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A Field Guide to

West Loop

There’s more to this thriving neighborhood than Restaurant Row.

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Above: Mary Bartelme Park  Photo: Joe Daniel Price

It’s no secret that over the past 20 years the West Loop has become a destination for foodies and cocktail connoisseurs alike. But with the opening of the luxury clothiers Billy Reid in October and M2057 by Maria Pinto in November, the nabe is also becoming a style magnet. And now that Google has set up shop with a massive new office on Fulton Market, expect housing prices to rise, too.


1. 1313 Randolph Street Lofts

A destination for architecture buffs, this art deco condo building was built in 1927 to house the Wholesale Florist Exchange (hence the large posies that adorn the exterior).

City Winery
City Winery  Photo: Lenny Gilmore/RedEye

2. City Winery

Prince played at this 314-seat venue a few years back. (Yes, that Prince.) The housemade wine isn’t shabby, either. citywinery.com/chicago

3. Hubbard Street Dance Chicago

Get in shape with Pilates classes, learn intricate choreography, or check out world-class dancers rehearsing at this Chicago institution. hubbardstreetdance.com

4. Lyon & Healy Harps

So maybe you don’t play the harp. But a tour of this storied showroom, with its jaw-dropping Old World–style instruments, may just persuade you to learn. lyonhealy.com

5. Mary Bartelme Park

Kids can clamber around the intricate playground while Fido frolics with four-legged friends at this geometric marvel. westlooppark.com

6. Old St. Patrick’s Church

To some, it’s the home of the world’s largest block party. To others, the city’s oldest standing church (it survived the 1871 fire) is a beacon of Irish culture. oldstpats.org

7. Richter’s Food Products Building

The colorful details that grace this former meat-processing plant, a remnant of the city’s hog-butchering history, make it an art deco masterpiece. 1040 W. Randolph St.

8. Kavi Gupta Gallery

This nationally recognized gallery features some of Chicago’s best artists, including Tony Tasset, Jessica Stockholder, and Scott Reeder. kavigupta.com


9. M2057

We’re just going to name-drop here: Boutique owner Maria Pinto has dressed Michelle Obama and Oprah. m2057.com

10. Northwestern Cutlery

At this self-proclaimed candy store for cooks, get your knives sharpened or throw down $1,900 for a Kikuichi 9.5-inch chef blade. nwcutlery.com

Eat & Drink
Ravioli at Monteverde
Ravioli at Monteverde  Jeff Marini

11. The Allis

Afternoon tea ($32) includes finger sandwiches, cakes, a glass of rosé Prosecco, and a chance to peek into Soho House without dropping more than $1,000 on a club membership. theallis.com

12. Grace

Chef Curtis Duffy’s exquisite tasting menus have catapulted Grace to the top of the Randolph Street heap—and won the place three and a half stars from Chicago’s dining critics. grace-restaurant.com

13. Monteverde

Don’t be fooled by the kid-friendly coloring menus. Spiaggia alum Sarah Grueneberg’s elegant new space features top-notch Italian food. monteverdechicago.com

14. Santorini

The stone hearth makes this Greektown mainstay cozy; the wood-grilled center-cut lamb chop ($42) makes it a must-visit. santorinichicago.com/new

In February

Through February 4 Chicago Restaurant Week offers great deals; go to eatitupchicago.com to find out which West Loop spots are participating.

February 5 At the Rangefinder Gallery, see Don Getsung’s photographs of Americans who receive food assistance. February 6 Cowboy Mouth mixes rock and Creole at Bottom Lounge.

February 17 New Orleans legends Buckwheat Zydeco perform at City Winery.

February 18 At the National Hellenic Museum, learn about antiquities in peril in the Middle East.

February 21 Kobe Bryant (i.e., MJ lite) takes the floor for the last time at the United Center.

Starting February 26 Spencer Finch shows his colorful takes on science as art at Rhona Hoffman Gallery.

Did You Know?

Randolph Street was an open-air wholesale market in the late 19th century.

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Tour West Loop with Joel Reese

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If You Want to Live Here

Population Median houshold income Median sale price (condo)
(68% white, 16% Asian, 10% black, 6% Hispanic)
$90,000 $330,000

Listing of the month

939 W. Madison St., 503.

1309 W. Fargo Ave.
Photo: Courtesy of American Real Estate Services Corporation

Asking price $649,000

Specs 1,300 square feet, two bedrooms, two baths

This two-level penthouse loft features a private outdoor patio, a separate deck, a spiral staircase, and 11-foot ceilings.

NOTE Real estate data are for October 31, 2015. SOURCES: Census Bureau, Zillow
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