hotel For Sale
“Chicago’s iconic Drake Hotel is up for sale, the latest development in the building’s 101-year history,” reports the Trib. “Pricing is expected to be in excess of $250 million… Redevelopment of the property could include elevating the food and beverage offerings, reconfiguring the Michigan Avenue-fronting retail space, and converting and developing more space to accommodate high-end residential units.”
Rush To Bulk-Buy Rental Homes Accelerates
A real estate investment trust, JLL REIT, sponsored by Chicago-headquartered juggernaut Jones Lang LaSalle Inc., is taking a $560 million stake in a $1.2 billion portfolio of more than 4,000 rental homes, reports Crain’s. “The portfolio was assembled and is managed by home-rental company Amherst Residential. It’s the first investment in the single-family rental market for the REIT, which also owns apartment complexes, industrial buildings, offices and grocery-anchored retail properties.” In an interview, JLL Income Property Trust CEO Allan Swaringen tells Crain’s, “We think there’s going to be continued institutional capital flowing into this sector. Getting ahead of capital is always an attractive thing.”
DINING & DRINKING
Dill Pickle Food Co-Op Back From Brink
Logan Square’s Dill Pickle Food Co-op is back from the brink after a successful fundraiser and tax breaks bringing $600,000 to the store, reports Block Club Chicago. “But the Logan Square co-op still is on shaky financial footing and store leaders must boost sales to keep the store going long-term,” general manager Talia McCarthy said. “Time was running out for the Dill Pickle just a few weeks ago. At the time, McCarthy said the store was $5.6 million in debt with only two to three weeks of cash remaining. Store leaders recently secured about $500,000 in 2021 Employee Retention Credit [and] the Dill Pickle crew also launched a crowdfunding campaign in July — an ‘SOS,’ as McCarthy put it — raising its goal of $100,000 Sunday.”
After Sixteen Months, Red Apple Polish Buffet Returns To Norwood Park
The Red Apple buffet on North Milwaukee, which has been in the neighborhood for thirty years, closed because of the pandemic in March 2020. Now, reports Block Club Chicago, “The Red Apple reopens Saturday for weekend service and will be open weekdays by appointment only for large parties. Co-owner Anna Hebal decided to reopen in August as the ‘vacation craziness’ dwindles down and as students prepare to go back to school. But she said reopening after more than a year of silence has not come without its adjustments…”
Storyville Brings A Taste Of New Orleans To River North
Storyville prepares for its August 26 grand opening in River North. “One step through the front door and guests are transported to the bold sights and sounds of the Crescent City,” the restaurant says in a release. “Musical instruments suspended over the entryway beckon you inside. Storyville’s vast, yet intimate dining area is adorned with sinuous ornamental iron rails and abundant green planters synonymous with the French Quarter. Overhead, elegant empire chandeliers glisten like stars in a Louisiana night sky.” With Chicago Chef Louie Yu—who also leads the kitchen at sister concept, Chalet—directing the kitchen, “Andouille sausage sizzles, gumbo bubbles in a pot, and bananas are caramelizing, waiting to be poured over rich vanilla ice cream… Storyville is an authentic New Orleans experience transported from the Mississippi Delta to the banks of the Chicago River. Storyville takes its name from New Orleans’ illustrious historic red-light district.” Co-founder Vincent Lujan says, “Storyville’s history is so rich, so vibrant. With décor, music, and a menu boasting French Quarter cocktails and small bites, we aim to bring this legend to Chicago—to pay tribute to a place and time that brought jazz to the world and shaped our concept of ‘party’ to this very day.” More here.
FILM & TELEVISION
Facets Reopens September 17
Forty-six-year-old Chicago kino stalwart Facets is reopening September 17, with fall programming to be announced on August 24. The building has gotten upgrades: Facets’ 125-seat theater continue its discerning, deep-cut and sometimes provocative art-house offerings alongside new programming initiatives. Facets will also continue its virtual cinema offerings to accommodate audiences that can’t come to the show. Recognizing Chicago’s wide pool of creativity, Facets will also offer microgrants and discounted theater rental rates for independent filmmakers. The former Facets Vidéothèque has been converted into a café, where members and patrons can connect, mingle, use the free Wi-Fi and order café items. While the physical vidéothèque is no more, Facets members can still rent from Facets’ large video library. The lobby has been renovated to give moviegoers a more comfortable environment as well as to view visually driven, installation-based film and video art on a newly added projection system. Cinema 2, formerly a 50-seat theater, has been converted into a studio that is a black box flex-space that will contain workshops, non-traditional screenings and receptions. Building repairs have been made to the roof and ceiling in the cinema. Enhancements have been made to ensure there is increased air circulation throughout the facility. The theater will also be BYOB. Programming listings are here.
LondonHouse Chicago Hosts “Living Landmarks of Chicago” Book Signing
LondonHouse Chicago hotel hosts a book signing event for “Living Landmarks of Chicago” by Emmy-winning author Theresa L. Goodrich on Tuesday, August 31 at 5:30pm. “The hotel, highlighted as one of the living landmarks in the book, features stunning architecture that harkens back to the Roaring Twenties,” the hotel says in a release. “Attendees will be transported to the golden era as they sip on a Prohibition-themed cocktail and listen to Jazz Age music while Goodrich regales them about Chicago’s illustrious past with a reading and Q&A session with a LondonHouse representative.” More here.
Former Tribune “Passive” Investor Patrick Soon-Shiong On His Vote On Alden Global Capital
“It should be the responsibility of people living in their community,” former Tribune “passive” investor, billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong tells Kara Swisher on her New York Times “Sway” podcast of his vote to allow Alden Global Capital to buy up Tribune Publishing: “I can’t personally be responsible for Florida, Baltimore and Chicago.” (Soon-Shiong also tells Swisher that we should worry about billionaires like himself buying up newspapers.)
Punk Not Dead, But Deadly: Exit Gets The Clampdown
No peep from Exit, including the dead website on their fallow Twitter feed, but the historically suspect establishment at 1315 West North Avenue has been shuttered for rampant filth and endangerment. The city’s orange notice on the front door—”OFF LIMITS—DO NOT ENTER”— warns to keep away from the first and second floor interiors; the all-caps city building permit and inspection records [here] note that the fire extinguishers have 2017 expiration dates; “at the rear exit area by the public alley there are wood pallets being used as some sort of makeshift ramp. What exists are several wood pallets that have created an obstruction for egress to the public way”; “this 2 story bar / lounge is in a severely degraded state. In addition to the dangerous and hazardous conservation violations noted in the original inspection, there are numerous dangerous and hazardous electrical and plumbing violations”; “There are 2 rear exterior (wood) stair flights from the basement level to grade. There are no handrails / banisters. Dangerous and hazardous”; “There are compressed gas tanks in the basement with no protective enclosure. Dangerous and hazardous”; “The interior of this bar / lounge is filthy… sodden with everything from spilled beverages to ground in dirt and grime. The bathroms [sic] are equally filthy as well as the bar areas where drinks are prepared / consumed. There is no regular cleaning of this public establishment. The extreme unsanitary condition of this bar / lounge is a public health hazard and a referral has been made to the city’s Department of Health.” (Pictures Of Dives plucks an old shot of the facade here: “CHICAGO’S ORIGINAL PUNK BAR / SINCE 1981 OPEN 365 DAYS TIL 4AM.” Twitter user Mick Jensen offered on July 2: “When I was the GM of Exit Chicago, I’d frequently catch dudes shitting in the urinals on the 2nd floor, because there was no toilet… my rant was always ‘you’re a poor planner, plan your day, who shits at a night club?'”
AEG Presents To Require Proof Of Full Vaccination for U.S. Concertgoers and Event Staff
From the release by massive live event player AEG Presents: “AEG Presents will require proof of vaccination for entry into its owned and operated clubs, theatres, and festivals. The decision comes with the surge in cases as the Delta variant spreads throughout the United States. The vaccination policy, limited only as required by law, will be in full effect nationwide no later than October 1. Several venues have already followed local government vaccination mandates, with others anticipated in the weeks leading up to October 1. The date was chosen specifically to allow time for any eligible unvaccinated ticketholders and staff to reach fully vaccinated status should they choose to do so. Leading up to October 1, AEG Presents will be implementing a policy of showing proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test taken within seventy-two hours of show date where permitted.” Jay Marciano, COO of AEG and chairman and CEO, AEG Presents: “We have come to the conclusion that, as a market leader, it was up to us to take a real stand on vaccination status. Just a few weeks ago, we were optimistic about where our business, and country, were heading. The Delta variant, combined with vaccine hesitancy, is pushing us in the wrong direction again. We realize that some people might look at this as a dramatic step, but it’s the right one. We also are aware that there might be some initial pushback, but I’m confident and hopeful that, at the end of the day, we will be on the right side of history and doing what’s best for artists, fans, and live event workers.”
Principal Harp Sarah Bullen To Retire After Twenty-Four Years At The CSO
Sarah Bullen, principal harp of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, performs in her final CSO concert on August 15 in the Tchaikovsky Spectacular program that closes the Orchestra’s summer 2021 residency at Ravinia. Bullen will officially retire in September 2021 and will receive the CSO’s Theodore Thomas Medallion for Distinguished Service from Zell Music Director Riccardo Muti at a date to be announced. She has been principal harp for the Orchestra for twenty-four years. More here.
North Lawndale Music Event Rebrands Into Hip-Hop Festival
72 Seasons In Lurie Garden
Chicago-based contemporary artist Brendan Fernandes presents “72 Seasons,” a free, public performance-based artwork and installation within Lurie Garden in Millennium Park. The movement-based piece, featuring dancers outfitted with custom costumes by Rad Hourani, engages with ballet history and Chicago’s prairie landscape to envision passages of time demarcated by the Japanese calendar. Performances are on August 21, September 25 and October 23 from 1-3pm, presented in partnership with the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) and the Joan W. and Irving B. Harris Theater for Music and Dance. More here.
ARTS & CULTURE
Census: Chicago Remains Country’s Third-Largest City
World Naked Bike Ride Returns
“Every year, around 1,000 cyclists take to the streets of Chicago in states of undress for the World Naked Bike Ride,” reports Time Out Chicago, “a clothing-optional, fourteen-mile nighttime ride meant to call attention to the world’s dependence on oil and cyclist safety. The cheeky display is also intended to champion the low-carbon impact of bicycling as a mode of transportation: ‘Less gas, more ass.’ … Ordinarily, the event—which is celebrated worldwide—falls on the second Saturday in June in the northern hemisphere; for obvious reasons, organizers canceled the ride in 2020. Now it’s returning to Chicago for a belated celebration on August 14 with a host of pandemic-era precautions, which include nixing the huge party that’s normally thrown after the ride concludes.”
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